11 episodes

Welcome to The Invisible Gift, the show all about turning the disability of dyslexia into possibility.

Andrew Kitley grew up knowing he was different. His dyslexia made it difficult for Andrew to learn the same way others did in school. Despite Andrew possessing exceptional abilities in other areas, he was told he had a problem, a disability. Andrew left school frustrated, unfulfilled, without reaching his full potential.

This could have been a disaster but it turned out to be a blessing. Andrew would work his way up the literal and metaphorical ladder to become Managing Director of Kitall: an engineering firm. Under Andrew's guidance, Kitall is now one of the most sought after names to complete complex engineering projects in the UK.

Now, Andrew is under no illusion he has a gift. His dyslexia, his neurodiversity, has made him determined, adaptive, and creative. Andrew is on a mission to learn more about neurodiversity. How it can challenge, define, and empower. In The Invisible Gift, Andrew will seek the advice and inspiration of another trailblazer who has defied the odds to achieve the extraordinary - turning their challenge into an invisible gift.

The Invisible Gift OneFinePlay

    • Education

Welcome to The Invisible Gift, the show all about turning the disability of dyslexia into possibility.

Andrew Kitley grew up knowing he was different. His dyslexia made it difficult for Andrew to learn the same way others did in school. Despite Andrew possessing exceptional abilities in other areas, he was told he had a problem, a disability. Andrew left school frustrated, unfulfilled, without reaching his full potential.

This could have been a disaster but it turned out to be a blessing. Andrew would work his way up the literal and metaphorical ladder to become Managing Director of Kitall: an engineering firm. Under Andrew's guidance, Kitall is now one of the most sought after names to complete complex engineering projects in the UK.

Now, Andrew is under no illusion he has a gift. His dyslexia, his neurodiversity, has made him determined, adaptive, and creative. Andrew is on a mission to learn more about neurodiversity. How it can challenge, define, and empower. In The Invisible Gift, Andrew will seek the advice and inspiration of another trailblazer who has defied the odds to achieve the extraordinary - turning their challenge into an invisible gift.

    How a Boy Who Couldn't Read Won a Pulitzer Prize with Philip Schultz

    How a Boy Who Couldn't Read Won a Pulitzer Prize with Philip Schultz

    On the final episode of Season One of The Invisible Gift, Andrew meets famed writer, and Pulitzer prize winning poet, Philip Schultz. In this episode, we’re taken to the heart of the question: How did a boy who couldn’t read or write win a Pulitzer prize?
    Andrew and Philip share an incredible conversation where Philip takes us back to his challenging and character forming childhood. Philip explains the genesis behind his persona writing, how it can unlock one’s writing potential, and how this process led to his globally successful school: The Writer’s Studio. Philip also explains how he learned about his dyslexia, the story behind his powerful memoir My Dyslexia, we hear a performance of Philip’s poem ‘Googling Ourselves’.

    Top Quotes
    “I lived in a world where dyslexia explained a lot. The life of the imagination was a more feasible, safer life than the one on the outside.” - Philip Schultz
    “The hardest thing in teaching is encouraging people to translate what they really feel about the subjects they’re writing about” - Philip Schultz
    “I couldn’t learn how to read or write. So I became a writer.” - Philip Schultz
    “The struggle is to overcome the image of the self as a failure.” - Philip Schultz

    About The Guest
    Philip Schultz was born into a working class family in Rochester, New York. He struggled in school, failing to learn to read until he was eleven years of age. Despite this, Philip would go on to study in university, and released his first collection of poetry Like Wings in 1978. Philip Schultz has been teaching creative writing for almost five decades. After spending four years as the director of New York University’s graduate creative writing program, he founded his own school, The Writers Studio, in 1987.
    Schultz’s work has been published in The New Yorker, Partisan Review, The New Republic, The Paris Review, Slate, and other magazines. He won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for his collection poetry Failure. This, before the Nobel Prize for Literature, is the highest honour a poet can receive globally. He wouldn’t learn he was dyslexic until his son was diagnosed with the condition, at the age of 57. In 2011, he published his memoir My Dyslexia.
    Resources
    https://www.writerstudio.com/courses/online/
    https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/philip-schultz
    https://www.kitall.co.uk/
    https://www.onefineplay.com/

    About The Host
    The Invisible Gift is hosted by entrepreneur and dyslexic, Andrew Kitley. With twenty years experience, Andrew Kitley has worked his way up the metaphorical and literal ladder to become Managing Director of Kitall: an engineering firm.
    Under Andrew's guidance, Kitall is now one of the most sought after names to complete complex engineering projects in the UK. In each episode of The Invisible Gift, Andrew seeks the advice and inspiration of a fellow trailblazer who has defied the odds to achieve the extraordinary - turning the challenge of dyslexia into a gift.

