Angus dyslexia group gets Hollywood backing

The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia follows Dylan Redford through his school years and his first years of college.

A new branch of Dyslexia Scotland will start in Angus next month with a Hollywood endorsement.

The group will hold around four meetings a year that will be open to the public and feature guest speakers.

The first meeting, to be held in Forfar on May 7, will screen a 50-minute film about actor Robert Redford’s grandson, who suffers from the disability.

The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia follows Dylan Redford through the ups and downs of his school years and his success in the first years of college.

Filmed by his father James, it also interviews several high-achieving dyslexics, including Sir Richard Branson who described his struggles and how he has overcome them.

Dyslexia Scotland national development manager Lena Gillies said the new group was a chance for people in Angus who are affected by the condition to share their feelings and strategies.

She said: “We have 15 branches of Dyslexia Scotland across the country and they are all volunteer-led.

“The new group will aim to hold meetings in different parts of Angus. It’s a chance for people to share their experiences and for them to discuss what’s worked for each other.

“Its members are a mix of adults with dyslexia, parents of dyslexia children and teachers as others who have an interest.”

She added that Dyslexia Scotland look to open even more branches across the country.

“Our meeting in Perth now attracts around 60 people and meetings across Scotland are very well attended. It really shows there’s a need for it,” she said.

“We hope the Angus meeting will be well attended so more people are away of the new branch and we also look to attract more committee members.”

Special screenings of the Redford film have been shown at other meetings and to community groups. The film shows Dylan Redford being assessed by the special research unit for dyslexia at Yale University.

The unit researches dyslexia using brain imaging which identifies the different reactions of a part of the brain between a dyslexic and a non-dyslexic person when reading.

One of the Yale academics says this imaging makes dyslexia “as real as any other medical disorder”.

Lena added: “We have been really pleased with the reaction to the film from a wide range of people including parents, teachers, adults with dyslexia and employers.

“While we hear a lot about the real barriers faced by people with dyslexia, this film offers an insight into how people can overcome these barriers with the right support and understanding and achieve real success.

“So often people think that dyslexia is just about reading and writing, but in fact it affects people in many other ways as well.

“I really hope that people in Angus take up the chance to see this film and attend the first Angus branch meeting.”

The meeting will take place at St John’s Episcopal Church on May 7, at 7pm.