Sonja Borowski (28) is the author of a very special book, one of a kind. In his book, It’s Normal to Be Different, Ammersbeker gives an insight into the lives of 30 people with dyslexia or dyscalculia.
Sonja’s idea for a book begins with her own story. In elementary school, Sonja Borowski and her entourage realize that they learn differently. Teachers are overwhelmed by an elementary school student and advise her to repeat the year. Sonja and her parents finally seek medical advice. The learning therapist states that Sonja is dyslexic.
In the middle of fourth grade, Sonja entered speech therapy school due to bullying due to dyslexia. This school is exactly right for Sonja Borowski. Ammersbeker thrives and receives a high school recommendation. During her school days, she sat in “The Hamburg Chamber of Students“ in the interest of students with special and special needs in Hamburg and eventually graduates with high school diploma. Sonja then goes on to study as a socio-pedagogical assistant, during which she also obtains a technical diploma. This is an important step and a long-planned goal for Sonja. Sonja now has a bachelor’s degree in “social work” and master’s degree “Research, development, management“ and works as a social worker.
Idea for a book
In 2014, Sonja is the co-founder of the “Young Active”“, a group for youth and young adults of the “Federal Dyslexia and Discalculia Association”.“ In the self-help group of the association, they realize how many people are excluded from their surroundings because of dyslexia or dyscalculia. Many participants were unable to name a single positive feature – says Sonja Borowski to the MOPO. She came up with the idea of writing a book in which the victims would tell their own stories.
Sonja starts the appeal on Facebook, looking for people to tell her story and the world. Through a social network and a self-help group, Sonja attracts 30 people aged 10 to 63 from all over Germany who want to support her project.
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There is no template for how people tell their stories. It can be written or drawn. Moreover, it is reported not only by those affected, but also by parents and friends.
Inclusion only works through understanding
Finding a publisher for the book was more difficult than finding people with dyslexia or dyscalculia to tell about their lives, reports Sonja of the MOPO. “I’ve often heard that you think the book is great, but it’s too much of a niche product,“pAbout Borowski. After all, promote it “German Reading Center for the Disabled“ and the state associations for dyslexia and dyscalculia Hamburg eV and Thuringia eV as a joint venture.
The purpose of the book is to inform. According to Borowski, so far there have only been non-fiction books for people who want to learn more about dyslexia or dyscalculia. There is a new book in which affected people tell their own stories. “We can only experience inclusion through mutual understanding.“
A book on dyslexia or dyscalculia available throughout Germany
The nearly 200-page book presents the story of 30 people suffering from dyslexia or dyscalculia in a very tangible way. The special feature of the book is not only that the characters themselves tell their stories, but also the presentation of the book. Each hero has his own title page with a motto of his choice related to his story. Additionally, after each report you can see if and how the text has been corrected. Sonja made it optional.
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The book is available in every bookstore in Germany. The job is available online, incl. on Amazon. “If we were to get even more donations, I would like the book to be available in therapy offices or schools,” says Borowski about MOPO.