The Gift of Dyslexia with Sue Blyth Hall

Sue Blyth Hall understands dyslexia from the inside out – as a dyslexic person with vivid recollections of frustrations experienced in elementary school, as a parent who searched for and found a solution to enable a once-struggling child to learn become a reader, and as a talented Davis® facilitator with fifteen years of hands-on experience working with children and adults. We are so honored that she stopped by to 'Have The Conversation'.

Inside of this episode:

↣ What is dyslexia and is there a solution?

↣ Discussion on Various Coping Strategies for Learning Types.

↣ Davis Learning Strategies for the Whole Class

↣ The relationship between a good diet and your ability.

Connect with Guest:

Website: Buy Sue’s Book: Fish Don’t Climb

Additional Resources + Ways To Connect:

Watch Sue's TedX 👇

Interview with Sue Blyth Hall

Calla: I myself am just I'm beyond thrilled that you're here. I watched your TEDx. I read your book. It was life changing to me. So I just wanted to say thank you first and foremost.

Sue Blyth-Hall: You are very, very welcome. Thank you.

Calla: Leann, do you want to tell her a little bit about what you're gonna bring to the table today?

Leanne: Yeah, I won't bring much to the table, Sue. I'm very uninformed about dyslexia, I do have a few people in my family that kind of struggle. I don't know if they were officially diagnosed, but I'm curious to learn and ask very basic questions to just get a better handle on on what dyslexia is and how we can help people who have it learn.

Sue Blyth-Hall: This is a fantastic combination. Thank you.

Leanne: We've got two experts and a newbie over here.

Calla: Well, I wouldn't say I'm an expert by any means. But I've definitely been in the realm of many a diagnosis and nothing making sense in the parent role. Upon reading your book, it was very reflective on my own experience growing up where I could have really used an advocate like you, so I'm really excited to jump in.

Sue Blyth-Hall: Very excited too, thank you.

Calla: For our audience, can you explain what dyslexia is?

Sue Blyth-Hall: Yes, um, dyslexia is the result of a natural ability, meeting our education system. And what that means is, well, first of all, I should say what it isn't. Our brains are not miss wired, there is absolutely nothing wrong with our brains, everything is communicating exactly as it should. And we're capable, all of us are capable of learning. And that was the theme of my TEDx that drew you to this, that everyone is learning able, if they're enabled, to learn in the way they were born to learn. And that's the key to the whole thing. Unfortunately, our education system doesn't help us to learn in the way that we were born to learn, it asks us to learn in the way that it would like us to learn. So what happens is the the wonderful individuals that I work with, they have this incredible gift, which is a natural ability to alter perception. And what that means is that you guys might like to do this, if you close your eyes, and I asked you to imagine an elephant for example. Would you be able to do that?

Calla & Leanne: Yes.

Sue Blyth-Hall: Okay, so you can open your eyes. What was doing the looking?

Calla: That mind's eye” you talk about.

Sue Blyth-Hall: Yeah, exactly. There's a part of us that does the looking when we imagine. I know we have our pictures in our memory, right? It's like being in the movie theater, when you're sitting in a movie theater, you're in the seats and you're watching the film, you're not in the film. Right? It's exactly the same when we have imaginary film. We're looking at it from somewhere. Does that make sense, Leanne?

Leanne: Yes.

