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Kiwi Dyslexia Podcaster Attracting Global Attention

For some it is a secret, others are oblivious and for most there is the fear of being ‘judged’ – of being deemed unemployable – but one Kiwi is bringing the hidden problem of dyslexia to the world via the podcast Truth About Dyslexia and this month it cracked more than 510,000 downloads.

Podcaster and co-director of Remarkable Minds, Stephen Martin was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of ten. “I knew I had it, but nobody told me what it was or what to do about it – I just thought I would grow out of it, but of course you don’t.

“I want to bring dyslexia into the light; to clear up misconceptions and show people how the mind operates. I want to enable others with dyslexia to understand themselves and thrive in life.”

Martin says there are thousands of undiagnosed dyslexics all around the globe. They are smart at hiding their challenges, but they don’t understand what is really going on and why they are the way they are. This takes an enormous toll on their mental health.

“It’s not like a broken leg, you can’t see the challenges with the naked eye. Dyslexia is much more widespread than people realise, in fact according to research approximately 20 percent of the population are dyslexic – that is across all walks of life, so if you are working in an office there is a high chance that you are sitting across from a dyslexic adult. Many dyslexics find strategies for coping, but sadly for 10 percent of dyslexics there can be real problems in dealing with life.

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“The mental health impact of the pandemic has made it incredibly difficult for many with dyslexia to cope because it has forced changes to how they operate and live. For example, dyslexic people rely heavily on visual cues. Text messages and emails are difficult and wrought with anxiety.

“The podcast is about helping people understand that spiral and how to get out of it. I am on a mission to give people the tools to help them succeed.”

As one email from a listener in Arizona, USA wrote: “I love the podcast. It was the missing puzzle piece to what I needed! Thank you so much. I didn’t realise how dyslexia impacted my adult life. Learning about the full truth about dyslexia is so helpful. It has dramatically improved my health and life!”

Martin says the key is creating an open conversation to bring dyslexia out into the light.

“Dyslexic people are incredibly hard on themselves, they just won’t cut themselves a break.

“The reality is that dyslexic people can make valuable contributions to any organisation – we have brilliant puzzle solving abilities, spatial reasoning, communication and conversation skills, as well as being extraordinary at abstract, critical and original thinking.”

  1. Online and other assessments

If you suspect that you or somebody in your family has dyslexia, get assessed. There are free online assessments, and even some New Zealand psychiatrist’s websites offer free online assessments. The website offers a free assessment for adults.

“Getting assessed by a professional can be really expensive and you may face a long wait for an appointment. An online assessment will at least give you an indication of whether to take the next step.

“It is called the hidden disability for a reason. For as long as it remains hidden it is a disability. Once you bring it into the light you can make it your superpower.”

  1. Build Your Awareness

Martin suggests that those who suspect they have dyslexia or who have been assessed as having dyslexia should do as much research online as possible to equip themselves with a broader toolkit to navigate life with dyslexia. There are also a number of Facebook groups people can join.

“The podcast was created to help make life easier for dyslexics, offering tools, advice, connection and inspiration – that’s the reason why it’s so popular.”

  1. Talk about it

Martin says anybody with dyslexia is encouraged to embrace their remarkable mind.

“You are not stupid or a failure. You do not need to live with anxiety, shame and confusion. Embrace your dyslexia and you will get the help and support you need. Hide it and you will continue to struggle alone.

“Being an adult with dyslexia and feeling like you are all alone is the worst place that you can be. That loneliness and isolation can lead to real and painful mental health struggles. We see it all the time. Overthinking everything you do, feeling stupid or a failure. It is not true at all.”

The relief that people feel when they find the Truth About Dyslexia podcast and realise that they are not alone is enormous.

“Seek out people like you, find a community where you can share your experiences and challenges. You'll soon find that so many other people feel just like you do, and you'll feel less alone.”

For more information listen to The Truth About Dyslexia here:

© Scoop Media

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