Our Learning Styles Researcher, Julian Berridge, was interviewed by Morwenna Stewart of the Institute of Neurodiversity. They discussed how schooling can affect dyslexics, the power of dyslexia, and the College's Dyslexia toolkits.
Listen to the podcast (also available on other podcast platforms, search for Institute of Neurodiversity stories) or read the transcript:
Morwenna Stewart (00:00):
Welcome to the Institute of Neurodiversity Podcast with me, Morwenna Stewart. Hi, I'm Morwenna Stewart, I'm awesomely autistic. Thanks for listening to ION Stories, the podcast for the Institute of Neurodiversity. The podcast is by and for neurodivergent people on all the hot neurodiversity topics. You'll find us on all the major podcast platforms and many smaller ones, too. Today we're talking with Julian Berridge. Julian works at Cambridge Marketing College, where he's devised a very nifty toolkit for dyslexia, which was described in a local paper, the Cambridge Independent, as part affirmation, part information, and part solution finder. So, a very big welcome to Julian, hooray. Welcome, great to have you here with us today, thank you for your time.
Julian Berridge (00:55):
Thank you for having me.
Morwenna Stewart (00:56):
Wow, it's great, our pleasure. So, Julian, what brought you to this wonderful work that you've done? This neurodiversity, dyslexia work?
Julian Berridge (01:06):
Me and my big mouth, actually.
Morwenna Stewart (01:08):
Julian Berridge (01:10):
I suppose I should probably explain. I was on my way to collect all the last of my things after having given up at university. Being the COVID years, I couldn't cope with the online learning. On the way down, I ended up by accident talking to the CEO of the Cambridge Marketing College. So, it's a reasonably long journey, inevitably we ended up talking about education, and I ended up, without any prompting, launching into a rather long, I suppose... To be nice, I'll call it a speech, it was more of rant about how most people view and treat dyslexics and those with dyslexia. Neither of us were expecting to get me a job in any way, but I can tell you that was the Friday, my first day at work was the Wednesday next week.
Morwenna Stewart (02:02):
Wow, that's quite a start.
Julian Berridge (02:05):
The CEO works fast.
Morwenna Stewart (02:07):
Julian Berridge (02:09):
My job was to just see if, from my perspective as a dyslexic, if I believed their learning zone and materials were accessible and my job grew from there.
Morwenna Stewart (02:23):
Fantastic, and so you were taken on just from this chance meeting 'strangers on a train' type scenario. I mean, I wonder what you think that tells you about dyslexic people in terms of strengths, I think I know the answers to this, but what do you think?
Julian Berridge (02:40):
Well, typically, while dyslexics are always characterized as being very weak in the English department, especially written work, a lot of people forget that the majority of dyslexics ended up going... If they don't succeed in academics, they work with either their hands or their voices.
Morwenna Stewart (02:59):
Yep, brilliant, and that was absolutely you to a T, I mean, you used your gift of the gab to get this job. Is that what you were looking for? Were you looking for a job or was it just-
Julian Berridge (03:09):
I was not looking for a job at all, I was mostly suffering a combination depression, disappointment, and wondering what an earth I was going to do.
Morwenna Stewart (03:18):
Wow, so it was a happy meeting and happy accident for you.
Julian Berridge (03:22):
I certainly say so.
Morwenna Stewart (03:24):
Yeah, so what brought you to the toolkit? I mean, you started the job on the Wednesday, and then what happened next?
Julian Berridge (03:31):
This took a while later, my first several months of work, I should probably explain, I'd started... This was May last year when I started work, so my first few several months at work were just looking through the learning zone, just from a completely unfiltered perspective. Then I spent many months just researching what I could find on dyslexia, which was quite the voyage of self-discovery, I have to admit. I just learned many things about myself, both good and bad. Then came the idea of what can we now do that we have all this information? So, from what I looked at, from everything that already exists, it's normally rather formal, very impersonal, and takes a very long time to actually say anything.
Julian Berridge (04:21):
Now as a dyslexic, if you don't tell me what it is I'm actually supposed to be reading, or what I am reading at the time, very soon on, I'm probably going to fall asleep while reading and not remember any of it. Certainly, there's not a lot that can help someone who is a student or child that's just been diagnosed or, and I speak from family experience, a panicking parent that's just had their child diagnosed and doesn't know what this means. So, the idea was to come up with something that could just be dipped into, small amounts of reading for any particular issue, and that was friendly.
