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Episode 3 Transcript



00:00:07:19 - 00:00:10:08

Callum: Welcome back to the Tech Will Save Us Podcast. This week we  are talking about dyslexia, and I am lucky enough to be joined by the CEO of Razor, Mr. Jamie Hinton.

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Jamie: Great to be here.

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Callum: Thank you.

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Callum: And Managing Director of Reyt, Mr. Danny Tomalin

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Callum: Now, I'm interested to hear sort of both of your personal journeys with dyslexia. So starting with you then you Danny, do you remember the first time you sort of became aware that you might have dyslexia or sort of the journey towards getting diagnosed?

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Danny: Definitely. Yeah, I think it was around, when you're about ten, you’re in year five at junior school. We did, we had a topic on Greek mythology and I really loved it and then when, you know, when you do parents evening, your parents all come in we got given like A5 books and there was nothing in my book that was written, but there were lots of comments from the teacher um saying, why haven’t you done this bit? Or why haven’t you done that bit? But I love this topic and if you ask me the question about it, I’d be able to answer the question. And my mum and dad spoke with the teacher and were like, what’s going on Danny? You know this stuff, are you lazy? Or are you just, you can't do it in that way. I didn't know the answer to it. So for me, that was really confusing I’d probably say. And then from there, that's kind of like the first warning sign of going that might be something that we need to go and look at. And that's really where it began. And from there I went and did assessments and worked out, oh, yeah, he's dyslexic and these are things that you're really good at. These are things that, you know, you need, you maybe need to improve on, or areas that focus on the good things. Probably is more of it. And yeah that was all between around between ten and twelve. So I worked out when that was.

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Callum: And Jamie was it a similar story for you around the same age?

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Jamie: No, it was actually quite a lot earlier. So, you know, when you're a little kid and you're in bed and you've been read a story. I was very lucky to have stories read to me. And it was Meg and Mog. And then you… 

00:02:06:04 - 00:02:07:21

Callum: Classics. 

Jamie: Oh, yeah.

Callum: Absolute classics.

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CalIum: I still read it. 

Jamie: They are fantastic books. And I remember sort of being read to and you don’t you don't remember everything as a kid, but you remember how you feel. And that’s where the emotions are really seated. And I remember being read to and then I was asked, could you read? And I was bloody good. But I wasn’t reading, I could recite it. But as soon as you had to go off piste or you were asked to read other bits and pieces or writing, I just absolutely hated it, it was just so difficult. And my mum had actually spotted it at quite a young age and started to, I suppose, deal with it. And this is back in the eighties, showing my age a little bit and it wasn't really a thing. You're basically just stupid because school just assesses you on one type of intelligence, which is that academia intelligence. But that's not all the intelligences there are. And, and luckily for me, my mum had spotted it and thought it was something that needed to be done. So I was assessed again at quite a young age and highlighted. And the other thing that really happened, I suppose it was, I was so lucky was that my mum didn't want it to be a thing at school. So you weren't like,I suppose labeled as stupid or idiotic or, you know, you were maybe a bit slow doing certain things.

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So one of the things my mum actually said to me was you don't have learning difficulties, you have learning differences. So these little nudges and these little sayings actually put you on a totally different trajectory. And, and from that, I actually had extra tuition outside of school, never inside of school. And it was it was really hard, though, because people do still, you know, treat you in a certain way or you're challenged in, you know, delivering what is expected of you at school. But it didn't stop me in the long run.

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Callum: And did you Danny have a similar experience of sort of navigating through school with the same sort of challenges Jamie's just described? 

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Danny: Yeah, definitely. You want to fit in, don't you, when you're at school, that is one of the, being different. You stand out in those places and I think being dyslexic was definitely a thing that I tried to hide a lot of the time from stuff. You can't hide it from your tests, you get the result. You get the result. I was one of them ones that kind of fell in that below average on the academic grading score. So then you just get put in the bottom sets of how you go through and the problem with that as you lose options. So when I actually got to year nine, the things that actually interested me, which were the creative things like your art, your product design and manufacturing and stuff.  We weren't allowed to do it. It was greyed out on our options list. I remember thinking, Why? Why is it, why can’t I? And these are the things that I actually love and I want to do. I remember going to the head of years office and banging on the door, I’ve always been a bit like that. Go straight to the person. So I bang on the door and I say, I really want to do product design. I really want to do art. Is there any way that I can move up the set? This is me, maybe thirteen, fourteen. It took a lot of guts to go to these people and say that, and they went, let’s get your mum in and your mum can come in.

