Last Thursday I attended an event put on my The British Dyslexia Association at the Bloomsbury Insitutiute. It was a dark, windy, wet Thursday evening, London was alight with twinking glowing after London Oxford Street Christmas lights had been switched on. My boyfriend Matt sighed with relief as we realised his route finder had guided us to the right building. Inside we were welcomed and showed to our seats and I greeted Emma who does all the social media for The British Dyslexia Assiociation. The evening was to celebrate creativity and dyslexia.Children’s authors Tom McLaughlin and Sally Gardner ( both who are dyslexic) were to explore dyslexia, its links with creativity and how it impacts on their ideas and their writing. Dr Kate Saunders was present to interview the authors and discuss why they feel dyslexia should be seen as a gift rather than a disability, how we can all support and encourage reluctant readers and how parents and teachers can identify and support dyslexic children early on.
I had been looking forward to the event for some time, any event rasising awareness is definately an event I enjoy to attend especially focusing on creativity as it's always been one of my strengths. The event started with a question and answer session by Dr Kate Saunders where members of the audience were asked to stand up and ask the authors questions about their own experiences of dyslexia and as authors. Both authors read extracts from their most recent books which was recieved with most delight from the audience.
I have selected some of my favourite quotes from both authors from throughout the evening which sum up the imporance of awareness needed for dyslexia and also help explain the positives. A lot of people think because they aren't dyslexic it isn't an issue to them, you never know who you might meet who is dyslexic in life.
'Im fed up of people telling me they are dyslexic with bowed heads! Stand up and be proud!
This is what Sally Gardner told the audience which is so true so many people even in this day hide they have some kind of difficulty or difference, Sally saying this gives others hope that they can open up and others will understand them.
When talking about their own personal experiences both authors discussed how dyslexia should not be a barrier to writing, especially as an adult, and if you struggle with spelling it shouldn't stop you writing, explore how creative the mind can be in your own way.
"You don't need to spell to be a writer." Tom McLaughlin said and Sally Gardner
I was born with a head full of stories, but I could only spell cat, bed and sun."
Tom and Sally both put an emphasis on teacher training and speaking out about dyslexia being heard so people can get talking about it, so people can get the help and support they deserve.
"Teachers need more training, awareness, support" Tom told the audience then he added; "
Keep on shouting, keep on being heard on bringing the dyslexic community together."
I really enjoyed the event, it was a great way to spread awaress and get people who have similar interests in the same room, such a good feeling when you're surrounded by people who "get it" Thank you to all for such a lovely evening and I hope to attend more events in the future.