Sharon Scurr established the New Zealand-based support group Dyslexia Evidence Based (DEB) in 2019 with the aim of providing evidence-based support and information for people with dyslexia and their families.
Dystinct reporter Flynn Eldridge is joined by Blake Eldridge in this exclusive interview with Sharon Scurr. Watch Flynn and Blake find answers to questions like why Sharon founded the group, why it's called DEB and what's Sharon's favourite place to visit in New Zealand.
Excerpts from the interview
Flynn: Why did you make a website to help parents whose kids have dyslexia?
I realised there wasn't a lot of information for parents in New Zealand. When I did my training, I realized it would be really good to share that information so parents and teachers could find the information they needed.
Blake: Why did you call it DEB?
The name DEB came from our original Facebook group, which was the New Zealand Dyslexia Evidence-based group, but we felt that was a bit of a mouth full for the website. So, we came up with DEB- Dyslexia Evidence Based. It's also tongue-in-cheek with the D and the B because the letters d and b can be confusing sometimes.
Flynn: Who helped you create the website?
I spent many hours typing up the website, but I was grateful for some of the members in New Zealand and Australia who came forward and helped write some of the articles and check that everything was right on the website.
Flynn: What led you to help people with dyslexia?
My own son Ben was struggling to learn to read when he was seven. So, I started to learn about dyslexia, how that worked for the brain, and why he just couldn't quite get what he was learning at school. When I learned about dyslexia and how to teach, I decided to help other people do that too.
Flynn: How do you help families get through the tough years at school?
The DEB community has been designed to help people find a safe place to belong. By creating the group and the website, we've given parents and people a place to find the answers they need to advocate for their children.
Flynn: What is your opinion on how dyslexic thinking helps the world?
I think that we should support all dyslexics in helping them find their place in the world, especially those who haven't quite found their way of thinking yet.
Flynn: We have people listening from across the world. What part of New Zealand do you like most?
I absolutely love a place called Hanmer Springs. It's friendly, small, calm and it's got the best hot pools ever.
Flynn: What is a fun fact about you?
I secretly want to be an ice skater. You boys won't remember this, but mum and dad will. I secretly wanted to be a Jayne Torvill, and maybe one day I'll get there.
Age 10 Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and ADHD inattentive
Regional NSW, Australia
Flynn started homeschooling in 2020 as the result of the COVID-19 lockdown. Flynn homeschools because of school bullying, claustrophobia from the small space in the classroom, and anxiety from his dyslexia and dysgraphia. Flynn finds reporting fun, sometimes scary, and ultra exciting. Flynn likes to dress up as an old-time reporter and ask a range of questions, as that is his style. Flynn builds loads of different lego creations, such as the rainbow spinning-top microphone he uses in the interview. Flynn loves homeschooling because he can be finished by 2 pm and have more playtime. He learns more, his work is better quality, and Flynn is doing better than his dad at math!