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So my mum came and chatted to them, they kind of agreed to put me into the class. And then my head of year spoke to me and said, do you want to do French or German? Not, not really. Not really, I want to do product design. I want to do art, I want to do manufacturing. Well, if you don't want to do languages, then I can’t really move you up Danny, sorry.  I was like, right. So that means that I can't do all these good things. But when you couple that with being in the lower end of the sets. How my high school worked, we had four bands. There was only three bands that were truly talked about. And then there was this fourth band, which was, that's where I was in. And with that, you have to lessons like career planning, two hours every Wednesday where you worked out your CV and you had another lesson for an hour, which was called supported studies, where the idea was you could get coupled with a teacher and do your homework. You don’t get homework when you’re in the bottom set, it just doesn't come. I spent ages with my mum arguing with me about where's your homework? You are not bringing it home. So I did all that sort of stuff and got into that. And I actually used to skive those lessons and go do art  and go do the product design stuff instead, because that’s where…

Jamie: You sound like Steve Jobs. 

00:06:21:01 - 00:06:22:07

Danny: Because that's where my interest lied. I don’t think it’s that. I just didn't want to be around people who weren't doing anything. It's like I wanted to get better. I wanted to keep going and doing the things that I enjoyed doing and wasting my time writing my CV every week. So sometimes you just have to take control of your own learning and make it. That's the route I’m going.

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Jamie: Well you become the sum of the people who you spend your time with.

Danny: Exactly.

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Jamie: And that’s sometimes not a good thing or it can be a good thing.

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Danny: Yeah.

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Jamie: Choose them wisely. 

Callum: Absolutely, it sounds quite restrictive. What are the, would you say, the common sort of misconceptions about dyslexia then?

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Danny: That we can’t read.

Jamie: Where do we start? Stupid, slow, stupid, slow. Can’t count, can’t add up. I think it's, there's that misconception that like I said before, just because you're not, you know, you not great in terms of one intelligent set you’re awful on all of them and I think it’s it’s something that needs to change. Actually that you you are literally wired up differently and that's okay. Actually, that's great. This is not something to be a detriment. This is something you should embrace and go, that's brilliant and then fall into those things and do those things that you’re actually, you're wired up to be brilliant at. So they say you can put people in a brain scanner and you can actually tell what type of disposition they have. Now, one of the things I hear is when people go if they've got autism, you're an amazing software developer. Why, that's nonsense. Absolute nonsense. You didn't fall out of your mother's womb and go, ooh I can write code because I’ve got autism.

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Callum: Danny did.

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Jamie: It it's it's, there's a correlation, not a causation. So if you think about it, people who have autism generally and this is me with broad brushes are not great in social situations that they can't read people very well, they can't read the room very well all that sort of stuff. So they usually try and avoid them. And this is me talking in generalities. So what happens, you go in your room and you find computers and you go practice that. You get very good at it. It's not because you've got autism that  you're very good at computer programming, it’s because you've avoided all the other things and you've gone and found a computer and gone this is great and gone and practice that. And got very good at it. That's the same with dyslexia. Now, if I said to Danny, Danny, were you friends with the dinner ladies at school?

00:08:36:05 - 00:08:37:21

Danny: Yeah

Jamie: Absolutely. And so Dave Cuckney, you go and ask him, he’s got, our MD, he’s got dyslexia. Dave, were you really friendly with the dinner ladies, and he goes, yeah how did you know? It's like I never knew that was a thing.

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Danny: I always thought it was you look after the people who make you your tea, you get bigger portions.

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Callum: Did it for your belly.

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Danny: Yeah, yeah. 

Jamie: You always get an extra sausage.

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Danny: I didn't realise that it was actually

Jamie: It's not literally dinner ladies.

