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Response to Highly Damaging TEDx “No Learning Styles” Talk


I am genuinely horrified at the support this recent TEDx talk has received.  I feel it is the biggest regression in education in 100 years.  As someone who has successfully worked with thousands of students internationally, and got them all to high achieving results and a sense of belonging in academia, I cannot stand the idea that education is becoming elitist again.  I have received Ability Company Status for making education accessible to all.tedx-black-square-simple-315x315


Academics make too many assumptions - which I have had my own personal battles with over the years.  Despite it all, I have earned a Ph.D. and a First Class Honours degree.  My students are always heartened by the fact that if I could do it - so can they.


TED and TEDx talks generally enhance our World and make everything possible for people.  I am horrified over this talk because it is so small minded and exclusive in its nature.


Not everyone can pick up a book and read it to learn.  Not everyone can see the book.  Not everyone can spell to write or hold the pen.  Do not be presumptive in thinking all visual impaired people are not visual learners.  Many of them are!  All of us who work with students on the autism spectrum know that they process the World very differently to other students.  Their visual and auditory processing has marked differences.


My success stories with students have been down pure and simply to the fact that I encourage them to work in the learning style that suits them - despite whatever perceived disabilities they might have.


I myself am still very much unable to distinguished phonic sound frequencies and never learned to spell in the way it is predominately taught in school.  I have learned to read and write through purely visual techniques.  I have brought this gift to many others who are now avid readers - despite years of torture in school and feeling inadequate.  I get excited when parents tell me their children will not sleep because they are reading too much or now teaching their siblings to read their way.


I hate the idea that kinesthetic learners can be great at sports in school and rubbish at everything else.  This is not acceptable and even our most successful sports heroes still anguish over how badly they did in school.

Practical people are great at the practicals in school but only get half the marks in the subject because the theory defeats them.  Our auditory learners are in constant trouble for talking and often labeled as disruptive chatter boxes.  The number of students labelled as ADHD seems to be growing annually as these students struggle to fit into the constraints of school and find it excessively boring. I certainly do not feel we need to blame our parents for our genes or feel that education is unattainable in any way.


We have a duty to understand, care and incorporate these learners into our education systems - not blankly dismiss them all as not existing.  These are many of the reasons why students with learning difficulties and impairments have been marginalised for decades.


A better outlook for me has always been that if we get it right for these people we get it right for everyone.  I hope people will start to stop and think before they blankly share this very irresponsible TEDx talk.  I have not even touched on the personality factors involved in education. Most enlightened Educationalists agree that one size does not fit all.  TED is supposed to make us think about our fellow people we share the Planet with.

Dr. Naoisé O'Reilly


Psychological Assessments to determine Cognitive Development

FEAR1I was 4 when I had my first official Psychological Assessment and it was a traumatic experience. My parents took me to see the movie “Lady and the Tramp” immediately afterwards to help me recover.

This is why when I now do Psychological Assessments of young children I am very focused on a fun enjoyable experience - a trauma free zone if you like.

I was 8 when I had my second Psychological Assessment and 16 when I had my third. I have lived with hereditary Profound Dyslexic Spectrum Disorder since birth and it still impacts of every aspect of my daily life - but I developed ways to cope.

I remember there were pages and pages of how I did not measure up to other children my age. There was never help given to my parents and I to assist me in working the way I needed to work. The only focus was on what I could not do.

Hence, this is why I started to develop my own methods of learning from 4. I was also acutely aware at 4 that I was completely incapable of doing what the School and Government Shrinks wanted me to so.

These days, I set children and families up for success no matter how “behind” the rest of the world perceives a child’s cognitive development and behaviors.

Every family I have dealt with personally, and that is thousands of people at this stage, are set up to succeed in the precise ways that their child is capable of learning and developing.

Personality is a massive factor in development. Some people are more independent that others. They may walk faster, they may be quieter. Some people are born chatterboxes and others do not speak until much later on. Some will not play by themselves others are loners. No one can be put on a scale and expected to fit.

Even children who have hearing impairments and a great big long list of conditions I deal with can develop better and learn faster with the right interventions. It does not matter what it is - no two children can rise to their challenges in the same ways.


How can a professional determine if a 4-year is up to task with cognitive development?