Morwenna Stewart (05:00):
Nice, I think you've hit the nail on the head there and I was thinking about that as I was joining to talk to you today, is that a lot of stuff I've seen on dyslexia is, ironically enough, very wordy, often quite academic, not always practical, and pretty downbeat in tone.
Julian Berridge (05:22):
Very dismissive, there's a lot of people don't believe that dyslexia is a real thing. When you say dyslexia, the first thing you normally think of, especially if you are recently out of school, is that slow kid in the back of the classroom that never sticks the hand up and just keeps to themselves, and it's always very worried about being seen to be wrong. The problem is most dyslexic are of the same view, but because that's the view you are given, that's what everyone then believes. So, everyone believes there's a problem to be fixed, so I can... There's a dyslexia font, here have that, I've now solved your problem, so now you're going to be normal.
Morwenna Stewart (06:01):
Yeah, magic wand waved, which must just drive you absolutely bonkers, I can imagine.
Julian Berridge (06:09):
Morwenna Stewart (06:10):
Yeah, it's just not that simple, is it, for dyslexia? It's multifaceted and everybody's different. So, how did you avoid, in the toolkit, doing that kind of, well, this works and that works, and because everybody's so different.
Julian Berridge (06:23):
I just wrote it from the heart, it's a list of personal experiences backed up with several months worth of solid research, there is nothing else to it. I am... Well, at the time I was just 19, I don't have any preconceptions, it is just personal. I can't even write formally, I'm dyslexic. For a good example, to take the... There's a section on how to write an essay. Now, the word essay still sends me into shock, and it certainly did when writing it. My colleague who I was working on with this at the time told me... Bear mind, I knew this wasn't going to happen, but they told me in the very authoritative terms that I was going to have to write an incredibly long, incredibly dense, 3000 word essay. That triggered a panic attack in me and I don't get panic attacks, so full rabbit in headlights mode. Then once I calmed down, about an hour or so later, and I do mean that, I then wrote to that entire section the straight on the wings of fear.
Morwenna Stewart (07:25):
Wow, pure adrenaline.
Julian Berridge (07:28):
Yes, but it's one of the most well received sections there is and I have to say it was worth it.
Morwenna Stewart (07:36):
Wow, so you can do it if you have got that terror, but that's not a great way to work, is it?
Julian Berridge (07:46):
That's not how I normally work, that was a one off, and I hope to stay that's the one off. I can't write formally, I write... I believe someone described it as I write very much as if I'm talking, and it's my voice that I know that I can use.
Morwenna Stewart (08:00):
Brilliant. I'm curious, literally, I mean, do you use anything like voice recognition software or do you just type, what do you do?
Julian Berridge (08:06):
I used to use Dragon Dictate, I have to say I was too self-conscious to willingly open up with it, used it in exams for a while, but I started off using it and then about halfway through I'd switch to typing. But given the existence of spell checker, it's not too bad, so I do now type.
Morwenna Stewart (08:27):
Good, so you found what works for you?
Julian Berridge (08:30):
Morwenna Stewart (08:31):
In other words. Yeah, because some people love Dragon, some people loath it, and it's just finding what works for you, isn't it? Brilliant.
Julian Berridge (08:39):
Everyone's got their own way of learning.
Morwenna Stewart (08:40):
Absolutely, and ND ways of learning are often quite different, as we know.
Julian Berridge (08:47):
Dyslexic, not dyslexic, just neurotypical, everyone's different.
Morwenna Stewart (08:51):
Absolutely, we're all different. So, tell us a bit more about the toolkit, what sections and tips and things have you got in there?
Julian Berridge (09:01):
Well, fortunately, I remembered to leave it open, so I can just read off. The first one for students, which by that I mean anyone who's probably about 16 or over to... Well, given I work a marketing college that teaches apprentices, so you can be literally any age, so you call it 16 and over. Not being clear on a task, and this one comes up a lot, if someone tells you to go away and write a report, unless I have a visual image of what do you mean by report, I have no idea what's going on. I don't have an image to build off, especially the fact that most people's idea of report is this incredibly long dense-worded pile of text, and I have no idea why anyone will want one of those.