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Danny: Yeah, yeah

Jamie: It’s not like you’ve got dyslexia and dinner ladies are like your friend, friends. It’s when you go to school the first days when you go to school and you know four years old, you realise that there's something that's a bit different, but you don't know. You can't put a finger on it. So what happens is you have to start getting skills and or nurturing skills to get people to help you. 

Danny: Yes.

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Jamie: And you need and what happens is you get very, very good at getting people on side. A lot of people with dyslexia have a high likability, people just like them because they've worked out this is how you do it. You listen to them, you ask them questions, it's the full How to make friends and influence people. By Dale Carnegie. It’s like, Oh, yeah, yeah. Because I'm dyslexic. I had to do that. But you don't realise what's happening, but you do it with the dinner ladies. And then you actually get extra sausages, but you're doing it all over the shop. You have to canvas the teacher to help you to do this thing. You have to canvas the person next to you to give you, or you learn all these other skill sets, but you don't realise you're doing it. The more you practice something, the better you get.

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Danny: And you never realise that this is dyslexia that's helping.

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Jamie: This is just, you know, from your perspective

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Danny: This is just how Danny operates. This is just you, yeah. This is how Jamie does his thing. Oh Jamie is good with people, okay but…

Jamie: But why? 

Danny: Yeah but why.

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Jamie: You go back and you understand the history and you go…

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Danny: And that's why I think it's interesting when people talk about the soft and hard skills of stuff because I think dyslexia, people with dyslexia, we, we have a tendency to grow those soft skills earlier than other people. It's not saying no can attain them. It's just we find it easier on that line because you find these harder ones actually harder in that way. But I'd argue that the soft ones are what normal, normal people kind of look at as going, the soft skills are actually the harder ones to acquire. Hard skills, you can teach them because there's loads of books there, there’s loads of documents that you can look through. If you’re dyslexic you need to understand it, for me, I need to understand it from you as the expert. Tell me about this thing. I can get into the weeds of it. I can ask you good questions to kind of pull out that information. But if you just give me a set of documents and said read them, they are going to take a lot of chewing to get down. Just, it's just a different way of taking information in.

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Callum: It’s interesting about the hard and soft skills. I wonder how it sort of affects or influences your creativity as well. 

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Jamie: Well, your brain, like I said  and the brain is actually wired differently, put people in brain scanners, and you can go autism, normal, whatever normal is, dyslexia and obviously there's a whole range of these different things. So you put someone who has autism, you can see the neurons, they actually go down quite deep and that aligns to deep focus. It’s a superpower, that's their superpower. And I'm very envious of that because I can’t really do it. Normal people are about there. What's weird is dyslexic people are like this. Now when it comes to creativity, it enables you to just think very differently. Dyslexic. Again, we're talking in a, this is how people are. It's not, it's a very broad brush stroke but generally dyslexic people can do logic A, B,C, D, E, F, and get to the solution of whatever. But really they go, A, cat, chicken, carpet, lamp. You know, it's full on lateral thinking, like the whole Edward de Bono’s Lateral thinking and that that can mix and creativity. And you couple that with this ability to visualise things at a high level and you've got something really powerful. So dyslexic people usually can walk in from a strategic perspective. You go, Oh, you need to do that, then that and this and that, Oh god I can’t, how do you see that. It's obvious, isn't it? And again, there is a common trait of being able to do that.

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So you couple that with the lateral thinking, the creativity and this ability to get people on side it’s a total and utter superpower. It should never be thought of as something that is a detriment. You can brute force reading, you can brute force writing. You just have to do it a lot. Yeah, and you build up other mechanisms around it. Children should never be thought that this is actually a bad thing. If you know one of my kids, was really badly dyslexic. I'd be like, wicked, wicked. Yeah. Happy days. Weirdos.

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Danny: We know what we are doing with this.

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Jamie: No one who has ever done anything epically brilliant in the world has ever been normal. They've always been weirdos. They've always been the outcast, they've always been the different thinkers. And this is just one way of doing it. Autism is the same, dyslexia. They're just different ways of looking at it. So I think I just would encourage people to go actually look at it as a good thing, reframe it as the Stoics would say. And actually go, this is a real advantage. And actually go, this is a real advantage.

