15 March 2013

Here is a cool video I found. It shows what Dyslexia is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEpBujdee8M&feature=related

This video is kinda like what happened to me. The boy Tom feels the way I do sometimes. Lucky I have a much cooler teacher – Mr Wearne – who totally gets how I learn. I think it is important for us kids with reading troubles to be able to talk to our teachers and not be scared. Let me know if you need my help to do this!

15 December 2012

My brother, Saxon and my mum, and I have just been to the Graduation of the some of the Aboriginal & Torres Strait kids who have finished their literacy program. We met all the kids and mum and I read my story book, Indigo Solves the Pzuzle and because mum always cries when she tells my story my Torres Strait Islander friend, Carla McGrath had to read it instead. Funny. Poor mum.

Anyway, talking to the kids was really good. There was one girl, Jade, who also had some tears with me because she was Dyslexic too. I hope we can be friends.

I felt proud that I can have helped kids like me.

I know that everyone has troubles and even though sometimes I think Dyslexia people have lots of problems we are still human and still the same as everyone else.

 

 

10 December 2012

Yesterday I was so lucky to be at the launch of the Indigo Solves the Pzuzle book, written by Wendy Fitzgerald who is like a really important children’s book council person and an author. The story is my story so far in my life and it talks about the problems I had not being able to read, being Dyslexic. We had the launch at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence and really cool people like Graeme Innes who is the Disabilities Human Rights Commissioner and Dr Anita Heiss, an Aboriginal author helped me talk about the book.

This is what Graeme had to say,

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land.

One of the problems that people with disability experience in Australian society is an attitude problem. Not that we have attitude – although my teenage daughter has several times told me that I have too much attitude when I discipline her.

No, the attitude problem is the way we are viewed by society. We are viewed as heroes or victims rather than just as agents of our own destiny. One of my favourite commentators on disability issues, Stella Young, a person with a disability, encapsulates this problem- she says don’t congratulate me for going to the shop – that’s ordinary. Congratulate me if I climb Mount Everest – that’s extra-ordinary.

So it’s in that context that I congratulate Indigo. To quote from Darth Vader of Star Wars fame- the force is strong in this one.

Indigo gets the disability issue. She has come to terms with her own disability, and is working to minimise its impact. That is something which many of us do. But she has gone further. She wants her work not only to benefit her, but to benefit many others. Thus, her involvement in philanthropy – just taking her commitment to another level.

Indigo wrote to me to tell me her story earlier this year. And I was incredibly impressed. And when you read this book- if you haven’t already- I’m sure you will be as well. In fact, I encouraged her to nominate for the young people’s human rights medal at the human rights awards. I’m not a judge for the awards, so I can say that I’m barracking for her to win.

So keep up this work Indigo. It’s important for other kids with reading challenges. And it’s important that you – as a person with a disability – don’t just role model going to the shop, but doing extraordinary things.

Thanks for the chance to speak with you today.


I hope lots of kids can read this book and know that it is ok to not be able to read very well because there is help available. And usually for kids like me and other kids who have troubles with reading we are like totally awesome at other stuff. I am about to start to learn to play soccer.

If you would like a copy of my book please go to http://www.fishpond.com.au/Books/Indigo-Solves-Pzulze-Wendy-Fitzgerald-Sophie-Norsa-Illustrated-by/9781921928987

See ya!

12 October 2012

I am very excited to say that I have a book that has been written about my life story so far, by Wendy Fitzgerald. A year 12 girl called Sophie Norsa has done some great illustrations for the book. The book is called, ‘Indigo Solves the Pzulze’  and it looks great. It talks about my life, about how I was bullyied and harrassed because I could not read. And that is the reason I started this charity. And I am really proud of the book. It will be in stores. I am going to try to sell the book to make some money to go into Indigenous Literacy. And I hope you guys can all maybe do the same as me with something that is important to you. I am going to try and make as much money as possible.

