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British Dyslexia Association delivers hidden difficulties and neurodiversity training to Novus

Monday 3 February 2020

Our CEO Helen Boden recently spent the day the team from Novus (offender education team), training them to train other staff within the organisation around hidden difficulties and neurodiversity.

Helen said: "Doing it this way mainstreams and embeds the information within the organisation and certainly gets around the logistical difficulties of delivering training, particularly in this setting. It is always good to be able to take a collaborative and partnership approach with organisations to move the dyslexia and neurodiversity agenda forwards."

Anecdotally and through research we have done over the years, we have found a clear link between failing to diagnose and support dyslexia and school exclusions that put young people at greater risk of offending behaviour.

The BDA's project in 2002 and several others that had preceded it and followed it identified not only were rates of dyslexia far higher in those young people who were within the youth justice system ranging from 31 percent to over 56 percent but also that the offending behaviour correlated closely with disengagement from education and poor literacy. In the research, we found that most of the dyslexics had been missed, of the 56 percent of the young people in the group we found to be dyslexic, only seven percent had previous been identified with any specific learning difficulty – that means over nine out of ten young people with dyslexia had been missed.

It is therefore especially important to be working with Novus to ensure that support for dyslexic and neurodiverse individuals is readily available.