by Sarah Young from https://tinyurl.com/y3gj8d2k
Mollie King has revealed she spent her childhood feeling “stupid” before being diagnosed with dyslexia.
The former Saturdays singer delivered a powerful speech at the All-Party Parliamentary Group as an ambassador for the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) about her experience on Wednesday.
During the speech, King revealed that her diagnosis at the age of 10 came as a “huge relief” because she finally realized she wasn’t “worse” than her classmates.
“Everything clicked into place. I knew I wasn’t worse than everyone else – I was just different,” she said.
Before being told she had dyslexia, the 31-year-old explained she would “dread” having to read out loud in class and that things eventually got so bad she would make up an excuse to leave the room when it was her turn to speak.
It was at this point that her teacher realized there might be something wrong and suggested she get tested for dyslexia.
“I’m so grateful I was diagnosed in primary school, and not any later, because it was really starting to knock my confidence,” King said.
The BBC Radio 1 presenter spoke in detail about her own experience with the condition, revealing that she has to “focus really hard” to make sure she reads words in order from left to right.
She added that sometimes words can look as though they are jumping out of the page at her, while others don’t appear visible straight away.
“If I’m tired, it’s often worse,” she said.
“Everything on the page will look like a blur. It can feel like every word on the page in front of me is constantly moving.”
Despite not having a “typical office job” King also revealed that dyslexia has somewhat impacted her professional life.
She admitted that it would take her longer than her bandmates to read lyrics and that she has to rehearse autocues as many times as possible during presenting jobs so that she doesn’t make mistakes live on air.
“Reading is such a fundamental part of everyday life that as a dyslexic, you never know when it might catch you out,” King explained.
“For me, the biggest fear is that I’m going to be handed a sheet of words and told to read it out loud.
“I’m lucky enough to work with people who’ve taken the time to understand my dyslexia and how it affects the way I do my job. Their empathy and understanding have made all the difference.”
King concluded her speech by reminding people that dyslexia “isn’t something that defeats you” and that it doesn’t mean you can’t reach your full potential.
“The key is being diagnosed as early as possible. It breaks my heart that there could be people out there struggling through life unnecessarily because they’ve not been diagnosed, and are still feeling stupid the way I did,” King said.
“I went from being bottom of the class in primary school to getting three As at A-level.
“The better we all understand dyslexia, the more we can help people who have it to reach their full potential.”
According to the BDA, 10 percent of the population are dyslexic, and four percent severely so.
The NHS says that signs of dyslexia can include reading or writing very slowly, confusing the order of letters in words, having poor or inconsistent spelling and struggling with planning or organization.