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The Gifts inside us.  They’ve always been there.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”              ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gifts. 

We give them. We receive them.  We are able to identify the unique gifts in others. We often have a more difficult time identifying them in ourselves.

Why? 

Many adult dyslexics have grown up feeling misunderstood, unsupported, and overwhelmed. We’ve felt shame, anger, anxiety, depression and confusion.

We have layers.  Years of overcompensating, trying to fit in, treading water, spinning our wheels. We’ve spend a lot of time looking outside of ourselves for answers, for clarity, for validation, and for change.  Perhaps we’ve looked in the wrong places.

We need only pause and begin to look within to find the answers which we are looking for.

Dyslexia is a trait.  It’s not a gift, nor is it a curse.  It is what it is. 

Whether you are dyslexic or not, you possess gifts.  

Take the time to unwrap them.  You’ll be surprised!

 

Happy Holidays from Headstrong Nation!

 

PS: Here is an article from Bestselling author, Professional Speaker, TV personality, Corporate spokesperson, Interfaith minister, and TedX Host Laura Berman Fortgang, (via the Huff Post) entitled “The Top 10 Ways to Discover Your Unique Gift”. Discover yours this season!

 

Headstrong Nation Mission Statement - Headstrong Nation is a movement dedicated to a radical new approach to dyslexia. We empower adult dyslexics to own their dyslexia, to understand it, and to develop new ways of learning and working based on their individual profiles. 

We would like to invite you to donate to Headstrong Nation as we need your support to help us to fulfill our mission for the adult dyslexic. Please consider donating to Headstrong Nation HERE. Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter . Thank you very much!  - The Headstrong Nation Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of Nelson Lauver, Author

 

I’d like to Apologize to All Dyslexics

I received a diagnosis of dyslexia at the ripe old age of 29.

 

Since that time, and very innocently I might add, I have said some really dumb things about dyslexia.  Disclaimer: In my defense, these are things I've said out of pure ignorance and a steady diet of misinformation.

 

I See Things Backward.

 

Shorty after being diagnosed I confided in a teacher-friend that I was, in fact, dyslexic.

 

"Oh, that's no big deal. It just means that you see things backwards," she said.

 

"I DO?"

 

"Sure, you just don't realize it because you always have and at this point in your life it seems normal to you," she replied.

 

I started walking around her kitchen touching things: a fork, cabinet door and items in her refrigerator. 

 

I was trying to catch myself seeing things backwards. But according to my teacher-friend, my nearly 30-year-old brain was so accustomed to seeing things backwards that it "was set in stone and I'd never be able to change it."

 

No Pictures in My Head.

 

At about the same time, I saw a psychologist on a weekly basis who was trying to get my head screwed back on straight. I was a very angry young man presenting with a second-grade reading and writing level.

 

He told me that the cause of my dyslexia was that I can't see pictures in my head like normal people.

 

"OK, let's do an exercise," he said.

 

"I want you to close your eyes and picture the house you grew up in. Can you see it, Nelson?"

 

"Well, I think so. It's stone and has a red roof and white window panes ..."

 

He interrupted me.  "But can you see it like a movie playing in a theater? Can you see it as clearly on the back of your eyelids as if you were looking at the big screen." 

 

"Well, yes, no, sort of, probably not, but I think I can see it! Wait! Yes! No, I guess not?" I told him.

 

"That is the problem; you have no visual memory. You depend on your inner voice as your memory," he explained.   

 

He went on to tell me, "You can't spell because you can't see the word you want to spell."   

 

I left the shrink's office that day and spent the next several years explaining dyslexia to family and close friends as "viewing everything backwards, even though I can't tell it's backwards. Also, I don't have the ability to see pictures in my head like normal people, and that's why I can’t read well and spell, and stuff like that."

 

Later I would come to discover that most dyslexics don't view the world backward. I also learned that I not only see pictures in my head but, like many dyslexics, I think in pictures. As far as having a movie projector in my brain shooting cinematic pictures on to the back of eyelids, I've yet to find ANYONE with such a gift. 

 

Of course, I learned this only after I was a party to the further distribution of this misinformation.  

 

But Wait, There's More!

