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Children with dyslexia face problems in school: Sally Gardner

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

British author Sally Gardner, whose recent novel explores dyslexia, says children with spelling disabilities face uniform problems across the world.

Sally, who was here to attend Bookaroo, a literature festival for children, was diagnosed dyslexic at the age of 11 and had not learnt to read till she was nearly 14 years old.

"I wanted to put the viewpoint of a kid who has a difficult experience in school. He is dyslexic and I know for a fact how difficult that can be. The situation is the same all over the world," the author said.

The author, now in her 50s, has to her credit over a dozen bestselling books for children, including four novels for teenagers.

Her book "Maggot Moon" is dedicated to "the dreamers who are overlooked at school, never won prizes".

"I was badly bullied at school because I was different from the others. I had trouble tying my shoes or coordinating my clothes. I was in kindergarten till I was too old to be there and then forced to go to another school and then another. I was classified unteachable," Sally said.

"Maggot Moon" has a central character of a 15-year-old Standish Treadwell, who is dyslexic and Sally says she wanted to "show that it is a gift, not something to be cured. It's a lot more than not being able to spell."

Christened Sarah, the author, changed her name to the easier-on-the eye Sally. She says she reads as though she had "a camera running in the head" and "like watching a film."

The author, a mother of three, says she started to read when she was 14-years-old and then there was no stopping.

First Published: Mon, November 25 2013. 13:12 IST