This is a copy of a letter I sent to the Daily Nation – Kenya’s leading newspaper.
I was pleased to see your article “Dyslexia: What do you know about it?” (22/10/2013) – It is important to raise awareness of dyslexia. With the right support and help, a child can prosper in any profession they choose despite their dyslexia. .
Like Rachel, I am also dyslexic. But, so are an estimated 700 million people world-wide – approximately 10% of the global population.
While my dyslexia was only formally diagnosed towards the end of my masters degree, I was supported in a good education system that enabled me to prosper both academically and socially. For this I am truly grateful.
However, all around the world – including in Kenya – children do suffer greatly because of lack of diagnosis. The academic and psychological consequences of unaddressed dyslexia can be devastating for all concerned – including family and friends. Dyslexia is one of the main causes of school drop-out, marginalisation and social exclusion. Studies show that dyslexic people are over-represented in prisons, among adolescents who commit suicide, and among people suffering from mental illnesses, including depression.
This is a global phenomena but one that is exaggerated in low and middle income countries.
I now work in Kampala in communications writing under deadline and pressure on a daily basis. It is a profession that I love. With the right support there is no reason why others with dyslexia cannot consider going into any career that they wish.