 

As I look back, it all makes me feel so silly, but in the immortal words of Ron Popeil, American inventor and television personality, "WAIT, THERE'S MORE!"   

 

For so long I wanted to be normal. I lamented the fact that I had the dubious distinction of graduating dead last in East Juniata High School's class of 1981. I was upset that I didn't go to college and law school. I was angry that I wasn't the big, powerful attorney on the back cover of the Yellow Pages book.  

 

I went looking for a "cure." I confided in friends and family that I felt "broken" and I wanted to be "fixed."

 

I laugh now because I finally realize that I'm not broken, and I don't need to be fixed.  Sure, there are lots of tools I use to compensate for dyslexia but all kinds of craftsmen use tools in their jobs, right?   

 

Finding the Gifts.

 

I have found the gifts that come with being dyslexic and it is such a pleasure to have them.  (I elaborated on these gifts in my blog at www.nelsonsbook.com.) Life is OK these days. I had extensive literacy tutoring in my 30s and that helped a lot. I'm in my early 50s now. I'm married, and my wife is great at spelling (not the only reason I married her). Oh, and I'm a professional writer with a book on the New York Times Best Sellers List. OK, OK, I am an author but the part about my book being a best seller isn't true. I just wanted to see what that looks like in print. It looks GREAT!

 

On the road to understanding, I've had a few fender-benders and for that I am very sorry.   

 

 

Nelson Lauver is the host of the American Storyteller Radio Journal and author of the award-winning memoir “Most Unlikely To Succeed.” He is also a keynote speaker, humorist, syndicated broadcaster, strategist, entrepreneur, voice-over artist, co-founder of the Jane and Nelson Lauver Foundation and director of ProblemTank, a neurodiverse think tank.



Thank you very much Nelson for guest blogging for us! 

Headstrong Nation Mission Statement: 

Headstrong Nation is a movement dedicated to a radical new approach to dyslexia.  We empower adult dyslexics to own their dyslexia, to understand it, and to develop new ways of learning and working based on their individual profiles.  

Please follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.  If you would like to help us to fulfill our mission, please consider donating to Headstrong Nation HERE  - Thank You! ~ The Headstrong Nation Team 

 

 

Dyslexia Awareness comes to St. Croix, USVI

2015 Learning Disabilities Awareness Conference – St. Croix, USVI

Achieve the Impossible hosted the 2015 Learning Disabilities Awareness Conference on November 13-15, 2015. Mrs. Juliet Thomas-Arthurton, President and Founder of Achieve the Impossible,  Dr. Tracy Johnson, Vessels of Hope Founder/CEO, dyslexia advocate, and Headstrong Nation Fellow along with Apostle Patricia Phillips, Evangelist, Founder and President of It’s Not Always Autism Tijuana Lane participated in the event.  

Attendees at the event listened to the three keynote speakers as they presented definitions, characteristics of, and additional information on individuals with learning differences and the challenges and barriers that they face. They also discussed the tools and strategies needed for those with learning differences to help them to thrive and become successful.

Flyer from Learning Disabilities conference in St Croix Nov 13 and 14 2015                                                                                                                                                    

Learning Disabilities Awareness Conference November 13th and 14th – St. Croix, USVI - Keynote Speakers: Apostle Patricia A. Phillips, Evangelist Tijuana Lane and Dr. Tracy Johnson. (Dr Rahmanda Campbell, pictured in flyer above, was unable to attend conference).

Dr. Tracy Johnson speaking to group at conference

Dr. Tracy Johnson sharing her experiences as a dyslexic.

Dr. Johnson discussed her own powerful testimony and how after receiving evidence-based multisensory Orton – Gillingham influenced remediation as a young adult she was able to attend college and obtain a number of advanced education degrees leading her to her current teaching career at Harcum College.

