Living with dyslexia can feel very lonely. For me growing up, I was always aware that I was an incredibly slow reader and would dread having to read aloud to the class as I felt that my fragmented reading made it impossible for my classmates to understand me. Even silent reading was a challenge as I knew how much slower I was than the other children and would end up left behind, too embarrassed to admit I was the only one who hadn’t finished the chapter. 1 in 10 people in the UK have dyslexia, so the chances are there were three other children in my class suffering in silence in the same way.
But I was not alone in feeling lonely. Since working for Dyslexia Action I repeatedly hear of people feeling isolated because of their difficulties caused by dyslexia.
It was over a year ago when I was watching Kara Tointon’s brilliant BBC3 documentary about her dyslexia called Kara Tointon: Don’t Call Me Stupid, that I had a real wake up call. Everyone’s dyslexia affects them differently, but watching Kara made me realise that I wasn’t alone.
And when I thought about it, there were so many people with dyslexia who I already admired. A whole load of hilarious and clever comedians like Shappi Khorsandi, Eddie Izzard and Ross Noble. They are people who are able to think on their feet and always have a witty comeback. I’d always known that they were clever and funny but now I knew they were dyslexic as well. Suddenly I started noticing it more and more, artists like Mollie King from the Saturdays, Florence Welch and Noel Gallagher are all dyslexic and have forged amazing careers for themselves in the music industry.
It seemed incredible all of a sudden that something that 6 million people in the UK are affected by could make us feel so alone.
We only have a few days left but I still haven’t made up my mind about who to nominate for Dyslexia Action’s It’s Me! Award, which aims to give recognition to the dyslexic celebrities who people have found most inspiring. What I do know is that every single celebrity who is nominated has already done something amazing. They’ve opened up about their dyslexia, and for that I’m so grateful because they are helping to put an end to people with dyslexia feeling alone.
If, unlike me, you already know who you want to nominate or would just like to find out more please go to dyslexiaaction.org.uk/News/...