James Martin health: Saturday Morning hosts ‘severe’ problem – the symptoms

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James Martin opened up about his dyslexia on Saturday Morning when he was joined by guest Mollie King, who also has the condition. The 48-year-old TV chef said to the Saturdays singer back in February: “I know a big passion of yours is this dyslexia foundation which I wanted to pick up on because it’s something that’s close to my heart, because I’m dyslexic as well – severely dyslexic.

“I know that you are as well and you found that out when you were a young kid.”

Mollie knew she had the condition at the age of 10. James replied: “I didn’t know about mine until I was 30 years old, when I started in television to read the autocue.”

He continued: “For me it’s an absolute nightmare, to read that.”

“I’ve got to walk and talk and it wasn’t until a wonderful lady, I’ll always remember her and I’d like to thank her as well.

“She works for the BBC and she turned around and said, ‘You’ve got to walk and talk at the same time,’ and sent me away for a little lesson on how to do it.

“You need somebody like that to give you the confidence, don’t you really?”

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is described as a common learning difficulty by the NHS that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling.

But unlike a learning disability, intelligence isn’t affected.

The health body continued: “It’s estimated up to one in every 10 people in the UK has some degree of dyslexia.

“Dyslexia is a lifelong problem that can present challenges on a daily basis, but support is available to improve reading and writing skills and help those with the problem be successful at school and work.”

What are the symptoms of dyslexia?

Signs of dyslexia usually become apparent when a child starts school and begins to focus more on learning how to read and write, advises the NHS.

Signs may include:

  • Reading and writing very slowly
  • Confusing the order of letters in words
  • Putting letters the wrong way round (such as writing “b” instead of “d”)
  • Having poor or inconsistent spelling
  • Understanding information when told verbally, but have difficulty with information that’s written down
  • Finding it hard to carry out a sequence of directions
  • Struggling with planning and organisation

Some people with dyslexia can have other problems not directly connected to reading and writing.

These may include:

  • difficulties with numbers (dyscalculia)
  • poor short-term memory
  • problems concentrating and a short attention span, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • poor organisation and time management
  • physical coordination problems (developmental coordination disorder, also called DCD or dyspraxia)

Is there a test for dyslexia?

Identifying dyslexia in young children can be difficult for both parents and teachers as the signs and symptoms are not always obvious.

But if you’re concerned about your child’s progress with reading and writing, you should first talk to their teacher.

If there’s an ongoing concern, you can take your child to see a GP.

A GP will be able to rule out any other health problems affecting their ability to read or write.

If there are still concerns about your child’s progress having received additional teaching and support, you can request an assessment.

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