Morwenna Stewart (09:46):
Julian Berridge (09:50):
Lacking confidence is another major one, many a dyslexic runs into that, it's something you pick up living as dyslexic.
Morwenna Stewart (09:59):
Yeah, confidence is a big one, isn't it? I was thinking about what you said earlier about being told at school, "This is who you are, you are the kid at the back of the class who does X, Y and Z," or whatever, and those stereotypes and putting people in those boxes. What impact do you think that has had on you, personally, if you're comfortable talking about that?
Julian Berridge (10:22):
This is not my words, this is the words for autistic, dyslexic Davis, who was one of the pioneers when he was still working in dyslexia research. Dyslexia does not become a learning disability until you have grown up with it through school surrounded by people who haven't been educated about it.
Morwenna Stewart (10:45):
Julian Berridge (10:45):
You end up losing a lot of self-confidence, and fearing, and I do mean this, I have this myself, and I thought I was reasonably lucky, fearing being seen to be wrong. That is the nail on the head, as it were.
Morwenna Stewart (11:03):
There's a lot of internalized stuff around that, isn't there, I can imagine, for a lot of dyslexic people?
Julian Berridge (11:09):
It's just you fear being seen to be stupid, because you believe you're stupid, you fear trying anything new. This is one of the major problems, especially working education is teaching a dyslexic to use their gifts is very difficult, because at this point, it's in their nature to not to do anything new, if they have anything that they know works, however badly.
Morwenna Stewart (11:30):
That's interesting, really interesting, because I coach got a lot of dyslexic people and I know some people will have coping mechanisms that are absolutely brilliant. Do you think people, in some senses, take on some coping mechanisms and strategies that are dysfunctional?
Julian Berridge (11:45):
Well, I still have to sing through the alphabet in order to actually learn it. I know there's better methods, I know I could go do best methods, it's not particularly effective, I still do it. I know others just stick with how they learned to learn in school, so the main thing you learn to learn in school is to write a whole load of notes. I'm dyslexic, I can't even read my handwriting, and I certainly can't read notes and then learn from them. But it's what you're taught to learn, and how you're taught to learn, so you stick to it. You stick to that for the rest of your life, because it works just about well enough, and therefore, you can't fail trying anything new if you don't try anything new.
Morwenna Stewart (12:32):
That's so interesting, isn't it? I mean, that sounds like almost, and I've talked to quite a lot of people on the podcast about this, without sounding too melodramatic, almost trauma from school, from education.
Julian Berridge (12:45):
Yeah, long term trauma is probably how I'd call it. I must say, that particular example with note-taking isn't exclusive to the neurally diverse. Actually, my job now is spreading out into just learning styles in general, to be more inclusive, as such, that particular example comes up a lot with absolutely everybody.
Morwenna Stewart (13:09):
Julian Berridge (13:09):
Because it's how everyone learns how to learn, everyone learns and is expected that that's how they're supposed to learn. So, that's how everyone approaches learning, or most people, instead of finding their own way,
Morwenna Stewart (13:23):
It's by doing note-taking?
Julian Berridge (13:25):
Morwenna Stewart (13:26):
Julian Berridge (13:27):
I've talked to various students, I've talked to just other people that I know and they say that that's how they used to do it. One said that that's how they always tried to learn, they had to retake all their exams at university, except on the third year when they changed how they learned.
Morwenna Stewart (13:44):
Julian Berridge (13:45):
They tried a new method, a much more visual one, and then they didn't have to retake their exams.
Morwenna Stewart (13:50):
That's fascinating, because so many clients struggle with note-taking and it's a bit like banging ahead against a brick wall. "Well, how can we find ways to do note-taking that work for you? Actually, don't," is what you're saying, isn't it? So, you mentioned the visual and you said that when somebody said to you, "Write that 3000 word essay," or whatever, you didn't have a picture of it in your mind, so what is it about visual?
