Hampstead mums launch stationery range to help kids tackle dyslexia

PUBLISHED: 19:14 05 November 2020 | UPDATED: 19:14 05 November 2020

A child uses some of Handy Spelling's dyslexia-aids - pencils and rulers! Picture: Handy Spelling

A child uses some of Handy Spelling's dyslexia-aids - pencils and rulers! Picture: Handy Spelling


Two Hampstead mums have created a range of stationery with the aim of changing the lives of children with dyslexia.

Handy Spelling's Maggie Souter. Picture: Handy SpellingHandy Spelling's Maggie Souter. Picture: Handy Spelling

Maggie Souter and Sally Ashcroft – both have at least two decades of experience teaching and dyslexic children themselves – launched Handy Spelling earlier this autumn.

Maggie and Sally want to make sure children with the condition have access to simple and subtle ways of helping them in the classroom – and to that end they’ve created stationery to help kids remember important words.

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Sally, who has specialised in teaching dyslexia and spelling at schools in both the state and private sector in Hampstead, told this newspaper: “We are both parents of dyslexic children so we have had to go through what many parents do and to learn that learning is going to be very different. And we wanted to create some products that’d be really supportive.”

Maggie, who now lectures in communication design at Central St Martin’s, added: “One of the key things was to make it useful but subtle. The children want it somewhere that’ll give them the confidence they need without making a situation stand out.

Handy Spelling's Sally Ashcroft. Picture: Handy SpellingHandy Spelling's Sally Ashcroft. Picture: Handy Spelling

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“When my kids found out they were dyslexic I knew nothing about it. Lots of the books were so negative except for one called The Gift of Dyslexia, and it’s so important to have that.”

Maggie said: “We want this to be something that supports dyslexic children to be expressive and creative, and to support parents by giving them something that’ll make a real difference.

Sally emphasised that the pair felt it vital to make sure children’s confidence wasn’t hit by difficulties spelling – and wanted to remind them that creativity and writing went far beyond getting letters in the right order.

Celebrities including Countdown’s dictionary expert Susie Dent and TV chef Jamie Oliver have endorsed the Handy Spelling range.

Susie Dent tweeted: “I love this stationery, made by a not-for-profit company to help children with dyslexia or spelling struggles, and raise a smile.”

The mums have created a number of downloadable lessons designed to help dyslexic children build confidence – these, along with the stationery range, are available at HandySpelling.com

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