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Dyslexia – Draw on your strengths

11th December 2020

Robinstyle photos

Did you read Mondays post? If not, follow the link at the bottom of this page. Have you been able to remember the order of the song ‘Twelve days of Christmas’? If not, there’s still time, in fact 14 days!

I would like to start today with a success story. An inspiring story that proves success can be achieved with a positive outlook, supportive parents and teachers, recognising your talents and a lot of hard work.

Born in 1939, Jerry Pinkney struggled with reading and spelling and words moved around. He worked hard to disguise his difficulties and was inventive in his ways to overcome problems in the classroom. He did have a stand out talent for drawing which was encouraged, praised and developed. What is unusual about this story is the fact that he explains that he never suffered with issues of low self esteem. He considers this is a consequence of a positive outlook that was instilled in him during childhood by parents and teachers. What a change support and understanding can make to a child should never be underestimated.

Pinkney always enjoyed the powerful emotions arising from great spoken story telling. He has gone on to illustrate more than 100 children books and had stand alone art exhibitions. He says he can see the gift in his dyslexia!

Dyslexics with a love of story telling and art has inspired me this week. There are plenty out there but today I am just going to concentrate on 4.

My next one is Sally Gardner. Now, she had the total opposite experience in school than Pinkney. At school, she was told she wouldn’t amount to anything. How low can your self esteem go? She explains that she had a “head full of stories”but an inability to get them out.

Gardner was diagnosed with severe dyslexia at 12 years old and did not learn to read or write until she was 14. She always loved stories and had a talent for art.

For someone who only started to read and write at 14, she has gone on and successfully sold over 2 million books in the UK. She says…

“Our strengths are our differences.”

Examples of her books and illustrations @TheSallyGardner

Sally Gardner prides herself at writing only the amount of words needed to bring the magic of the story to life.

“I write short and sharp sentences in short chapters.”

The next amazing dyslexic I am going to feature today is Dav Pilkey. He is the author of successful stories such as Captain Underpants and Dogman (among others). He has now created the Cat Kid Comic Club. This is a link to some reviews for you …

Pilkey was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD as a child. Although he had difficulties at school he loved to draw and make up stories. This is a recurring theme, do you know anyone like this?

A possible christmas present?

The book comes with a lot of fun but with a moral too! Highlighting that it takes practice and mistakes to lead to progress and success. ‘Readers of all ages will be inspired to dream up their own stories and unleash their own creativity as they dive into this new graphic novel adventure’, say Goodreads.

My fourth and final imaginative and talented Dyslexic is Rossie Stone who is the creator of Dekko Comics. He describes himself as a ‘Comics writer, Comics artist, illustrator, spoken word artist, storyteller and writer.’ He has used the strategies he used himself to revise during his studies to create a comic book series. He attempts to turn the school curriculum into accessible and fun comic strips.

The first comic was released to the public in 2016 and the comics success has continued to grow. Rossie has now collaborated with Paul and Julie McNeil on a book, available in bookshops now, called ‘Mission Dyslexia – find your Superpower and be your brilliant self.’ Its best used as a resource for grown ups and children to work through together.

Identify the individuals strength, allow them time to pursue it and grow in self confidence and celebrate differences. Who knows what successes awaits you in the future…….. Be creative!


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