Monday, 14 September 2015

The Impact of Creative, Successful, Dyslexic

When I first found out about this book I was excited to read it for 3 main reasons, 1. as someone who is dyspraxic/dyslexic and interested in all things creative and different way of thinking, 2. how I can support my students better in my role as learning support in a college, 3. Mollie King wrote the forward ( no more needs to be said why the latter made me excited.)

When people think of dyslexia they automatically think it's just about reading and spelling, there's also the automatic assumption that the support is readily available and just handed out, in reality awareness for dyslexia has come a long way it's probably the most well known about hidden difference but I think there still needs to be a lot done in understanding dyslexia and the impact it can have on someone's life, often way into adulthood and with day to day life and the impact on any other overlapping hidden differences which may not as well known like dyspraxia.

I found this book refreshingly honest, it talks about the many strengths people with dyslexia can have the out of the box thinking, seeing the bigger picture, a lot about creativity, and how a different way of thinking can be an asset in a lot of situations in life. It also talks about the struggles and battles, the bullying, the ignorance and stigma which had a deep impact on their lives but the determination and resilience which helped them through it. The book features 23 well known faces from,  Sir Richard Branson, Lynda La Plante CBE,  Darcey Bussell CBE, David Bailey CBE, ZoĆ« Wanamaker CBE each with their own story and how now they are using a different way of thinking in a positive way to help them, so there's a story for everyone to relate to.

The main theme I get from reading this book is one of hope, that there is light at the end of often a dark tunnel, and the impact of having one person whether it be a teacher, parent or positive role model in life can have to self esteem, confidence, mental well being and feeling that you can achieve something in life.  The author Margaret Rooke who wrote the book to show her dyslexic daughter, she could still be successful in life,  “We can all be that encouraging adult who, the book shows, can play such a vital role in supporting anyone with dyslexia,” says Margaret. Anyone can be that person whether they are dyslexic or not.

Not everyone will turn to a celebrity or someone in the public eye as a role model dyslexic or not and not everyone will "get it" It's taken me a very long time for people to understand the positive impact Mollie has had on my life, but please don't judge someone if they do for whatever reasons, everyone needs a little bit of positive hope in life.

Even though it is only 3 pages long I found Mollie's forward very relatable and inspiring. One thing I love about Mollie is her ability to see the bigger picture in life which shows clear in this forward and when I've met her in person. Even though she had positive experiences herself with her dyslexia she still sees the bigger picture and recognises that there is still quite a bit of work needs to be done, when I've met her in person she's always been so understanding and caring and very understanding towards the dyspraxic side of me too. I find it refreshing how honest she is about how it still effects her day to day life as an adult, which I think is important although we may develop coping strategies, focus on strengths, it simply doesn't just go away and when I'm having a bad day and my head feels like it's full of spaghetti that there's someone else out there having one of those days too.

I especially loved her words of wisdom. I know personally what it's like not to have that understanding and encouragement both growing up, at university and in the workplace and the impact it had on my mental well being. It may sound cheesy to some people but since being a fan of  Mollie my life has changed for the better and she's given me strength in my darkest times when I was crippled with confidence issues, anxiety and depression to help myself, not let anything hold me back in life and give me hope that I would find understanding people in life which I have now and have an incredible boss who is dyslexic herself and has done wonders for my confidence and given me finally the help and support in life and she sees the strengths of my brain and how it thinks, and most importantly I'm a lot happier. Little messages like that can really help you start to believe in yourself. Before I get carried away I wrote more about how Mollie has inspired me when I blogged about her birthday fundraiser for Dyslexia Action

Earlier this week I got told the story of a colleague's daughter who is severely Dyslexic, crippled by low confidence and self esteem she doesn't have the confidence to go on a bus independently or carry out day to day tasks, she even turned down a course because she believed she couldn't achieve anything or get anywhere in life, I know that was once me, which goes back to my earlier point about dyslexia being so much more than reading and spelling, when someone has poor self esteem and confidence it really can have a crippling effect. Which is why books like these are so important, I've been asked to share my blogs with her so I hope I can be that encouraging person for her.

More than anything this book inspires me and makes me determined in my job as a learning support and through my awareness work and blogs to hopefully be that encouraging person and help as many people as I can, I would hate for anyone to have to go through what I have and feel what I felt, and I hope my own words of wisdom may have a positive impact on someone's life, just as Mollie's have for me. My only hope is that one day there is a book like this for successful, creative dyspraxics too. Wouldn't the world be a boring place if we were all the same, embrace your differences, and encourage them in other people too, you have no idea the positive impact it may have on someone.

The book is available on Amazon with a percentage of the money going to Dyslexia Action: Creative,

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