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  • Writer's pictureThe Dyslexia Initiative

A Conversation With Emily Thuysbaert

I remember vividly sitting down at my desk at school with my hands getting clammy. What torments would I be asked to complete today and what bully would find me and damage my self esteem more.

To avoid this I would not be the one putting my hand up, I'd try make myself as small as possible.

"Emily you are so stupid, so dumb," I would hear from both the teachers and my fellow students. I began to believe it, I heard it so much it must be true. Fast forward to present day, I am 37 years old and when someone says you are very clever, I look over my shoulder to see who they are talking to. I find it hard to believe they are talking about me.

I heard so much about what I wasn't doing well or what I needed to try harder at.

It's a hard thing to try to explain to someone, it's as if the answer is in your head but you can quiet reach it. You try to fill my brain with words over and over again but I can not store it and so tomorrow I will forget what I've learnt to spell today.

I navigated towards art and creating things and feel in love with photography and films.

I pushed myself through college then onto university it was my way of telling the people who said I was dumb or stupid, LOOK I PROVED YOU WRONG!!!

I have a degree in photojournalism BA Hons and I am now a children's author.

I never thought I'd become a writer or it would ever make sense or anyone would like to read something I've written.

So 3 years ago after the third and final time I was discriminated against at work by my employer putting me on an improvement notice because they didn't know what else to do with me, like putting me on that, it increasing my stress levels would help me in any way or form, I decided to leave full time employment and it has been the best decision of my life. I wrote my first children's book based on my husky Mia a year ago (The magic husky) and now I am my 4th children's book.

I go into schools and do dyslexia awareness talks. The project is called #dreambigdreams, I talk about my dyslexia and how I cope and how I manage. I always say I have a magic brain and that anyone can do anything they want to in life.

I discuss about my unique and backwards way of writing. I am a visual dyslexic I draw my books out first, I then give it to my mum to beautifully illustrate for me and then I write my stories to the pictures.

It is challenging to write a story and fit in my unique interactive elements into my books but I love seeing my world come to life.

My mum has been my biggest advocate to get the education I have and I am very thankful for all she did for me.

It was nice to have a dyslexic father just like me, we are very similar so I never felt alone. He has been the driving force in getting my books out their, I am very lucky.

My latest book is called LADY THE LADYBUG and I wanted to put the main character as dyslexic and explain what dyslexia is like for me and that Lady doesn't let dyslexia hold her back.

The main message of this book is to NEVER GIVE UP AND NEVER GIVE IN.

My challenge is now to make my dyslexic journals I have created available too all schools across the UK and hopefully across the world.

They enable learners to log their achievements and focus on the possibilities and recognize traits and patterns which could decrease the anxieties that come with dyslexia.

All my books are available on Amazon under my name EMILY THUYSBAERT and if you would like a private motivational empowering message made out to your dyslexic child I am happy to do this. We are after all one big dyslexic family:

If there is one thing I could tell my younger self it would be, "Don't worry so much, you have a gift and you will use it to help others."


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