Unable to read or write at the age of 13, William Carter has defied all odds!
Now at only 22 years-old he is studying for a PhD in political geography at the University of California, Berkeley after having been awarded the prestigious Fulbright scholarship. He earned his first class bachelors degree in politics and international relations at Bristol University.
During his interview with This Morning, William talked about how he felt isolated in primary school as he couldn’t figure out what was holding him back due to not being diagnosed yet. It was later on during primary school that a specialist diagnosed him with severe dyslexia.
William told the story of the difficult journey to getting the diagnosis that changed his life. He talked about how the education system fails special education needs students and how he believes racialization played a role in making his journey all the more difficult.
“I think my mixed raced heritage and the fact I was raised differently to other children with dyslexia or dyspraxia in the class, it meant that rather than using the prism of special educational needs, they used the prism of criminality.”
William was fortunate to have had his mother, who also grew up with learning difficulties, fight relentlessly along with his grandmother and aunt. They refused to let the school give up on him.
“My mum, my grandmother and my aunt – together they kind of fought the school and they were saying ‘actually hang on you can’t kind of quit on that kid yet, you need to actually see why is he taking so long to read. Why is he finding it difficult to write?’ And they fought for me to have the diagnosis.”
It was only after being diagnosed with severe dyslexia that things finally started to change for William. He went from struggling and falling behind to excelling and receiving unprecedented A-levels at his school.
“So the thing that unites every child with special education needs is that parents or carers who fight for them and that first diagnosis is always the hardest one.”
You can watch the full interview in the video above!