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Memory issues Dyslexia/dyspraxia

Nealss123 profile image
14 Replies

Hi I am new to the site, apologies if this question is covering old ground. I was diagnosed with Dyslexia/dyspraxia in my mid forties. I turned fifty in May. I am now going into fourth and final year of a BSC double honours degree in science. My question is, what can I do about poor memory. I struggle with exams. The volume of information needed to be retained is a real problem to me, are there and tools I am missing out on? I score very well in any continuous assessment grade but constantly let myself down with the exam results. Currently I am stressing over a repeat exam in Immunology that I have spent considerable time studying however I doubt I will be able to acquit myself well in the exam due to the volume of information I would need to recall. Thanks in advance for any and all help. Apologies about the long post. Neal :)

14 Replies
CarolineLondon profile image

Honestly Neal I don't know but Ive heard using a voice recorder helps (smart phones have voice recorders built in) so if you read your stuff out loud and record it instead of or as well as writing notes.

For smaller stuff I found if I attached ideas to visual aides in a room it helped me recall. So either what you expect to see in an exam hall or things in your living room. For example picture the living room in your exam, in the bottom right hand corner you might see and the lamp at home by the sofa, mentally anchored to your theories about atoms or something. Anyway Im sure others have better ideas. Hope that helps a bit. I'll be interested to see the replies as I suffer the same problem.

Nealss123 profile image
Nealss123 in reply to CarolineLondon

Hi Caroline, thank you for your post. I wrote a long reply but for whatever reason it hasn't appeared, I was having log on problems with forgotten passwords, :) I have tried most of your suggestions at some stage to varying degrees of success. N

pavarottislater profile image

I often only remember stuff visually, e.g. i can recall where my partner left his keys as i can visuallise they are on the floor next to a shoe in a corner somehwere and from this information i can figure our where it is. However retaining something someone has spoken to me or something i have read is very hard. When studying i have just had to go with repetition - read it out loud, write brief notes so that when you reread your notes you have to fill in the gaps by remembering rather than just re-reading your notes, then practice them outloud - like learning lines for a play or something.

Hope this helps.

Good luck

Nealss123 profile image
Nealss123 in reply to pavarottislater

Thank you, this is probably the most useful method for me, except for the outloud bit but I think I may start doing that. Cheers

FlemmingAst profile image

It depends on the severity of your Dyslexia. What Bill's wife did for Afacia pations was to include pictures and text read to you when you click a picture. That works for me when I need to remember old or new information again after repeting about 10 times. Bill programmed a special application for this on windows mobile. As I can not promote solutions please ask iansyst in Cambridge. Currently you can use iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets. You can also run the solutions on a Windows PC using an Android emulator.

You simply make a Category. Under a category you create the text and choose an Icon for each. For free you have out of the box some 2,300 icons and > than a million is available.

Nealss123 profile image
Nealss123 in reply to FlemmingAst

This is all new to me. I will have to give this some thought. I have a couple of weeks before fourth year starts. I will look at this further. Thank you.

Neal you should contact the study support department at your university and see if you might qualify for a disabled students allowance which usually provides specialist tutoring (including revision and exam preparation) software (which may help you take good notes) and you may also get a recommendation for extra time in exams. Rules regarding the allowance have recently changed with the presumption that more support for dyslexia should come from the uni themselves so also ask what general support they provide that could help you. Ideas for memory support include using colour codling for similar ideas, recording information and listening back to it, imagining a familiar room with information linked to the objects (you could even stick the info there on post its) this enables a stressed mind to recall first the object which then helps recall the information linked to it. But different strategies work for different people so use this site to see any other suggestions you could try. I hope this information is helpful and encouraging to you.

Nealss123 profile image
Nealss123 in reply to

Thank you I have been in touch with the department and have done a course and had one to one help given to me. I also qualify for ten mins per hour extra in exams but the volume of material is a problem because all the above takes up time which is in short supply. I am looking into getting accommodation nearer the university for my last year as this will cut out a 3.5 hour commute every day. Thank you for your suggestions, I will visit the support office again and ask more specifically about areas I am having difficulty in.

Edwilson profile image

I agree with a lot of the above. It is ultimately about being creative. My memory is terrible in fact my wife says that I can only remember three things at a time. If I go to the shop - to buy 4 things - and forget to take a list I will forget the first thing I was asked to get.

I find that using colour and drawing really helps I normally do this through mind mapping or using a relevant diagram that you can enter the information into. As well as this I find it can help to put it into a context or visualising the information rather than remembering the words. If I'm remembering directions I can't remember after the third instruction but if I see it on a map and can imagine myself doing the journey then I could remember the lot. Not sure if that is of help but it really helps me.

Nealss123 profile image
Nealss123 in reply to Edwilson

Brilliant, that made me laugh. I am the same going to the shop and like you my limit seems to be 3 items. When I was doing a support class there was an exercise in it to see who could remember numbers. A number would be read out and we would write it down after a minute. The numbers got progressively longer each time. If you got it wrong you were out. I was the best in the class by a long way which really surprised me because my memory is so bad. When I was asked how I was remembering the numbers I realised I wasnt actually thinking of the numbers at all, I was listening to the meter of the called out number and I replayed the up and down rhythm of the called out number which allowed me to write the correct sequence. If I thought of numbers at all I was gone. A bit freaky, tbh, :) still though it showed me I could remember stuff.

Nealss123 profile image

Thank you all for taking the time to try and help me. Apologies about the delay in getting back, I forgot my log on :) Cheers Neal.

RabbitRabbit profile image

Hi Neal. Quick reply as you have lost of stuff here to try. My son really loves mind maps,we also use a post-it note per idea and place them around the house and he has to run to each idea as it links, this is sort of kinasetic learning he says that the moving about gets his brain moving and helps him remember better, he also prefers to study standing up.

We have also recently begun to use dragon naturally speaking, we have versions 12 premium which he also uses with a voice recorder so he can record his ideas anywhere.

Hope this helps but make sure you use student support they really should be supporting you and helping you, some uni's provide readers in exams and scribes so you don't have to worry about writing and spelling you just have to focus on ideas and if you use dragon some will allow you to exams on this depending on their set up.

Good luck with this.

Nealss123 profile image
Nealss123 in reply to RabbitRabbit

Thank you Rabbit rabbit, for taking the time to get back to me, i very much appreciate it, I like the idea of post it reminders around the house that would be very useful and standing up while studying, I think I will try. I used to make all phonecalls standing up when I worked in IBM because it was more comfortable, more control, I will give it a go, thank you.

Lacrosse101 profile image

Hello Nealss121! Thanks for sharing! :) I am dyslexic and have a significantly poor working memory and subsequently find it very difficult to learn information. I have found using pictures to replace words a very effective technique. In by doing so, I have created me own dictionary if you like, where each word has its own picture attached to it. If anyone had techniques on how to retain information when reading, it would be most appreciated, as my technique can be rather time consuming!

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