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Headstrong Nation is a non-profit dedicated to serving the needs of the dyslexic community. We want to hear from you! Please tell us how we can serve you more effectively going forward in 2015 by completing our SURVEY to share your thoughts and make your voice heard! Tell you friends and family about us too, and encourage them to also complete the survey and share their suggestions. Your input is valuable to us. Thank you for your support! - The Headstrong Nation Team

A lovely young college student named Abby contacted us a few months ago to share her appreciation for Headstrong Nation and our work in the dyslexic community. We were interested in learning more about Abby’s experiences as a college student with Dyslexia, and our interview with her follows.

Headstrong Nation: Tell us a little about your academic life before you were identified with dyslexia.

Abby: I feel like I have always liked school; I really have. I liked learning things and being in the classroom with my friends. I always wanted to please my teacher, which I guess made things easy on my parents. I honestly wanted to do well in school because I wanted my teachers to think highly of me. I had a lot of trouble with writing, and because we were young everything was handwritten, not typed. We had to write these journal entries, and I always had such a hard time with them. I had a really hard time remembering which way the letters went, and spelling was something I was certain I would never understand. As time went by, reading became a huge problem, too. I could see the words, and I could read them fairly well, but I had a really hard time understanding what was going on in the story. It was a comprehension problem. My mom and I once read the same book, and when we finished, each of us came out with two very different stories. As school continued math got harder, reading got harder, understanding text got harder, and it seemed like everything was taking me ten times more effort than it took everyone else. Grammar was the hardest. I mean, if I could barely understand the words themselves, then how on earth was I going to understand how to place commas, use proper sentence structure, and all that other nonsense?

Headstrong Nation: After you were identified with dyslexia, was it freeing in any way to know that what you were experiencing actually had a name?

Abby: Having a disability with a name wasn't freeing to me; it wasn't much of anything. It was a lot more like, “well at least people can’t say I’m stupid.” There was always the assumption that I was dyslexic. I showed lots of the classic signs when I was kid, and it was easier to say, “I'm dyslexic” to my peers than “I have a learning disability that relates to my processing and sequencing of things.” People tended to have an idea of what being dyslexic meant rather than my long official title before identification. By the time I was officially identified, I had already come up with a huge number of coping strategies, so I can’t even say that having a name for it meant that other people knew how to help me. I always knew how to tell people what I needed for them to help me.

Headstrong Nation: How has your college experience been so far?

Abby: Academically, college has been great! I am doing better in college than I did in high school. I disclosed my needs to the school upfront, and they have been super fantastic about the whole thing. I chose this school after attending an open house here when I was a senior in high school. I took a tour and I walked up to the student services table and told them what my needs were and what my head looked like from a learning perspective. A college representative looked at me and said, “I've seen lots of students with things like this. We have lots of tools to help you, if you reach out to us." I applied to this school because of that interaction, and they have held true with their promise. I love being here. My professors, who are all Psychology professors, understand and respect my disability. They challenge and inspire me to the extent that I go out and do my own research and come back all excited to share what I have found! (I am a total nerd sometimes, but if I hadn't done so much research I wouldn't be writing to you now!)

Headstrong Nation: What are some of the favorite tools that you use?

Abby: I have a plethora of tools. My favorite is spell check, with an added twist my dad told me to try. Spell check will tell me I have a word wrong, then I mess around with it to see if I can make it correct, if I can’t after 60 seconds or so, I then fix it by having spell check do it. Often I find that I know the correct letters are there, but not what order they go in, so this helps a lot. Also, having access to a keyboard has been my saving grace. At 20 years old, when writing by hand, I still sometimes write backward. Having a keyboard limits my mistakes to spelling and spacing. Having access to audio books is another tool that has saved my life as student. I haven’t needed to use them as much in college, but in high school audio books were what got me through most of my reading assignments and some of my free reading too.

Headstrong Nation: Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy?

