Celia Stone Dyslexia and Dyscalculia Pioneer and One-Woman Whirlwind!

This was originally posted on http://inspiringyorkshirewomen.wordpress.com/ for International Women’s Day on March 8th.

Celia Stone is one of the most inspiring, yet unassuming women I’ve ever met.  She has changed the lives of both my husband and my daughter, along with thousands of other young people.

She has tackles every challenge that life has throws at her with pragmatism and the question, ‘how can we make a plan?’:  From fleeing the threat of violence and unrest in her native Zimbabwe in the 70’s, with her husband, 3 small children, £500 and whatever they could carry; to setting up a specialist dyslexia unit at the Yorkshire school where her husband taught.

She now has more than 35 years’ experience of working with children with special educational needs – including my husband who was thrown out of his local primary school aged 7, because they ‘couldn’t teach him’.  With Celia’s help, his dyslexia hasn’t held him back and he has gone on to become a successful entrepreneur, speaker and local businessman.  At 18, she screened him for Irlen lenses – coloured glasses which helped him read for the first time.  25 years later she did the same for our daughter.

In the meantime, alongside her full-time role as a wife, mother, and teacher, she set up a regional centre for Irlen lenses in Yorkshire and co-wrote Beat Dyslexia – a best-selling multi-sensory literacy programme that’s used in schools throughout the country.  Since retiring from teaching, inspired by a little boy called Oliver who didn’t know what ‘times’ meant, she has created a companion ‘Beat Dyscalculia’ programme for kids who have problems with maths.  It includes a counting machine called an Addacus that she has invented and patented!

But she hasn’t got a degree she says………..!