Sue Blyth-Hall: We call the place that's doing the look in the mind's eye, quite frankly, I don't care what you call it. Some of my students call it their dreaming eye, their brains eye, it doesn't matter. It's the point of perception that does the looking when we imagine, right. Now, when we have this particular way of thinking, we are particularly good at moving this point of perception. If we were to imagine that elephant again, for example, it wouldn't matter whether I saw it from the side or the back, or the side or the top or the bottom. It's always an elephant. Does that make sense? But it does matter in the world of print. Because if I have a lowercase D in front of me, and I start seeing that from 180 degrees, it's not a D anymore, it's a P. Does that make sense? In very simple terms, if we use that amazing gift that we have, that really works well for us in the 3d world, if we start using it in the 2d world of print, we're in trouble. And we don't know we're in trouble. Because number one, we automatically assume everybody learns like we do. Because nobody ever talks about how we learn, right? And number two, we have this thinking process, which is 32 images a second. So it's subliminal very often, we can slow it down, we can daydream, obviously, right? But we do have this subconscious way of operating, where those images of that D in all sorts of different forms is happening very quickly, we don't consciously know it, we just make a mistake, and we say P or B, okay. And that's the sort of the basis of so many learning challenges. Whether you have dyslexia, or dysgraphia, or dyscalculia, or even ADD/ADHD, that fundamental gift that we all share, is that ability to alter perception. So there's two more parts. The second part is that when we go to school, we enter a school system, which, if you like, is built for the PC computer, and we happen to be the Apple Macs. Nothing wrong with our computer. Okay, it does everything that the other computer does. It just does it on a different system.

Leanne: Some would argue they do it better.

Sue Blyth-Hall:I'm glad you said that. But the point is that the most glaring sort of example of this is when we're taught to read, we're supposed to sound out to read, because the PCs system, they're based in sound, they're very linear and sequential. They talk to themselves in their heads. Whereas the apple Macs are not based in sound, we're based in images and feelings and we have an internal film going on in our head. Now, obviously, there's a continuum between the two. There are people who only think in sound and people who only think in images, and obviously a whole bunch of people in the middle who are a mixture. But I promise you, everybody has a preference, right? So you can tell the people who love to curl up with a book and the people who wouldn't go near a book and would rather watch a film, right? It's the people in the middle. Pretty much a good mixture, okay. But our education system teaches to the people who are cell based, therefore, they say, we have to learn to read by sounding out all this phonetic instruction. So if you see a word like cat, you're supposed to go “Cuh-Ahh-TT”, right? We don't do that. It's not in our wheelhouse and we just don't, we just don't do it. There's nothing wrong with us that we don't do it. It's just that the system is asking us to, to learn that way and we happen to have a different way of being able to read. That's the second part. So first part is this beautiful way of altering perception. Second part is this difference in in how we're taught. And the third part is that because we think in pictures, we need a picture to think with when we're reading a word. So if we read the word tree, it's obvious we get a picture, bicycle desk table. Easy, right? But if we would read a word like “the”, would you have a picture for the meaning of the word “the”? Words like if, and, of, yet, when and how, no pictures. Sadly, 217 of these little words make up half of what we read. So guaranteed whenever we read, especially the little primers, they're obviously very small words, people think the small words must be easy, but actually very often the hardest, and they get so muddled up like in and on, and there, their, they’re. That type of thing, they're very difficult, particularly, because they don't have an image for the meaning. Every word has three parts to it. The spelling, t-h-e, the meaning, which is completely blank, and how you say it: “the”. When we meet a blank in our picture thinking, we just get confused, we drift up and you can have a whole sentence made up of those little words, especially instructions. So we do we drift off into space, because there's no picture to hold us, right? It's like being in that movie theater where the film suddenly went blank and then it comes back again. And then it went blank. And then it came back again. Would you stay in a movie theater?

Calla: No, you can’t focus.

Sue Blyth-Hall: Yeah, you’d find the one that was working, which is called our imagination. That's working 24/7. It's much more interesting too. The kids drift off into that. And then they're called ADD and ADHD because they're not paying attention. But we didn't give them enough to hold them in that original movie theater. It's a combination of all those three things, this beautiful way of thinking, which works incredibly well for us in the real world. Because if you are an architect, and you go to a piece of land, and you can see the house that they're describing, and all you have to do is have them draw the plans. If you're an event planner, you can walk into a room and see exactly what's going to happen and the flow of people, if you're an athlete, some of the kids seem to see the soccer game from above. So that the kids that are always in the right place at the right time. It's too fast. They don't know they are doing it. Strategists, Curlers, Chess Players, Surgeons, so many people in the trades. I mean, if you were a Carpenter, who couldn't, didn't have this way of thinking, I don't know that you'd be that good at it.

