Every year, thousands of New Zealanders are diagnosed with a specific learning difficulty (SLD). Despite their struggles in the education system, getting the help they need can transform their lives.

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Creating Our Own Books

Having a child with severe dyslexia inspired a SPELD NZ mum to write and self-publish a book to build his self esteem.

The Perfect Fit

Many parents of children struggling in the classroom consider homeschooling. It’s not for everyone, but it was the perfect fit for Holly Blair’s family.

What Dyslexia Taught Me

Christchurch IT product innovator Christian Sax describes his lifelong struggles with dyslexia and what he’s learned along the way.

Back to the Future

Emma Pollard became a SPELD NZ Teacher so she could support her dyslexic daughter and others like her.

Dancing with Dyscalculia

Diagnosed with severe dyscalculia as a child, Isabelle went on to become a makeup artist and support others who struggle with numbers.

You Rescued Me

Dyslexic Professor Emeritus David Mellor looks back on the “phenomenal impact” of his tutor 70 years ago.

Starting Over

Training as a SPELD NZ Teacher overhauled Pip Coombes’ entire approach to teaching literacy.

Family the Key to Success

Bayley Garnham’s struggles all made sense when he was diagnosed with dyspraxia and dysgraphia at the age of 12. Family support played a crucial role in his success.

Aidan at work

Dyslexia in the Workplace

New employee, Aidan Milner, recommends total honesty and not shying away from support to level the playing field.

Deciphering Me

For Summer Riley, a diagnostic assessment lifted a huge emotional toll and enables access to extra support at university.

Giving Back

Former SPELD NZ student Tadhg Norgrove is poised to become a clinical psychologist and help others who struggle with life.

Proud to be Different

Indie-pop sensation Benee embraces her dyslexia and the difference it brings.

Back to the Classroom

What drives someone with learning difficulties to become a teacher? Former SPELD NZ student Elizabeth Luoni Verkleij shares her journey.

Out of the Shadows

After a lifetime of frustration, 62-year-old Hamish Shoebridge has finally learnt how to read and write.

Rebel With a Cause

Meet Irene Fagan – one of our earliest teachers in the 1970s when dyslexia was virtually unheard of.

My Strategies For Success

Aidan Milner soared through university despite severe dyslexia and dyscalculia. Here’s why.

Doing a PHD with Dyslexia

Know how your brain functions, and what makes it click. That’s the advice of Dr Kyle Whitfield who once floundered with dyslexia at school.

Gifted and Challenged

Imagine a child who finds school both too easy and too hard.

Never Too Late

Russell Campbell is living proof that it’s never too late to get help for dyslexia.

I’ve Been There

As a child, Joan Rusden knew she wanted to be a SPELD teacher, supporting dyslexic learners like herself.

50 Years Breaking Barriers

In an ideal world, SPELD NZ would be redundant by now. In reality, we have never been busier.

A Passion for Change

SPELD NZ training equipped primary school teacher Katie Knight with “life changing” knowledge.

Outside the Square

What’s it like to discover that you have ADHD as an adult? Simon Herbst shares his journey.

Rio’s Story

“As a family it was breaking us.” Katie Knight finds the game-changer in her son’s life.

Personal Story - Ryan Attwood

Video: Turning the Tide

Ryan Attwood used to tune out at school. Learning vital skills has unleashed his creativity and motivation to learn.

Bridging the Gap

SPELD NZ’s Financial Assistance programme enabled Ella Barnes to get the support she needed to overcome her learning difficulties.

Harnessing the Strengths

Alisha Moser learned to make the most of her strengths as a visual learner and eventually become an architect and author.

Celebrating the Difference

Olivia Bollen struggled at school but now considers her dyslexia a gift in her chosen career.

Overcoming the Obstacles

As a 12-year-old, Nick Calder could hardly write. Now he’s in China doing his entire master’s degree in Mandarin.

A Boy Transformed

Ingrid Norgrove used to dread that her son would end up in prison. Now she couldn’t be prouder.


The Paradox of Twice Exceptional

An Auckland mother, and SPELD NZ Teacher, shares the story of her twice-exceptional son.

Dyscalculia – A personal perspective

Deirdre Coleman describes the SPELD NZ support helping her son manage his huge difficulties with maths.

Like Father, Like Son

Eight-year-old Jacob Neary is what you might call a “chip off the old block”.

Teaching Your Own Child With Dyslexia

What’s it like to teach your own child? Charis Sweeney trained with SPELD NZ so she could help her dyslexic son, Luke.

SPELD NZ Support Unleashes Potential

Andrew Jones had an affinity for science but struggled with literacy at school. SPELD tuition helped him unleash his potential and become a geotechnical technician.

Dyslexia in Preschoolers

Research shows that the earlier we identify and support children with dyslexia, the better their outcome. So what are the first signs, and what can we do to help?

Overcoming Maths Anxiety

Maths anxiety is a well-known psychological condition, especially common among those with dyscalculia.

What Really Made the Difference

As a child back in the 1980s, Bryce McGowan came to SPELD for help.