Barb’s motivating mission is to help others learn about Dyslexia. The Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children is a wonderful resource available to all children regardless of income or ability to pay. To learn more about their services or make a donation, please visit their Web site.
“I, myself, was always recognized…as the “slow one” in the family. It was quite true, and I knew it and accepted it. Writing and spelling were always terribly difficult for me. My letters were without originality. I was…an extraordinarily bad speller and have remained so until this day.”
Dyslexia is a language processing disorder that affects, to varying degrees, a person’s ability to read, speak, and spell. It does not signal poor intellect or laziness. Boys and girls are affected equally. Dyslexia is a lifelong trait, like having blue eyes or fair skin.
“I couldn’t read. I just scraped by. My solution back then was to read classic comic books because I could figure them out from the context of the pictures. Now I listen to books on tape.”
Data from the International Dyslexia Association states Dyslexia affects upwards of 10 percent of Americans, many of which are not diagnosed. In the past, when not diagnosed and no intervention measures were taken, many dyslexics dropped out of school, ended up in prison, or worked jobs well below their intellectual capacity. Not being able to read like their peers, being teased or made to feel stupid because of it, can damage a child’s self esteem for life.
“When I had dyslexia, they didn’t diagnose it as that. It was frustrating and embarrassing. I could tell you a lot of horror stories about what you feel like on the inside.”
Many successful dyslexics, despite lack of intervention or treatment, have attributed their success to having one person believe in them…be it a parent, teacher, or friend.
“My problem was reading very slowly. My parents said, “Take as long as you need. As long as you’re going to read, just keep at it.” We didn’t know about learning disabilities back then.”
–Roger Wilkins, Head of the Pulitzer Prize Board*
If we understand the condition, we have the power to help…to be that one person.
Dyslexia. The Gift.
Dyslexic brains work differently, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
“Some of our children with dyslexia are among our most intellectually gifted humans. It’s a form of intelligence. It’s a form of brain organization that they have that leads them to be, oftentimes, our artists, our architects, our pattern recognizers in radiology and astronomy. But they think often outside the box of our conventional left hemisphere thinking. I love them. Our species would never be what it is without this form of brain organization.”
–Maryann Wolf, author of Proust and the Squid **
Nobel Laureates, Physicists, Artists along with some of history’s best minds happen to have been dyslexic: Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, and Leonardo DaVinci.
“He told me that his teachers reported that…he was mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in his foolish dreams.”
–Hans Albert Einstein, on his father, Albert Einstein*
“My teachers say I’m addled…my father thought I was stupid, and I almost decided I must be a dunce.”