Calla: Right, Yeah. So that perspective, yeah, especially the surgeons.

Sue Blyth-Hall: That's what I was thinking, and pilots and all of that. So. So this beautiful way of thinking meets a system that is built for the PCs when we're the apple Macs, and we're not given all the pictures that we need. And that's the mixture, that, unfortunately means that the children who enter school with this learning difference, leave with a learning disability label. That's not okay. Because they are absolutely 100% capable of learning.

Calla: I agree. You, you wrote in your book that you're grateful for the gift of dyslexia, but you also said that you are grateful for the gift of not knowing. Can you expound on that a little bit?

Sue Blyth-Hall: Yes, definitely. When I'm working with a student it's one on one, right. And I think the best example of this is math. I'm useless in math, I definitely had dyscalculia. But luckily, one of our programs is a math program, and now I get it. But the best part of it is, when I'm working with a student, I can absolutely see where they are totally confused, because that's where I was confused. It's a huge gift. And sometimes we look at something and we both get confused at the same time. That's actually really useful because kids love it when you don't know.


Sue Blyth-Hall:And then we can find out together we can use these tools and we can we can solve the issue.

Calla: I learned fourth grade math last year that way.

Sue Blyth-Hall: Exactly! I think what they don't like is when an adult asks them a question that they know, the adult knows the answer to. Right. So why are you asking me, you know? But the fun part of it is when both of us don't know, and we just figure it out. The method that we often use, when you know those little words that don't have pictures? Well, we looked them up in the dictionary, we see the definition, we make the definition with a little clay model. And then we make the word. And then we've got everything we need. We've got the meaning in front of us, we've made it. We've got the word, the spelling, and we know how to say it. And that's what we use as word mastery. So when we do have a puzzle like that, we do the same thing. We look at the mean, whatever it was making it difficult for us, we look it up in the dictionary, try and make a model. And then very often, it's not so confusing.

Calla:Is it a pretty quick turnaround for the connection to work?

Sue Blyth-Hall: with a child for one week?

Calla: I guess, from the time you kind of formed the words in the clay, that process to when it really starts to stick is that pretty instant or does it take time?

Sue Blyth-Hall:Now if if you look up a word and you make a model, and when you look at the model is absolutely as clear as day what that word means, then, that it's there? It's part of you.

Leanne: Wow, they just truly need the picture.

Sue Blyth-Hall: Absolutely. And most of all, if they've made it, they won't forget it. Because I think there's one of those charts. I think it's Glasser, who said, “you remember what 20% of what you see in 30%, of what you see and hear” that typically. But it's I think it's 80% of what you do. Our enemy is confusion. When we're confused, our mind's eye goes off into space and tries to sort it out. Right? Now, if I look at this mouse, and I think, and I'm thinking, is this my mouse? Yes, my mind's eye will give me 32 images in one second, and yet, sure enough, it's my mouse, right? But when we start doing that, in the world of print and we start doing it at school, we hear one word, we don't know what it means, we go off into space, our minds eye is trying to make sense of it. It doesn’t work so well.

Calla: It sounds so overwhelming.

Leanne: Yeah, definitely. That breaks my heart when you mentioned them now being diagnosed with ADD or ADHD because that's not even close to what's going on. They're just trying to understand what's being said.

Sue Blyth-Hall: Yeah, and I mean, the kids and adults I work with are incredibly smart. Right? They have this fast thinking process very often. They're those children who are basically old souls, they have a wisdom beyond their years, right? They know, that they should know, they get very frustrated when they don't know. And oh, gosh, I've lost my train of thought. See I've gone up into space.

Leanne: Can I ask you a question while you're out there? So for instance, if you're trying to understand the word ‘if’ or the word ’the’, what would you have them form out of clay for the meaning?

