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Issue 5: September 2021



On the cover is Elliot Cox.




The September 2021 issue of Dystinct Magazine brings to you:

1) The Dystinct Journey of Heidi Parody– (Neurodiversity Advocate, Heidi and Me- Our Neurodiversity Journey.

The story of 9-year-old Heidi Parody who shares her personal experiences with the world to challenge the stigma around neurodiversity and empower neurodivergent kids and their carers to embrace their difference.

2) Why start with S A T P I N? Why not A-Z? – By Clare Wood (Founder, Tiny Steps Make Big Strides Literacy Clinic)

This article takes a closer look at the initial code addressing the reason why phonics instruction follows a particular systematic sequence rather than teach letter sounds from A-Z.

3) Zombie Brain Eating Chickens (2.3 million likes) Defeats Schools (0.001 K likes)- By Simon Da Roza (Principal Consultant, Exceptional Learners)

Simon explores how the gamification of our world has led to increasing numbers of disengaged children and youth and discusses strategies for educational facilities to re-engage their attention.

4) Executive Function Issues in Children: An Overview-by Dr Richard Selznick (Psychologist, Author and Founder, Shut Down Learner)

Dr Richard Selznick provides an overview of the role of executive function (EF), assessment of EF issues and strategies to manage EF deficits.

5) The Ripple Effect of Collaboration- by Casey Harrison (Dyslexia Therapist, Educator, Founder, The Dyslexia Classroom)

Casey Harrison explores the role of the literacy therapist in creating a wave of instructional change for student success through school collaboration.

6) The Dystinct Journey of Elliot Cox -(Racer & Founder, Driving for Dyslexia)

The dystinct journey of Elliot Cox, the 14-year-old racer from Indianapolis, who is on his very own personal mission- Driving for Dyslexia.

7) Asking for help- by Krysten Taprell (Psychologist, Founder, The Therapist Parent)

Krysten examines how the simple act of asking for help can be complicated for some children and discusses ways to empower children to recognise their need for help and appropriately ask for it.

8) Confused? Evidence-based. Research-based. Scientific-research. What are schools required to use? – by Dr BethAnn Pratte (Founder, Anchor Educational Services)

Dr BethAnn Pratte analyses the difference between the terms Evidence-based, Research-based and Scientific-research and examines its legal implications for schools.

9) Essay Planning and Writing for High School Students with Learning Difficulties-by Sasha Borenstein (Author, Teacher Trainer, Educator and Mentor. SashaBorenstein.com)

Sasha Borenstein outlines the procedures and skills that need to be explicitly taught to high school students for effective essay planning and writing.

10) Music and Dyslexia– by Dr Valdine Björnson (Founder, The Reading and Learning Clinic of Manitoba)

Dr Valdine Björnson explores the benefits of music education to dyslexic individuals, ways in which struggling music learners can be helped and the similarities between multisensory learning for both music education and literacy instruction.

11) Immunizing your Child from Reading Failure: Seven Recent Studies -by Faith Borkowsky (Author, Dyslexia Practitioner, Founder, High Five Literacy)

Faith Borkowsky reviews seven noteworthy scientifically based reading research involving early literacy produced over the past two years (2020 & 2021)

12) The secret executive director of reading: executive functions: by Dr Tzipi Horowitz-Kraus (Author, Director, Educational Neuroimaging Center)

Dr Tzipi Horowitz-Kraus examines the role of executive function in learning and intact reading acquisition and the relationship of executive function to reading difficulties and remediation.

13) Is homework a fight in your house? - Dr Tara Warwick (Occupational Therapist, Co-owner, Blue Sparrow)

Dr Tara Warwick provides seven practical tips to alleviate homework struggles.

14) Recognising, Teaching and Supporting Students with Dyslexia- Are we Doing Enough? – by Karen Starkiss (Founder, Dyslexia Support Services)

Karen Starkiss's insights on identifying and meeting the needs of students with literacy difficulties at schools and raising the standards of reading for all students.

15) The Dystinct Journey of Loki Madireddi- (Chef, Co-founder, Trust The Loki)

The story of severely dyslexic Loki Madireddi, the MasterChef contestant from Season 10 of MasterChef Australia who has recently discovered some answers to the forces that shaped him all along.




As we near October- learning difficulties awareness month, I look back at the same time last year when I eagerly followed all the different campaigns being run by the amazing organisations that work in the space of learning difficulties. I feel incredibly thankful that Dystinct had the opportunity to join hands with the very same organisations this year to spread a positive narrative around dyslexia.

Inspired by all the fabulous worthy wins that were shared as part of our Dyslexia Awareness Month campaign on our social media, I'd like to say that great grades and recognition at school aren't the only things that matter. Our children are so much more than that.

On the cover of this issue is Elliot Cox, the 14-year-old racing talent who is the face behind Driving for Dyslexia, one of our charity partners. Driving for Dyslexia is a charity that I've always admired for the incredible job they do, raising funds to provide Orton-Gillingham training to teachers who then go on to change the lives of hundreds of students.

I hope you gain inspiration from reading the dystinct journeys of Loki Madireddi and young Heidi Parody, who is my personal favourite for all the cute photos and videos she shares on her page. This issue has many great articles from outstanding specialists. I especially enjoyed reading and designing the Zombie Brain Eating Chickens Defeats Schools article, and I hope you enjoy reading it too.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue and all the specialist content covered.

Please get in touch with me if you have any feedback, ideas, or stories to share to change the narrative surrounding learning difficulties.


Zahra Nawaz Shafeeq




The magazine can be accessed on your mobile and tablet devices. Click the link below to access the Dystinct Magazine.



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