The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity
Dyslexia Declarations

Name: Patrick Taylor
Occupation: Oracle Database Administrator/Computer Engineer

As a child I was evaluated by Easter Seals (Yale New Haven) because I was considered mentally retarded.  This was in the early 1970's.  Summer school was a typical threat and/or reality. In the ninth grade I was told to forget about college because I was not smart enough to be an engineer.  Needless to say, my childhood was difficult and the public school system let me down.  I never did get a college education.

Here's the success part.  I taught myself computer science and have specialized in database architecture.  I've worked for companies such as Verizon Wireless, Cingular, ATT and am now Cisco Systems in Atlanta, Ga.  My biggest success, however, is being able to teach computer science to children with learning differences at a private school called Hayden's Way as a volunteer.

When talking about dyslexia being a learning disability I often tell my story and then I add "I was able to teach myself something I knew nothing about, when the public schools were unable to teach me something that they were experts in."


Name: William B.
Occupation: Student and Aspiring Entrepreneur

I am an 11 year old boy with Dyslexia, who has a great interest in Horses, baking and business, in that order.
I have found great Therapeutic Benefit from my Pony Sage.  He has relieved me of anxiety, has helped me focus.  I don't need medicine to do this now, since I ride three days a week.  I have learned emotional regulation as well.  So because I love my pony so much, I wanted to bake him special heart treats.  In doing so, many of Sage's horse friends, loved my treats so much that I began a business, Hearts for Horses. Cookies that Care.  We wholesale and retail cookie treats. WE DONATE $1 profits of sales to Dyslexic Foundations, and to horse rescue foundations.    I have created the formula, the packaging and the labels, researched marketing by visiting tack shops, and I photographed my own product shots.  My Mom is helping me with the web site  design and we should be up and running in a week, on that.

I am told that 30% of the worlds leading entrepreneurs are Dyslexic.  I would l like to become one of them.

Name: Marilyn Cook
Occupation: Teacher

I remember being very scared to be noticed throughout grade school as well as high school. I was very afraid I would say the wrong thing. I would sit in the back of the room except when we had to sit in alphabetical order since my last name started with a C. I also remember learning to read and using a place marker. One day we had a substitute in 5th grade and we couldn't use our markers. I froze and couldn't read. I have always tried to do extra work, the minimum wasn't enough and always trying to achieve and afraid I couldn't but I did manage to do well with lots of work. I just figured everyone was doing the same. It has always taken me a very long time to read and I had to write everything down that I needed to know. I would have a very rough time memorizing but loved geometry and did well.

One day while I was teaching school the special programs director said to come over to her house because she wanted to practice doing some testing. Well...she was testing me for dyslexia since she figured I had dyslexia but didn't tell me until afterward. I started reading all I could on it and also realized that my parents were also although they never were diagnosed.

Anyway...long story short, I teach students that have dyslexia and it is a relief for me to know that the way I learn is OK and I don't need to feel afraid I might get the wrong answers now. Also I realize that when I was taking a grad school class the teacher asked us to do a timeline. I did mine and when we shared out of 20 students mine was the only line that was done in pictures. The only words I had on the paper were my first and last name. No wonder I take so long to read everything since I have a movie going on in my mind while reading. I realized too that I have to see something to remember it. You know those bills you have to pay? Well...if they are not out in sight I don't know they exist. My organization leaves a lot to be desired. When I relax I confuse words for reading and writing. So it is a lot of stress to always have to be "on" so I won't make a mistake. It is ironic that I love language and am interested in how it works but it is because it is a science!

Name: Ed Dubin
Occupation: Marketing and Strategy Consultant

 My Dyslexia Declaration

I'm a 49-year-old man and was diagnosed with dyslexia a few weeks ago. I was a poor reader for much of my childhood. Back then it was assumed that I was stupid or lazy. I was incredibly ashamed of my learning challenges, especially because my father was a brilliant NASA astrophysicist who attended Michigan, Harvard and MIT. 

In my teenage years, I began to incorporate methods, strategies and tactics to perform better in school. I memorized thousands of words on flashcards, which I prepared.  I took summer school classes to keep up with other students and studied rigorously for aptitude tests such as the SATs. I kept a very strict schedule and focused on efficient time-management. Many of these coping efforts were done in secret. I didn't want anyone to know my early academic mediocrity.

My scholastic performance improved dramatically in high school, enough so that my target school, The University of Michigan, accepted me. At Michigan, I worked extremely hard. I didn't miss one day of class and was always thoroughly prepared. I took copious notes, in class and while I read.

These efforts paid off; in my freshman year, I was accepted into the Honors College. The next year, I earned a seat in the bachelor of business degree program.  In my junior year, I won a spot in a coveted graduate degree program in place of my senior year. I left Ann Arbor with a bachelor and masters degree in just 5 years and finished at the top 5 percent of my class.

I worked as CPA in my 20's. Although I was a good worker, I found it very difficult to focus on the details important to that career. I needed a new profession and decided to return to school to move into the marketing field. I applied to the top MBA programs. To my amazement, I was accepted into four Ivy League programs, even earning a fellowship to one of the schools. My dream was to go to Harvard, just like my father, and I realized my dream. Harvard Business School was a challenging school but I did it - I graduated.  