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Callum: So if we've spoken up about autism and often in the Neurodivergent community, they'll do a lot of masking. Is that ever something that you guys have been aware of or find yourself slipping into?

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Danny: Probably more slipping into rather than being like consciously aware of it. I think there's a thing around being almost a chameleon when it comes to yeah, the art of people in that way or wanting to connect with people. You kind of you might lean into a bit more of their characteristics, or go against it if you need to. I think that's definitely a thing of going I just want to fit in with you, for a bit, especially in the early days and then I suppose one of the biggest masking coping mechanisms at school was don’t tell anybody and they just won’t know, they’ll just think he’s shit at reading in that way. And then yeah, I think that was mainly it. Now it is very much different. It's something I’m actually proud to be.

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Jamie: It’s the first thing you tell everyone isn’t it?

Danny: Exactly, yeah 

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Danny: Hi I’m Danny and I am dyslexic.

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Jamie: So get over it.

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Danny: Everybody knows that now. But it is, I am proud of it. It's a, it's a badge that I wear with honour almost. I know that is, it’s probably if you went back, it's the foundational secret source of why I’ve done what I’ve done. 

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Jamie: It's really hard to mask that. I mean who came up with the term dyslexia? I mean, were they doing it just to wind you up? Dyslexic. I mean, it's got it's so hard to spell, isn't it? I think at a young age, you might say, as Danny says, you just want to be part of the gang, you don't want to be ridiculed. So when it comes to, you know, when you had to read in a class and Little House on the Prairie, possibly the worst book and I hate it if someone presented me with one, I’d probably burn it. I absolutely hate it with a huge vengeance. Go and read this book over the summer. I would rather jab a fork in my face and then come and read this chapter in front of everyone. It was awful. Now, because it's not something that's that obvious. So we had people who had maybe had a stutter in our class, but they didn't have to read very much and no one laughed because out of respect  but here’s the dyslexic kid that no one really knows what's going on,  because you don’t you don’t go Hi, I’ve got dyslexia stamp on my head, I'm a dyslexic. Dyslexic. Great. And you have to read this thing. And it was just the most difficult thing. It's like, you know, when you’re typing and you can just type away when no one's watching and then someone comes and stands next to you. You just go, oh god. And then three people, and you're like, Oh my god I can’t type. That's what happens multiple times when you're trying to read and you think this is easy and it's flowing in your own head. But then when you have to read it out and it’s like oh god and it's possibly I can even feel the emotions now of embarrassment, it's very hard to mask it when it's in public.

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Jamie: Like I said about Meg and Mog, I'd already read it and I could recite it, so you mask away. But this is where those traits of getting other people to help you’re masking it by just getting someone else to help you. You're masking it by asking the teacher for a little bit more time or a little bit more advice on X, Y and Z or you masking it on. Oh, what are you doing over there? So there are all these things that are going on, but there's only a point. There’s up until a point, you can't. You can't mask it at all. It is, what it is and you just got to accept it. Now I don’t mask it, I couldn’t give a monkeys.

Danny: And it's funny as well because later when you get to the reading it, you are a confident kid. You know in that way, you can you can talk really well, you can tell stories really well. So sometimes when it gets to that hard reading bit. It's like, why can’t Danny do that bit?  He’s just answered, he’s just talked about the story beforehand. Or he’s just answered, they know how to do it. And it's just that brain does not compute word.

00:17:07:14 - 00:17:08:17

Jamie: I think the story thing though is actually really interesting because that is one of the masking traits you can have. You can distract. It’s masking if you can go, oh, look at the monkey over here. I'll tell you a story. And I find it really interesting when it comes these days, children are taught all sorts about grammar, how words and what they mean and imperfect. I don't really know. My nine year old son knows more about it than I do, and I think it's just mad. But what really matters, is it the story or how the grammar is right? We're really good at the stories. We've really, we’ve got an interesting life because we've had to do all sorts of different things to get around things. And so have you got something interesting to say and an interesting story? Can you paint it in such a very vivid and beautiful way? Rather than, a man had a dog. There's this man right and he had his dog and this dog was, you know, do you see what I mean? Have something interesting to say and say it in an interesting way is more important than has it got a dot there and a word there.  Just who cares?