Most professionals rely on standardized test. Personally, I do a session with the child using my “toolbox.” This involves a whole series of games with everything from Playdoh to magnets. This allows me and my Team to test abilities across a whole spectrum without the child even being aware of it. All the testing is completed without the child feeling like they are being examined.


What if the 4-year old cannot do all the cognitive skills for his/her age?

Should a parent worry?

I do not deem tasks age appropriate. I strongly believe development is a little bit more complex and I think it is unfortunate that a lot of learning difficulties are determined on an age scale. This ends up making parents feel very bad about their child’s development. During my initial assessments, yes sure it is always very obvious to me what people cannot do, but it is equally obvious if they have fantastic visual pattern recognition or memory association skills. These can be used to develop the areas that are lacking. Just the same ways I achieved a First Class Honors Degree followed by a Doctorate when told as a teenager that University was “beyond my status.”

I think the system sets up parents to worry. But one of my key tasks in taking on any new case is to put everyone’s mind at ease and make everything doable. Families always walk out the door with a way, structure, plan an if necessary Team support to do everything.


How can a parent help a child develop these skills?

I set up programs for parents to use the everyday in their own home to help their children. I think one of the disadvantages of our technological world is that it is very removed from other people and parents. Yes, I do like to use some Apps but I like to develop skills using less remote games. Child cookery, for example, builds time management skills and the use of a radio in the background helps children filter information.

Dr. Naoisé O'Reilly  Expression Developist™


4 Areas Responsible for Dyslexia


From my experience helping students across a whole spectrum of dyslexic conditions of all ages - dyslexia boils down to difficulties across 4 areas.

1: Visual Perception

2: Auditory Processing

3: Orientation

4: Information filtering


This sounds a lot simpler than the endless technical jargon of psychological reports.

We see differently, we take information into our heads differently, it comes back out of our mouths and on to the page differently, we swap orientations and don't know our left from right and we become overloaded in certain situations and can't filter the information to focus on what is important. Dyslexia Spectrum in a nut shell. All you simply have to do is to work on these core skills and work in the way that suits the learner best - match their learning style to overcome the area or areas that hold them back.

Dr. Naoisé O'Reilly, Expression Developist™.


Purple Processing Scales™

Understanding the Individual Learning Styles and how they work in different situations. Understanding why People fall apart while under pressure... Which has lead on to another new Theory, The Pressure Cooker Effect™. This has been particularly significant when working with Individual Clients to help them fulfill long terms aspirations.


‘Royal Dyslexia’ Dyslexia & Learning Difficulties in the Royal Family of the United Kingdom

For approximately 4 years Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly had been telling me that she suspected that members of the Royal Family of the United Kingdom live with dyslexia.

Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York was diagnosed with dyslexia in childhood and last year became a Royal Patron to a Dyslexic Charity based in the U.K.

Dyslexia also affects the speed in which she can process information and her memory skills.

Princess Beatrice speaks very openly about her condition and has described dyslexia as “an opportunity.”

Dr. Naoisé has lived with Profound Dyslexic Spectrum Disorder since birth and it is hereditary.

The 26-year-old Princess is the eldest daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York.

I cannot help wondering if one or both of her parents are dyslexic too or who else in the House of Windsor lives with learning difficulties?

Just like Dr. Naoisé, the Princess who is 6th in line to the throne credits J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series of books for helping dyslexics around the world.

Having served on the board of a charity on a voluntary basis in the past, I recognize the importance of having such a high profile ambassador for dyslexia speak out publicly and fearlessly about living with the condition.

I just wish that more high profile people had the courage to do so.

Marie O’Riordan, Success Developist™ & Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly, Expression Developist™


Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly Takes the Stress out of Education for All Students


The Homework Club’s 5 year journey


Want to really achieve your educational potential?


How to really make classrooms inclusive


Welcome to the Purple Learning Project.

The aim of the Purple Learning Project Foundation is to create a legacy of the methods which Dr Naoisé O’Reilly has developed since 2009.

The methods in learning and personality theory have been developed while working with people of a variety of ages, backgrounds, and cultures. The methods have been applied to the education, business and sporting environments. The ages are in the spectrum of 4 to 70's. The methods include: Purple Profiling, Purple Processing Scales, The Periodic Table of the Development of Results, Forget Phonics Reading Method, Purple Pre-School Success and so on...

There has always been a clear distinction for Dr Naosié in working with people who currently need help within the system and leaving behind something of integrity for the future generations.