Abby: I love to scuba dive. I took SCUBA in college to fill my physical education requirement and loved it. I was certified in September 2013. This was a challenge for me because I had to be able to read charts, and understand them, because, well my life could depend on it, and that made it a great motivator to keep practicing! Dive tables are really simple in theory,but I have a really hard time with them because there is such an importance in making sure they are correct. They measure the amount of nitrogen in your system, and let you know how deep you can go and when you need to return to the surface. Through scuba, I have made friendships and learned a great new skill!

Abby diving pic.PNG

Image of Abby courtesy of Ian Giouard. Used with permission.

(This is me on a group diving trip in Dutch Springs PA June 2014 (It was so HOT in all that gear!)

Headstrong Nation: How did you find out about Headstrong Nation?

Abby: I am a Junior in college right now, and one of the electives I took this semester was Psychology of Reading. In class we talked about how we read, and what happens in our minds while we read. We came to a section on reading impairments and I was so excited because dyslexia is something I obviously understand. We watched your video Headstrong Nation: Inside the Hidden World of Dyslexia and ADHD. I honestly feel anyone who has been identified as dyslexic should watch it. I cried while watching it. I experienced such a wide range of emotions. I think the biggest feeling was one of community. I never felt that I was missing out on being part of something. I was just me. It was eye opening to see other people experience the same frustrations and to use some of the same outlets. I would love to be able to reach out to other people who are looking to connect through your Facebook page. I think my motivation comes from how much I love talking to people, and if I could help someone, or their parent, understand more, that would be fantastic!

I currently have a blog, which is up and running again after a many year hiatus. I started it just as a verbal rant when I was twelve years old after a terrible experience with a relative trying to help me with a math lesson. While they meant well, I walked away from that lesson feeling more confused and upset because I felt stupid. The good that came out of that experience though, was that I felt inspired to speak out, and my blog, “I’m Dyslexic not Stupid” was born.

Headstrong Nation: What are your future dreams, goals or career aspirations?

Abby: Oh gosh, I have lots of dreams and ideas and goals. I really want to hold a sloth! But more seriously, I keep telling everyone that I am going to be the "House" of the Psychology world. I really want people to come to me when everything else has fallen apart. I want to finish my undergraduate degree in Psychology, and then continue on to a Masters in Behavior Analysis. I want to get married, have a family, buy a house, the standard American dream.

Headstrong Nation: Thanks for sharing your story with us Abby! We are glad that you are part of the Headstrong Nation community!

Ben Foss Photo

Author and entrepreneur Ben Foss is dyslexic and empowered. He understands the importance of accepting his own dyslexia, embracing it, and owning it. He wants dyslexic kids to do the same. Ben wants kids to see the strength in their dyslexia and understand it is not something to overcome or hide, but something to celebrate. It is a part of who they are; there is no shame.

Ben had the opportunity to speak candidly with Laura Kusnyer-Key of Understood on November 21, 2014 via live webinar. He spoke on why it's important for kids to own their dyslexia, use their tools, and play to their strengths. His message that he wants kids to experience less shame, and have more joy and confidence in their day to day lives resonated throughout the conversation. Focusing on what they can do, versus what they cannot, and learning effective self-advocacy skills, was at the core of his message.

Watch Ben describe his own experiences and offer some thoughts on how we can help our children to own their dyslexia.

Be sure to check out many other great articles and resources on www.Understood.org.

Dr. Richard Selznick

In October I had the pleasure of attending the workshop: Dyslexia-Reading Disability:Myths and Realities, presented by Dr. Richard Selznick and hosted by Center School in Abington, PA. Dr. Selznick is the author of The Shut-Down Learner- Helping YourAcademically Discouraged Child, a book I had read years earlier that really resonated with me and my struggles as a parent of a dyslexic child. With Dr. Selznick’s expertise as a Licensed Psychologist and Director of Cooper Learning Center, I knew he had a lot more to offer me on this journey with my son, and this workshop did not disappoint!

