Wellington man who hated school due to dyslexia creates new programme to help kids

After hating school, a 19-year-old Wellington man with dyslexia has created a programme to help struggling kids.

It's estimated one in 10 kiwi kids have dyslexia, often making it difficult to learn to read, write or interpret words.

Matt Strawbridge remembers school being a traumatic experience.

"I couldn't make the bottom of the bottom of the reading groups. I was in a special one just for me," Mr Strawbridge said.

So he created a 10-week programme, which can be run at home or at school, to ensure other kids don't have the same challenges he had.

The programme consists of videos focusing on superpowers which teach children different life skills such as compassion and strategic thinking.

"What I'm trying to do is help these kids find those strengths that they have because their brain thinks differently, and use that to overcome their challenges."

It also includes activities like spelling – but not with the traditional pen and paper method.

Clifton Terrace Model School in Wellington is one of five schools piloting the programme.

Principal Jenny Austin said, "Teachers have always been reluctant to use the term dyslexia. So I think for us, it's given us the opportunity to work with the students more closely."

Mother Debs Marshall says she's notice major changes in her son, Elias, who's become proud to have dyslexia.

"I have other children as well and they're a bit like, 'I wish I was dyslexic,' so that’s really cool," Ms Marshall said.

To find out more about the programme, click here.

It's estimated that one in 10 New Zealand children have the learning disorder, dyslexia. Source: 1 NEWS