Feature in Tonbridge Insider

Feature on Sharon in local magazine

This article appeared in the December Tonbridge Insider Magazine – at the moment you’ find it here:

Sharon Tringham

I have been a dyslexia tutor for 5 years and a mother of 4 children with High IQ/dyslexia. My passion is dyslexia and I want to make sure every child is screened as early as possible. No child should ever end up frustrated and unhappy at school, college or university. I volunteer with Parents Plus every Thursday where it is all about parents being there for parents (or carers), whatever the problem, whatever the age of the child, as I find I still have problems, even after 25 years of parenting.

01732 808283 – sen@tringham.net – www.dyslexia-tonbridge.co.uk

- motivation – my children. Finding out they had dyslexia spurred me on to get a dyslexia teaching qualification not only so I could be a dyslexia tutor now, but so I knew how best to help my family. Home life was stressful back then due to the kids having no idea of time or time management, and with huge levels of disorganisation and forgetfulness. Now I spend a lot of my time with parents helping them not only survive, but to be successful supporting their children at home while also working with them to get schools to provide appropriate teaching and support. Sometimes it is hard listening to parents going through the same battles I had 10 years ago.

- greatest achievement – achieving a 2.2 Degree aged 46, even though I’d found out along the way I also have dyslexia. As you can see in the photo it is not only my children who have organisational issues! I originally started studying as I was fed up with Education officials and teachers asking why I thought I knew what was best for my child. I gathered up all the information I’d researched on dyslexia and turned it into a really useful qualification. Then I followed this up with a Foundation Degree in Learner Support at West Kent College, which is the first 2 years of a degree, and being flexible fitted into my life and situation. Dyslexia identification and support has become a real passion.

- you write a novel about your time in Tonbridge, what would you call it – a Year in the life of an Ordinary Housewife’ – and thanks to the Open University and its ‘Advanced Creative Writing’ course I’ve written a couple of chapters already.

- your inspiration – when I was younger it was my husband as he is incredibly motivated and hardworking. I like the way he has really strong views that he is not afraid to change given a good argument by the other side. Mealtimes in our house can be quite spirited. We are both supporting each other to set up our own businesses – his in IT Consultancy, Interim Management, and Business Coaching and mine for handwriting or dyslexia assessment & support. Really I have now reached an age where I would like to inspire others.

- if you could have written any song or piece of music – Anything by Enya. I could only dream of being that talented. All my children are musically gifted and one composes great piano pieces despite being unable to read music because of her dyslexia. I have the musical ability of a kazoo.

- favourite possessions – I have a house full of junk, none of which I can apparently do without!

- wake up anywhere in the world – anywhere with a beach where it is possible to go horse riding, bareback.

- best about Tonbridge – It’s sense of humour. The fact that the council thinks it’s a big tourist destination and want to make the high street for pedestrians only, whereas the residents just want to be left alone to live their lives. Tonbridge is not posh like Sevenoaks or pretentious like Tunbridge Wells and is just a really good place to bring up children with the best choice of schools in the whole country.

- love in a sentence – love isn’t love until you give it away!

- be anyone for 24 hours – I’d want to make a difference in my 24 hours so I’d be Bill Gates and use his charity foundation to give out free software for identifying and supporting dyslexia in primary age children – I’d put myself out of job but I wouldn’t care.

What is it like to have dyslexia?