Photo of attendees at Learning Disabilities Conference in St. Croix

Group photo of attendees and presenters at the 2015 Learning Disabilities Awareness Conference in St. Croix, USVI

The Message and What Was Learned

The message at the conference was one of hope.  Some of the important points which the participants learned were: 

  • Having a learning difference does not mean that you are dumb.  It means that you learn differently and need specific supports and tools to enable you to thrive.
  • When it comes to teaching children how to read, one size does not fit all, and instruction should be differentiated based on the specific needs of each child. 

photo of Zion arthurton  at computer at conferenceJoshua Arthurton at dyslexia awareness conference          

         Two bright and curious young men in attendance. From left, Jeremy (Ziyon) Arthurton and Joshua Arthurton. 
  • Needed services and supports can be very costly and it’s important for dyslexics and parents of dyslexics alike to serve as advocates for change to effect change and to begin a dialog with representatives on the local and federal levels on the need to address dyslexia and related learning disabilities. 

Juliet Thomas-Arthurton photo speaking at Learning Disabilites conference

Mrs. Juliet Thomas-Arthurton, President and Founder of Achieve the Impossible Inc, and The director and coordinator of the 2015 Learning Disability Awareness Conference in St. Croix, USVI, speaking to attendees.
  • It’s important to join existing support groups along with other parents all over the United States and to consider creating a new local group, as parents share many of the same concerns.
  • With the proper instruction and support, dyslexic individuals of all ages are capable of doing great things! 

Information is power and St. Croix needs more!

Juliet Arthurton, the president and Founder of Achieve the Impossible Inc., and the Director and coordinator of the conference, acknowledges that more information on dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADHD, CAPD and other learning disabilities needs to be shared with those in St. Croix to continue to raise the level of awareness of parents, educators and individuals living with these conditions.

The following link will take to a page on our website listing some general definitions and many useful links to organizations which provide information and resources on dyslexia. We hope that this information will help you as a starting point on your journey. - http://headstrongnation.org/list-dyslexia-and-other-related-ld-resources

What’s Next?

The response to the conference was very positive, and Dr. Johnson is looking forward to returning to St. Croix sometime in March, 2016 for part two of the conference!  She is pleased that Dr. Rahmanda Campbell, CEO of the Learning Clinic Inc., who was originally slated to be a keynote speaker, but was unable to attend, will get an opportunity to join this second event. 

Apostle Patricia Phillips, Evangelist Tijuana Lane, and Dr. Tracy Johnson posing for camera at WCVI - TV 23  studio

Apostle Patricia A. Phillips, Pastor and Founder of Nothing but the Word Deliverance Church, Florence NJ, Evangelist Tijuana Lane, President and Founder of It’s Not Always Autism, and Dr. Tracy Johnson, CEO and Founding President of Vessels of Hope, Inc.

Evangelist Tijuana Lane, Mrs. Juliet Thomas Arthurton, Apostle Patricia Phillips and Dr. Tracy Johnson Photo

Evangelist Tijuana Lane, Mrs. Juliet Thomas -Arthurton, Apostle Patricia A. Phillips and Dr. Tracy Johnson, CEO Vessels of Hope. 

Photo shoot of group at WCVI TV 23 Pastor Virginia Ventura of Miracle Revival Deliverance Tabernacle Church, Ms.Patricia Sage, Apostle Patricia A Phillips, Evangelist Tijuanna Lane, Dr. Tracy Johnson, Mr. Christopher Millette,General Manager of WCVI-TV23 and Mrs. Juliet Thomas-Arthurton. )

Photo Shoot at WCVI-TV23, the only ChristianTV & Family Broadcasting Station in St.Croix Virgin Island. Pastor Virginia Ventura of Miracle Revival Deliverance Tabernacle Church, Ms.Patricia Sage, Apostle Patricia A Phillips, Evangelist Tijuana Lane, Dr. Tracy Johnson, Mr. Christopher Millette, General Manager of WCVI-TV23, and Mrs. Juliet Thomas-Arthurton.

Great job to all in continuing to spread awareness to those living in St. Croix and beyond!

Headstrong Nation Mission Statement: 

Headstrong Nation is a movement dedicated to a radical new approach to dyslexia.  We empower adult dyslexics to own their dyslexia, to understand it, and to develop new ways of learning and working based on their individual profiles.  

Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  If you would like to help us to fulfill our mission, please consider donating to Headstrong Nation HERE 

Thank You! ~ The Headstrong Nation Team 

 

Photo of Artist Mary Radcliff-Harnetiaux

Mary Radcliff-Harnetiaux, Artist, www.mariauxart.com

Mary Radcliff-Harnetiaux is a Saint Louis, Missouri Artist who creates large-scale abstract paintings in acrylic on wood. Her work is ornate and full of life and movements. Mary is an artist who likes to tell stories, and many of her paintings are inspired by poetry, literature or iconic figures.  Each painting has an original handcrafted frame which is built by Mary's dad, Michael Radcliff. Mary agreed to share her story, her work and experiences as an adult dyslexic with Headstrong Nation.

Painting by Mary Harnetiaux

"Four & Twenty" - Acrylic on Wood - By Mary Radcliff- Harnetiaux 

Photo by Robert Bullivant/Bullivant Gallery www.bullivantgallery.com

 

Dyslexia as a child

I struggled in school. I never received support as a student nor was I understood by my teachers. I was unable to connect to my work, which made me feel helpless and isolated. I was viewed as lazy and unmotivated. When I look back at my educational journey, I remember all the things my parents had to do in order to protect me, and I'm incredibly grateful they never gave up on me.

Painting by Mary Harnetiaux

“The Kaleidoscope” – By Mary Radcliff-Harnetiaux


Discovering Art and the Creative Process

I discovered I was an artist when I was six years old. I won a coloring contest in my community and that smidgen of recognition felt so right and reaffirming that I gave myself the title, “artist.” At the start, my creative process with painting served to pacify my feelings of inadequacy in other areas. I always looked to tell a story and the stories in my heart inspired me the most. During a typical school day, or later in life while working at my job, I would see the painting I wanted to paint in my head and I would come home and try to capture it. I intuitively knew that I had this other “thing” that I was really good at. I’d dive into my paints and I would find myself.

Painting by Mary Harnetiaux

“Eve” – Acrylic on Wood - By Mary Radcliff-Harnetiaux

Photo by Robert Bullivant/Bullivant Gallery www.bullivantgallery.com


What My Dyslexia Looks Like

I forget passwords all the time and find myself locked out of accounts—very frustrating. When I put things away, I can’t find them. I stack things neatly and within sight. I get rid of clutter. I have large glass apothecary jars that I keep pencils and crayons and paint brushes in. I would say that my days of working in retail actually helped me learn how to “display” items in an “artistic” way around my house—no one would know that I have problems with organization.

Paperwork/forms in doctor’s offices (or anywhere) is very hard for me to fill out. I have trouble staying on the right line and I always have to draw arrows indicating that I reversed lines. My dyslexia also reveals itself at times through my speech.  People who know me well will attest to hearing me say on occasion, "I can't get my words out." If you have ever seen me in a yoga class or witnessed me dance, "The Electric Slide," during a wedding reception—you’ll notice that I have profound left and right issues. I work around these problems directly, without apology, and through humor.

Painting by Mary Harnetiaux

“Unexpected Journey” – Acrylic on Wood – By Mary Radcliff-Harnetiaux

Photo by Robert Bullivant/Bullivant Gallery www.bullivantgallery.com


Tools Which Help Me to Be my Personal Best

GPS is my closest friend. Voice to text is also a close companion. Spellcheck is my secret weapon. I ear read like a fiend. I have a voracious appetite for books and information. Ear reading is by far the most important tool in my life. People ask me if I miss the feeling of a book in my hand—like I’m missing out on something. I’m just fine with my Learning Ally or Audible apps, and tech. I wonder if a typical reader can paint their bathroom while eye reading? You see, my reading experience is pretty 3D. For instance, I planted all of my tulip bulbs while ear reading the novel, “The Signature of all Things.” I completed my most recent painting as I listened to, Neil Gaiman, narrate his own book, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane.” I would never view my ear reading experience as lacking in any way. These tools help me live a better quality of life as they help me accomplish more than I ever thought possible.