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Danny: My dad was dyslexic as well. So it wasn't like a surprise when I kind of became it and he’s always…

Jamie: Became it. 

00:18:15:23 - 00:18:18:09

Danny:  Became it yeah, because you’re not born with it.

Jamie: Well you are

00:18:18:09 - 00:18:21:09

Danny: You aren’t, it’s that first three years, the first early stage in life. 

Jamie: You’re wired up differently 

00:18:21:14 - 00:18:22:14

Danny: Not like, not like the minute you come out of the womb. You’re not, you have that. 

Callum: When you were coding

00:18:29:01 - 00:18:30:20

Danny: You have the primitive reflexes that you shed over like the very first early years. And that's why we might crawl, is why we have temper tantrums when we are two. Because your body's learning how to connect your dots together. And I spoke to my mum and dad this week because I knew we were coming to do this and I just asked, was there anything weird when I was a baby? And they went, you never crawled. You literally one day went from your bum and then just stood up. And when…

Callum: Classic Danny Tomalin. 

Danny: Yeah I’ll just skip that bit

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Callum: That’s a trend that has continued throughout your career 

00:18:59:10 - 00:19:00:12

Danny: Just skip those bits. And and then when I actually went to get my assessment, it was a lady who specialised in Alexander Technique and she she was the one who went  did he crawl and actually, no, he didn't. It wasn't a big deal to my mum  and dad at the time, it was quite impressive that I didn't do it. But then it made sense that why your hand eye coordination might not be there and people, have you ever heard of dyspraxia? So dyspraxia and dyslexia, they actually go hand-in-hand but people think they are miles apart because one is a physical thing our hands and your eyes aren’t matching up  but if you put that into the world of reading if our hands and our eyes can't coordinate when we scan a book, we don't look that way. We might because our eyes aren't joined up at the same time. 

Jamie: That’s why they use the rulers to read on the line

00:19:45:19 - 00:19:49:11

Danny: Yeah, and like one of the biggest pains in my ass with being dyslexic. I had to do exercise every day to try and relearn those reflexes. So this was me, it was embarrassing. My mum used to sit me… sorry yeah, my mum sat me down on this recliner chair, not a recliner, a wheelie chair, an office chair with. I had to sit like that and she had to spin around a quarter, tap me on my shoulder and spin me back come back round. And if you think about it, the, the course she gave me was 40 weeks. What else happens in 40 weeks?

00:20:17:22 - 00:20:19:11

Danny: Pregnancy can happen. And the way that you learn in your mum's womb, the fact that the baby might turn over and we only realised this a couple years later that's what that lady was doing. She gave us exercises to help us shed those primitive reflexes. So I was 12. I actually went through my terrible twos at 12 and got really angry at that time. Nothing to do like with what naturally happens at 12 It was because of that whole experience of those emotions that you experience when you are two with see later on. But we saw a massive difference in my dyslexia after that like improvement in other areas. Yeah it's crazy when you get into it like the psychology behind it all and stuff yeah.

00:20:58:06 - 00:20:59:11

Jamie: That’s really interesting.

00:20:59:11 - 00:21:01:14

Callum: When did you have your terrible twos Jamie?

00:21:01:14 - 00:21:02:09

Jamie: About two.

00:21:02:09 - 00:21:02:21

Callum: Yeah.

00:21:02:21 - 00:21:06:13

Danny: So it's just Danny being weird.

Jamie: I’m still having them now at 43.

00:21:08:10 - 00:21:09:05

Callum: Yeah. Yeah.Started last weekend. And you touched on your experiences

at school, just wondering from your guys perspective, what can schools and employers, I suppose, do differently to encourage a more inclusive environment for people with dyslexia?

00:21:25:05 - 00:21:27:04

Danny: I think it's um, understand that we do think differently. I know that the standardised test thing is not an easy one to change, but the don't work for everybody in that way.

00:21:34:11 - 00:21:35:22

Jamie: Oh, just just change the whole schooling generally.  