Sue Blyth-Hall: The meaning of ‘the’ is one thing, but it's one specific thing. The meaning of ‘a’ is one thing. So if you want ‘a banana’, it's just one banana. So you would make one banana from clay, you would make the word ‘a’, and then you've got the meaning of ‘a’. But when it's the it's one specific thing, because somebody is talking about it and pointing to it. So if I want the banana on the table, it's separated from all the other bananas in the whole wide world. Right? So you would have like a little clay man, and he would be pointing to the banana, and he would be talking about it. And that separates it from other bananas. And then you'd have the word ‘the’ and then you've got everything you need.

Leanne: That's fantastic.

Calla: I’m so excited to put this into play with my with my girl, I'm so excited. I can't even tell you.

Sue Blyth-Hall: That's beautiful. How old is your girl?

Calla: She's 10.

Sue Blyth-Hall:That's that's when the wheels come off very often around grade four. Because all her coping strategies are in place by them. All the the things that she's done to try and survive are really sort of holding her back from being that little Apple Mac.

Calla: Yep, yeah. Knee deep in it for the last 10 years trying to make sense of it and given every diagnosis under the book, all sorts of medicine to try to cover it up. We said enough's enough. And we are just so fortunate to be in a spot now where we have educators who are willing to go to bat for her and trying to be as accommodating as the public school system will allow. While like trying to tag team you know, at home and do the most. So. Yeah, I'm really excited about the steps that you laid out. I just, I can't even, it really means so much to me. What are some of the common misconceptions of dyslexia, when people often hear about like, Leanne, what do you think dyslexia is?

Leanne: Yeah, my basic understanding was scrambling letters and scrambling numbers. And and that's really, that's and they made it very difficult to comprehend whatever you were trying to learn that that's the extent of what I knew.

Sue Blyth-Hall: Absolutely. No. And it's not that we don't do that. Yes, we do see letters from all different ways we, we see words from the opposite ends. And we do get numbers mixed up. That's for sure. But the interesting thing is, when I went to school, I didn't know I had dyslexia. And frankly, I don't think anybody else did. Because I was able to cope with the reading and the writing. And math was my downfall. Right? It you don't have to have all of those things together. And then when I went to school, and it was a while ago, and women didn't have to be good at math. So it wasn't such a big deal, right. And I got by, and funnily enough, I trained as a secretary, I was a big disappointment to my my head ministers because oh, you, your principal, because I had the grades. I worked really hard, I could do the writing. And I could do the the spelling, and I kept rereading and rereading to try and make sense of things. And they got the grades to go to university. But there was some part of me that I know now was just me, saying, No way you are not going, it's not gonna work. Right. And so I didn't I trained as a secretary. And that was hilarious, because it was the days of manual typewriters. Right. And it was shorthand, which was even funnier. Yeah, and carbon paper, you know, for for copies. And you had to sort of wrap everything. Oh, it was it was, I never passed a typing test because they would put this speed thing on. And as soon as that happens, imagine what you can think about. Totally, I just went to pieces. I never passed a test, but they gave me the diploma because they knew I could do it. So. And I discovered as I was working as a secretary, a sense of humor is really important. Because if you giggle and laugh, when you've made a mistake, it's really difficult for people to tell you.

Calla: That is my coping mechanism.

Sue Blyth-Hall: Exactly.

Leanne: It helps you not tell yourself off as well, if you can just be light hearted with it.

Sue Blyth-Hall:Yeah, totally. I mean, I wasn't exactly in denial, but I was definitely gonna make a joke out of it. I can't remember what your question was.

Calla: Just the common misconception that you may think it's one thing and it's really, it carries over from from the letters and numbers to literally every thought that you think. I think that people don't understand that part of it. It's not just reading and writing, it's emotions. I mean, it plays into every thought that you think.