Success and How I own my dyslexia

To me, success as a dyslexic adult is understanding how I work—how I tick—knowing my areas of weakness and strength. My success is not about success in other people’s eyes. I've spent years battling that internal dialogue that constantly tells me I can’t do something, that I’m not good at anything, or that I shouldn't be a part of something important. Success is learning to control that negative narrative. It is being brave and curious enough to do that thing that fills me with a sense of accomplishment and purpose. It’s writing without worrying about the red line that highlights my errors. It’s painting that story inside of me without asking anyone for permission. To me, success is understanding that struggle and failure are a learning curve and that the bigger picture is owning it all while honoring my true nature in the process.

“Your road may be a jagged uphill trek, but you have heart, brains, and courage. If you look closely, you'll realize your purpose in life has been with you all along—sort of like Dorothy and her ruby slippers.”


Words for the Young Adult Dyslexic

Understanding your limitations is a form of intelligence, it's not a weakness. Own your personal story—even if it's not a success story right now. Believe it or not, your failure story is a blueprint for your success story to follow. Own it all. Find your joy and creativity. Don't allow others to fill in the blanks of what they think you are capable of. Fill every blank with your own personal narrative. You are no longer that voiceless, powerless child in the classroom. You are supposed to be here, and your perspective is wanted and valued. As long as you're trapped in a place of silence and shame, you are missed. Surround yourself with other adult dyslexics whom you feel are positive mentors. Never give up.

“Your road may be a jagged uphill trek, but you have heart, brains, and courage. If you look closely, you'll realize your purpose in life has been with you all along—sort of like Dorothy and her ruby slippers.”

You may visit Mary's website at http://mariauxart.com/ to enjoy her beautifully intricate artwork and read her personal blog. 

 

Headstrong Nation is a movement dedicated to a radical new approach to dyslexia. We empower adult dyslexics to own their dyslexia, to understand it, and to develop new ways of learning and working based on their individual profiles.  

We would like to invite you to help us to fulfill our mission for the adult dyslexic through a tax-deductible donation to Headstrong Nation. Please consider donating through our RAZOO PAGE HERE: https://www.razoo.com/us/story/Headstrong-Nation. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Thank you very much!  - The Headstrong Nation Team 

 

photo of Headstrong Nation Board Chair Larry Banks

 

To our partners in the space,

Hello. My name is Larry Banks, I am the new Board Chair of Headstrong Nation. Some of you know me, but I'm sure that most of you have heard of Headstrong Nation. For the past ten years, this organization has sought out dyslexic leaders from all walks of life. We've given retreats to discuss the issues that face us as adult dyslexics and to determine more deeply how we can be of service to our community while attempting to deepen the commitment of adult dyslexics to dyslexia in adults. As I'm sure you're well aware, most of the organizations and groups within the dyslexic community are oriented towards children, parents, research and early childhood education. We are looking at the situation from a different vantage point. We are excited and deeply moved by the programs that are going on for our children and for the effort and the programs that are being developed in education. But we believe that is equally important to remember that dyslexic children grow up to be dyslexic adults and for us that struggle is cyclical. We go through it as children, we find ways of managing our challenges in developing our talents as adults, then we are tossed back into it when our own children enter the educational system. We have just reached the point where most of us realize that dyslexia is genetic and if we are identified dyslexics most of our children will be as well. 

As identified dyslexic adults, have we looked at our own profiles deeply, both dyslexic and psychological? Have we cleared the shame, disappointments and fear from our own nature before we begin to raise children? Are we sure that we will not unwittingly, do to our children what was done to us? Disclosure, sharing and self- examination must begin with family, community and acceptance of self. If you are over 50, the first time you stand in a room full of adult dyslexics or children with attention and learning issues, and say,I am Dyslexic”, the rush of emotions can be overwhelming (it was for me), but it is also quite healing. If you have never had that experience your child has probably missed out on it too. Adults matter. If we want to prevent the destructive cycle from reoccurring.  Adults matter, because it is adults that will reshape the world in which we live. Adults matter, because we are the nurturing ground of the future and all that will happen will come through us. 

I am reaching out to every single one of you and I am asking you tojoin Headstrong Nation and help us to support you. In the words of Gandhi, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.” Stand for your children by standing for yourself, advocate for your children by advocating for yourself, help your children know you by knowing yourself. We are a young organization and we have a new mission. When we say dyslexic we do not mean to be discriminatory.

