Teen keen to unlock dyslexics' potential

Last updated 05:00 29/07/2014
Matthew Strawbridge
INSPIRING INDIVIDUAL: Matthew Strawbridge, 15, isn’t letting dyslexia get in his way.

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Matthew Strawbridge is using his battle with dyslexia to help others.

The 15-year-old started Dyslexia Potential - a free website that teaches children with dyslexia the strategies he used at school.

Matthew says living with the learning difficulty can be challenging but he sees it as nothing but a strength.

The website includes video tutorials, learning exercises and confidence-boosting content.

Since its launch in 2012 Dyslexia Potential has collected a following of more than 2000 dyslexic children and their parents.

"I didn't want another kid to struggle at school like I did. I love being dyslexic, it allows me to think differently.

"When I work with kids I tell them the positives of dyslexia like how there are so many famous people with dyslexia and having it too gets us that little bit closer to them."

Next month Matthew will visit Milford School and lead a workshop on dyslexia.

"My courses are designed to motivate and inspire dyslexic children as well as show them lots of strategies for making the most of their dyslexia.

"I am always overwhelmed with the response I get from my courses and the number of kids and parents who are reaching out for help and support."

He says there is a big need for dyslexia support.

"Even though the Ministry of Education officially recognised dyslexia in 2008 I still hear very sad stories of how kids are treated in the school system and I believe we need more information out there on these issues.

"The Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand are great but they need the support of the dyslexic community."

It is estimated one in 10 New Zealanders has dyslexia.

Visit dyslexiapotential.com to visit Matthew's website or to register for his August 2 Auckland workshop.

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- North Shore Times

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