Oh, yeah, I love reading. I have pretty much finished all the books in the house. I am reading a book called Heart to Heart which is about High School Musical.

To all the kids who have a hard time in life, please try your hardest, and reach out for help. I am here to help you because I don’t want you to go through bad things.

Thank you for reading my blog. You always should stay strong.

14 August 2012

Hey sorry I haven’t blogged for a while but I have been away. I felt really bad as I wasn’t doing any charity work whilst I was away but I am back now and I am working really hard to make some ka-ching (that means money).

A few months ago I had a fund raising event at my ex-school, Northside Montessori. We had Aboriginal dancers, pizzas, tents and one of my best friends, Carla McGrath came. p.s. Carla is not Aboriginal but she is Torres Strait Islander. Carla read a book to us and told us how her people got turtles out of their shells. We raised $135 for our fund.

I also did a talk at the Children’s Book Council. There were really nice women there. Hey funny story – my mum was accidentially mean to me. My mum said “…this is how a normal child reads … and this is how a dyslexic child reads…” and then she realised what she said and she said, “Oh gosh Indi, I am sorry I didn’t mean to say that I meant to say ‘a non-dyslexic child'”. It was funny, I didn’t mind. Mum was talking about how dyslexic kids like me think more in pictures than in letters and how quickly our brains work so she was actually being nice.

I am close to the end of my Hunger Games book and I can’t wait to get to the end. But you have to set a goal to do it. You can’t just look at the book, get half way through it and then throw it away. I think this is book for everyone.

Indigo x

 

17 June 2012

Hi. Gosh I have been really busy as I have just changed schools. We have also launched a new fund called Kids In Philanthropy. You can see it at www.kip.org.au

This was because lots of people who had seen me talking about raising money for other kids wanted their kids to be doing something as well. That’s great as now I have lots of other kids doing philanthropy things with me.

I think its important that when you read you should have some games and have some fun so you don’t get bored. And I love my new school and I don’t regret anything other than I had to leave all my friends. But that just happens sometimes. Like my friend Maja who has left and moved to Tasmania. I will still be her friend.

Remember never to stop reading. I love it and I hope you do too.

Oh, I got a letter from the Human Rights Commissioner . His name is Graeme and he said that he had difficulties reading too. That’s because he is blind. But he told me when he was little when his mum told him to turn out the lights, he could just keep on reading in braile with his fingers. Funny. He’s cool.

Indigo xx

25 April 2012

Hi. Never, ever, ever, ever stop reading. Last night I saw a movie, The Hunger Games, but the book was much better. Pretty much through the whole movie I was saying “They missed this bit, they missed that bit”. If you ever think that a movie is better than a book, you are wrong! Also sometimes it is better to tell someone what you are feeling than not tell them as then they can’t fix it. You can spend time with your parents and make sure they are there with you so you don’t get stuck on stuff.

On the weekend in Darwin I met Nova Peris, the Aboriginal Olympic Athlete, and her two littlest children, Destiny and Jack. I could never do this work without my Mum. Nova runs a Girls Academy at St Johns School, which supports young Indigenous girls. It is a very good thing that they are doing.

Here are some photos of Nova, Destiny and Jack with me, Mum and Saxon.

 

I couldn’t want a better Mum.

 

Indigo xxx

9 March 2012

 

Hello mates, it’s the year of the dragon. I am reading the Hunger Games and its a really good book. Once you start the book you can’t stop. I did a test the other day. Mum asked if I was worried about it. I said “I don’t worry about the test, because the test is not the real you.” And sometimes I get a little scared then at the end I think, there was no need to get scared. Sometimes it is really easy to help people. You have just got to try. I did some fund raising to save Koalas because I read that they are getting distinct and we got our friends together and decided to do a bake sale. We raised $1069.80. My friend Charlotte’s mum, Kate, knows Barry O’Farrell so she invited him. He is the Premier of NSW. He only stayed for 15 minutes and me and my friends were freaking out of excitement. If you do some fund raising one day you could meet someone like Barry O’Farrell.