A little background:

Years earlier when I read The Shut-Down Learner my son Evan, then a third grader, was struggling with reading, writing, math, and ME. As Evan’s primary teacher in our home classroom, using a public cyber-model of education, I came to realize that much of what I was doing in an attempt to help him wasn’t actually helping him at all. Nagging didn’t work, nor did raising my voice. Bribing didn’t reap much either. I wanted so much for my son to learn like other children, but it didn’t take me long to realize that when it came to educating Evan, I couldn’t fit this square peg into a round hole. He learned differently. I needed to reevaluate what I was doing and to change how I delivered his instruction. More importantly, I needed to give my son a break and stop being the task master that I had become, expecting him to perform like other children. I needed to get out of denial, and get out of his way. I consulted his cyber school teachers and began an honest dialogue to get us all on the same page with what Evan was experiencing each day as a child with dyslexia. Dr. Selznick’s book helped to guide me. The book was filled with no-nonsense pearls of wisdom that hit home with each page that I read. I began to realize that Evan’s instruction needed to be modified and chunked. He needed to get up and move to keep him engaged in learning, and assistive technology needed to be introduced to help level the playing field for him so we could get through the day more efficiently. I began scribing for him when he needed it, and I encouraged him to do his best every day and to let me know when he was “at his max” so we could avoid meltdowns. I changed, instead of expecting him to, and we began to see success.

Back to the Workshop:

Dr. Selznick presented in a down to earth way. His humor broke the tension in the room as he reminded us all, that with the proper remediation and supports for our children, they will get through K-12 education and beyond and become successful adults. As parents and educators we can be instrumental in helping them travel along this rough road as unscathed as possible. Dr. Selznick is generally uncomfortable with labeling kids, as he sees them more in gradations and shades of gray. He does acknowledge, that in a given family you may see both “rough road” and “smooth road” children. Smooth road kids have an easier passage from preschool to college. Rough road kids tend to have a bumpier passage throughout. Many kids are deemed “average” by the schools standards. They may be in the “lower average range”,but these kids struggle and because they are lumped into the “average” category they may not be getting the appropriate support they require in order to thrive. Kids need help despite whether they are of average or above average intelligence, and as parents we need to push for this help in the schools.

Dr. Selznick emphasized the importance of what he refers to as the Three Headed Monster of Reading: decoding, fluency and comprehension. He spoke about the myth of upside down/backward reading as an indicator of dyslexia, and how that can be a real obstacle to a full understanding of what dyslexia actually is. The importance of phonemic awareness, phonics/decoding, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension as key building blocks to a child’s academic success were also outlined. He spoke about the importance of verbal/non-verbal abilities, processing speed, cognitive efficiency, and working memory and their relationship to the above building blocks required for fluent reading. When it comes to assessments and testing for children with dyslexia, Dr. Selznick stressed the importance of going “beyond the scores.” There is a combination of quantitative and qualitative data that goes into the assessment and diagnosis of a child, but as Dr. Selznick put it, “dyslexia is not a score.”Visual processing tasks need to be looked at in addition to spelling and written expression. He encouraged us to communicate to educators to look at the” total child.”

The level of severity drives the level of intervention. Some children may not meet the criteria for formal services because they fall in the “average” range, yet they still need remediation. Suggested remediation is multi-sensory instruction (Orton-Gillingham), which can be provided individually or in small groups, as soon as possible after the child is identified. As the child ages, the focus shifts to incorporating more assistive technology (text to speech, speech to text, audio books, etc.) and accommodations for continued success in the classroom. Just as no two snowflakes are alike, neither are our children, as they are all neurologically diverse. Dr. Selznick ended the evening emphasizing the need to nurture the strengths in our different learners. He reminded us to help them discover their “smarts,” whether their skills are interpersonal, spatial/visual, mathematical, musical, linguistic, artistic, or even something we haven’t yet uncovered.

