A BIG-HEARTED teen with a brain disorder, who always felt different growing up, has set up a charity to fulfil his dream of helping other children like him.
Mikey Akers, from Balsall Common, first decided he wanted to raise awareness and money for those affected by verbal dyspraxia about a year ago when he wrote an inspiring and special poem about the disorder.
The 14-year-old, who attends Alderbrook School in Solihull, set up ‘Mikey’s Wish’ as part of his mission to stop other young people with the disorder from feeling the same way he did growing up.
He also opened up a Facebook page where he writes about his experiences to help other youngsters with the disorder feel less alone.
So far he has raised £2,000 with awareness stalls at events, sponsored football matches and charity quiz nights.
Earlier this year he was also handed a national accolade called the The Matthew Hunt Award from The Dyspraxia Foundation for his inspirational efforts.
Mikey was first diagnosed with the neurological speech disorder when he was two-and-a-half years old. One or two in 1,000 people are affected by it.
The disorder has greatly affected the way his speaks and the way he processed things in his head which has in turn severely knocked his confidence.
Louisa, his mum, said it was like there there was a link missing when his brain sent something to his mouth.
She added when he was younger he could not speak vowels properly and struggled with the start and endings of words.
Louisa said with the help of intensive speech therapy sessions he now spoke pretty much like everyone else although he does still struggle with his literacy and with processing information.
She added after she read her son’s poem she had a discussion with him about what he would like to do for other children who suffered from the disorder.
“I can’t read the poem out loud – it still makes me cry,” Louisa said.
She added they were all quite chuffed when they found out about the award which they were invited to collect in London.
“He would love to raise lots of money and become a registered charity but we have to raise a certain amount first,” Louisa said.
“His dream is to help mums and dads who have children with verbal dyspraxia fund speech theory.
“He really just wants to help other people like him.
“Mikey grew up feeling different and doesn’t want other kids to grow up feeling the same like what he did – I’m very proud.”
Visit Facebook.com/pages/Mikeys-Wish-Verbal-Dyspraxia-Awareness to support Mikey’s wish.