Danny: Like if you know, if dyslexia, you have this ability to connect in that sort of way a bit earlier, that pin us as a bit more of a leader in that group, help those people get the right people together. Because I know Jamie's definitely the same as me. We care about the person first before we care about what the school says, we want to get to know you and that's where I think it's it might be personal practice with that stuff. But definitely from like a core trait of it, it's like we're going to bring people together, so let us lead those things. Let us create the groups we, we know how to get the best out of the people in the group who are better than us at all those other hard skills stuff

00:22:12:06 - 00:22:12:22

Jamie: It's the synergy.

00:22:12:22 - 00:22:16:02

Danny: So let us be able to bring stuff together a bit more and let us know it's okay as well. You know, tell us what we're good at earlier. So that's probably…

00:22:21:21 - 00:22:24:00

Jamie: I think, the messaging needs to be different. If I ever hear anyone say you've got a learning difficulty straightaway, you need to change that message, because that is one thing, it's that whole Carol Dweck’s mindset thing. You might not be good at it yet. The messages we tell children matter, especially at a young age. So if you say you don't learning difficulties, you have learning differences. You can do this, you can brute force it, but you have other skill sets. This is a superpower not something to be sort of negative. And if I could have a little magic wand, I’d change the whole education system completely because it only looks at one intelligent se that is not how the human is.

00:23:02:00 - 00:23:04:15

Danny: Did you get to see the poet that talks about school and his first line is something like, if you treat a, if you treat a fish on its ability to climb trees it will go all its life thinking its a loser 

00:23:12:12 - 00:23:13:14

Jamie: Don’t get a squirrel to go swimming.

00:23:15:02 - 00:23:18:08

Danny: Would you get David Beckham to do single-molecule FRET detection? You're not doing it are you? You’re not going to get a scientist to curve a ball really well. Play us to our strengths, play us to our differences. Let us offset each other and together we'll do it you know.

00:23:29:20 - 00:23:33:21

Callum: So we have been speaking with the University Technical College, and we've told the students that you guys, the illustrious duo, that you are, are coming onto the show and they've given us a couple of questions that they'd like a few answers for. So let's go, so the first one then. How did you overcome the impact of reading slower when taking exams or doing class activities?

00:23:49:23 - 00:23:51:06

Danny: That’s a great question.

00:23:51:06 - 00:23:53:22

Jamie: Great question.

00:23:53:22 - 00:23:56:22

Danny: I got extra time at times. I don't know that tape of it if I'm honest with you. It just took a bit of extra work. I used to do, I used to have one of them screen things which sometimes help with the contrast, but didn't quite help me read across but ask for more time. Like you have to rinse it, if you know you’re bad at those weaknesses, you have to try and get all the support you can get for stuff. If you're going down that route of saying this test is going to define  the rest of my life if I don't pass this thing because it won’t but if you really want to do that, then try and get extra time that you need.

00:24:33:06 - 00:24:33:12

Jamie: Alright, ok, so, I didn't have all the technology when I was, when I was doing it, you know, I’m really old. So, yes. However, there are the little tips in terms of reading, one is obviously the ruler underneath that bit of copy and actually just take your time because you are not actually that slow and read it multiple times and almost make a note to yourself this is the question that I'm being asked to always know what the goal is. Always come back to how I answer the question. And because I, I tell my children this, I think because the education system is the way it is, they've told you the rules, play to those rules. Don't try to learn everything. Only learn the bits that actually they're going to question you on. Learn the 20% that gets you 80% of it. Play them by their own game. If they're going to start giving you this whole academia, this is how we want you to answer questions. Just do exactly what they ask.

00:25:26:14 - 00:25:29:03

Jamie: And just rock on, I think nowadays in terms of revision and learning, you can, what's great like Google. If I say it's in the room, it might set something off. Okay Google, read this to me or read me this page, great. And then put it on high speed, you can read it  multiple times and just make your notes on it. There's loads of ways around it and ask people not to actually write all in capitals because that's probably the hardest thing. But use technology to your advantage. Use ChatGPT when you're learning to revise just whack all that content in there, ask it to summarise it for you and then go read it out to me because you can use technology to do that.

00:26:01:11 - 00:26:02:18

Danny: I use that all the time. 

Callum: That’s a really good tip.