Moving Forward:

After four years of cyber educating Evan at home he has transitioned into our public middle school as a 6th grader. With a few solid years of Orton-Gillingham instruction, he is now tackling advanced Greek and Latin roots, so remediation does continue. As he is getting older our focus is shifting to using accommodations and assistive technology. He is getting trained to use some really cool apps on his iPad. The future is bright! As for me, I am still getting used to my new role as “just” mom and advocate now that my son has returned to public school. Evan and I don’t bump heads as much, and we are both happy about this. He’s a bright boy who has learned to self-advocate, and I am very proud of him. I cheer him on daily as he learns something new each and every day.

Did we travel down this road totally unscathed? No, not quite. But we are doing much better. Our school struggles have decreased. There is light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully years of smoother traveling ahead. Thanks Dr. Selznick for helping me along in my journey with my rough road child, and thanks to Center School for hosting this fantastic workshop. Visit Dr. Richard Selznick at - http://www.drselz.com/, on Facebook at The Shut-Down Learner: Helping Your Academically Discouraged Child, and on Twitter at @Dr.Selz.


Dr. Richard Selznick will be one of the experts presenting on Dec 5th at Learning Ally’s first ever virtual conference on dyslexia for parents. Ben Foss, Headstrong Nation Founder and Board Member will also be presenting alongside Larry Banks, the new Chairman of the Board of Headstrong Nation. Here’s the link for registration (Early registration until Nov. 15th) – https://presentations.inxpo.com/Shows/LearningAlly/Site/registration.html

Dr. Selznick is also the author of another great resource: School Struggles-A Guide to your Shut-Down Learner’s Success.

Listen to Dr. Selznick interview Ben Foss on the Coffee Klatch – Blog Talk Radio


What dyslexia can look like

Stacey Cavaglieri volunteers at Headstrong Nation and lives in San Diego with her two dyslexic children and her husband. As a dyslexic herself she knows very well the journey from struggling student to successful adult.

Chances are when you talk with someone about dyslexia they might say something about seeing backwards. Sadly this misconception could not be further from the truth. Dyslexia is not a vision problem, but a phonological processing issue. What this means is dyslexic people may have difficulty associating letters to the sounds they make. This affects the decoding process of reading, comprehension and fluency.

For many, dyslexia not only affects reading and spelling, but it also impacts the entire writing process. It is true that many dyslexics may flip letters while reading and writing, but this is caused by how the dyslexic brain is processing the information on the page.

Have you ever wondered what dyslexia looks like? Here is an example of what dyslexia looks like for my seven-year old son Ryan, who was recently identified as dyslexic. Ryan is in second grade and is a bright, energetic, fun-loving kid who loves to make people laugh. Even though eye reading is challenging for Ryan he loves ear reading with his IPad. Outside of school Ryan loves Tae-kwon-do and is a master at all things Minecraft. He is also very passionate about Cub Scouts.

Ryan used to enjoy school; that was until second grade when writing has become the focus. Ryan has always had trouble with writing. As early as preschool he was showing signs of dyslexia. He never enjoyed drawing or coloring as a preschooler and learning to write his name was very challenging. As you can see from this picture Ryan is having a tremendous difficulty getting the words out on the page. Not only is he wrestling with spelling, he is fighting with staying on the line, he is dealing with spacing, punctuation, and capitalization. All of this is happening while he struggles to hold the idea long enough in his mind to get it on the paper. Perhaps it might seem like he is not trying very hard by the type of work he is producing, but as his mom I know just how difficult it was for him to get this on the paper. I know how hard he tried and I am proud.

It is heartbreaking for a parent to see their child hate school and cry but these kids are the bravest, strongest kids I have ever met. Dyslexic kids know where they stand against their peers but they head off to school everyday knowing how painfully challenging it is for them yet they endure. I know that with the proper support Ryan will not just endure, he will reach any goal he sets his mind to.

Stacey Cavaglieri and her son Ryan

As parents we all experience endless hours of worrying if our children are going to make it. I am here to tell you with the right support, positive strength based attitude your child will find success. Remember the days are long but the years are fast. A few keys to success, first find your community, you’re not alone. Second tell your story. Telling your story might be the hardest part, but by far the most beneficial. If you are a dyslexic parent your story is a critical piece to helping your child accept who they were meant to be. Even if you are not a dyslexic parent, showing your children your own weakness will speak volumes to them. Lastly, providing your child with the right accommodations not only provides a ramp into learning, but also boosts their self-confidence. If we can do these things our children will not only survive but thrive.

