In 2019, Matt and El’ise Bothe burst onto our screens on The Block: Oslo Hotel. In what was a dramatic and emotional season, viewers fell in love with their warmth and determination throughout the build. The pair even ended as runners up, taking home $460,000 for their young children.
Speaking to 9Honey, El’ise recently opened up about her dyslexia diagnosis at age 19. Bothe struggled with her confidence, revealing she was “picked on at school”, was “pulled out of class” and was doubted by teachers during her adolescence.
“I have one vivid memory of a teacher saying to me, ‘Oh, don’t worry, El’ise, you know, you’re good at other areas. You won’t succeed to anything in life,’” Bothe recalls. “And I was like, ‘Oh, okay.’ That was really, really hard to hear.”
She described the moment of being diagnosed as a relief, knowing her struggle was being caused by a learning disorder and not by her being unintelligent.
Bothe revealed that the pandemic and remote-learning through that time raised her issues with literacy confidence again – admitting “it was the most stressful time [she had] ever experienced”.
“Being dyslexic and having two out of three children dyslexic, being thrown in front of technology with no tools to help me, reading a screen, three different screens, trying to educate these kids, when I would have problems myself… It was so exhausting and embarrassing,” Bothe says.
Speaking about how dyslexia affected her time on The Block, Bothe says she would “triple check her budget so she wouldn’t be put in a position of embarrassment because of her dyslexia.”
Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to prevent her from being ridiculed by The Block host Scott Cam, as Bothe was forced to watch as production handed out money to other couples who remained ‘in budget’.
‘I knew that I was right. I knew that I had my budget under control,’ Bothe said.
Bothe was recently announced as an ambassador to TextHelp’s Words Can’t Hold Us Back campaign. The campaign aims to highlight the challenges literacy barriers create, with a quarter of their research participants explaining that they struggle to understand documents and paperwork which are critical to day to day activity.