A top British comedian took time out of his tour to return to class to visit children at Lichfield’s Maple Hayes Dyslexic School to talk about his experiences with the condition.
Michael Fabbri, who has appeared on BBC Radio 4 and across the comedy scene around the country, had been visiting Birmingham from his hometown in Brighton to do a show at the renowned Glee Comedy Club when he took time out of his day to visit the school.
The comedian, who admitted he had struggled throughout his school years, talked to pupils at the specialist dyslexic school about never giving up on their dreams and achieving everything they wanted to through both hard work, and humour.
He said: “It made me feel very warm inside that a Maple Hayes exists. The school is potentially accessible to dyslexic children from families with normal incomes from a wide distance surrounding its Lichfield location.
“I've often heard there is no effective specialist teaching for dyslexia, from what I saw this isn't true. Their system uses a surprisingly classicist approach dyslexic students seem to respond to. Just a brief look at their system was enlightening to me. They are cutting a path through the cultural quagmire of influences that combine to create the confusing mess that is the English Language.”
He added: “Speaking in front of school pupils was more daunting to me than gigging in a room full of drunken stag and hens. Having grown up with Dyslexia there was so much I wanted to say I barely said any of it.”
Pupils came to talk to him after the assembly to thank him for his talk and inspiring them.
Headteacher Dr Daryl Brown said: “We want to thank Michael for taking time out of his busy schedule and coming to talk to our pupils. We feel it’s important for them all to meet successful and interesting people from all walks of life so they are aware that they too can succeed.”
There are around 120 pupils aged between seven and 17-years-old who attend the Lichfield school who live in Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Birmingham, Worcestershire and surrounding counties.
Maple Hayes Dyslexia School was founded in 1982 by Dr Neville Brown, the school Principal and was given the royal seal of approval in April when it was visited by Princess Beatrice, who herself is Dyslexic.