We are reaching out to adults with learning and attention issues that come from this unique neurological profile. All are welcome. In fact, all are needed. Your membership is important because your membership fee will sponsor our website and programs. We also invite you, your skills, knowledge and talents to participate with us and become an active member. Join together by joining with us as we develop Employment Prep programs for college, employment programs post high school, webinars, workshops, leadership retreats and mentoring. Knowing that you are not on this journey alone and that we will be with you as a community for the rest of your life. 

Please Donate to Headstrong Nation and help sponsor an organization of dyslexics for dyslexics and funded by dyslexics, and internationally known for its adult dyslexics.

Thank you very much, 

Larry 

 

 

Headstrong Nation banner followed by Headstrong Nation membership campaign #we own it  by dyslexics for dyslexics funded by dyslexics Nov9 we need your support and help are you in? www.headstrongnation.org/membership

Headstrong Nation Membership Campaign

You may be asking yourself, what does #WeOwnIt mean, and how does this relate to my dyslexia and to Headstrong Nation?  Headstrong Nation will begin a new membership campaign on November 9th. What this means for our organization and for you, is that we are ready to move forward with our revised mission, which is stated below.

Headstrong Nation is a movement dedicated to a radical new approach to dyslexia. We empower adult dyslexics to own their dyslexia, to understand it, and to develop new ways of learning and working based on their individual profiles.  (June, 2015)

On November 9th, Headstrong Nation is an organization which is designed for adult dyslexics, by adult dyslexics.  In other words, #WeOwnIt.

We would like you to have a voice in the evolution of Headstrong Nation, to take your seat at the table, and we need your help financially so we may begin to fulfill our mission.

What does it mean to “own” your dyslexia?   To own your dyslexia means you understand your individual dyslexic profile.  Each dyslexic is unique, although we typically share a common struggle with text in many forms. To own your dyslexia means you won’t let yourself be limited by text or other barriers which hold you back from success. You won’t let yourself be described solely by what you struggle with, because you are so much more than your struggles. 

To own your dyslexia means you have made a fair and thorough assessment of your strengths and weaknesses.  You maintain a teachable attitude and you are always working on ways to learn and work more efficiently. To own your dyslexia means you embrace the wide range of assistive technologies available to you, and you’ve begun to create a tool box of helpful apps and products which will help you on a daily basis. 

You understand that to truly thrive, you must find out what works for you as an individual. You will not let yourself be merely defined by what you cannot do, but will explore what is actually possible for you.  To own your dyslexia means that you understand the value of asking for help when needed. You know how to honestly self-advocate and you spread awareness about your dyslexic profile to those you feel comfortable with to help enable them to understand  the varied strengths and challenges associated with it.

You desire to be part of a community of other adults who will understand you, who will lift you up, and who will embrace you on your journey. 

We want you to join us at the table as a voice for positive change for the adult dyslexic, so we may explore together what is possible for us in learning, work, and life.   

Please join us as a member of Headstrong Nation.  We'd love it if you could tell you family and friends about us too and ask for their help!  We thank you for considering our invitation, and we’d appreciate your financial support during our first official membership campaign which will enable us to more effectively address the needs of the adult dyslexic. Spread the word using the hashtag #WeOwnIt

Become a member of Headstrong Nation!  We invite you to be a voice in your future!  –  Join Now   NOTE: 4/29/2016- Our formal membership campaign has ended, but you may donate to support our work at https://www.razoo.com/us/story/Headstrong-Nation

Thank you very much!  The Headstrong Nation Team

Photo of Headstrong Nation Board and Staff

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  Visit our YouTube Channel. 

 

photo of Headstrong Nation Board Chair Larry Banks


To our partners in the space,

 

Hello. My name is Larry Banks, I am the new Board Chair of Headstrong Nation. Some of you know me, but I'm sure that most of you have heard of Headstrong Nation. For the past 10 years this organization has sought out dyslexic leaders from all walks of life. We've given retreats to discuss the issues that face us as adult dyslexics and to determine more deeply how we can be of service to our community while attempting to deepen the commitment of adult dyslexics to dyslexia in adults. As I'm sure you're well aware, most of the organizations and groups within the dyslexic community are oriented towards children, parents, research and early childhood education. We are looking at the situation from a different vantage point. We are excited and deeply moved by the programs that are going on for our children and for the effort and the programs that are being developed in education. But we believe that is equally important to remember that dyslexic children grow up to be dyslexic adults and for us that struggle is cyclical. We go through it as children, we find ways of managing our challenges in developing our talents as adults, and then we are tossed back into it when our own children enter the educational system. We have just reached the point where most of us realize that dyslexia is genetic and if we are identified dyslexics most of our children will be as well.

