As the annual Youth Day is just around the corner once again, I thought I’d let you all know about my experience at last year’s youth day.
I had a stall in the foyer with my paper crafts (see the picture above). I had some complete items for the young delegates to pick up and keep and some packs for them to make up themselves (either at the youth day or later at home).
I believe that these star cards are fantastic illustrations of the hidden nature of dyslexia. I wanted the young people to learn from them that their label needn’t be, “I’m dyslexic” but “I’m A Star, with dyslexia”. I provided many colours (and patterned papers) to illustrate the individual nature of dyslexia, and how individuality should be embraced.
I enjoyed watching the young bright stars who came along to take part in the event and how they interacted with the wonderful volunteer stars (who helped them all to have as good a time as possible [given it was a Saturday]). I hope this event and every subsequent annual youth day allows young, and the slightly more experienced, to learn from each other.
I believe there are 2 main points everyone needs to learn (and re-learn) and remember:-
- We cannot hide our ‘star’light under a bush or under the disabling effects of dyslexia (or whatever our problems are)
- Mistakes are learning experiences. More Mistakes = More Learning
I hope that through the Youth Day the young people will gain some “wisdom” / “well-being”. I hope the next generation of dyslexics will be strong advocates for themselves and others. It’s through strong and nurturing people like the workshop speakers and facilitators, that this world will become a better place for everyone; and hopefully help the human race make use of its diversity and allow everyone to live better and more fulfilled lives.
There is something else I would like to suggest to the Dyslexic Community. I wasn’t overly involved in the dyslexic community (other than through support at school and university) when I was young. Because of this, I blamed all my muddled thinking and confused cognitive processes on my dyslexia.
It was only through attending the Adult Network meetings and my involvement with Dyslexia Scotland, that I realised that I am an anxious person (and that my mood can be affected by the weather and seasons). I have found my dyslexia has been much easier to control now that I have sought help with controlling my moods.
Therefore, I would suggest to everyone living with dyslexia: to find out about it. Knowledge (however you input it) is power. Understanding gives control. Control fights monsters and lets the light shine brightly.
Doreen Kelly, Dyslexia Scotland member and volunteer