Julian Berridge (14:14):
It wasn't bad, in that particular case, that was just the word essay sends off major alarm bells. But if you tell me to write a report, or assignment, or something, I don't know what that means as a framework, what that is. I don't know what you're actually expecting me to write about. So, you normally get acronym style things, I'd say, SOSTAC which I can't actually tell you what that means, but where are we? What are we going to do? How will we know when we've got there? And so on. But unless you break it down into those questions and then probably subquestions into each one of those, I have no idea where start, because I can't picture it. Best analogy I can give, which most people seem to like is as a jigsaw, unless you give me the edge pieces, I can't then fill in the gaps.
Morwenna Stewart (15:04):
Very nice analogies and very visual.
Julian Berridge (15:07):
A lot of people seem to like that one, it's in the student toolkit.
Morwenna Stewart (15:11):
Nice, I like that a lot, that's really good. A lot of people work very visually, clients I work with, ND clients, it's a real big thing, I think, particularly for dyslexic people.
Julian Berridge (15:23):
We are programmed to be visual, it's in our nature.
Morwenna Stewart (15:28):
Thinking in of 3D ways, as well, is that something that you notice for yourself?
Julian Berridge (15:31):
Half of NASA's scientists, at one point, were dyslexic.
Morwenna Stewart (15:35):
Julian Berridge (15:36):
Because of the visualization.
Morwenna Stewart (15:38):
That's amazing, isn't it? That's extraordinary. What else do you think, I mean, are the positives of dyslexia? We talked about the difficulties in school and things, what do you think are the good things?
Julian Berridge (15:51):
Sheer difference in perspective. As dyslexic, I was actually talking to my boss just before coming on here, every problem I come across, I will likely approach it in a completely different way, or generally different way, to most people just because I am dyslexic. It challenges what's already taken at the status quo, and it forces a lot of people to change their assumptions. A lot of people don't necessarily like that, because nobody likes having to change how they change something or take the consideration they might be wrong at something, nobody likes that, but it does encourage a lot more innovation.
Morwenna Stewart (16:40):
Julian Berridge (16:42):
Especially as me, in my particular position, where I am heading up any research and knowledge into how to cope with and to help aid different students, that's needed.
Morwenna Stewart (16:57):
Absolutely, I mean, you have to think that way to be able to get into people's minds and so on. I was really curious about the way you approached it and you talked about doing tons and tons of research, what about working with people themselves? Whether did you talk to a lot of dyslexic people?
Julian Berridge (17:17):
I started off with research, just so I could actually have a... Well, sounds knowledgeable and know roughly what I'm supposed to be asking. Then yes, I moved on to talking with first just people that I actually knew who were dyslexic. I've got several friends who are, so one of them doesn't necessarily want to fully admit it or doesn't admit it but hasn't quite grasped what they're supposed to do with it. Which does make them a very good test subject, don't tell them I said that, and then I moved on to talking directly with students at the college and former students.
Morwenna Stewart (17:54):
Brilliant, and what did you notice about talking to different dyslexic folk?
Julian Berridge (17:59):
There's a wide mix, I mean... A good quote is, "The only thing consistent about dyslexic is their inconsistency."
Morwenna Stewart (18:06):
Julian Berridge (18:07):
I don't actually know where that comes from, but it is very much on point. So, you always have a couple which are very much positive, get go, they know what works for them, or they just accepted the whole deal and they know what they're doing. There are others which know that it's the case and hide it. I know one, the first one I talked to actually, wasn't going to tell his company that he worked for until his probation was up, because it had held him back in previous interviews. There's a very wide mix of how people take it and it depends on what their experiences are, how it's affected them, and what they know.
Morwenna Stewart (18:44):
Yes, do you think that's key about... I always think knowledge is power the more better.
Julian Berridge (18:51):
It really is, just when you are... Regardless of how it is, but especially when you're dyslexic, you fear being different unless someone gives you a reason why you are different. So, you cannot just tell yourself it's because you're stupid, which is the default, and gives you permission to go out and explore new ways of doing things. That's what it often requires, someone telling you, "This is why, try these, and I do mean try, because they probably will, and if they don't, try this, go ahead." It's that particular moment that just opens some people's eyes, now, it doesn't open everyone but it does help the majority.
Morwenna Stewart (19:39):
Nice, and it's really interesting, as you say, that people are so very different. I know working with clients, sometimes we say these kinds of things might help these kinds of things, these might not, things like colored overlays, and things like that, different things to use to look at text.
