It was a momentous week for me. My fourth book, “What To Do About Dyslexia: 25 Essential Concepts for Parents” arrived.
Often, people writing about topics such as dyslexia are writing about their personal struggles that they have grappled with to overcome the challenges.
I may have a bunch of other things (probably too numerous to mention – just ask my wife), but I know I don’t have dyslexia.
So, how did I get here on this dyslexia train?
I think back to a boy I first met when I was a very young, newly minted special education teacher. This boy named Frankie was sitting in a regular third grade class. When I gave him a basic list of words to read to me like of, him, and, for, stop, bird, look, he gave me a bewildered shrug and was unable to read any of them.
Even though I’ve evaluated thousands of kids many of whom have dyslexia, I continue to have my mind boggled when I see the level of challenge faced by these people, keeping in mind that reading is a process mastered by most seven year olds.
I have a Hall of Fame of Dyslexics that I have met along the way. These are bright, articulate kids (and adults) who have struggled severely all of their lives with the fundamental skills of reading, spelling and writing.
Frankie was the first to be given the honor of being nominated for my Hall of Fame. Others like Danny, Donny, Josh, Rachel, Samantha, Danielle, Scott and Michael are in the Hall with Frankie.
One common theme, beside that they faced enormous hurdles to overcome, is that they all found their way. They faced their challenges, worked hard to overcome them and became successful, engaged adults
School represents a type of storm for the dyslexic, something that they must weather, get through and survive. To weather the storm they will need different types of support along the way. Perhaps they will have an engaging Orton-style tutor who will tirelessly target the skills (often over a number of years for those with more severe deficits). Or maybe, they will have a psychologist or therapist who helps them not become overly discouraged and shut-down. Or maybe they have parents who strike the right balance between support and limit setting.
All I can tell you is I am very happy that my newest book baby has been birthed. While I have never given never had the experience of childbirth, from what I have heard getting a book published has many similar parallels and is a painful, but ultimately gratifying process.
To all of you, especially the dyslexics, shut-down learners and parents along the way who have contributed directly (and indirectly) to this baby being born, I thank you.
You’re all in the book (even if you didn’t get nominated for the Hall).
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