Laughton King is a retired psychologist whose contribution to the progressive dismantling of what is commonly called ‘dyslexia’ comes from his 70+ years as a ‘dyslexic’ person, and from 35 years as a psychologist working with children experiencing learning difficulties. Laughton’s difficulties with reading meant that he did not rely on the insights and conclusions of academics and scholars. Instead, through observation of his own and other’s learning processes, he established his own understanding of this unfortunately common difficulty.
School was a nightmare for Laughton. He could not decipher the language of the teacher and was confused that other kids could. His classroom failings led to social and behavioural failings, and for these he was labelled and blamed. In turn, his acceptance of the blame led directly to deep, prolonged depression.
Laughton describes his eventual self-diagnosis of dyslexia at age 45 years as like emerging from a dark cloud but lacking any sense or understanding of its causes or functional dynamics. Subsequent observations of thousands of children, their families and their teachers eventually led to practical insights regarding dyslexia as a daily life issue in a person’s interfaces with society through the various stage of life.
Alongside his long career as a psychologist, educational psychologist and mediator, Laughton is the author of three self-published works that represent the evolution of his understanding of the dyslexic mind: Reaching the Reluctant Learner: A Manual of Strategies for Teachers and Parents (2006), With, Not Against: A Compendium of Positive Parenting Strategies (2008), and Dyslexia Dismantled