Redefining red

Kyla with her book I’m a Dyslexic Superhero, that she wrote with her mum Marnie Hibbert (supplied).

Zoe Moffatt

Significant monuments, buildings and landmarks across Victoria and the country will continue to be lit red throughout October as part of Dyslexia awareness month.

Registered charity Code REaD Dyslexia Network started the national Light it Red campaign in 2015 to take back the power of the colour to raise awareness.

Sunbury photographer Marnie Hibbert and her daughter, Kyla, wrote a book called I’m a Dyslexic Superhero, during COVID-19 lockdown when Kyla was getting diagnosed herself.

“During COVID-19 I was homeschooling my daughter and I noticed she wasn’t able to remember some words that weren’t phonetic,” Ms Hibbert said.

“I noticed she would happily do other subjects except for reading, she would be crying. We have dyslexia in the family as well so I noticed some of the similarities.”

Ms Hibbert said knew Kyla needed to get support and a diagnosis, and writing the book together was a way to bond and explore how Kyla was feeling.

“It’s a story about how she feels having dyslexia [and] it was her way of sharing how she felt about not being able to do what her friends could do.

“She would draw pictures of her in different sceneries and that would become the basis of the story. It was beautiful that we had that time together.”

Ms Hibbert said the main character wears a red cape, and helps to reclaim the colour which has been linked to children receiving their school work covered in red crosses and comments.

“The superhero cape is red and she is the living breathing superhero. I think she’s empowered through the book… Positive reinforcement will go a long way.

“Whilst primary school can be difficult because it has a lot of focus on learning to read, life beyond is where [people with dyslexia] find their groove and can use their natural talents.

“Now my daughter is amazing at reading and is very competent, she knows her skills.”