Say hello to Headstrong Nation’s newly minted Facebook volunteers, Eileen Tait-Acker from Pennsylvania and Suzanne Edwards from Texas. Both Eileen and Suzanne have managed social media through their schools and organizations like Decoding Dyslexia. We are thrilled to have these two aboard so they can share their experiences as parents and leaders of the dyslexia movement. Also, we are still looking for a Facebook volunteer to represent the West Coast! It could be you! Learn more here.

Eileen is taking the helm of our East Coast activities, highlighting important news, events and activities happening in her region. If there are issues that you’d like to see us mention, please post to our Facebook page so Eileen can see and repost when appropriate.

Suzanne will be covering the Central region and will also look to fellow parents and leaders to help her cover important issues and stories that are relevant to the heartland.

We realize these “regions” are very large, and rounding up appropriate stories from every state may be a challenge in the beginning. That said, both Eileen and Suzanne will do their best to reflect the broadest scope possible.

Read on to hear more these two amazing women. Thank you Suzanne & Eileen for stepping up. (And to any West Coasters who are considering volunteering, get on it!)

The Headstrong Nation Team

Eileen and Evan


Eileen is mom to David (16) and Evan (11). Evan is bright and dyslexic, one of those kids who didn't qualify for Special Education services in the public system, a child on the borderline between regular and Special Ed. Eileen withdrew him from public school and began teaching him at home through a public cyber charter school. Evan was re-evaluated a year later, and did qualify for services. Eileen spent the last four years as her son’s primary teacher and advocate.

Having gone through these experiences, Eileen decided to give back to her community by assisting other parents on the journey through dyslexia. It wasn't until after Evan was evaluated with a learning difference that Eileen and her husband realized how they, too, had struggled as children in the public school system of the 1970s. Neither got the kind of help they needed, and their unrecognized LDs affected their self-esteem, and every future academic and career choice they made.

"We felt like we were stupid, and we kept it all inside, not wanting to be revealed. We wanted Evan's experience to be different."

Eileen currently volunteers for Decoding Dyslexia PA. “It is my goal to prevent others from having to reinvent the wheel when it comes to getting help for their dyslexic children. If I can point someone in the right direction of supports and services, my job is done!”

Eileen's son Evan will transition to public middle school in the fall, now equipped with many self-advocacy skills. He enjoys ear-reading with Learning Ally books, loves to play games, paint, cook, bake, and be a good friend to others. As Eileen puts it, "Evan is a child who learns differently, and as we say in our household, ‘Different is Good!’”

Suzanne and Roger


Suzanne graduated with a BS in Education from Virginia Tech. After a career in teaching she worked as VP of Human Resources for an international acquisitions company. While both careers were incredibly rewarding, Suzanne found her passion when one of her sons was identified with dyslexia. Growing up she had always been told she, too, was probably dyslexic.

“There wasn’t much information on how to educate dyslexic learners back then. I just learned how to get by,” Suzanne says. “I figured out how to learn without reading the textbooks, because I knew it would take me too long to read them.”

When one of her sons was formally identified with dyslexia, her journey to fully understand the profile began.

“I sought out every resource I could find. I trained on the Orton Gillingham method, I attended workshops, I scoured the Internet. The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn. And, the more I learned how to help my son, the more I reflected on my own struggles throughout my own education.”

In her continued search for information, Suzanne came across a glowing recommendation for a book titled The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan. The thought of reading a book cover to cover was painful, but something drew her to dive in anyway. “The book changed my life, and truly gave me the power and the tools to help navigate my son's dyslexia journey. It opened my eyes to the ways in which my son will have access to information throughout his education. It made me realize he would not have to just 'get by' as I did. It gave me something unexpected as well. It lifted the guilt I had always had about being a terrible eye-reader, and gave me permission to embrace ear-reading, something I had always before seen as a ‘cop-out.’”

