Passing On What I am Learning

September 9, 2008 · Filed Under Jill Tipping, Rugby, Security Film, U V Shield · Comment 

The lady who is teaching me to read (who by the way has the patience of a saint!) has said to me that in return I must teach a child to read. Well, to be fair I didn’t fancy that, but I did think it would be a good idea to find someone who has problems reading and help them. Some time ago I came across this guy called Mark and we get on very well – we are quite similar in a lot of ways. He doesn’t read properly and struggles with sounds so I decided to ask him if he would like me to teach him. By the way, have you any idea how ironic that is – I am teaching someone to read!! I have to keep pinching myself.

Anyway – we have had our first lesson. I go to his house one week and he comes to mine every other one. I have drawn letters for him on cards but my teacher has now given me some cards for him. Funny, he struggled with the sounf ‘ix’ just like me. I don’t now though!

My teacher has given me a set of books to read. I read them to Jill in bed! She really likes that – no idea why. Anyway, they are kids books and are very simple but they are building on the sounds that I am learning. I can see how they would be fun for the kids as well. Lots of people say ‘don’t you find it patronising reading children’s books? Why the hell would I – I am learning to read words and that’s what matters, not what the subject matter is.

It is Dyslexia Week coming up at the beginning of November and I have been asked to give a talk on what it is like living with Dyslexia. I will also be able to promote my book which will be cool. I am hoping to do a book signing at Canterbury Waterstones. We are just waiting for the manager to get back to us.

Rugby season has started – thank goodness. We went up to Twickenham to see the London Double Header last Saturday. It was a good day even though it rained most of the time. We had great seats. Jill got us 10 tickets through her Rugby for the Girls website that she runs. Our Under 15 boys are back in training again. I used to be the coach but I just help out now as they needed someone who was still playing to coach them. I tried to become a qualified coach but couldn’t get through the assessment. Wonder why?

I was on the radio the other. Our local radio station KMFM phoned me to ask my opinion on the new ruling that 16 year olds would not be able to leave education for a further year. I gave my opinion as an employer but also as someone who would have hated being made to stay on another year. However, if they are receiving life skills in that extra year that has to be worth it.

We are very busy fitting Security film in my UV Shield Business. It helps deter burglars. The work is mainly in London so I am doing quite a bit of travelling. But it is worth it. Still having time for my reading practice though – just about……

Our First Post

May 29, 2008 · Filed Under Ben Cohen, Jill Tipping · Comment 

John and Jill TippingHello everyone – this blog is going to be a bit of a joint effort between me (John) and my wife Jill who tends to be my reading and writing companion, amongst other things!

I am described as ‘profoundly dyslexic’ which is better than what I used to be described as which was thick and stupid! I am writing this blog (with Jill’s help) for two reasons – firstly to prove it to myself and others that I am not stupid, just different, and also I would love to think that my mad ramblings might be able to help others make something of themselves in this world. I am now 42 but up until I was 37, I just existed, although I didn’t realise it at the time. I spent most of my time depressed but I just thought that was how youwere supposed to feel. I was only confortable being a victim of society which just seemed to be full of words, words, words – my greatest enemy.

Then after some help from a few people that cared and understood me, I started to realise what life is all about and began to ‘live’. When you are dyslexic, every day is a massive challenge. If you can read and write you cannot possibly know the feeling of panic that can set in when you suddenly reaslise that you have to read something or simply fill in your address. The irony of it is that that feeling of panic can cause your mind to completely blank out which doesn’t help does it.

BUT, I now know that I just have to find ways around the problems as they arise, which they do all day, especially in my businesses – from road signs to parking meters, lunch menus to instruction leafleats, I have to try to read all day every day and that can be quite scary – especially when you don’t want to come across as a prat! I find the best way is to be totally honest with people – they normally help if they understand your problems.

I use software on my computer to help me send emails and research the interenet. It speaks to me and I can write by speaking into it. That is quite tricky though becasue I am not really sure what a sentence is shaped like, if you see what I mean, so I often end up asking Jill. It takes me ages to do things but at least I don’t have to constantly rely on Jill as this can be really irritating for her – especialy if she is in the middle of something.

I am feeling pretty knackered today. I have had only about 3 hours sleep. Last night we were up at TheA really lovely guy! He may be small but I wouldn\'t take him on. Dorchester at The Great British Boxing Legends. We met Henry Cooper, Barry McGuigan, Ricky Hatton and Frank Bruno. Jill works with rugby player Ben Cohen and it was part of his testimonial events. I drove up and back with Jill and Trish in the back of the car like I was the chaufeur – they were all glammed up and it was a great evening but I still had to get up this morning and make phone calls, put some signs up, clear out my van, do some estimates for my window film business and really I just wanted to crash out on the sofa. The old John would have done just that, but now I push myself forward the whole time and it feels great to achieve and make things happen whereas before I was just a quitter.

(Right – Jill and Frank Bruno and Ben Cohen’s testimonial event – Dorchester, Park lane)

I am just about to start helping out the researchers who are looking into Dyslexia. Should be interesting! This will be in a few weeks time so as I have never really been assessed officially it will be good to find out what exactly is going on in my slightly bizarre brain. Meanwhile, I will keep updating my blog (with Jill’s help). Leave me your comments and experiences – it would be good to know how other people cope.