Princess Beatrice has conducted a rare interview in support of dyslexia charity Made By Dyslexia, saying that she feels “we have a responsibility to change the narrative” for young people in the classrooms.
In the interview, posted on the Made By Dyslexia YouTube page over the weekend, Beatrice says that her passion for dyslexia awareness is because she is dyslexic herself. In the interview, she talks about a wide range of issues that dyslexics live with, including education and how technology can be used to help young people think differently to achieve the same goals as their classmates.
“I was very lucky, I got to go to a school that was very nurturing and very supportive, but I would describe the actual day to day learning side of things very challenging. You know, I remember we had different coloured books to describe how far where your reading levels had got to and I was always on the white books,” Beatrice says. “My best friends were always on the yellow books or the green books. They were so far ahead. And I think at that stage, those moments of doubt just pop into your head. I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough. Why am I not like the others?”
She continued, “I think when you’re in the classroom, those moments are very defining. I think if I were to say to my younger self do not be defined by those moments that happened to you in that exam or that classroom because they are lifelong learnings. They are lessons that you carry with you and they build you up to be who you are.”
Speaking of how education can support dyslexic students today, Beatrice says that she’s “really excited with all the work that’s going on now with a few different organisations around the world to really think through what is skills-based learning and what are the skills that young people need to be able to thrive in life.
“I think technology plays a really important role, tech-enabled learning and what we can achieve with that and what we can do for multiple classrooms across the world taking centres of excellence and being able to connect people, being able to tell a very different story, delivering homework help and support and online tutoring. These are great assets and great tools for young people. So I really see the work that we’re doing, raising awareness around dyslexia as a true pillar to stand up the concept of reimagining education because so many young people now are going to be faced with some of the biggest moral and ethical decisions, you really want to make sure they have every tool for success.”
Of her own career path, Beatrice says that her employer is focused on helping her find a path where she will succeed and not one that forces her to sit behind a desk. Her strength, she says is her communication skills.
She also reveals that many of her coworkers are also dyslexic and that the tech company she works at is focused on looking at things differently, which is beneficial for those living with dyslexia. She says, “I think that’s one of the strengths we have as dyslexics is to look at things differently, be a problem solver, find new ways to do things, be experimental, entrepreneurial.”
Before the interview ends, Beatrice says about living with dyslexia that it “really does affect me day to day. It develops as you develop, it grows. It’s part of you, it’s part of how your brain develops. It is not something that is wrong with you. It is a great part of how your brain works and everybody’s brain works incredibly differently.
“There is nothing wrong, there is just everything that is so right.”