Suzanne lives in Dallas, TX with her husband, Roger, and two sons, Jack (13) and Sam (11).

Big thanks to Jamie Martin of the Kildonan School for his recommendations! Watch his webinar below about the best iPad apps for dyslexics!

Listen to Jeffrey share his experiences as a dyslexic leader within the US Coast Guard and his vision for the future. (The post below was only slightly edited & preserves Jeffrey's native tongue. Click here for an example of Headstrong Nation founder Ben Foss writing with his native (dyslexic) tongue)

Jeffrey Philips

1. Passed

How many of you remember sitting in “that seat”?

The seat the teacher puts you in so she can ignore your questions. The seat that gets a “D” no matter how bad you do. The seat that is out of the way so you don’t bother anyone. One thing never happens in that seat: learning. How many of you have sat in that seat?

I was held back twice from Kindergarten to out of 5th grade. After that the schools would no longer grade me correctly, but they didn’t want to fail me anymore, so I was just given Ds.

I hated school, but I hated it for a good reason. The school that was supposed to teach me reading, writing, and arithmetic, instead taught me to cheat, lie, and fight. I knew these things were wrong, and I hated the school and myself for this.

I was homeschooled by my stepdad for two years after dropping out after 8th grade. My reading was around first or second grade level and I could not spell at all before being homeschooled. I spelled ‘of,’ ‘ove,’‘to’ became ‘toow,’ and a note I wrote to my mom read: “I love you WOW!”

After school, I got married and joined the US Coast Guard. With my test scores, I barely made it in, and was called illiterate in boot camp. But my work said so much more, and I quickly advanced. As an E-5, E-6, and E-7, I was usually the youngest person in the unit to hold that rank, but still led those around me.

People say the military makes grate leaders, but that is not necessarily true. Very bad leaders can look like grate leaders when they can throw people in jail for not doing what they say. Good or bad is up to the individual. I found out I am a natural leader of people. The guys and gals that worked for me found my pride in them to be a great reword. They wanted to make me proud of them, and I usually was.

As an E-6, I was handpicked to teach Navy and Coast Guard Officers critical knowledge before going out to the fleet. As an E-7, I was chosen to WRITE the single most read document in the entire Coast Guard, the Enlisted Professional Military Education (EPME). While I was there I advanced to E-8, which put me in the top 2% of the Enlisted ranks. I should make E-9 in the next few years and this will put me in the top .2%. Although I did so poorly in school and had so many people betting against me, when I was working I was successful at almost everything I did. In the real world my dyslexia was a blessing not a curse.

Jeffrey child

2. Future

When I get out of the Coast Guard I want to start a career in politics, focusing on education. Not to get concessions for dyslexics but to have the system change everything they know about dyslexia. I don’t think we should be taught to learn how book readers learn (yes, I mean taught to learn), but to be taught how dyslexics learn.
Take this scenario, for example: In a spelling test, you are asked to “spell the numbers in the mathematical term pi to the 5th decimal place.” If you get a number in the sequence wrong, you will get the whole question wrong even if it was spelled correctly. Would that be a fair assessment? If spelling problems were graded as if they were math problems, would it be fair to those who had trouble with math?
No. Then why is it fair to count answers wrong if they are spelled incorrectly in history, science, or literature classes? I don’t mind failing my spelling test because I can’t spell, but it is wrong to fail my history test because I can’t spell. I want to make spelling a subject and not an educational tool.
Even in state universities, the standards on papers are old and antiquated. I don’t think I wrote a paper in college that didn’t come back to me with a grade that reflected my technical ability to write more than my knowledge of the material. When this was pointed out to the instructor I was invariably told, “This is the way it’s done.”