Sue Blyth-Hall: That confusion is, is the key to us being disoriented. So even if we were to walk into a room, and we could feel that maybe the people in the room weren't very happy, that sends us into confusion, right? Was it me that made them not happy? Is it me coming in, you know, that type of thing with all these questions, and you sort of tend to go off into space. And for me, one of the things that besides the math, it was a sense of direction. I can get lost anywhere.

Leanne: Yes, yes. You are speaking to me right now. Yeah. The directions it's a disaster over here.

Sue Blyth-Hall: In the old days, when you used to have map books, the first page is that map book was the overall picture. Right? And then they had the pages where you had the section you needed to go to you might not have seen that. But if I saw that big overall picture, I could sew together hang up the other pages. But if you just put me in that page, just the section page, I wouldn't have a clue where I was.

Calla: Yeah, I see that. I noticed that with my daughter a lot. Like even if they change the way like the flow of traffic in a certain room. I mean, that can just, it's over. I think she really does just panic, you know, and I was the same way as a kid and I still can get that you know, you talk about loss of direction. If I go to the store, I have to park in the same spot every time or very close to it for that same reason.

Sue Blyth-Hall: I know. And if they knock down the house on the corner, you're done for!

Calla: Yes! But what is it by? That's what I always have to say when people are giving me direction. Don’t come with that north, south, east, west. I don't have time for that.

Sue Blyth-Hall:. No, definitely no, definitely. But typically, you mentioned the word change. And that's something that typically we don't like. Because when we have pictures, they're very strong, right? And then we walk into a room, and the, you know, the furniture has changed. And it's, it doesn't match up with the picture that we have in our head. Right? And that can often throw, as you say, with your daughter, and change is something becoming something else. Right? So a typical example would be the caterpillar in the cocoon and the butterfly, right. But sometimes we don't know what that end is going to be. There's no picture for it. Like, you know, when kids move house, sometimes they don't know what their new school will be like, or their new friends or their new home, the new bedroom, that type of thing. So when that the result of that change is not a strong image, or it's not even one they would like. It gets to be a bit scary.

Calla: What are some coping skills that are healthy, that these kids or individuals or in your own journey that

have helped?

Sue Blyth-Hall: Well, you know, how I told you the three parts to the challenge, this wonderful ability and the system and the no pictures? Well, when we work with the kids, first of all, we have to show them sort of what you might call a parking spot for the mind's eye. And Ron Davis is a gentleman who wrote this book called “The Gift of Dyslexia”, and he discovered quite by accident that if you park your mind's eye, about a foot above and behind your head, it gives you the same perception, as you'll realize the same focus. So the first thing we do with kids is show them how to create that parking spot. And they will see the parking spot with their mind's eye. If they're there, then they know that seeing what everybody else sees and hearing what everybody else hears. If they don't, then they know they're off into space, and so it's a tool that they can use. If you're off into space, don't say anything, it might not be right. And whatever somebody is telling, you might not be really hearing it. Why have this parking spot, then you know that you're in that place to be able to learn?

Leanne: I think that's effective for almost any kid to learn. It's almost like a meditative practice.

Calla: Mindfulness.

Sue Blyth-Hall: Well, funny you should say that. I'll go down the correction part still, but I'll come back to the prevention. So the correction part is, first of all, they have to have this firm focus, and they have to be relaxed, and they have to be able to control their energy levels, very useful for kids with ADHD. So we give them the tools, we check out the alphabet, because when they were learning their letters in the very beginning, they might have been somewhere else, they might not have correct images, right. So we make sure that all the images for all those letters, uppercase, lowercase punctuation marks, they're all accurate. They don't have any confusions. And that has to happen first of all. Then we do the reading exercise, which is based on spell reading. So if you come to a word like cat, and you don't know it, you say, C-A-T. I say cat, the child knows when they see see followed by eight followed by T. It's always going to be cat. And funnily enough, spell reading is what adults do. Because Yeah, and if you didn't know a word Leanne, and Calla was there, you'd say, “Hey, what's g-i-f-t?” You're not going to say what's “Guh-iii-fff-ttt”. Right? So why we do it to kids I have no idea.