    Understanding the Science of Diversity and Positive Dyslexia with Prof. Rod Nicolson

    Understanding the Science of Diversity and Positive Dyslexia with Prof. Rod Nicolson

    In the ninth episode of The Invisible Gift, Andrew sits down with Professor Rod Nicolson. Professor Nicolson has been one of the leading academics researching the subject of dyslexia for four decades.
    Together, Rod and Andrew traced the causes of dyslexia, what exactly is going on in the brain of a dyslexic, how the understanding of dyslexia has morphed and transformed in schools and workplaces, analysed the meaning of ‘positive dyslexia’, and what needs to be done to better aid dyslexics in schools, universities and beyond.
    Top Quotes
    “We have been looking at what goes wrong for dyslexic people. We should be looking at what goes right.” - Professor Rod Nicolson
    “We came up with a very simple theory behind dyslexia. Dyslexic children take longer to get their skills automatic.” - Professor Rod Nicolson
    “The distinctive skills of dyslexic people are the ones employers are actually trying to train in their talent management classes.” - Professor Rod Nicolson
    “If you fail at those early tasks in school, like for example reading, it becomes aversive. It becomes like seeing a spider when you see that book.” - Professor Rod Nicolson
    “My advice to dyslexic people? The world is open to them.” - Professor Rod Nicolson

    About The Guest
    Professor Roderick Nicolson is Professor of Psychology at Edge Hill University, in Lancashire UK. His area of specialism is in human learning and he has authored a number of books on the subject of dyslexia alone. Professor Nicolson’s research into dyslexia began in 1987, and his 2012 book, Positive Dyslexia, aims to redefine popular notions about dyslexia - shifting the focus from the supposed challenges, and onto the strengths.
    Resources
    https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/
    http://positivedyslexia.org/index.html
    https://www.kitall.co.uk/
    https://www.onefineplay.com/

    About The Host
    The Invisible Gift is hosted by entrepreneur and dyslexic, Andrew Kitley. With twenty years experience, Andrew Kitley has worked his way up the metaphorical and literal ladder to become Managing Director of Kitall: an engineering firm.
    Under Andrew's guidance, Kitall is now one of the most sought after names to complete complex engineering projects in the UK. In each episode of The Invisible Gift, Andrew seeks the advice and inspiration of a fellow trailblazer who has defied the odds to achieve the extraordinary - turning the challenge of dyslexia into a gift.

    • 52 min
    Children, Early Intervention and Why Dyslexics are Creative with Paloma Forde

    Children, Early Intervention and Why Dyslexics are Creative with Paloma Forde

    On this week’s episode of The Invisible Gift, Andrew meets with entrepreneur, and dyslexia teaching specialist, Paloma Forde. Paloma explains to Andrew the distinctive differences between dyslexic and non-dyslexic children, highlighting the creativity and verbal strength dyslexia can bring.
    Paloma and Andrew discuss the most effective teaching methods for dyslexic children, the importance of early intervention, and how, when given the necessary support, neurodiverse children flourish.
    Top Quotes
    “There’s an overlap of 40% between dyslexia and autism.” - Paloma Forde
    “You don’t need diagnoses for intervention. So catch dyslexia early” - Paloma Forde
    “I always tell parents: 50% of Nasa are dyslexic.” - Paloma Forde
    "Dyslexic children are way more creative.” - Paloma Forde