I have a new friend called Yonnie. We have a lot in common, especially our little brothers, Saxon and Malachi. It’s nice to hang out with people like me.

This is Yonnie.

This is Malachi and Saxon.

 

This is Mum and Yordy.

Thank you for reading my blog. The Hunger Games is awesome. I really suggest you should read it.

Indi x

22 February 2012

Hi there. Next month we will be starting the Literacy program for Indigenous kids at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence. Hopefully we will be able to help kids like me who have troubles reading.

I have been thinking that we all have different talents. And if you are sick you can still read a book. I will never give up trying to read. Because reading will get you through life easier. There is an easy path and a hard path and once you are on the path there is no turning back. Learning to read is hard but then it puts you on the easy path.

In the holidays I read my first books all by myself. They were My Fair God Mother and Throne of Fire. I felt really good that I could read them.

p.s. I would never have done it without my parents and all the help I got.

Indi x

December 2011

Hi, I met Abigail Disney. She is very nice and funny. Abigail normally always sees Mickey Mouse. When she was younger Abigail didn’t really like Mickey that much. Abigail talks about women in war. She talked about women and kids in Africa in wars. Mum will tell you more about Abigail below. I would like to say that we are all going to have to read for the rest of our lives, so don’t give up.

This is Indi’s Mum writing now….

Abigail’s background is:

  • Born in 1960 and was raised in North Hollywood, California
  • Daughter of Roy E. Disney and granddaughter of Roy O. Disney, co-founder of The Walt Disney Company with his brother Walt Disney
  • Abigail as a Ph.D
  • She turned to the family business of filmmaking after she met Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee in 2006. Since the film Pray the Devil Back to Hell Leymah has become a Nobel Peace Prize Winner
  • Abigail describes her purpose as “There are 875 million arms in circulation and 8 million more made every year. I want to change the attitude of countries towards weapons that kill. I want to stop the romance of violence”
  • Abigail has a gender lens when she talks about Philanthropy, with a strong focus on women and girls

Abby had some marvellous quotes:

“Since becoming a philanthropist, I now see life in technicolour”

“Philanthropy was an invitation to join the Human Race”

“I have found my Tribe. You will know it when you do”

“I was scared of the hairy-arm-pitted feminists”

“If you move the lens to look at things as a woman sees, everything changes”

Borrowed from Jennifer Buffett ….”We are half the population and gave birth to the other half”

“Where are the men?”

“For the men – When you stand with us we find you hopelessly attractive”

“The well of philanthropy is in everyone. You just have to find the key to unlock it”

“If you look at war though a woman’s eyes it doesn’t seem worth doing”

“We need to have less of an MBA approach to philanthropy. It is not a business. You don’t put money into it to get a return”

“If you want to lift up a country then look to a woman”

November 2011

Hi, I have been thinking some things: never ever call yourself a failure if you can’t do something because you will always be good at least one thing; don’t care what other kids say about you because you are a good person in your own way; all you need is encouragement to do it; believe in yourself then other people shall believe in you; you are never alone; when you learn how to read you can see all the characters in the books you read – they float around – that’s what happens to me.

Indi x

October 2011

Hi, I am currently working with Mum on setting up a Literacy programme for indigenous kids, like me who have trouble reading. Once we have launched, hopefully in the next few months then Mum and I will be working on some programmes where other kids can join me to raise some money for the programme. I will let you know when this is about to happen. Indi x

June 2011

Hi, my name is Indigo, and I am 9 years old. When I was about 4 years old my mum realised I wasn’t learning the same way my 4 brothers did. I have 4 brothers and no sisters. Crazy I know. So mum took me to MacQuarie University to get tested. The testing showed that I had trouble with recalling letters, numbers and symbols. I just couldn’t do it.

I then started Kindergarten at a Public School in the North Shore of Sydney. For the first 6 months when the other children were learning how to read, I just couldn’t. I tried but I couldn’t. There was a group of girls who I wanted to be friends with but they would not play with me. They called my dumb and said that I could only play with them if I spelled certain words to them. I could not.