Well, I know why we do it because But anyway, the point is, when they've got their way of focusing, and when they've got no confusions left in the letters and when they're able to do the reading their way, and then they can start making the meanings for words that don't normally have meanings. They're good to go. They're just in the same place as anybody who learns any way. That's the correction part. The prevention part, which is where Leanne was going if K-3 teachers learn this, learn what we call Davis Learning Strategies. I was hoping you'd ask about that.

It's the strategies that classroom teachers learn in two days. And then based on all those correction methods, they use them with the whole class. The whole class learns to focus. The whole class learns to control their energy levels. The whole class learns their alphabet with clay. And then they read the spell reading way. They can bring in the sound if they want to, but I would always do it later. Then they would learn how to make words. You can start off with cat you can make a little cat out of clay and ‘c-a-t’, it's a way of learning that would be good for them their entire lives, no matter which way they learned. That way, you can prevent the learning challenges from happening. They only happen because these people are not catered for. But, if you use a method that works for both, no learning challenges.

Calla: They're able to keep up.

Sue Blyth-Hall:They're totally doing what everybody else is doing. Everybody's doing it together, nobody's singled out. I know people think early intervention is such a good idea, but it really isn't because you pull a child out, you test them, you segregate them, you take them out of class for more of what they couldn't do in the beginning, you give them a tutor at home, they still can't do it. And by this time, they are convinced that they are stupid. That's not okay. It's not necessary, it can be avoided.

Leanne: Can I ask something just to make sure that I'm on the same page? So you're talking about the spectrum of learning, right, and you've got the verbal conceptualization, that's the learning and sounding things out, and then the nonverbal, which would be considered dyslexia, essentially?

Sue Blyth-Hall: yeah.

Leanne: So it is a spectrum. I guess, I've always considered myself a visual learner. Would that put me more towards the dyslexic side of that spectrum? Not to make this about me, I'm sorry.

Sue Blyth-Hall: No, it's a great question. Because everybody wants to know, where am I? Where am I?

Calla: We want to put a pin in it.

Sue Blyth-Hall: Yeah. If you divide that spectrum into three, right, mostly sound mostly image and then feeling I would say that I was on the cusp of the middle and the dyslexic. Okay, if you know what I mean. And maybe you might be too because maybe you're visual, but you don't have enough. I was, I was able to use those tools that they gave me in school. It didn't seem to mess me up too much. But that's I'm not right down that end. My son is definitely down that end and there was no way he was going to learn to read phonetically. So the way that you can assess whether you have this way of thinking or not, is, say you were to close your eyes and go back to visualizing that elephant, right? If I ask people to do that, some people can see nothing. So they're definitely down this end.

Leanne: Okay. So it goes both ways then? The verbal, conceptualizer cannot really see any images. That sounds so sad to me.

Sue Blyth-Hall: Me too. We should label them dis-visioning or something.

Calla: There we go. We don't need another label, do we?

Sue Blyth-Hall: No, but it's sort of tempting. But you will have people who can see flat photographs. Like if you say elephant, they'll see a picture of an elephant in a in a magazine. And then you'll have people who can see the 3d elephant in their imagination.

Calla: And then there is me who's just drawing it and can't stop. That’s how I operate.

Sue Blyth-Hall: That's cool. That's very cool. But the actual ability is being able to keep the elephant still and see it as if you're walking around it. That if you have that ability, then you'll be in my world, so to speak. And it might be that you're, you know, you're you can read you can write I could, okay, but then I'll almost guarantee there will be some even coordination and catching and, you know, hand to eye coordination from ball sports, that type of thing that can be something that's a result of your mind's eye being out here in space.

Leanne: Like being well coordinated or being not well coordinated? What do you mean?

Sue Blyth-Hall: A good, good question because actually, it can be both. You can have incredibly good sports people, and amazing athletes, and they're using that ability, very often to see the information before everybody else. And then you will have other people who can't catch to save their lives because their mindset is just out in space somewhere.

