Creative Successful Dyslexic: 23 High Achievers Share Their Stories

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We have all seen the posters of well-known individuals who have made their mark in life who also happen to have dyslexia. In recent years these have been added to with material for the digital age, including a YouTube video and a Pinterest board

CSD-book-cover_hi-resSo it comes as no surprise that someone – in this case Margaret Rooke – hit on the idea of collecting first-person testimonies as to what growing up with dyslexia was like, how these individuals overcame their difficulties, and what advice they would pass on to others who suspect they have dyslexia or have been recently diagnosed.

Rooke has chosen wisely. There are creatives, entertainers, entrepreneurs, sportspeople and writers; men and women. If I have any criticism here it is that I would have liked a few more from ethnic minority backgrounds besides Benjamin Zephaniah.

Thought has gone into creating a book that is readily accessible to those with dyslexia: accounts are concise, sentences are short, the font is dyslexia friendly and the line spacing in generous.

 

Common themes emerge, some negative but most positive.

An example of the former is the ignorance and insensitivity shown by some teachers at a time when children with specific learning difficulties were simply dismissed as ‘dumb’ or ‘thick’ and treated accordingly. In some cases this fostered relentless bullying that meant those targeted did everything they could to avoid school.

An example of the latter is the resilience shown by these self-same children who invariably identified what they were good that, focused on it and were supported by loving parents and considerate teachers. It’s encouraging to read how many of the contributing authors credit their success in part to those who recognised they were struggling and went the extra mile to help them succeed.

Rooke says the aim of the book ‘is to reassure anyone with dyslexia and their loved ones – together with any others who do not seem to shine naturally at school in these results-driven days.’ It succeeds admirably. There are also appendices about dyslexia and where to go for further help.

This book would be an excellent addition to any school library, a great gift for a child experiencing self-doubt, a useful resource for planning inclusive assemblies, and a timely reminder for all teachers of what a differences they can make.

BUY NOW £16.99

Margaret Rooke – Jessica Kingsley – ISBN: 978-1-84905-653-3

Reviewed by Mick Archer

9.0 Excellent

This book would be an excellent addition to any school library, a great gift for a child experiencing self-doubt, a useful resource for planning inclusive assemblies, and a timely reminder for all teachers of what a differences they can make.

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About Contributors

Mick Archer is the Editor of Special World.

1 Comment

  1. Wayne McFarlane on

    What interested me to read Margaret Rooke’s book “Creative, Successful, Dyslexic” was it was about celebrities and we all enjoy reading about them. We find reading these short essays that people like me who have dyslexia have to put in extra time just to keep up with our co-workers. Two great performers Brian Conley and Zoe Wanamaker have to put in extra time to get their lines perfect because of their dyslexia.
    Another important point that comes out of these essays is that all these successful celebrities had people backing them, willing to try to understand what they were going through.
    Why should teachers and educators read “Creative, Successful, Dyslexic”?
    To be one of those people who have an understanding of dyslexia and be able to back a hard working student who has dyslexia. Your in education to teach all students including the 15% who have dyslexia.
    Brits and Canucks don’t buy your Hello Magazine, you can miss what Kate is wearing this month. Yanks don’t buy your People Magazine you don’t have to see what Melania Trump is wearing or not wearing. Instead read about celebrities and learn more about dyslexia by reading “Creative, Successful, Dyslexic”.
    All students are our future.
    Wayne McFarlane

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