They teased me all the time. I sat by my self at lunch times. Almost every night I would cry in my mother’s arms asking why I was not clever and why other children did not like me.

Not only could I not read, but I could not learn other stuff in class like maths and science, because you had to read to do those things as well. I had no friends and I then didn’t like to talk with anyone.

My mum went up to the school on at least 6 occassions to talk with the teacher and with the Principals. They said that they would give the school more lectures on not bullying, but that is all that they did. Mum was very annoyed with the School.

Nothing changed for me. The teasing continued and I would wake up most nights having nightmares. I did not feel good about myself. I thought I was hopeless at everything.

Mum then took me back to MacQuarie University to have more tests and this time I was old enough to have my IQ tested as well (that’s one measure of how smart you are). The tests showed that I was a smart girl, that I had an Emotional Intelligence of a 16 year old, but that I had a severe reading disability.

I am Dyslexic. Which means my brain does not process things like other people. I think in pictures and not in letters or numbers or words. I was classified as “Gifted Disabled”. Wierd term. But it means I am really smart at some things, but struggle with other things. I think everyone is probably like this in some ways.

So Mum and Dad enrolled me in two literacy programmes, Literacy Circle and Multi-Lit. I went to Literacy 3 times a week, for 2 years. My reading which was about 2 years behind where it should have been improved quickly. I had one on one coaching.

I also moved schools to a Montessori school. They were very understanding and supportive of me. Much better than my other school. They also have a Multi-Lit trained teacher at Montessori. I can now read like a 9 year old, but it is always still difficult. I am very happy however and have lots of friends now. I am learning more about people with Dyslexia and reading disabilities. Did you know the following people had reading disabilities? They are all famous:

Henry Ford, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, Leonardo DiVinci, Whoopi Goldberg, Quentin Tarantino, W.B. Yeats.

Through my hard experience learining to read, I realised I did not want other kids to be bullied and not grow up happy.

I will now work hard to raise money through the Indigo Express Fund for other kids to learn to read. I will also help by mentoring littler kids who cant read so well.

Please let me know if you would like to help in some way. Or share your story. Please write to me atindigowk@hotmail.com

9 June 2011

We launched the Indigo Express Fund today in the city in front of lots of people. I read this speech below.

Indigo Wallace-Knight

Speech for the launch of the Indigo Express Fund at the

Sydney Community Foundation Breakfast

9 June 2011

 

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls,

My name is Indigo, I am 9 years old and I am going to read my speech to you.

Two years ago, I could not do this. I am Dyslexic. Which means I have trouble reading.

When I was in kindergarten I realised that other kids could read quite easily but it was not easy for me.

There was a group of girls who would not let me play with them and they said that I could only play if I spelled some words to them.

I couldn’t.

I did not feel good about myself and often I would cry in my mother’s arms at night.

I felt that I was not clever and not like the other girls.

I wondered why I was born like this and the other kids were not.

As I could not read, I could not learn other things like maths and science.

Mum took me to get tested and it showed that I was a very smart girls but had a serious reading disability. I was more than two years behind my age group in reading.

I then started in two literacy programmes, Literacy Circle and Multi-Lit.

For two years I would leave school early and travel to Multi-Lyy three times a week for Literacy training.

I learned to read. I can now read like a 9 year old. I have great friends and I am very happy.

Now, I really, really want to help other children.

When you know how to read it makes life so much easier.

I will now help other children with reading disabilities through the Fund.

Thank you for listening to my story.

Newspaper Articles on the Launch of Indigo Express

We were then in the newspaper on Saturday 11 June 2011.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/all-aboard-indigo-express-for-lesson-in-philanthropy-20110610-1fwyi.html

We were also in the Financial Review on 14 June 2011

Philanthropy targets the most disadvantaged

 

Indigo and Catriona (Mum) at the launch of Indigo Express Fund 9 June 2011