One out of every ten people has dyslexia, a disorder that involves difficulty in learning to read or interpret letters, words, and other characters. Some people with dyslexia view it as an insurmountable obstacle, but 12-year-old Isley Hermansen from New South Wales, Australia is a very positive and optimistic girl.
Not only does Isley believe that being dyslexic doesn’t have to keep her from achieving greatness, but she also came up with a very creative way to share that belief with thousands of other dyslexics. With her mom’s help, Isley created an inspiring YouTube video featuring famous dyslexics. The point of the video is to show viewers that so many people with dyslexia have accomplished incredible things.
It didn’t take long for Isley’s video to go viral. She portrays a long list of recognizable faces, all of which are (or were) dyslexic. The featured celebrities include Michael Jordan, Steven Spielberg, Cher, Albert Einstein, Maya Angelou, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates, just to name a few.
Instead of simply showing these celebrities’ photos in the video, Isley added an inspiring touch. The text that goes along with each photo says, “I’m going to [blank] like a dyslexic”. The first photo is of one of the Wright Brothers, saying “I’m going to fly like a dyslexic”. Isley goes on to say that she is going to sing, act, teach, paint, and run businesses like a dyslexic (using the hashtag #likeadyslexic).
Adding to the message is a song playing in the background also has an inspiring message, repeating lyrics such as “Everyday, every hour. Turn your pain into power.” That is exactly what Isley is doing. Instead of letting dyslexia cause her pain, she is turning it into power, and she is inspiring others to do the same.
After receiving thousands of views of her video, Isley decided to take her project a step further. She wrote an email to one of the famous dyslexics, Richard Branson (founder of the Virgin Group). In the letter she asked him if he would help her continue to get her message to more people.
What happened next is truly amazing. Not only did Branson’s team reply to Isley’s email, but Richard also published a blog post about Isley’s video. He said, “Every now and then you come across something so inspiring that you can’t help but share it… Isley is determined to use her dyslexia as motivation and sees her condition as a gift, just like some of the dyslexic people in her video did.”
Thanks to Isley’s video, thousands of teenagers with dyslexia now know that they aren’t alone, and more importantly, that dyslexia doesn’t have to hold them back from achieving their dreams.
What is an obstacle that your daughter is facing? It might be dyslexia, or maybe it is something completely different. How can you help your daughter “turn her pain into power” like Isley?
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