00:26:02:18 - 00:26:06:22

Danny: I always write stuff out and give it to ChatGBT,  sort my spelling, sort my grammar 

00:26:06:22 - 00:26:09:19

Jamie: GTP, PGT

00:26:09:19 - 00:26:14:01

Danny: I always ask it to do that stuff though, just those things that are just going to take me so long.

00:26:14:01 - 00:26:15:10

Callum: Embrace the new tools right.

00:26:15:10 - 00:26:17:16

Jamie: Absolutely, use them to your advantage. We've got an unfair advantage these days, especially in the amazing culture that we live in. We're very, very privileged that we actually have access to these things so use them, use them to your advantage. But the thing like, in exams, my thing is to go really slowly on those bits, understand what the question is. You don't need loads of time to write stuff. Actually, I know sometimes they go you've got to write at least this many words, but if you've got the answers nailed and you've got something, again really good to say, does it matter how long it is? Really? If you've answered it and nailed it. Do that. Make your life easy.

00:26:48:22 - 00:26:50:13

Callum: Excellent. Great advice. So the second question then, and this is this is a this is a good one.

00:26:54:02 - 00:26:55:15

Jamie: Is it? 

Callum: It’s a good one. Do you find it an advantage working in industry, as you can see problems in a different way to people who are atypical?

00:27:06:00 - 00:27:09:23

Danny: 100%. Definitely like most of the  stuff that I used to do was workshops, the amount of times that people that would pose challenges and do that and you kind of go, you know we could try this. Oh, can we try that? How did you come up with that? Umm, I’m not sure it just came straight to me when we went to that and then we spend ages trying to work that out. But 100%, it is, your ability to connect dots quicker than most in that way. Yeah. It definitely sets you apart. It doesn’t have to be necessarily in technology you’d probably be able to apply the  same skills sets to any industry. But yeah, it’s definitely an advantage.

00:27:41:12 - 00:27:45:02

Jamie: Yeah, I think one of the, you know, they actually have highlighted specific skill sets that people with dyslexia have an advantage in, there’s the visualisation thing. And we're not just talking, yes I can visualise this space. Yes, that is definitely something you can do that. But you can visualise whole road maps, you can visualise ways of doing things. You can zoom out. You're really good at going to fifty thousand feet, it’s obvious that it’s that, that and that…

00:28:05:20 - 00:28:07:12

Danny: I remember once, me and Jamie were on a walk. And I said to Jamie, I said, can you visualise a floor layout of a house?

00:28:11:14 - 00:28:14:14

Jamie: And actually like fill the walls around you and move it in your head.

00:28:14:14 - 00:28:17:23

Danny: He's like yeah I can. Okay, good, I’m glad it’s not just me. Yeah.

00:28:19:12 - 00:28:20:17

Jamie: That, that matters. But if you think about that plus the other bits and pieces you've got, you actually, you can use it to be a rather good leader. You can canvas people, you can tell those stories, you can see big visions. Visionaries are few and far between and we need more of them. So you can really use this to your advantage. It doesn't have to be in technology. And I mean it's probably best not even in technology, but I was doing this when it wasn't cool. You know, it's a weird industry to be in, but it can apply to pretty much everything and anything. 

00:28:50:11 - 00:28:53:22

Danny: I think where it helps as well in tech in particular is the skills that the jobs that you might be trained for now, won’t, will be different when you actually get into the place of work, but having those core skills, your ability to see through problems, been able to ask great questions, connect with people. That's what's going to get you the job for the future. That's what's going to get you the job for the future.

00:29:10:04 - 00:29:11:20

Jamie: Oh god yeah. Problem solving. I tell my kids, I'm just teaching them how to well, solve problems, but also identify problems. And I think that's one of the skill sets that dyslexic people have because they can zoom out, they can see the bigger picture, they can see that that's not your problem. That is. Now computers aren’t going to be able to do that still for, I believe, for quite a long time. And like Danny says, the future is going to be very, very different. So don't anchor yourself into trying to solve the problem right now with the skill set, because what's going to be down the line is going to be very different.

00:29:44:18 - 00:29:48:06

Callum: It’s a really powerful point and I want to thank the UTC students for giving these questions because I've got another,  I've got another classic. Oh. I've got another one. How do you deal with assumptions and common misconceptions with your abilities in relation to dyslexia, your own dyslexia?