Julian Berridge (19:56):
I read best with inverted colors, white text and a black screen.
Morwenna Stewart (20:04):
Is that right? That's really interesting, because as an autistic, I look at that, and I can barely look at that. Visually, that is so stark and difficult for me, but that's comfortable for you.
Julian Berridge (20:11):
I fond it easy, because there's some parts of dyslexia increase sensitivity to certain things. I think the description was a sensory system overload or something along those lines. So, I find the brightness for white screen, for example is just too much, I actually have to turn the brightness down.
Morwenna Stewart (20:35):
So, the sensory stuff for you, as well, because, I mean, that's well known in things for autistic and ADHD folk, but there's that in for dyslexia as well?
Julian Berridge (20:47):
Can be, I mean, there's a lot of... There's some thought in research areas that all three of those are linked. I don't know the full details, but to take the Davis' theory, which I have to admit, does mostly fit, is that whether one is on the dyslexic or artistic spectrum depends on when they develop a particular gift, and the gift of full 3D visualization.
Morwenna Stewart (21:12):
How does that work?
Julian Berridge (21:17):
So, at two months, one would become a dyslexic, so at two months old, you can walk up to this bundle of fur and then mentally unravel it to see the kitten that it actually is, for example. Now, this is very well, you can work out most problems just by 3D visualizing it, until you reach school. Have someone write the letters C-A-T, on the board and everyone suddenly knows that that means cat, you don't know that means cat, a cat is a picture for cat. You then apply this 3D visualization, so you look at all these letters in... I've seen it written down in a particular... Every different possible combination, so put these three letters in every possible way, from any angle, any order, and it doesn't mean anything. You're now sitting there, incredibly confused, having used up about 40 times as much effort, because it's about 40 different ways you can look at those, and you've still got no idea what's going on, and things just go from there.
Morwenna Stewart (22:32):
Wow, so is that about mixing the letters up?
Julian Berridge (22:37):
That's just simply applying 3D visualization to a 2D problem, as it were. There's no point in looking at a letter in 3D to try and understand more about it, because there's nothing more to understand, all the meaning in it comes from other things.
Morwenna Stewart (22:52):
I see. Okay, so it's almost like your brain goes off in two different directions?
Julian Berridge (23:00):
Just a different direction to what's expected.
Morwenna Stewart (23:02):
A different direction, wow, that's a really interesting theory and I'm going to have to go away and read up more about that, because it's-
Julian Berridge (23:08):
I would recommend, for any dyslexic, just because it very much sums up a lot of things. The book is written by Ron Davis, it is called The Gift of Dyslexia.
Morwenna Stewart (23:18):
The Gift of Dyslexia, brilliant. Well, we can put that in the podcast notes, if that's one you recommend-
Julian Berridge (23:25):
Morwenna Stewart (23:28):
... and share. So, fascinating theories on that particular form of neurodiversity, being dyslexic. That's really interesting, I'm sure it will be interesting to people listening. So, you said you've worked on another guide, as we joined this afternoon, we've been talking. Do you want to talk a little bit more about that second guide?
Julian Berridge (23:50):
So, the first guide was all for students who are dyslexic and gives them some breathing room to come up with new ideas. This new one is for the tutors of dyslexics, so in the same age range mostly, so we're slightly more one on one, a lot less classroom based. But at this day and age, when everything's online, because we can't do in person, that's about right. So, it's all for how to just slightly change how one approaches teaching a dyslexic.
Morwenna Stewart (24:28):
Julian Berridge (24:30):
It's a lot less write a report and a lot more you can write me a report, use any of these particular formats, so give a range of optional formats. So, rather than write something, it can be, you can do it in a PowerPoint, you can do it in a presentation, you can do it this way, you can do it that way. But with a specific set of things, because just leaving it open ended is overwhelming.
Morwenna Stewart (24:54):
So, it sounds like, as you said earlier, very clear boundaries, very clear expectations. I know for autism and ADHD, that's really important as well, is being absolutely clear about what you want from somebody, so it's some of that organizational stuff as well.
Julian Berridge (25:09):
I need something to build an image off, otherwise, I can't start.
So the toolkit for tutors is divided into two sections, the first which is just general strategies and suggestions. The second section is entirely based out of questions that were asked of me by the college's tutors.
