23 very well-known people from the arts, sport, and business worlds talk about how dyslexia affected their childhood, how they were able to overcome the challenges and use the special strengths of dyslexia to achieve great success in adulthood. Darcey Bussell CBE, Eddie Izzard, Sir Richard Branson, Meg Mathews, Zoe Wanamaker CBE, Richard Rogers, Benjamin Zephaniah, Steven Naismith, Lynda La Plante CBE, Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, Sophie Conran and others share their stories, and their advice.
All reveal the enormous difficulties they faced, the strength required to overcome them, the crucial importance of adult support, and how 'the different way the brain is wired' in dyslexia has enabled them to see something different in the world and to use their creativity in an exceptional way. They talk about 'thinking sideways', and the ability to look at a bigger picture, the often strong visual strength, and the ability to listen, and to grasp simplicity where other people see only complexity. They also talk about how dyslexia continues to challenge them, and the ways they have found to work around this.
An introduction, and final section that includes practical information about dyslexia, are written with the support of Dyslexia Action, and a percentage of profit from the book is donated to Dyslexia Action.
The book will be essential reading for teachers and other professionals, and for families affected by dyslexia, and inspirational for people with dyslexia.
About the Author
Margaret Rooke has 20 years' experience as a writer on national newspapers, magazines and regional newspapers. She has been a columnist for the Saturday Telegraph Magazine, Contributing Editor for Options magazine and Senior Feature Writer at Woman's Own. She has also previously written three books with Dr Mike Smith when he was BBC Radio 2 medical expert. Dyslexia is a subject very close to Margaret's heart. Her daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 13 and, at the time, she wished she had a book like this to inspire her daughter. Margaret lives in London, UK.
This book provides clear and inspirational hope for anyone with a dyslexic child. Like many excellent books it is written from personal experience. I strongly recommend it. -- Sian Griffiths, Education Editor, The Sunday Times
This book shines a light on 23 successful people with dyslexia and demonstrates that having dyslexia should not hold you back from achieving your potential. With the right support and an inner determination, success can be within reach. These personal stories, generously shared, should be inspiring for all who live with dyslexia. -- Kevin Geeson, former Chief Executive at Dyslexia Action
I would recommend this to people diagnosed with dyslexia and their families. One invaluable message is that perseverance and determination can help people achieve. Another is that talents in the dyslexia profile may be underrated at school but are of tremendous importance to society afterwards. One interesting recurring theme was the importance of parents and the difference they could make in helping their children believe in themselves; more than one said "that costs nothing". -- Bernadette McLean, Principal of the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre, UK
Shining through these highly personal accounts of difficult schooldays and the struggle for understanding is an overwhelming sense of optimism. Dyslexia has shaped these personal histories, but has not limited their ambition or ultimate success. For many, the role of parents is a central unifying feature, parents who believed their children could achieve, regardless of academic success, and who provided the confidence and encouragement they needed. This is a book for parents to buy for their young people, to read together and to find inspiration and encouragement, and it also provides a refreshing perspective for those working in education. -- Dr Teresa Regan CPsychol AFBPsS, Principal Educational Psychologist, Catalyst Psychology Community Interest Company
In my experience every person with dyslexia has amazing potential waiting to be untapped. Sadly, this potential is often missed by our exam focussed education system. But once dyslexic people find their passion and talent they can achieve extraordinary things, as this wonderful collection of interviews demonstrates. I hope this book inspires young people, educators and parents to focus on what dyslexic people CAN do, not just what they can't. -- Kate Griggs, Dyslexia Campaigner (Xtraordinary People) and Founder & CEO of Untap.it
This is a wonderful book. -- Dr Brock Eide and Dr Fernette Eide, authors of The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain
Rooke, a writer and columnist in the UK, began to research dyslexia when her daughter was diagnosed at age 13. She found, through talking to physicians and other families, that dyslexia is more of a learning process style than a disorder and that there have been many high achievers (e.g., Albert Einstein, Agatha Christie, Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg) who were able to learn around their diagnosis. To encourage dyslexic students, their parents, and their teachers, Rooke presents the stories of well-known peoples from the arts, sports, and business world who talk about how dyslexia affected their childhood, how they overcame their problems, and what special strengths they used to succeed in life. VERDICT This book will be an inspiration to all who work with children, especially those with special needs. -- School Library Journal
The examples in this book show us what dyslexia gives you: perseverance, determination, tenacity, patience, tolerance, empathy, creativity, problem solving skills, bravery, humour and an ability to think differently. Surely all qualities required to be successful in life. My son has all of these attributes in 'bucket loads' and, whilst I am still a long way from believing my son's dyslexia is a blessing, I think a book like this also helps me realise that it is far from a curse. I appear to have a creative, sure to be successful, dyslexic in my life. -- Louise Heron, mother of Alex Heron
This collection of very personal stories from such high profile dyslexic people brought together in one book will act as an inspiration for those who struggle daily with dyslexia and also as an eye opener to those that don't. It will help them to better understand the impact that a learning difficulty can have on everyday life and the importance of providing appropriate emotional and practical support. -- Stephen Hall, Chief Executive, Dyslexia Action
This is an enlightening read...I have read this with a number of pupils with dyslexia, secondary school age, all of whom have either listened to it as it was read, or who have read it with minimal support...each individual was inspired in their own way and it has certainly helped them to look beyond the difficulties they currently experience, to the very real possibilities and opportunities for the future. -- Claire Hague * Patoss Bulletin, Summer 2016, Vol. 29 No. 1 *