Neil Alexander-Passe is dyslexic himself, a ‘PhD by Published Work’ student at the University of Sunderland, and the Head of SEN at a large mainstream secondary school in North London.
In 1990 he gained a BA Hons in Graphic Design (University of South Wales) leading to a 20 year successful career as a graphic designer in the travel industry. In 2005 gained an MPhil researching how dyslexic teenagers cope using measures of self-esteem, coping and depression (The Open University), leading to a spell as a postgraduate researcher (London South Bank University). In 2010 he published his first book ‘Dyslexia and Depression: The Hidden Sorrow’.
His passion is to understand the trauma that many dyslexics experience at school, and any emotional ramifications that follow impacting on mental health. In 2010 he retrained as a teacher and has worked in special needs in both primary and secondary education. He is an advocate of early assessment in schools (gaining his CPT3A in 2014), and this has led him to present to MPs and peers in parliament on educational policy.
His current focus is with a ‘bi-ability’ theoretical model for dyslexia (compared to the ‘social’ model of disability) and the use of a ‘post-traumatic growth’ concept to understand how many dyslexic individuals can be successful ‘despite or because’ they experienced traumatic schooling as children.
His academic books include two edited volumes investigating ‘Dyslexia and Creativity’ (2010) and ‘Dyslexia and Mental Health’ (2012)and a book investigating ‘Dyslexia, Dating, Marriage and Parenthood’ (2012).
Nine peer-review papers have been published to date and his latest book ‘Dyslexia and Mental Health: Helping people identify destructive behaviours and find positive ways to cope’ (2015) has been widely acclaimed with reviews by Professors Angela Fawcett, Maggie Snowling, and Neil Humphrey.
His 10th book entitled ‘The Successful Dyslexic-Identify the keys to unlock your potential’ has just been published with acclaimed reviews from Professors Angela Fawcett and Steve Chin, along with Gavin Reid and Thomas West.
He has recently changed from being Head of SEND at a primary school to a large secondary school, so can reflect on the needs of a broad range of student needs.