I've had a rewarding and successful career in marketing and new product innovation over the last 2 decades. But despite my success in school and in the workplace, I never thought I was intelligent. My accomplishments required so much effort and I did my best to hide my hard work. My dyslexia diagnosis has been an incredible gift. It has helped me make sense of many aspects of my life. 

For most of my adult life, I considered myself a hard worker, but I never thought I was smart. Now, I'm processing my dyslexia and realizing that I was more than just a hard worker. 


Name: Eric Rollo
Occupation: Occupational therapist

 I was diagnosed as dyslexic in 2009 at the age of 52.  For my whole life up to this point I had known that I found some things harder than others and other things incredibly simple,but I had no explanation for this.

Eventually at work my failings were discovered and for the last 3.5 years I have been struggling to keep my job, dignity and my self-esteem with varying degrees of success.

To date the struggle continues. 

How is this a success well during this struggle I have become a more determined, confident person who knows that I am entitled to help to do my job and I have the confidence and determination to see the fight to the end and to keep going until I win.

I have also the overcome the depression which almost drove me to suicide when I felt all was lost.           

Name: kenneth geman
Occupation: immigration attorney

 I am self diagnosised. At 73 I am a very successful attorney utilizing a number of staff to help me succeed. Recorded books and audio courses have been a life line as is going to conferences. I really did not read a book until I was 13 and had used my skills at figuring out to get by. Until 16 I was lost in the shuffle of post world war two shortages until mentored by a great High School teacher for whom this my first computer is named: Henrietta.Until then I never really had an interest in learning except by practical experience. I don't really type and I still read little. In school, beginning at junior year high school, I began getting A's if the workload was not too severe. In college I was mentored by a great history teacher at the University of Wisconsin for whom I have named my iPhone: Mosse. I wanted to be a history teacher but that was impossible for a non-reader with a terrible memory. And yet, I have taught, changed thousands of people's lives by making dreams come true and I am happy. I see myself as creative but very damaged.  I must live my life within highly controlled and limited guidelines.This is my first step into meaningfully opening on my problem and unique success. I was really only looking to see if David Boies went to law school with me.  Thank you for this serendipitous coupling!           

Name: Josh Deschenes
Occupation: Entrepreneur

 My academic career can be summed up in one experience.  

I was in high school government class shortly after a test was given.  My teacher had called me up to the class to hand back my test.  As he handed me the test with the F on it, he asked me where I was currently working.  I told him the local grocery store, to which he replied "son you better work your hardest there, your not college material".  As the son of an educator, this hit hard.  

My time in school was always tough.  I never won a spelling b.  I was deemed 'slow' due to my spelling abilities.  I had trouble reading so I never brought home a book.  Somehow I figured out a way to read context clues in tests and narrowly graduated high school.  

My Dyslexia was finally diagnosed in College.  I have since graduated from college, not once, but twice with a masters.  I have gone on to teach at a major university and now create reading apps.  

I'm not sure if that teacher was trying to motivate me that day or was being truthful.  Nevertheless, I have proved him and all my teachers wrong.  

Dyslexia is my gift.  


Name: Kristina Kincer
Occupation: Full time College Student

 My story starts in the third grade. The first time I went through the third grade my teacher told both my parents and then later I, that I was anti-social, a poor student and I showed a lack of desire to adhere to a learning class environment. 
On my end of things do to my failing eye sight, near-sightedness, I couldn't see. I was also still struggling with my speech impediment (tongue-tied), and every time I struggled in class either trying to read out-loud or what was on the board, I got laughed at by classmates when I jumbled and mispronounced words. Combined with my complete embarrassment with the fact that I just couldn't make heads or tails of anything written down I did what most do I suppose I "shut-down". So my school life consisted of me staying silent and entertaining myself.
My second time through the third grade I did a little better, I got glasses. Though words spoken or written were still jumbled the "Special Ed class" which included but was not limited to the deaf, the autistic, and the trouble makers (me) was entertaining enough, it didn't require a whole lot out of me other than attendance. So passing the third grade (2nd time) and fourth and fifth grade was easy. 
It wasn't until the sixth grade, and at my father's request, that I get tested for dyslexia.
I can't say much changed after that, I still attended the same "special Ed" classes now because I was in fact dyslectic and not because I'm a trouble maker, but this will be my constant all through my middle and high school years. I will graduate from high school with a "regular" diploma but because of my experience with a school system that had no place for me, it won't be until many years later that I'll try to receive a college degree. 
After graduating HS in 2000 I worked odd jobs till 2003 than I joined the USCG. I was active duty for 5 years. When I got out with full honors, I took almost two later for me to find the courage to try to go back to school. Now I am a 31 almost 32 year old full-time College student at MTSU with approximately 18 months left till I graduate. 
So what is my success? I'm here and I'm not going anywhere, Not until I receive my college diploma with a major in Journalism a minor in English and a minor in Asian culture studies. After all it really is never too late and I got nothing but time.  

