Scottish Dyslexia Awareness Week

4th November 2021

Last year I wrote about ‘getting creative’ during Halloween due to the restraints necessary because of the Pandemic. I hope this year you have all been able to fully participate in the spooky festivities and the exploding events of Bonfire night yet to come.

My last post was all about Dyslexia Awareness Week/Month in October.

Dyslexia Awareness

Today I am carrying on with that topic but this time its Scotland’s turn.

Dyslexia Awareness Week Scotland takes place this week, 1st to 7th of November.

See the above link for the available events, presentations, worksheets and training.

The Sunday Express reported there was to be an unveiling of a special sculpture to coincide with Dyslexia Awareness week, at Holyrood Scottish Parliament. That event was apparently taking place today so I hope all went well for all concerned.

I wanted to find out more so have done some research on the artists involved. Then, as is quite normal for me, my research took me to places I didn’t expect but has been thought provoking.

Mark Stoddart from Ayrshire is an International Designer and Ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland Charity. Stoddart is celebrating 30 years in the business this year and wishes to use his talent in ways to help others.

Mark Stoddart hippo table

Through Dyslexia Scotland’s Careers programme, he met and began to Mentor an up and coming artist called Mr Hepburn. They both shared life experiences and challenges arising from Dyslexia. It is through this collaboration that the, aforementioned, sculpture has been developed and to be displayed in Scottish Parliament.

Mr Hepburns sculpture arises from the Bible story of David and Goliath.

Symbolising = ‘his own victory over dyslexia’

Generally the moral of this tale has been known to be that the apparent underdog could defeat someone bigger than him. David being a small boy with a sling and rocks and the Giant being of over 9 ft tall and wearing body armour with a spear.

The Hepburn sculpture has the big head of Goliath in bronze and the small head of David in Scottish gold. It maybe smaller but has more value and substance?

In the bible story Goliath challenged the people of Israel, daily, to come out and fight him. As do the challenges arising from dyslexia. David, although small in stature was not afraid and took up the challenge. He had cleverly considered his tactics/strategies and armed himself with the relevant equipment and knowledge of his opponent and how best to defeat him.

Have you read Malcolm Gladwell’s book on David and Goliath? It seems to illicit contrasting views with some for it and some against. Whatever camp you are in, it definitely promotes discussions and is thought provoking.

There is a chapter within the book considering what are disadvantages and what are advantages? It delves into the area of dyslexia. Some successful dyslexics say that the disadvantages of dyslexia motivated them to develop skills such as resilience to overcome the challenges and be successful.

As we know not all dyslexics become successful entrepreneurs, in fact a large amount slip through the net and end up in negative situations.

Things to consider would be an individuals attitude, support and any other ‘disadvantages’ ,other than dyslexia, they may face.

In your mind, in the area of dyslexia, what is ‘David’ and what is “Goliath’? What do you take away from the moral of the story?

Whereas you may say Gladwell is considering ways the ‘weak’ can defeat the ‘strong’? Dyslexia as the ‘David’ in this scenario? The disadvantage making ‘David’ stronger by making him be a better critical thinker? The ‘stronger’ becoming complacent with the ease of it all, not pushing themselves?

Or ‘David’/’Hepburn’ being victorious over ‘Goliath’/’Dyslexia’?

Whatever your views on the Bible or Gladwell I am sure, like me, you are in favour of anything that raises the issues of Dyslexia. That makes people think, encourages more awareness and knowledge. The less Dyslexia is a taboo subject with a negative stigmatism the better. The more people discuss their stories and help others along the way.

Maybe you could be a mentor for someone else who could be struggling with dyslexia challenges and their mindset? I hope that these posts some how help and encourage you or someone you know to be more positive, to see possibilities.

So from Dyslexia Awareness I have travelled into design, religion and books. This month I will be delving into more books as I intend to read the latest release from Kate Griggs ‘This is Dyslexia’. Will post my review here next month.

Take care, any comments are very welcome.

Thank you.

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