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James Martin makes a tomato salad and salsa for BBQ beef

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“I can’t read autocue, is panadol safe if pregnant ” he told Woman and Home back in 2018. “If I read it I make a mistake.” James Martin discovered he had the condition when he first started in television and had to read off the device 18 years ago. When The Saturdays singer Mollie King featured on his TV show, James remembered back when he first encountered the autocue – it was “an absolute nightmare”, he said. “I know a big passion of yours is this dyslexia foundation,” he mentioned to Mollie.

“I wanted to pick up on because it’s something that’s close to my heart. I’m dyslexic as well – severely dyslexic.

“I didn’t know about mine until I was 30 years old when I started in television to read the autocue.”

What’s dyslexia?

The British Dyslexia Association stated: “Dyslexia is a learning difference which primarily affects reading and writing skills.”

The condition may cause difficulty with “processing and remembering information they see and hear”.

This in turn can affect learning and the acquisition of literacy skills.

“Dyslexia can also impact on other areas such as organisational skills,” added the charity.

Many people with dyslexia “show strengths in areas such as reasoning and in visual and creative fields”.

Characteristic features of dyslexia:

  • Difficulties in phonological awareness
  • Difficulties in verbal memory
  • Difficulties in verbal processing speed

Dyslexia occurs across a range of intellectual abilities and is on a continuum.

Signs of dyslexia in adults – do you:

  • Confuse visually similar words such as cat and cot
  • Spell erratically
  • Find it hard to scan or skim text
  • Read/write slowly
  • Need to re-read paragraphs to understand them
  • Find it hard to listen and maintain focus
  • Find it hard to concentrate if there are distractions
  • Feel sensations of mental overload/switching off
  • Have difficulty telling left from right
  • Get confused when given several instructions at once
  • Have difficulty organising thoughts on paper
  • Often forget conversations or important dates
  • Have difficulty with personal organisation, time management and prioritising tasks
  • Avoid certain types of work or study
  • Find some tasks really easy but unexpectedly challenged by others
  • Have poor self-esteem, especially if dyslexic difficulties have not been identified in earlier life

A cluster of these indicators mentioned above alongside abilities in other areas could suggest dyslexia.

Everyone’s experience of the condition will be unique to them, so if you identify with a handful of signs above, it can be investigated further.

Before booking an assessment, they recommend doing a dyslexia checklist – this is so you can be certain that an investigation will be worthwhile for you.

The charity provides additional support for anybody who has been diagnosed with dyslexia.

This includes a free helpline where people can enquire about dyslexia on 0333 405 4567.

The helpline is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10am to 1pm, and on Tuesday from 1pm to 3pm.

James Martin’s Saturday Morning will air on ITV, Saturday June 5 at 9.25am.

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