Dyslexia Action supporter Margaret Rooke has written a book featuring interviews with 23 well-known, successful people with dyslexia to inspire her daughter and raise funds for Dyslexia Action.
Sharing her story, Margaret said:
“When I discovered my teenage daughter had dyslexia I was shocked and concerned. She seemingly steered herself through early education without difficulty but by 11 she had all but stopped learning. The realisation that something was not right, followed by a diagnosis of dyslexia, meant we suddenly had no idea of what the future might hold.
I talked about this to another mother I know, whose son is dyslexic. She told me that soon after her son was diagnosed with dyslexia she had spotted a story in a newspaper that mentioned that businessman Sir Richard Branson was dyslexic, along with many other leading entrepreneurs. She stuck the article to her son’s bed. From that moment on he began to gain hope and it is still there today, 14 years later.
The idea for the book came from this story, my family’s experiences and from other parents I have spoken to along the way. I hope that the book, which shares the experiences of successful people with dyslexia, will inspire today’s generation of young people to achieve what they want in life.
I spoke to 23 successful, high profile people. Although many found school tough, they all believe that dyslexia has played a positive role in their careers. That’s a great message for today’s younger generation.
When I started, I thought I was writing the book for my daughter and other young people with dyslexia to encourage them to pursue their dreams. As I started interviewing people, I realised the book was also for parents – to help us to understand that our job is to support and have faith in our children no matter what.
When I finished writing, I also realised how useful the book might be for teachers and others working in education. I think it gives a real insight into what is going on for the child with dyslexia sitting in their classroom – a child who might be sitting there struggling and distracted, but who might have the potential to be a world class actor, photographer, great writer or captain of the England rugby team! Everyone can be encouraged to do the best they can and aim for the area of work they love.
One of the main positive messages from the interviews in this book is how the encouragement and support of just one adult can boost a child with dyslexia, even one whose self-confidence and self-belief is really suffering. We can all be that encouraging person for someone with dyslexia.
I would love this book to help parents feel less anxious; to help young people feel the world is theirs to grasp and to raise vital funds for Dyslexia Action. I would be delighted if, in some small way, it helps to raise further awareness of dyslexia and of how important it is for teachers to have initial teacher training in specific learning difficulties - something Dyslexia Action is calling for.”
‘Creative, Successful, Dyslexic’ will be published this Thursday (3rd September) and includes contributions from Darcey Bussell CBE, David Bailey CBE, Sir Richard Branson, Steven Naismith, Zoë Wanamaker CBE and more. Part of the proceeds will go to Dyslexia Action.