3. Community

Dyslexia is a larger community (~ 4 million) than the deaf and blind communities combined (~ 98,000). There are schools for the blind and schools for the deaf, so why aren’t there schools for dyslexics in every district? There are many publicly funded programs that cater to the needs of smaller groups than dyslexics, but these group differences are either easy to determine or the group has strong public awareness (e.g. autistic spectrum disorder & Down’s syndrome). Today no one would call a deaf or blind person dumb or a Down’s child retarded, but somewhere right now there is a kid being called stupid because s/he is dyslexic.
We need to get mad about this! We need to be mad that there are kids all over this country having their spirits broken by the ignorance of our society. It’s not okay to use the “N” word when referring to a black man or, as stated above, the “R” word when referring to a little Down’s girl and no one uses “deaf and dumb” for a mute person. So why is it ok to call a dyslexic child “Lazy, dense, slow or stupid”?
We need to flood our leaders and school boards and demand that they see us for who we are—individuals specially designed to lead, think, and innovate. Dyslexics can be the gratest human resource this country has discovered. All we need is to be correctly taught the fundamentals and we will create everyone’s future.
We need to start voting dyslexic. Ask your representative if they are dyslexic. Ask if there is a dyslexic in their family. If they are dyslexic or have a close personal understanding of our issues, let this influence how you vote. It is ok to vote for people who know what it is to struggle.

4. You

“It is the theory which decides what we can observe.”
— Albert Einstein
Tell everyone you know that you are dyslexic. Write on blogs and comment on articles you find interesting. Share your insight and label what you write as “opinion of a dyslexic.”
The world needs to know we are here, and as soon as they do they will want to know if their doctor is a dyslexic or if their CEO is a dyslexic or if their president is a dyslexic. We have been fallowing way to long—we were meant to lead. Make these thoughts your theory and the world will observe you as you are: a great person gifted with dyslexia!

5. One extra sidebar on dyslexia

We must not allow those in the educational system to tell us that eye-reading is the true sign of intellect. If discovery is inventing the wheel, intelligence is using that wheel in a practical manner, and education is passing that knowledge forword so it does not die with you. Before Gutenberg, dyslexics did all of these. We were the inventers, the holders of intelligence, and the educators of those that came after us.
A person can lead at most 10 people, any more than that and you are leading leaders. Before books, society would have needed about 15% of people to have the ability to learn by word of mouth and pass this knowledge on to the next generation the same way. Dyslexics make up 10-20% of society so we could have naturally fit into this category, becoming the leaders of communities, as well as the doctors, lawyers, scientists, and engineers.
(Phonics starts with a “P”! I rest my case.)
Opinion of a dyslexic.
Jeffrey Phillips, Senior Chief Damage Controlman
United Sates Coast Guard Active

Headstrong Founder Ben Foss recently spoke at a TEDx talk in Sonoma about shame and what we can do to put it down. Watch and learn how to end isolation, use your strengths, and help others.

Great post from The School of Dyslexia by our friend Sharon Plante, Director of Technology, Eagle Hill-Southport, Southport, CT:

Sharon Plante

Dyslexia is often referred to as the hidden disability (I use the term dyslexia to include all forms of language based learning disabilities). Difficulties with mobility, vision, and hearing, along with other disabilities, are often more obvious to the world, especially to those of us in education. Accommodations for these children are imperative to their functioning in the classroom and in their learning. For dyslexic students, the same accommodations are often given repeatedly, with the hope of improved academic performance, but those accommodations are often not considered imperative for their learning.

This week, I listened to a student talk about his path to learning, leading to his enrollment at our school. This boy is a sixth grader who was identified as being dyslexic in the third grade. Despite that identification, year after year, teachers gave him the traditional work that required a trip to the resource room for him to even attempt it. He talks of spending days in the resource room just playing on the computer because he knew he had to be in school, and he found his time in the traditional classroom to be a waste of time. Now that he is in an environment that understands his learning needs, he is doing his work, he is making gains, and he is showing his strength as a learner. He didn't want to hide from learning; he just needed someone to understand his less-than-visible disability.

Continue reading post here...


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