Fifth Floor, Tavistock House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HX

General Enquires: 020 7388 8744

Assessments: 020 7383 3724


Stories by successful dyslexics who IDC have helped over the years

The colours of Dyslexia


Trevor Hobbs, Chair of the Dyslexia Association of Bexley Bromley Greenwich & Lewisham


“Oh yes you on the spectrum” A comment often made by educational psychologists at the end dyslexia assessment. What is this spectrum?


It’s often thought of by the client as band of colours and they think they are floating somewhere at the bottom of an imaginary rainbow, sure in their mind it’s not at the pot of gold end of the rainbow. What colour band do I fit into, thinks the newly discovered dyslexic, the strong red band or the much weaker blue band it must be the blue end else they would have not asked all those bizarre questions in the assessment. 


I think of the spectrum as the shallow sea just before it reaches the beach. On the surface is bright, colourful, fast flowing water that’s our strengths. Below flows the multicoloured water in which all kinds of valuable bits float along, this is our average band or secondary colours. Lastly we reach that thick band of muddy coloured water just about flowing through the pebbles. That’s our dull or weak aspect, yet within this band there are valuable bits hidden between the pebbles that we need to push up into our multicoloured band and that will force even more colour up into the crest of our waves and reduce the muddy band. We are like the flat fish that can never look down on its self, so it never appreciates how good it looks from above. It struggles to swim in the buoyant oxygenated waters where it can get the best feeding. It tends to sink into the muddy colours of the bottom. We need to turn ourselves into colourful intelligent trout, which are fast swimming brightly colourful achievers I would have suggested the noble Salmon but they have to find their way back to their birth river so that rules most dyslexic’s out. 


Once the diagnoses is confirmed, with the right training, you will swim higher in the water the muddy bottom will still be there but you will spend much more time out of it than before.


Returning to the colour spectrum idea, in some aspects we fit into the powerful reds in others washy blue. The rules of colour are you can’t mix two primary colours to make another primary colour. This means we are stuck with our basic spectrum but there are many opportunities to strengthen our weak colours by using our stronger secondary colours to boost our overall palate. That’s what we do when we develop strategies to overcome limitations or undertake specialist educational interventions.


We are people who wear a Jacobs coat of many colours we should wear our coat with pride, we should stand out from the crowd and not hide in a corner, we should tailor our coat to be fit for purpose. We are known to have fertile minds and we should use them to the full potential.  It is often said we lack confidence we can only achieve confidence when we accept our coat covers a wide spectrum of strengths mixed with some weaknesses. We should paint our life paths using our strong primary colours and a good blend of our secondary colours.  Finally we should aspire to enjoy life to the upmost of our ability.


Please note in November 2017 we relocated to a new office. Our address is

IDC, Fifth Floor, Tavistock House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HX

Our new office is approximately a one minute walk away from the old office.

Our telephone numbers and email addresses remain the same.