 

As identified dyslexic adults, have we looked at our own profiles deeply, both dyslexic and psychological? Have we cleared the shame, disappointments and fear from our own nature before we begin to raise children? Are we sure that we will not unwittingly, do to our children what was done to us? Disclosure, sharing and self- examination must begin with family, community and acceptance of self. If you are over 50, the first time you stand in a room full of adult dyslexics or children with attention and learning issues, and sayI am Dyslexic”, the rush of emotions can be overwhelming, (it was for me), but it is also quite healing. If you have never had that experience your child has probably missed out on it too. Adults matter. If we want to prevent the destructive cycle from reoccurring. Adults matter, because it is adults that will reshape the world in which we live. Adults matter, because we are the nurturing ground of the future and all that will happen will come through us.

 

I am reaching out to every single one of you and I am asking you to join Headstrong Nation and help us to support you. In the words of Gandhi, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.” Stand for your children by standing for yourself, advocate for your children by advocating for yourself, help your children know you by knowing yourself.

 

We are a young organization and we have a new mission. When we say dyslexic we do not mean to be discriminatory. We are reaching out to adults with learning and attention issues that come from this unique neurological profile. All are welcome. In fact, all are needed. Your membership is important because your membership fee will sponsor our website and programs. We also invite you, your skills, knowledge and talents to participate with us and become an active member. Join together by joining with us as we develop Employment Prep programs for college, employment programs post high school, webinars, workshops, leadership retreats and mentoring. Knowing that you are not on this journey alone and that we will be with you as a community for the rest of your life.

 

Please join Headstrong Nation and help sponsor an organization of dyslexics for dyslexics and funded by dyslexics, and internationally known for its adult dyslexics.   Donate here - https://www.razoo.com/us/story/Headstrong-Nation

Thank you,  

Larry                                                                                                                                                                            


join here button

 

 

 

 

Photo of Headstrong Nation Board Chair Larry Banks

A Vision for Headstrong Nation - Thoughts from Larry Banks

Larry Banks is Headstrong Nation's Board Chairman.  He has a passion for the organization and for his fellow dyslexics.  Larry shares his vision of Headstrong Nation below.

"We are reinventing Headstrong Nation as an internationally known strong voice for adult dyslexics. Dyslexia is a lifelong profile that does not end with graduation. Dyslexic children grow up to be dyslexic adults, and although many of us have managed our profiles and have become successful in the eyes of society, many more of us are struggling, under-appreciated, full of shame and self-recrimination for having intelligence which is obscured by reading or attention issues that are misunderstood.

In children, this neurological difference is exacerbated by the conditions within schools that have the tendency to only recognize one form of intelligence. As these children get older they learn to avoid situations which might expose their differences.  When we feel ashamed, much of our energy goes towards hiding and avoiding notice.

Headstrong Nation wishes to be a lighthouse, a beacon that can be seen from anywhere to offer shelter, community, acknowledgment, acceptance, and support. We have gone through the most difficult part of our lives. Now it is time to develop our strengths, come out of hiding, and express our unique profiles. For some, this will be big and for others this will be small.  It begins with self-acceptance and the release of shame for being different, and of being able to move beyond the prejudices and pain from being labeled stupid. Together, we can become a counteractive force within society.

Headstrong Nation is here to serve as an oasis, a developing community which offers a virtual space that adult dyslexics can call home, and as an active orientation to help young adults within our community find their way and develop their true voice."

