Balsall Common teenager Mikey Akers earned the Pride of Birmingham’s Stephen Sutton Award in recognition of the inspiring work he does raising awareness for verbal dyspraxia, a little known neurological speech disorder, with which he was diagnosed when he was 2-years-old.
The neurological condition and the challenges it presents are wide-ranging. In Mikey’s case, this was a condition which left an otherwise intelligent boy feeling isolated at school due to the immense difficulty the condition caused learning to verbalise his thoughts.
The catalyst for Mikey becoming an inspiration to others dates back to the time he penned a poem, ‘I Am the Boy’, which underlined to his family how he really felt about his condition. It became the inspiration for Mikey’s Wish, a charitable project that raises awareness for the condition and funds for related causes:
I Am the Boy – by Mikey Akers
I am the boy who has so much to say
I am the boy who says it my way
Not always proper, not always right
With my brain I must put up a fight
The words don’t come easy, they hide away
When I find them some sounds go astray
It’s not ‘cos I’m stupid, it’s ‘cos I am me
I am the boy with Verbal Dyspraxia, you see
I have one desire, I have one wish
And that is that there was more awareness of this!
Learn more about Mikey’s story and his Stephen Sutton Inspiration Award at the Birmingham Mail: