Friday, 11 October 2013

Dyslexia Awareness Week

It happened when a teacher was talking to me in a sports hall in Bridgend, south Wales. She was asking about the stickers on my three Barrington Stoke books. Stickers that said dyslexia friendly.

What makes them friendly? she asked.

I told her. Barrington Stoke design and edit their books with a view to breaking down some of the barriers that conventional books put up for dyslexics.

Like what? she pressed.

The colour of the page. The font. The way the letters and words are spaced on the page. The editing of the book. The author taking into consideration what those barriers are for dyslexics.

Then she spotted that one of my books was about rugby. Scrum!

There's a boy here, she said. He loves rugby. He's dyslexic. Can we show him?

I nodded. She called him over. He was eleven, tall, dark-haired.

Look at this, she said to him.

The boy looked at the book. First he turned it over in his hands. Then he opened it. He said nothing. I thought I saw him frown.

Then he looked at the teacher said: I can read this! like he couldn't really believe it.

His face lit up. Really. I'm not exaggerating. His face lit up like something really good had happened.

I am happy to say that I have four more books coming out with Barrington Stoke in the next two years. Not just because it is good for my career: but because I will get to tell more teachers about their books.

Find out more about dyslexia specialist publishers, Barrington Stoke.

Find out more about Dyslexia Awareness Week and the British Dyslexia Association.s

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