    About The Guest
    Paloma Forde is a teaching specialist and founder of the award winning business Screening4Dyslexia. Paloma has worked for over twenty years in teaching. She initially specialised in autism but became aware of the lack of research and understanding in dyslexia, and began researching the topic herself. Paloma has since developed teaching strategies that are designed to aid dyslexic children in their learning and education.
    Paloma now advocates for the early screening and intervention of children with dyslexia, arguing children must be given the tools to adapt and thrive with dyslexia. In 2017, Paloma founded Screening4Dyslexia: A business dedicated to providing affordable and accurate testing for younger children. In 2017, her work was recognised nationally by The Sunday Business newspaper - Winning the ‘Small Business Award’, presented by Theo Paphitis.
    Resources
    https://www.kitall.co.uk/
    https://screening4dyslexia.com/
    https://www.onefineplay.com/

    About The Host
    The Invisible Gift is hosted by entrepreneur and dyslexic, Andrew Kitley. With twenty years experience, Andrew Kitley has worked his way up the metaphorical and literal ladder to become Managing Director of Kitall: an engineering firm.
    Under Andrew's guidance, Kitall is now one of the most sought after names to complete complex engineering projects in the UK. In each episode of The Invisible Gift, Andrew seeks the advice and inspiration of a fellow trailblazer who has defied the odds to achieve the extraordinary - turning the challenge of dyslexia into a gift.

    Dyslexia and the Entrepreneurial Spirit with Chris Donnelly

    Dyslexia and the Entrepreneurial Spirit with Chris Donnelly

    On this episode of The Invisible Gift, Andrew chats to CEO of VERB Brands Chris Donnelly. Chris brings Andrew back to his childhood, highlighting the incredible support he was offered in school, and how influential seeing other successful CEOs with dyslexia was in moulding his ambition and confidence.
    Chris and Andrew also spoke about their families, the positives and negatives of leadership and dyslexia, how the pandemic has brought the best out of their proactive mindsets, and they also explore how dyslexia helps forge the independent thinking required to excel as an entrepreneur.
    Top Quotes
    “Because you fail so much as a student, when you go out into the world, failure doesn’t scare you.” - Andrew Kitley
    “I think with dyslexia and ADD, they do make you resilient. You will come up with solutions because you have to.” - Chris Donnelly
    “With dyslexia, when you get good enough to be normal you’re really disciplined in understanding how to overcome challenges.” - Chris Donnelly
    "My advice to dyslexics is: Don’t fear. They say you have a problem; I see it as a positive.” - Chris Donnelly
    About The Guest
    Chris Donnelly is the founder of VERB Brands, a luxury digital ad agency based in London. Chris was surrounded by dyslexia growing, with his brothers and father all having the same neurodiversity. From his entrepreneurial family, his naturally inquisitive mindset, and the academic support he received in school, Chris excelled.
    At 21, Chris founded what would become the multi-million pound company VERB Brands in his dorm room. Chris also has ADD and dyscalculia, which makes operating the financial side of his business a challenge. Despite this, Chris’ meticulous and positive outlook has led to Verb Brands becoming a thriving business worth millions of pounds.


    Resources
    https://www.kitall.co.uk/
    https://verbbrands.com/
    https://www.onefineplay.com/

    About The Host
    The Invisible Gift is hosted by entrepreneur and dyslexic, Andrew Kitley. With twenty years experience, Andrew Kitley has worked his way up the metaphorical and literal ladder to become Managing Director of Kitall: an engineering firm.
    Under Andrew's guidance, Kitall is now one of the most sought after names to complete complex engineering projects in the UK. In each episode of The Invisible Gift, Andrew seeks the advice and inspiration of a fellow trailblazer who has defied the odds to achieve the extraordinary - turning the challenge of dyslexia into a gift.

    Soaring in Academia and Neurodiversity with Mirabel Brow

    Soaring in Academia and Neurodiversity with Mirabel Brow

    In this episode Andrew sits down with Mirabel Brow, a chemistry student at University of London. Mirabel's academic achievements are extraordinary by any standards, but when considering Mirabel has dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism, they are even more phenomenal.
    In the episode, Mirabel tells Andrew of the incredible influence her mother had on her education and how Mirabel’s precocious mindset enabled her to both succeed and exceed in school. Andrew and Mirabel get under the skin of neurodivergence, discussing the common overlap of different conditions, how each poses a unique set of strengths, and what needs to be done to get the most out of neurodiverse students.

