Dean Hodgson is now determined to show young pupils that neurodiversity can be turned into a “superpower”.
Growing up without help or a diagnosis, school left Dean feeling frustrated and drained.
Now, he is set to patent an invention which helps people with ADHD and autism focus and learn how to speed read.
What started as a way for Dean to help his own reading ability and attention span has become his full-time job.
The dad, who lives in Swain House, told the Telegraph & Argus: “I wanted to upskill. I had negative associations with my education and that’s sat with me all the rest of my career.
“Once I started to read I got overwhelmed with the amount of reading I had to do.
“My journey started there. I looked into the market and there wasn’t anything available.
“I’m in the process of getting a diagnosis for ADHD and potentially autism. During my school years there was nothing like this available.
“Attention, focus, being able to stick to tasks are all major issues. As I didn’t get the fundamentals right in reading and writing, I masked through my school years without being highlighted as somebody who struggled.
“You just get in with the wrong crowd so you can hide.
“I grew up on a council estate, the opportunities were limited, surrounded by crime, drugs.
“What I’m solving with my reading tools can help other people. I could answer all those questions about my childhood and adulthood.”
Dean started researching about how neurodiverse minds process information and the science of training your peripheral vision.
He is now in the final stages of processing his ‘single wand’ and ‘peripheral wand’.
The ‘Pacer Pointer’ brand is now helping children and adults across the UK and America.
The basic and intermediate pens can also help with stimming.
The 42-year-old hopes his story will remind people that anything is possible.
“I had no money to start the business up so I had to do my own work to get there,” he said.
“With no experience, just a drive and a passion to want to start a business.”
Speaking about his own experiences with neurodiversity, he said: “It gives you a super power if you know how to harness it.
“It did hold me back in school. It held me back in a lot of my adult years. I avoided the one thing you can use to excel which is education.
“I avoided it because of my associations with it when in actual fact that’s what I could use to achieve my dreams. I want the younger generation to build these good associations and confidence in education, in reading.”
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