Larry Banks - dyslexia. #WeOwnIt

 

Headstrong Nation is a movement dedicated to a radical new approach to dyslexia. We empower adult dyslexics to own their dyslexia, to understand it, and to develop new ways of learning and working based on their individual profiles. - Headstrong Nation Mission Statement - June, 2015

If you'd like to help support us in fulfilling our mission for the adult dyslexic, please consider becoming a member of Headstrong Nation. You may sign up here to be included in our #WeOwnIt campaign mailing.(Note: 4/29/16 - Campaign has ended but donations are needed to support our work. You may donate at our RAZOO PAGE HERE:https://www.razoo.com/us/story/Headstrong-Nation   After signing up, please take a moment to spread the word to your family and friends via social media using the tag #WeOwnIt. Thank you! - The Headstrong Nation Team

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Headstrong is a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation, and is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax ID 47-0925290.   

 

 

Headstrong Nation banner graphic for membership sign up

Dear friends of Headstrong Nation,

For far too long, we, as adult dyslexics, have let others set our agenda. We believe that to create real change we need to unite and create an organization that is run by dyslexics, for dyslexics, and funded by dyslexics.

On November 9th, we re-image Headstrong Nation as a member driven organization. Today we need you to sign up & express your interest in joining when we launch. This will allow us to secure critical funding to cover operational overheads to re-launch Headstrong Nation.

Sign up at this link: www.headstrongnation.org/weownitsignup   (NOTE: 4/29/16 - Campaign has ended)

Please consider donating to Headstrong Nation to help us to fulfill our mission for the adult dyslexic.  Donate at our RAZOO PAGE HERE: https://www.razoo.com/us/story/Headstrong-Nation

Please spread the message on social media that you have signed up and use the tag #WeOwnIt 

Thank you very much!


 

Headstrong is a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation, and is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax ID 47-0925290.

Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel  - Thanks, The Headstrong Nation Team

 

photo of document from US Dept.of Education Assistant Secretary of ED

The Assistant Secretary of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, United States Department of Education, Michael K. Yudin released a letter today to clarify that there is nothing in the IDEA  (The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)  that would prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in IDEA evaluation, eligibility determinations, or IEP documents, despite the communications from stakeholders, including parents, advocacy groups, and national disability organizations, who believe that State and local educational agencies (SEAs and LEAs) are reluctant to reference or use dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in evaluations, eligibility determinations, or in the development of the individualized education program (IEP) under the IDEA.

In the letter, Mr. Yudin states that the Office of Special Ed, Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) encourages State Education Agencies and Local Education Agencies (SEA's and LEA's) to consider situations where it would be appropriate to use the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, or dysgraphia to describe and address the child’s unique, identified needs through evaluation, eligibility, and IEP documents. OSERS further encourages States to review their policies, procedures, and practices to ensure that they do not prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in evaluations, eligibility, and IEP documents. Finally, in ensuring the provision of free appropriate public education (FAPE), OSERS encourages SEAs to remind their LEAs of the importance of addressing the unique educational needs of children with specific learning disabilities resulting from dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia during IEP Team meetings and other meetings with parents under IDEA. 

#SayDyslexia!  A step in the right direction. Voices were heard.  Good news for many and a document to refer to and share with your child’s school, family and friends. Congratulations to the grassroots movement Decoding Dyslexia and the many other disability organizations and advocacy groups who got involved on a legislative level to spread awareness on the need to use the word and address dyslexia in the schools.  Positive change can occur one person at a time, one word at a time. Spread dyslexia awareness today!

To view the PDF letter in its entirety, click HERE.  

 

Any questions? 

Contact us at our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/headstrongnation.  We're not experts, but we’ll do what we can to point you to resources and to answer any questions that you may have.  You may also follow us on Twitter, https://twitter.com/headstrongnatio and on Pinterest.

Headstrong Nation is a movement dedicated to a radical new approach to dyslexia. We empower adult dyslexics to own their dyslexia, understand it, and develop new ways of learning and working based on their individual profiles. If you'd like to help support us in fulfilling our mission for the adult dyslexic, please consider donating to Headstrong Nation by clicking on the DONATE BUTTON at the top of the page.  Thank you! - The Headstrong Nation Team

Headstrong is a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation, and is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax ID 47-0925290.   

 

 

 

 

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