    Top quotes
    “Once I was assessed I knew I wasn’t stupid.” - Mirabel Brow
    “I’m not a diagnosis; I’m a person.” - Mirabel Brow
    “You can just leave school and get a job. You don’t have to worry. Everyone’s journey is different” - Andrew Kitley
    “One in five people are dyslexic.” - Mirabel Brow

    About The Guest
    Mirabel Brow is a chemistry student from University College London. Mirabel had chronic dyslexia growing up, and as a child she was told she wouldn’t be able to read until age 11. Mirabel also has dyspraxia and is on the autism spectrum.
    Although initially she found school challenging, her parents capitalised on the precocious and diligent child. She took extra work home and spent summers practising her reading and writing. By her teens, Mirabel was flourishing academically and would go on to study chemistry at University College London. She is currently president of the Art Society and plans to specialise in inorganic chemistry.
    Resources
    https://www.kitall.co.uk/
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/mirabel-brow?originalSubdomain=uk
    https://www.onefineplay.com/


    About The Host
    The Invisible Gift is hosted by entrepreneur and dyslexic, Andrew Kitley. With twenty years experience, Andrew Kitley has worked his way up the metaphorical and literal ladder to become Managing Director of Kitall: an engineering firm.
    Under Andrew's guidance, Kitall is now one of the most sought after names to complete complex engineering projects in the UK. In each episode of The Invisible Gift, Andrew seeks the advice and inspiration of a fellow trailblazer who has defied the odds to achieve the extraordinary - turning the challenge of dyslexia into a gift.

    The Dyslexic Inventor, the Power of Difference, and a Dyslexic Bottle of Wine with Jim Rokos

    The Dyslexic Inventor, the Power of Difference, and a Dyslexic Bottle of Wine with Jim Rokos

    In this episode of The Invisible Gift, Andrew talks with the multi-award winning inventor, and artist, Jim Rokos. Andrew and Jim have a fascinating conversation. Jim talks about his experiences in school, his first invention, how dyslexia has informed and defined his work, and they speak on the merits and strengths of neurodiversities in society at large. The boys also enjoy a ‘dyslexic’ bottle of wine.
    Special thanks to Ruth Ward for permitting use of her photography.

    Top Quotes
    “It’s a dyslexic thing to think around problems and find solutions.” - Jim Rokos
    “Having failed so much through school, there’s a willingness to fail and take risks." - Jim Rokos
    “I think all neuro- diversities are advantageous. Within a community, it’s useful to have people who think in different ways.” - Jim Rokos
    “The brain architecture of a dyslexic is more tangled. Which is how they can come up with more unusual ideas.” - Jim Rokos
    About The Guest
    Jim Rokos is a multi-award winning artist and inventor based in London. Jim learned he had dyslexia at age 9, and has since spread the message of neurodiverse positivity through his art. Originally training as a model maker, Jim worked on a number of major television and film projects such as The Muppets Treasure Island, Tomb Raider, Band of Brothers and others.
    His patented cat-food bowl won BBC’s Tomorrow’s World's Best Inventions pilot in 2001. Rokos won the prestigious 2012 Reddot Design award for the 13° 60° 104° Wine Decanter and the Enterprise Europe Network Award 2014 for the Gauge vase. In 2016, Jim curated the first ever Dyslexic Design exhibition in London. The show challenged perceptions of dyslexia by accentuating the positive effects of unique perspectives in art and design. The show was a silver winner in London’s design awards.
    Resources
    http://www.jimrokos.com/
    https://www.kitall.co.uk/
    https://www.ruthward.com/
    https://www.onefineplay.com/

    About The Host
    The Invisible Gift is hosted by entrepreneur and dyslexic, Andrew Kitley. With twenty years experience, Andrew Kitley has worked his way up the metaphorical and literal ladder to become Managing Director of Kitall: an engineering firm.
    Under Andrew's guidance, Kitall is now one of the most sought after names to complete complex engineering projects in the UK. In each episode of The Invisible Gift, Andrew seeks the advice and inspiration of a fellow trailblazer who has defied the odds to achieve the extraordinary - turning the challenge of dyslexia into a gift.

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