Resources for Educators

Teaching Tip

From the Teacher’s Aide Newsletter

2019 June

TIPS FOR TEACHERS of Dyslexic students!

By Pamela Ellen Ferguson Dipl.ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA(r)-CI, LMT (TX)

Being somewhat dyslexic myself I am quick to spot a dyslexic student! Glance around the room when your students pair up to practice a technique you just demonstrated. Notice those working “upside down/inside out”? I always approach with a big smile and say reassuringly:

  • I see myself in you! Working from thigh-to-feet instead of feet-to-thigh? Or confusing proximal and distal? It’s ok. Let’s try that again!
  • Don’t worry if you end up swinging the drape over your own head instead of the bewildered receiver’s body! Practice, practice, practice the rhythm on your family and friends until you get it… this is what I had to do.
  • Always stand next to the teacher during a demo so you get the sequence exactly. Never stand on the opposite side of the table or at the foot of the table as you will get a reversed and confusing optic.
  • And never be shy to mirror the movements of the technique during a demo so you get the enforcing benefit of observing and doing simultaneously. This helps enormously.
  • Don’t feel embarrassed! And never feel shy to ask a teacher to repeat a demo or segments so you get the sequence down pat.

Pam Ferguson is the Asian Bodywork Therapy Dean Emerita of AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, Austin Texas. She has authored major textbooks such as The Self Shiatsu Handbook:, and TAKE FIVE – the five elements guide to health and harmony. Together with Debra Duncan Persinger PhD, she co-edited SAND TO SKY – Conversations with teachers of Asian Medicine. She is the ABT columnist for the monthly Acupuncture Today.