Morwenna Stewart (25:27):
Julian Berridge (25:29):
Well, we have one tutor that asked me directly I have this dyslexic student, she has to write a 2,500 word assignment on in order to pass their exam, they've written 800 and say they're done. Now, I've done that myself, because at that point, you've said all you want to say, writing is absolutely painful to do. So, you summarize, you shorten everything down, you probably have the same amount of information in there or almost as much as someone who's written a much longer version. But there are still requirements, and unfortunately, you still have to adapt to those requirements, so I've got quite a long section there trying to explain what I believe would probably work as a potential solution.
Morwenna Stewart (26:23):
Wow, and what do you think the solution might be in that circumstance? I'm curious.
Julian Berridge (26:26):
So, if you think back when I mention SOSTAC with how I broach it down into questions with then subquestions.
Morwenna Stewart (26:32):
Julian Berridge (26:33):
That's what I came up with, so instead of just giving them one question, which is the overall nature of the assignment, it helps to the dyslexic to break it down into smaller questions and smaller questions again.
Morwenna Stewart (26:46):
Yes, I see.
Julian Berridge (26:48):
Then I can build around each one of those and string them all together, and then I have a series of things that add up to 2,500 words, rather than one thing that its 2,500 words. Just breaking down the problem into smaller chunks.
Morwenna Stewart (27:02):
So, it's very much about chunking it and making it manageable and digestible, that sounds helpful-
Julian Berridge (27:06):
Very much so.
Morwenna Stewart (27:07):
... and a structure and a framework to do that. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I mean, when I'm coaching people to write, which is another thing that I do as a writer, editor, I quite often work out to start with topic sentences, so start with your main points, and here are your topic sentences, and then you write a paragraph under each topic sentence to explain it. Those kinds of things, I don't know if that-
Julian Berridge (27:30):
Very similar approach.
Morwenna Stewart (27:33):
... similar approach, isn't it? But anyway, you break it down is a helpful way, but that's fascinating. So, what's next when you've got these two guides? Because, obviously, there's wide application for them beyond the college that you're working for. How will you get them out there?
Julian Berridge (27:47):
For one thing, we've discussing just this Wednesday on what we're now going to do and how we're going to disseminate the new toolkits. The answer is the same as the previous one, it's going to be completely free, Creative Commons, anyone can use it as long as we're credited and it's not edited. Until recently, I would normally say that my next project would be to write a third for employers and line managers of dyslexics, as that's another large area. Especially, as I can now ask my own employer and line manager, just get straight answers out of them. However, before then, that's going to have come a lot later in the year, I've been asked to set up on the back of all this work... I'm not going to call it a learning support section, because in my own view, that sounds very demeaning and very much like anyone who comes to it's going to be sat down in front of a nice guy and the old lady who doesn't quite know what's going on, but it's very enthusiastic to help.
Morwenna Stewart (28:46):
We don't want that.
Julian Berridge (28:47):
No offense to the various learning support people who have helped me over the years, but that's still the image. So, it's more just talking to people, anyone, neurodiverse or not, about their particular way of learning, offering them advice, offering them suggestions, and just helping their learning whilst at the college and potentially beyond.
Morwenna Stewart (29:11):
Nice, so very personalized, tailored, one to one?
Julian Berridge (29:16):
Because everyone's different, there's no nice airbrush approach. You can't just give everyone extra time, I know that never helped me. It's always burned out before the end of the actual time
Morwenna Stewart (29:27):
Yes, that does seem to be a standard thing, isn't it? 25% extra time for dyslexic and that's it, that's your lot. Yeah, doesn't always help people.
Julian Berridge (29:36):
No, what help was the spell check.
Morwenna Stewart (29:39):
Julian Berridge (29:40):
I can understand what I've written better than anyone else.
Morwenna Stewart (29:42):
Some tools and some actual real life help, brilliant. Well, that sounds wonderful, so you've got the two guides, and then you've got the learning support, whatever you're going to call that.
Julian Berridge (29:52):
Yeah, I call it learning styles research, because-
Morwenna Stewart (29:55):
Learning styles research.
Julian Berridge (29:56):
... as it comes into it in the end, it's still trying to learn more.