00:30:04:16 - 00:30:07:16

Danny: I think that’s one that has to come with time. You grow confidence with it, I think you learn to front things a lot easier. You start to laugh at yourself a bit more as well. Yeah it’s cool. I’m really good at that stuff. Let's not worry about this bit. You know, in that way. Yeah.

00:30:18:08 - 00:30:21:02

Jamie: It, it's so much easier though, when you, when you can go well you've already achieved it and you're already being recognised in the early days when you're at school. It's very hard because you've got nothing, you've got no gravitas, you can't go well, we've done all these other things, so who cares? It's so easy for us to say now, and go  Oh well, I’ve already made it. And I've gone through that adversity and yeah, whatever you all know that that didn't really matter, did it? And so I think that is a challenge.

00:30:45:12 - 00:30:47:20

Danny: I think there might be something about , for me, I've only ever done things that I love to do. So like I’ve never, like with the career advisor didn’t give us like a path that I followed. It was more, what’s Danny interested in, where, where does this path sort of take it? And when you follow your own interests instead, you'll learn all the other stuff that comes with it. That's where your practice starts to come into it. Because it's not like, hey, I've got dyslexia. That means I can do all this stuff. You have to, you have to decide. You have to put effort into getting there. And then through doing that you go, I'm actually really good at that avenue. You go down that path then and it’s okay to turn back around and go down another. If you think you did it wrong. 

00:31:23:14 - 00:31:25:12

Jamie: I think it's actually worth noting that there's no one in the world who's as good at being you as you.

00:31:29:10 - 00:31:30:23

Danny: Yeah that's exactly it.

00:31:31:09 - 00:31:32:22

Jamie: And just embrace that and just go. I love being quirky. I love being different and it doesn't really matter. Who cares?

00:31:41:04 - 00:31:43:03

Callum: That’s a great message.

Jamie: Yeah it is.

00:31:43:03 - 00:31:46:23

Callum: Where are the tissues Jamie?

Jamie: I did say I needed them

00:31:48:08 - 00:31:50:12

Callum: Do you have any final pieces of advice or messages for young people with dyslexia? That was a pretty good on that just gave there, wasn't it?

00:31:58:05 - 00:32:01:19

Danny: I think it is what Jamie just said really. Just play, play to your strengths.  It’s fine to have weaknesses in areas.Identify and know what they are. Find people around you who can offset them weaknesses, but just just be yourself.

00:32:12:04 - 00:32:13:19

Jamie: But know thyself. Yeah, there's that whole old adage and I think people really take it to heart. It's the old phrases are usually the best ones. Surround yourself with great people, get out of their way or, you know, you are the sum of the people you spend your time with. And I think know thyself, know where your strengths and weaknesses are. Believe that the reading you can brute force it. I got very, very good at it just because I wanted to. But if you applied it.

Danny: You read 50 didn’t you?

00:32:39:06 - 00:32:42:03

Jamie: I did more than that, I did 57.

00:32:42:03 - 00:32:44:03

Callum: What’s this years target? 60?

00:32:44:03 - 00:32:47:18

Jamie: I don't know because it's turned into just a habit now. It's a behaviour. It's just I don't even count. It doesn't matter. If you believe that you can do these things and you take away the negative messages, you tell yourself. I'm not very good at this. I believe you’re not going to be very good at it. Believe that if you put your effort in, you can I mean, I sound like bloomin’ Doc Brown. If you put your mind to it, you can do anything. And yeah, I think you can, and read interesting things, actually, you can action upon like go, get an audiobook of Dr. Carol Dweck’s Mindset, it will change your world and peak performance where you can actually understand if you do purposeful practice, you can even make anything happen. So be hopeful and optimistic of the future. Focus on where your skill sets are. If you want to get better, something else, you can do it. You just have to really dig in and brute force it.

00:33:41:21 - 00:33:44:20

Callum: Well that feels like a really good place to finish things. It’s been great speaking to you both and it’s been a really important conversation to have. So Danny thank you very much and Jamie thank you for your time.  And thanks for you for watching.