TAS Learning Center

Outstanding student achieves perfect scores on all of his A-Levels, but he can’t read or write.

Oliver Chadwick

Outstanding student achieves perfect scores on all of his A-Levels, but he can’t read or write.

A student with a reading age as a six-year-old and living with dyslexia will be admitted into the University of Bristol following his exceptional examination results.

Oliver Chadwick

Oliver Chadwick is an incredible student who achieved straight A’s in his A-Level examination. This is astonishing considering that he can’t even read or write.

He did so well in his exams despite the challenges he is living with. He secured a grade A in all of the subjects he wrote in the hardest secondary school level exam.

He is now preparing for a course at the University of Bristol as he and Sophie (his mum) are happy his years of hard work and determination didn’t go in vain.

Oliver Chadwick said:

My dyslexia affects me quite a lot, but also surprisingly little if you think about it.

When people hear that you can’t read or write, they think you can’t do anything, but it only really affects me when I can’t ead things like signs.

His 54-year-old mum, Sophie, who is a mother of two remembers the first time she realized Oliver was not like other kids.

She said:

When he started school, it was a running joke at the dinner table every night that we would ask Oliver what he’d had for lunch that day because he would always say ‘jacket potato and beans’.

We thought it was just because he really liked it, but it was actually because he couldn’t read the menu and that was something he knew they had every day.

Even now, he cannot read menu but he has become much better at guessing what signs might be about.

In junior school, Oliver’s literacy skills started to lag, and Sophie was told he would “pick it up eventually.”

Sophie said:

I knew something wasn’t normal, but they spent a lot of time telling me that boys were often a little bit slower to learn than girls.

Whereas it might take other children an hour to do their homework, it could take Oliver 20 times as long.

He went to lessons with the Dyslexia Association for two hours a week on Saturdays, to practice his reading and writing, and I had to work part-time so I could help him with his learning at home.

After a while, they said there was no advantage to him continuing with the lessons because he was not progressing. They are probably great for other children but they weren’t working for Oliver.

Since then, I have spoken to two experts, who have been doing their jobs a long time, and they said that he was the most profoundly dyslexic person they had ever seen.

So, by the time he went to secondary school, I decided we would stop trying to teach him.

He had spent two hours a week for six years trying to do something he couldn’t do and I just said ‘right, we are not going to waste any more time on this

Oliver, on the other hand, has never let his disability get in the way of concentrating on his strengths.

He stated: “I didn’t start noticing a difference between myself and my classmates until year six, but even then, I never felt stupid; I just knew that I couldn’t read and that there was no use in getting upset about it.

“When people made plans on social media and I wasn’t aware of them, that was the hardest part of the school. For instance, until the 11th year, I didn’t even have anyone’s phone number.

Even now, when my friends call to ask if I’m coming, they are already out, I reply, “I don’t know, this is the first I’ve heard of it.”

When Oliver first enrolled at Ralph Allen School, he learned most of the material by paying attention to the teacher.

For some of his classes, he utilized a teaching assistant, though he admitted that it was challenging when they switched.

Then I had to start from scratch and teach them what I needed them to record.

Sophie now thinks Oliver’s interactions with the TAs actually helped him improve his social skills.

There is a discursive element there, she noted, that most young people don’t encounter until they are in college.

Not everyone was confident Oliver would pass the exams when he reached the GCSE level.

He was considering attending a special school, but Sophie said: “He wanted to do them at Ralph Allen – and he did really, really well.”

He received one-on-one assistance 50% of the time at the GCSE level compared to 100% of the time at the A Level for all three subjects.

Additionally, he has computer software that can read words on-screen and a reading pen that can read printed text line by line.

The 18-year-old, however, has neither dyscalculia nor any other problems with math comprehension.

At the A Level, Oliver studied maths, further maths, and chemistry. “I chose maths because it is something I can mostly do by myself and that makes me feel more independent,” Oliver said.

He enjoys watching physics videos on YouTube in his free time, but he chose chemistry for his A Level because it involved fewer abstract ideas and less writing.

He had a private space where he could dictate his answers to a scribe for the exams.

In the days leading up to his exam, Oliver maintained his composure because he “could not cram” and waiting until the last minute was not an option.

I always feel quite chilled because there could always be something you’ve forgotten, but you have to accept that and move on, the speaker continued.

Leave your thought here

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *