Megan McCubbin details hopes for dyslexia awareness series
Winterwatch: Chris Packham hands over to Megan McCubbin
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Megan McCubbin, 28, has made a name for herself as a conservationist and sometimes joins her wildlife expert stepdad Chris Packham as he presents nature shows. However, speaking to Express.co.uk, Megan explained she’d like to begin a series to raise awareness of something else.
The nature guru suffers from dyslexia, which impacted her during her school years.
She opened up about her experience with the condition, and when asked if she’d like to present a programme to raise awareness in a similar way Chris did with autism, she revealed she would.
“Yeah, I’m very open about being dyslexic and the massive benefits that can bring, and also a lot of the struggles in the conventional system that being dyslexic brings.
“You know, I’m a big advocate for neurodiverse voices, and especially in neurodiverse voices within the environmental movement.
“Because you need a diverse group of people to have a diversity of ideas and solutions.
“And we need solutions and ideas now more than ever, so, you know, the more voices that can be heard the better – for young people in particular it is really, really important.”
She detailed her own struggle, reflecting: “I’m quite severely dyslexic, so the traditional school curriculum didn’t always suit me.
“I didn’t learn the way that I was being taught, and I had a brilliant dyslexic support teacher outside of school that helped me learn how I learned best and it took me a while to find that confidence.
“So I wasn’t very good at maths and I wasn’t very good at science – honestly, because I just couldn’t understand the information that they were giving me in that format.
“So once I was able to kind of relearn those skills, and really look at the practical elements that I could really excel in and learn the academic side of the way that I needed to learn, then I was wanting to be a zoologist.”
She continued: “But it was only because I didn’t have that confidence, shall we say, when I was growing up, because there wasn’t as much support – well, it’s not that wasn’t as much support, there wasn’t as much understanding I suppose, about how dyslexic people learn differently.
“You know, so I was very grateful to have those outside influences, like Chris, like my volunteering opportunities and projects.
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“That all got me into wildlife, really, because they really taught me and gave me the confidence to realise that I could do that as well if I wanted to.”
Chris, while building a career out of advocating for wildlife, has also talked a lot about autism and being diagnosed later in life.
It’s clear his influence has inspired Megan, who added: “I mean, I met Chris when I was two years old.
“So you know, he, of course, had a massive influence over my life.
“And I think all young people are born with this natural curiosity about the natural world because we often forget that we are part of it.
“So you know, you’re hard-pressed to find a young person that won’t want to follow a butterfly around or, you know, go digging for worms as I did when I was like two or three years old.”
The presenter continued: “And so, you know, we’re all born with that kind of curiosity about wildlife and the environment. And, you “It’s about harnessing that curiosity, which I think Chris definitely helped me do throughout my young childhood years.
“I spent a lot of my time volunteering, and there are lots of brilliant projects around the UK that get people interested in nature and the environment and enhance that curiosity.
“So Chris was definitely an avenue for that for me. I was lucky to have lots of amazing implementers and to kind of get hands-on practical experience.”
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