Calla: The proprioceptive input is just completely off.

Sue Blyth-Hall: Yeah, the information has to be accurate as it comes in. A lot of kids are very late speaking, right? Because if they're, not hearing correctly, if their minds ear, if you like, is out somewhere, they might not be hearing accurately. You can't learn to speak accurately until you're hearing accurately. It's not structural hearing, it's this perception of hearing of sound rather.

Calla: You’re giving me so much to think about. This is so exciting. My daughter's going to be so sick of me by the end of the day. I'm just gonna be trying out all sorts like,

Leanne: She’s like “Mom, we're done with homeschooling!”

Calla: So, so funny. Sue, you talk about the threshold of confusion and how some days you can feel more dyslexic than other days. Can you help me understand that a little bit?

Sue Blyth-Hall: Yeah. So if you're tired, and you haven't had anything decent to eat, and you didn't sleep very well, and your your head's aching. It's much more difficult to do whatever that coping strategy was to get you in that place for learning. So it's a good idea to talk about the coping strategies, because most children seem to try and concentrate, right? The harder you concentrate, the more stressful it is, the more your headaches or stomach aches. It's exhausting, right? Some children play the class clown and make light of it. Some avoid altogether, “I am not going to school, you cannot make me”, right? Some people are in denial. “That's what he said, No, come on, you know, what's the problem?”, So all these coping mechanisms try to get us through the day when we're in school. But when we're tired, and when we’re hungry, and when we're hurting, they're much more difficult to use. And so we would appear to be more dyslexic.

Calla: That makes so much sense.

Leanne:That that I guess maybe answers my question because I saw on your website that you talked about a good diet, free of intolerances can help decrease or help your ability to learn more easily.

Sue Blyth-Hall: Yeah, well, in particularly with the kids who had ADD and ADHD. I can't help thinking that sugar has quite a lot to do with it. I mean, it's almost impossible these days to to eat anything that doesn't have sugar in it. Processed sugar, processed foods. So sometimes kids arrive, and they've had chocolate milk and cereal for breakfast, and then, you know, then they have like a chocolate chip cookie for a snack. And I'm thinking, I'm supposed to be working with you and you're supposed to be working. It's not good. So I think the diet does have a lot to do with it. Particularly some children know, I mean, they say to me, “No, I can't have candy. I'll go off the wall.” So they sometimes they know it.

Leanne: Wow. That's very, like, intuitive for them at a young age.

Calla: Yeah. Tell them you have to you have to tell them like you don't. This is part of your health. This is part of what you need to do. We've had to do that with my daughter because she's a chocolate freak. Leanne , you know, she, she will go nuts. She'll say, “I can't control myself.”

Leanne: She'll say, “I can't stop eatin’!”

Sue Blyth-Hall: Oh, you can cut this out. But Turmeric and Bromeliad is brilliant for that. We had like a rule with my my son that he would only get to have candy or chocolate after a meal.

Calla: Yes, right.

Sue Blyth-Hall: Never by itself. Protein first. It brings the spiking down.

Calla: In your book when you said that you put a stop, because they do, they reward kids with candy all the time at school for getting a problem right or whatever. And I like I think I threw my fist up in the air in solidarity because I've gone in there too. And I'm like, “Stop giving my kids Skittles!”. Like, this is not helping anything! I totally, totally respect that. But you do you have to go in because they do “teach” kids that way. Using sugar as reward and it's such a disservice.

Sue Blyth-Hall: Absolutely.

Calla:I’ll get off my soapbox now.

Sue Blyth-Hall: No, no. It's my same soapbox. There's a wonderful book called Simplicity Parenting by a gentleman called Kim Jon Payne, and he says, we’ve created a society of reward junkies, like the kids won't do anything unless there is a reward. And our philosophy, if you like, is they've got to do it for them.

Calla: Right.