I am a teacher and neurodiversity specialist and have worked in this field for the past nine years. In my present role, I have established a successful dyslexia education programme at Kapiti College. As a vital component of this programme, I have run professional development for the staff at our college and also at other schools and colleges within our wider cluster. The purpose of this professional development is to enable educators to acknowledge neurodiversity, to identify students who may be dyslexic, dyspraxic, dysgraphic or dyscalculic and to implement appropriate individualised teaching strategies. The overarching goal is to facilitate a whole school approach to teaching learners with dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia and dysgraphia. My role in educating educators has expanded in response to demand and this is now where I believe I can make the biggest impact using my skills, experience and expertise. Our dyslexic students’ NCEA and junior school results are overwhelming proof of the success of our programmes academically. This is being achieved in conjunction with supporting the emotional and healthy social development of these students.
I have worked in education since 1985 in the UK and New Zealand. I am Speld NZ qualified, and became a Dyslexia Specialist Tutor, joining Kapiti College in 2008. I have initiated and established neurodiverse friendly practices at Kapiti College, which have gained nationwide recognition for their effectiveness in producing high levels of academic success. I have presented at workshops, conferences and symposiums throughout the country as well as spearheading professional development for schools and colleges throughout the North Island. Together with my neurodiverse learners, I have made a documentary, and have hosted members of the Education and Science Select Committee. Close professional collaboration with organisations and experts, both in New Zealand and overseas, allows me to keep abreast of current research and best practice.