A BIG-HEARTED teen with a speech disorder, who always felt different growing up, has been shortlisted for a National Diversity Award for all the work he has done to raise awareness and support others like him.
Mikey Akers, from Balsall Common, first decided he wanted to raise awareness and money for those affected by verbal dyspraxia when he wrote an inspiring and special poem about the disorder when he was 13-years-old.
The 16-year-old 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.
So far he has raised £5,000 with awareness stalls at events, sponsored football matches and charity quiz nights.
He has donated some funds to Balsall Common Primary School to help children get access to speech therapy.
The Alderbrook School pupil also opened up a Facebook page where he writes about his experiences to help other youngsters with the disorder feel less alone.
Because of all this he has been shortlisted from 22,000 nominees in the Positive Role Model – Disability category at The National Diversity Awards and will find out at a special ceremony next month if he has won the coveted award.
Mikey has been handed a number of awards since 2015 including the Matthew Hunt Award from the Dyspraxia Foundation for his inspirational efforts and the Most Improved English Student award in Solihull for his school work at Alderbrook School.
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 and it also affected his literacy skills.
She added: “I’m really proud of everything he has achieved and to hear he will be given the Most Improved English Student award is so heart-warming.
“When he started at Alderbrook School he had the reading age of a seven year old and now he has aspirations of completing A Levels – fingers crossed he gets the right GCSE results in a few weeks time.”
For more visit www.facebook.com/mikeyswish