Annette Johnson was  introduced to the meeting by Rotarian Adrian Fawcett. Annette is a teacher who has had extensive experience, both in Australia and abroad. Annette's talk will centre on some characteristics of Dyslexia.

Dyslexia manifests through the observation of many varied symptoms including difficulties with reading, writing, and numeric ability, as well as difficulty with following directions. It can be associated with dysgraphia; (this is a learning disability that affects writing abilities. It can manifest itself as difficulties with spelling, poor handwriting and trouble putting thoughts on paper); dyscalculia (this is difficulty in learning or comprehending arithmetic, such as difficulty in understanding numbers, learning how to manipulate numbers, performing mathematical calculations and learning facts in mathematics.); or dyspraxia (which refers to difficulties with coordinated movement in which messages from the brain are not effectively transmitted to the body.).

When presented with several instructions the dyslexic person may remember the first and last, but instructions given in between are lost. Mixing up words, time, wrong pronunciation, directional confusion, poor sequencing are all symptoms of dyslexia.


Dyslexia has a great effect on the sufferer's self esteem; individuals feel "dumb" as they see that they are not achieving what others appear to do naturally. Many dyslexics can exhibit high IQ, yet may not test well acedemically; the individual performs well in oral testing, but poorly with written tests.

The manner in which Dyslexia manifests in an individual is never consistent across all sufferers, and the manifestation can range between mild through to severe.

Dyslexic people process information in a "visual-spatial" manner, while much of the general population use thought processes with "words spoken in their heads"; ( word thinkers). Dyslexic persons are a small percentage of the total population. However, the sufferer can appear and feel out of place.


When a statement is made, the dyslexic person pictures that word (tree,cat, boat). However, with words such as "but" or "put" which are more conceptual, the person has difficulty in picturing these words or concepts. Word thinkers can put meaning to sentences while dyslexic persons stumble on the words that they cannot put into picture form. Unfortunately 70% of our language is formed by these type of words.


Most people have experienced disorientation and know its effects. A person with dyslexia can feel disorientation when they come to a standstill as they become confused with the problem communication or task they are faced with.


Parents will often get their child's eyes and ears checked when mistaking early symptoms of dyslexia as possible problems with those functions. However, when testing reveals that the child's sight and hearing function is normal, further investigation may lead to identification of dyslexia.


However, Dyslexia can be the catalyst that reveals a real talent exixts, especially when the dyslexic's suserior visual-perception skills become prominent. Dyslexic people can become very talented at finding solutions to problems as they are able to picture the problem in minute detail. Dyslexia may be seen as a talent rather than an impediment to success. Examples of dyalexic persons who have made their mark in history include Leonardo Da Vinci, Pable Picasso, John Lennon, Albert Einstein, Cherilyn Sarkasian (Cher), Richard Branson, Steven Spielberg, John Utzon (designer of the Sydney Opera House), Earvin "Magic" Johnson, and Louis Hamilton.


Some research indictes that Autism may be linked to dyslexia as in both cases, the sufferers think "in pictures".


Following some questions from the gathering, Richard Hordacre formally thanked Annette for her entertaining and extremely informative talk, presenting her with a momento of her visit to the Club.