I apologise about the picture below it was taken 18 years ago when Sam was 8. He designed a birthday card for a local restaurant to send out to children. Sam won the first prize of a mountain bike. Yes he was really pleased, although he did say "I don't know why I won, the picture wasn't that good", this was one of our first sign's that things were not right. This is a Dyslexic childs opinion of themselves when they are in a poor learning environment.
Nineteen years later having had constant encouragement in the right learning environment you collect your first class honours degree in a subject you are passionate about.
From a parents point of view having a Dyslexic child is frustrating, upsetting, and confusing. If your child is in an unhelpful school the consequences can be horrific, and in a very short space of time your child will suffer damaging confidence problems.
I don't want to go on about the negative sides but just to say that Sam was MILDLY dyslexic, and for both Sam, myself and my husband it was tough. To cut a long story short a change of school, an amazing special needs teacher, a headmaster that was willing to listen and give every child a fighting chance, and a most wonderful psychologist gave Sam the first chance he needed.
I have made this sound easy, but for those of you just realising that your child is Dyslexic, it is not. You have a fight on your hands but one I believe is worth it. We went as far as taking people to court to get a statement for Sam's schooling, and the day before we were due to go they gave in. So you get the gist of the possible task ahead.
I will share one thing with you that will make you smile. Sam had a piece of homework given to him at primary school, it said 'Tell someone how to get from your front door to your bedroom' the finished homework went something like this.
Open the front door, go straight up the staircase, turn right at nuffy pecker
We stood at the top of the stairs and could not make out what a nuffy pecker was, a few days later we had a lightbulb moment, 'turn right at another picture'.
Ever since, we as a family have had Nuffy Pecker days, or nuffy pecker moments.
Now 27 years later, with a first class honours degree, and a commendation from the International Society of Typographic Design (ISTD) we feel our efforts have been worth while.
Today Sam's book "I wonder what it's like to be Dyslexic" has been put on a web page called Kickstarter, click here to go to the link.
People all over the world struggle with reading for a variety of reasons, including dyslexia, lack of education and an unfamiliar language to name a few. People with reading difficulty are often capable of thinking in ways that others aren't and as a result are capable of true greatness, yet these people are often misunderstood and treated unfairly as a result.
Failing to encourage those with reading difficulties in a way that makes sense to them can limit (and in many cases damage) their ability to progress.
Great effort has been made to provide tools aimed at improving a persons reading but very little has been done to give those around them an understanding of what it really feels like to struggle in such a way.
The above is an excerpt from the Kick Starter page.
We couldn't be more proud of both of our sons if we tried. Tom, Sam's younger brother who is a young entrepreneur has helped Sam to launch the book, we are grateful that they get along really well, and help each other use their strengths to achieve amazing goals.
I know I am biased but as I have said in a previous blog about Sam, I only give truthful praise. If this book was offered to me when I started to realise that Sam had a slight problem all would have become clear. I would have paid a £100 pounds to get this insight (a lot of money to me in those days) and would have worshiped the ground of the person who wrote it.
My belief is that if you know what a Dyslexic person goes through to get them through the day you will be able to cope on a daily basis so much better as a family. They need to concentrate on what they are naturally good at and have their confidence boosted at every opportunity. This book will give you a great insight into just that.
As a parent of a dyslexic child (now adult) I whole heartedly urge you to invest in a copy, it will make you realise what great effort goes into a dyslexic persons day. They are challenging and amazing people, worthy of being understood.