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Why all the RED?

Why all the RED?

So who is making all this fuss about Dyslexia Awareness Month and why all the RED?

Ask any dyslexic about their school experience and they will tell you about the gut wrenching fear of receiving back their school work covered in red crosses and comments from (a usually) well intended teacher. So when as a group of mums we began working together to raise awareness for dyslexia in Australia in 2015 the connection with red seemed like a natural relationship to build on. It helped too that parent groups in the US were already using the colour.

Our group went on to organise a national campaign to light significant buildings and landmarks across the country in red to bring awareness (the campaign, called Light it Red for Dyslexia continues and is now in its 5th year and has expanded to getting schools onboard with the fun Red Paper Plane Challenge).

And when it came time to establish an official organisation in 2017 it seemed natural to lean towards our red beginnings. The colour influenced our name Code Read (pronounced RED) Dyslexia Network. Red is disruptive and cannot be ignored but it also highlights the urgency of the situation. In effect we wanted to say that it is time to stop sweeping this important issue under the carpet and take action.

Today Code Read is led by one of the original proactive mums, South Australian GP Dr Sandra Marshall and our team of 7 volunteer mums from across the country and together we create and oversee Code Read’s Dyslexia Awareness Month activities and campaigns while also making sure our message is being heard by politicians and decision makers all year round.

Dr Marshall says “Dyslexia affects 10-20% of kids – which is the same statistics as asthma, and yet asthma is mainstream, and no one questions an asthmatic person’s intelligence”. She said “there are so many myths about dyslexia that we want to dispel. The unfairness of the needless failure of kids is what really fires me up and working with disengaged teenagers shows me the mental health consequences to these young people’s self-esteem and self-worth.”

So this month if you see a building lit up red or a bunch of kids flying red paper planes, we encourage you to take a minute to stop and learn more about dyslexia.

Ask some questions. Start a conversation.