My message for dyslexic children

Richard Branson as a student
Image by Virgin.com
A close up of Richard Branson smiling, looking at the camera
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 8 October 2020
This World Dyslexia Day I want to take a moment to share a message of hope and encouragement.

As a dyslexic myself, I know that everyone living with dyslexia can also thrive with it. In fact, it has been such a positive force in my life.

Image by Virgin.com
Image by Virgin.com

After dropping out of school at an early age, my dyslexia has helped me think creatively to solve problems and to keep things simple. That has been so important when building our Virgin businesses. And it’s also made a huge difference when leading and empowering people to be the best they can be.

But I know how daunting things can feel at first, especially for dyslexic students. While there is a better understanding of dyslexia now than back in my school days, I often hear of children who are still struggling. The challenge is that schools and entire education systems aren’t designed to spot and support dyslexic thinking. And most teachers aren't trained in dyslexia, meaning many students go through life without ever knowing they’re dyslexic. Instead, they’re left to wonder why they’re different.

Image by Virgin.
Image by Virgin.

Here is what you need to know: Don’t be discouraged. Dyslexia is just a different way of seeing the world, a different way of processing information, and a different way of coming up with great ideas. And many of you will discover that it’s actually a superpower that can take you to great heights. That’s a message we should all get behind, because research from EY found that dyslexics have exactly the thinking skills the World Economic Forum say are needed for the future.

It’s no wonder the world is waking up to the amazing strengths dyslexia gives you. And organisations like GCHQ are actively recruiting dyslexic minds because they think differently.

I am proud to support Made By Dyslexia, who, recognising the vital importance of dyslexic thinking, have a mission to train every teacher in the world about dyslexia in the next five years. Together, we can make that happen.

Made by Dyslexia are offering free, simple dyslexia training for all – teachers, parents and educators. Today, on World Dyslexia Day they are launching their Connect the Spots campaign to promote the training and help teachers to: spot dyslexic strengths and challenges; plan lessons that will benefit all children; offer support and transform the attainment of dyslexic children.

Head over to Made by Dyslexia to find out more about their mission and join their movement.