What Gaps Exist?

Following the recent news that Michael Morpurgo has written the first book in a series that is being published with the intention of making it easier for dyslexic parents to read to their children, I was surprised that, as the volunteer Resource Centre Manager for Dyslexia Scotland, I hadn’t realised that such a big gap in the market existed.  While it makes sense that everything that can be done to make reading easier for those who struggle with it should be, this is not something I had previously thought about.  In my defence, I’m neither dyslexic nor a parent and therefore had no reason to.

That having been said, it has caused me to ponder what other resources could be developed and used by dyslexics.  While I have seen books that explain what dyslexia is to children of various ages, for instance, I have seen none written from the point of view of a dyslexic parent.  Similarly, while there are books detailing how teachers can assist dyslexic pupils, as far as I’m aware there is nothing out there written from the perspective of a dyslexic teacher.

These are, of course, just two examples and it is probable that those who have experience of the condition can think of many more.  Getting back to the matter at hand, though, the fact that the idea for a series of books aimed at dyslexic parents and their children came about after Barrington Stoke were approached by a man who faced difficulty reading to his child poses an interesting point.  If something so worthwhile can occur through a simple conversation, what could a more frequent dialogue between dyslexics and official bodies, such as Government organisations and publishers to name but two, achieve?    On a related note in terms of resources, what would dyslexics like to see produced?  Given the gap that has been closed as a result of one man’s plight (although it is doubtless many other dyslexic parents will have also faced this issue) it stands to reason that many more barriers may well be overcome with open communication lines, which is why roundtable events, feedback and social media are so important – in giving dyslexics and those who help them a variety of ways to communicate you are not only making them feel more comfortable but giving them various ways in which to express themselves.  In doing so, a clearer idea is gained with regards to what support and resources dyslexics need.

In this instance, books that are accessible to dyslexic parents benefit more than just them and their children.  While it is true that they will improve the self-esteem of the parents and ensure that their children are not denied a love of books, reading and all the things that come with it (knowledge, empathy and a more imaginative mind were just three things that came into my head as I was writing), it benefits the wider world too.  For if dyslexics are given the ability to read to their children, does it not stand to reason that having this opportunity may make them want to overcome the difficulties they may face as a result of their dyslexia and become more productive in the workplace as a result of their improved literacy, for example?  Would being read to from a young age possibly make it easier and more enjoyable for youngsters to learn to read and consequently value education more?  While the definitive answers to these questions cannot ever be known, I cannot see a negative outcome to such a worthwhile endeavour.  Let’s hope Michael’s book, called All I Said Was, is the start of a new phenomenon: parents having a way in which to read to their children without being hindered by dyslexia.

All I Said Was by Michael Morpurgo and Itch, Scritch, Scratch by Eleanor Updale, books that have been created to enable dyslexic parents to read to their children, will be published in March 2014 by Barrington Stoke.

Advertisements

We were Kings and Queens of Glamour

On 2nd May 2013 Dyslexia Scotland attending a star studded reception at the Grand Hall in Edinburgh Castle honouring the work of Dyslexia Scotland.

We were lucky enough to be one of the First Minister’s chosen charities in his Christmas card appeal in December 2012 – the painting of the Christmas card by Elizabeth BLackadder was displayed at the reception and will be auctioned later in 2013, with proceeds shared between the 4 chosen charities including Dyslexia Scotland.

We were also delighted that an amazing £100,000 was announced at the event by the Scottish Government to help to ensure that Dyslexia Scotland can continue to achieve our goals and raise awareness of Dyslexia.’

We had a fantastic evening from being piped into the event, being entertainment by musicians Eilidh Steel and Mark Neal and mingling with our ambassadors, volunteers as well as other honoured guests. It gave us the opportunity to get our glad rags on, meet some interesting and inspiring people and of course view the wonderful treasures that the Castle has to offer.

photo IMG_0489 IMG_0490 IMG_0494 IMG_0495 IMG_0497 IMG_0498 IMG_0499 IMG_0502 IMG_0504 IMG_0505 IMG_0508 IMG_0509 IMG_0516 IMG_0517 IMG_0519 IMG_0522 IMG_0524 IMG_0526 IMG_0527

We would like to thank everyone who came along to the event and hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did. Dyslexia Scotland relies on the continued support of its volunteers, ambassadors and staff and we were so happy that we were able to share this honour with so many of them.