Encouraging dyslexic children to discover their full potential

A close up of Richard Branson smiling, looking at the camera
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 1 August 2017

Summer gets me reflecting on my childhood. I was always on the lookout for new experiences. My parents encouraged me to be adventurous and to follow my passions, and let me learn from my mistakes when things didn’t go quite to plan.

It wasn’t easy. Few parents would have allowed their 16-year-old to drop out of school and start a business. But they did it because they recognised that I thrived when I could do new things and do them my way – and that’s still true today.

Watch the video below to hear me share my story and my experience with dyslexia in an interview with Made By Dyslexia.

Made By Dyslexia: Richard Branson talks to Made By Dyslexia

Sadly, this wasn’t the way I was taught at school. School systems spend a lot of time trying to improve the weaknesses of dyslexic children. They do everything they can to get them to learn what other children seem to grasp naturally, and to catch them up with endless tests.

Being taught to read, write and learn is very important –  every dyslexic should get the right help to enable this – but we should spend as much effort encouraging dyslexic children to discover their strengths and potential.

Image from Virgin.com
Image from Virgin.com

Their unexpected view of the world, their wonderfully different ideas, their determination to chase their dream in the face of what’s commonly accepted and regarded as possible… this will make them uniquely brilliant at whatever they decide to do in life. Every dyslexic has talent.

This is the message of Made By Dyslexia’s moving new film, Baby.

Made By Dyslexia: Why dyslexia is not a disadvantage

During your downtime this summer, watch how your kids or grandkids spend their time. What do they naturally love to do? What do they spend most of their time doing? What do they have a natural flair for? What do they know most about? This should give you a real insight as to where their passions and talents lie. This is a great exercise for adults too.

Image from Virgin.com
Image from Virgin.com

I’m grateful that my parents had faith in my abilities, despite my struggles at school. I urge all parents with dyslexic children to nurture their passions and talents... they will truly amaze you, I promise.  

Find our more about dyslexia and to take the dyslexia thinking test here madebydyslexia.org