Background to the establishment of the Support Group

In 1991 a group of parents advised by some teachers noticed that their children had some learning difficulties. On closer inspection and with the help of an Educational Psychologist they found out that this difficulty had a name, it was and is called dyslexia.

This came as a surprise to most parents as most of them had never heard of this learning difficulty. Parents began to seek more information on dyslexia in the UK. Many found a lot of informative information and ways of assisting people with dyslexia.

At the time the Gibraltar Department of Education was a little bit behind the UK on recognising, diagnosing and dealing with dyslexia and some parents felt very alone in their struggle to help their children succeed in their education.

The more parents found out about dyslexia, the more they realised that it was not only their child who was struggling. This was very upsetting, that so many children were going through school without ever being recognised as dyslexic. This would have very negative consequences on their education and lives in general. But at the same time, it was a blessing for those with dyslexia to know that they were not alone and for their parents to have other parents who also knew what they were going through.

It was time to get together and start making a difference in schools to help children be recognised and helped, so on the 8th of April 1992 the Gibraltar Dyslexia Support Group was formed.

The Support Group brought a way for parents to able to get their children diagnosed by an Educational Psychologist privately as the Education Department was at times unwilling to test children. It was a big support for parents and children, with sometimes just chatting with someone in the same circumstances being very helpful.

The group also pushed the Education Department to think about their stance on dyslexia and how they were going to support those with dyslexia. More and more parents were finding out that their children were dyslexic and began to push the ED to improve their teaching methods and support for their children.

For many years the Gibraltar Dyslexia Support Group was an essential part of Gibraltar. Giving hope to parents and children alike, that they could succeed in life and there was help at last.

Sadly over the years these children have grown up and left school, parents stood down from the committee and the Support Group slowly became inactive. In 2004 a young dyslexic, who was a child of one of the Support Groups founders, decided to get involved with the good work his parents had done. When he inquired about the group he was informed that it was no longer active.

He noticed that there was still work to be done in the schools and that families needed support. They needed someone they could contact when they found out that their child was dyslexic.

He together with parents and teachers began to rebuild on the work that had been done in the past, with a new committee, new ideas and more understanding as many involved are themselves dyslexic.

Since then the Support Group has gone through many changes and helped many families. Its work has not gone unnoticed as in 2019 the Chief Minister signed the Made By Dyslexia pledge and in the 2023 General Elections, both parties standing for election added significant commitments to Dyslexia and the Support Group in their manifestos.

In keeping with the times the Gibraltar Dyslexia Support Group has modernised its logo shortening its working name to Dyslexia Gibraltar and set up an Instagram account.