Princess Beatrice shows support for ‘Made by Dyslexia’
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At the age of seven, Princess Beatrice was diagnosed with dyslexia, which she revealed made her feel “really confused”. In a candid interview with celebrity Giovanna Fletcher, who is the wife of Tom Fletcher from the band McFly, Princess Beatrice openly spoke about her experience. “I remember feeling really confused – an overwhelming sense of, ‘Why does this all feel a little bit muddled?
“‘Why do I feel like these words on the page are just a bunch of… What is going on here? What am I expected to do with this?'”
During adolescence, the 34-year-old admitted that she questioned whether she was “good enough”.
Heartbreakingly, Princess Beatrice would encounter moments where she wondered: “Why am I not like the others?”
As a youngster, she would think to herself: “I’m not smart enough.”
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Now, though, as an adult, Princess Beatrice would “say to [her] younger self… ‘Do not be defined by those moments that happen to you in that exam or that classroom.
“‘They are lifelong learnings and they build you up to be who you are'”.
What is dyslexia?
The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) states: “Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.
“Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.”
The BDA emphasised that “dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities”.
The “information processing” learning disorder can impact a person’s acquisition of literacy skills, for example.
During her secondary school education, Princess Beatrice received support from the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre.
Her Royal Highness went on to pass eight GCSEs, three A-levels and graduated with a 2:1 in History and the History of Ideas from Goldsmiths College, London.
Becoming a Royal Patron for the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity in 2013, Princess Beatrice said: “I would not have been able to achieve my academic results without the support I received from the Centre.”
While Princess Beatrice still “spells things wrong” and has to “read every email a million times to make sure it’s correct”, she now sees dyslexia as a gift.
In a podcast for the charity in 2016, she declared her diagnosis was “the greatest thing that ever happened”.
Life has moved on since that podcast, however, as Princess Beatrice is now married to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, who she shares 11-month-old Sienna with.
Speaking to Giovanna Fletcher, Princess Beatrice said: “My husband’s also dyslexic…
“But I really see it as a gift… [dyslexia] has allowed me to look at things in a new way and come up with solutions.”
Signs of dyslexia, as pointed out by the BDA:
- Confuse visually similar words such as cat and cot
- Spell erratically
- Find it hard to scan or skim text
- Read/write slowly
- Need to re-read paragraphs to understand them
- Find it hard to listen and maintain focus
- Find it hard to concentrate if there are distractions
- Feel sensations of mental overload/switching off
- Have difficulty telling left from right
- Get confused when given several instructions at once
- Have difficulty organising thoughts on paper
- Often forget conversations or important dates
- Have difficulty with personal organisation, time management and prioritising tasks
- Avoid certain types of work or study
- Find some tasks really easy but unexpectedly challenged by others
- Have poor self-esteem, especially if dyslexic difficulties have not been identified in earlier life.
“A formal diagnostic assessment is the only way to confirm whether or not the difficulties you encounter are due to dyslexia,” the BDA asserts.
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