Morwenna Stewart (30:00):
Yes, nice, and then a third guide potentially for employers and-
Julian Berridge (30:05):
Hopefully by the end of the year.
Morwenna Stewart (30:06):
By the end of the year, wonderful. I'm wondering where else you might disseminate them? We can certainly help with that at the Institute of Neurodiversity, we can share those on our site, and on our social media, and I think that would be really useful thing to do as a follow up from this. Yeah, is there anything else you think that you will see in your future, visualizing into your future?
Julian Berridge (30:30):
I've never been one to see too far into the future, I'm much more of an in the now person, very much like to be able to see the results of my work, though. So, hopefully, at some point, I would just like to reach more people to understand what their situation is, and to encourage more people to try their own way of learning, and not just stick with what it is they know works.
Morwenna Stewart (30:56):
So, encouraging more people to find their style of learning, reaching more people in that way, brilliant. I always ask people this on the podcast, in terms of for the Institute of Neurodiversity, what things would you like to see coming out of that specifically perhaps for dyslexia?
Julian Berridge (31:16):
Less so dyslexia, more in general, I'd like the Institute to have learned from the mistakes of those that come before it. As I said, the one thing I always came across when looking at, and I must say my own family came across when looking for information on dyslexia, is you end up with a very large number of these associations or anything else, which always need to focus on a very small, internal geographical area. Never seem to have any real information that helps those who are panicking, or new, or just needed some quick answers. There's no unified voice, there's no evidence on any of them, I saw, that they even talk to each other, or do anything other than just advertise pretty much their own services. So, I'd like the institute to learn from this and present a much more unified, much more friendly voice, that doesn't lose the personal aspect.
Morwenna Stewart (32:14):
Friendly, personal aspect, and unifying things.
Julian Berridge (32:20):
That remembers that not everyone who comes to it's going to know everything, and often needs quick answers to a large problem that they don't know the extent of.
Morwenna Stewart (32:31):
Brilliant. Okay, well, that's really useful, thank you. I will try to take that away and think about that more. We're certainly trying to design some of our own materials to be very user friendly, but I think one of our main roles is to sign post people. So, we will certainly sign post people to your information, because we don't want to reinvent wheels.
Julian Berridge (32:55):
Thank you very much.
Morwenna Stewart (32:55):
I think what you've done is brilliant. I was looking out this morning and thinking, wow. Also, like you say, it's very personal and the tone of it, as a writer, editor person, myself, I love the tone of it. It's very upbeat, and friendly, and human. I always say to people, "Write more as you speak," and that's exactly what I think you've done there. So yeah, love it, thank you.
Julian Berridge (33:20):
I hope you don't mind if I take that and rub it in my English teacher or two's face.
Morwenna Stewart (33:26):
Feel free, so many people think you have to write in a pompous academic way, and that is absolutely not the case anymore. So, anything else you'd like to tell us that we haven't mentioned already that you would like to promote or get out there?
Julian Berridge (33:40):
I don't believe so, just-
Morwenna Stewart (33:42):
Julian Berridge (33:43):
... my toolkits are available saintmartincollege.com/dyslexia.
Morwenna Stewart (33:47):
Julian Berridge (33:48):
Please, please give me feedback, I can't edit them or add more to them without feedback.
Morwenna Stewart (33:54):
Wonderful. So, have a look at those, give Julian feedback, contact you through the website, I'm guessing, and you'll pick that up.
Julian Berridge (34:02):
Yes, there's a form at the bottom.
Morwenna Stewart (34:04):
Thank you so much, Julian, that was fascinating. My mind's boggled about the different 3D and 4D ways of thinking, and I'm going to go away and read some of the things that you've mentioned. So, thank you so much for your time and we wish you the best of luck with all of the guides, and everything you are up to, and maybe come back and talk to us again sometime.
Julian Berridge (34:22):
Thank you very much, I hope to do so.
Morwenna Stewart (34:25):
Thank you for listening to this podcast, we'll share the info that Julian mentioned on our podcast platforms, and do share our podcast with your family, friends, and colleagues. Until next time, thank you very much for listening. Thanks for listening, we hope you enjoyed this Institute of Neurodiversity podcast with me, Morwenna Stewart.