Name:Laura Cavalleri
Occupation: Advocate, Motivational speaker for Dyslexics

I' am scared of losing the fight to gain my Identity as a Right Brain Person otherwise known as dyslexic.  I to have share great love and awareness of dyslexia and dyslexics at public education meetings in my public school district and city and state levels, I have brought awareness to my dyslexic son's teachers with the Success in seventh grade that he will to use Dragon Dictation for his class writing works and will share and use the other tips given by other dyslexic students in your article.  I hope we can add our names in Recognition of the same goals and Success with public awareness, Recognition and celebration.
Thank you.


Name: Justin Shiner
Occupation: Future Medical Doctor

In kindergarten I knew I was different. My teacher kept my name written on the chalk board; all the other kids in my class could spell their name, but I would need to copy mine from the board. I was not succeeding like the other children. My teacher recommended to my Mother that I get tested for a learning disability. The tests ended up confirming what probably seemed obvious: I was dyslexic. Apparently I have particularly severe dyslexia. I have heard the same assessment from several, rather all, psychologists after a neuropsychological evaluation: "You have the clearest case of dyslexia I have ever seen." I used to be so embarrassed to be dyslexic and on top of that to be severely dyslexic. I now wear that title with a sense of pride that only comes with a letting go of the common attitude of the majority, namely that intelligence equals literacy.

As with most dyslexics, I found that grade school was terrifying and did not lack opportunities for embarrassment. To make it even more embarrassing, I had a personal aide who followed me from class to class. Later, for 11th and 12th grades, I was sent to a building trades school. However, I did not want to learn how to swing a hammer or turn a wrench. I remember at that time pleading with my teachers to let me study neuroscience. I felt I had a strong understanding for the topic as well as having a great deal of motivation to learn about it. My pleas fell on deaf ears, so for the last two years of high school I swung a hammer and turned a wrench.

I often laugh at this part of my life. When I graduated from high school I couldn't read, spell, write, or do basic math -- yet I decided I wanted to be a medical doctor. All I knew was I had to go to college. At first I didn't realize that in order to go to college my peers took the SAT. Instead of this test I took a placement test to go to a community college. The test showed that I needed to take remedial English and math. I ended up withdrawing and failing the remedial English a number of times.

Now, I have told you about a lot of disappointment and failure. Then and now, I've looked at it the same way. I looked at it like this: I knew I was intelligent and had a gift for understanding the complex, or rather what is complex to my peers. At community college I took Chemistry and Physics, two subjects that were completely foreign to me as a special education student in high school. I turned my GPA around and was able to be admitted to the University at Buffalo (UB). I graduated with a BS in Biological Science and maintained a GPA of 3.94 for 91 credits. I even received an A and A- in the two English classes that were required for the major. I look back and wonder: how did I know this was possible and why did I not quit? I always come to the realization that I knew with unwavering confidence what I am capable of and want to achieve.

After graduating from UB, I was unsuccessful in getting accommodations on the MCAT. The most needed accommodation being a reader. I took the MCAT without accommodations and used a strategy of just reading the questions without the long passages that go with them. As one might guess, it is not the best strategy, but I still applied to medical school. Essentially it was my hope a medical school would accept me in light of my circumstances and not overlook me as a result of my MCAT score. I applied to 17 medical schools and was at a loss on how to present my situation. How do I explain that I have overcome so much just to get to this point? How do I convey that I am talented and that my ability to persevere through bleak circumstances is enough to make me a competitive applicant? How do I get them to see my talents and potential as a medical doctor in light of a dismal MCAT score?

As I feared, they did not see my potential or gifts. But, how could they in light of my MCAT score? To make things bleaker, I did not get accommodations the following year. I decided that I was not going to try to take the MCAT again. I knew no matter how much I understood MCAT test topics or studied, I would not be able to read the test. So, I did not apply, which made for an emotionally rough year. I felt my dreams becoming just dreams. I started looking back wondering if I was wrong about myself. Once again I do not know how I didn't quit. I held onto my aspirations; I was going to get into medical school no matter what. I knew I would never quit, and I felt scared because I knew I would have to endure more disappointment for who knows how long.

Well, things are looking up. I was awarded accommodations on the MCAT for 2013 and have been averaging in the top 4% on my practice exams with accommodations. I am scheduled to take the test January 24 in Syracuse, New York.

I have not been accepted to medical school yet. I do not have a fairy-tale ending all wrapped up. But I promise you the hardest times are behind me. My hardest, most challenging point was when I was the only one who could see my potential. I am confident there will be a day I am a medical doctor, and I am confident that I will be able to tell you my greatest achievement was believing when there was little to believe in. That is why I want to tell you my story before it is finished. At this point in my story it is statistically likely I will get into medical school and be a doctor. It does not take a stretch of the imagination to see my dreams coming true. However, there was very little chance in grade school and most of college that I would be here now. For that reason, this is my success story without the achieved goal but nevertheless, a true success story.


Name: Michelle Puhl-Price
Occupation: Art Teacher

I struggled all through school, college actually turned out to be a very successful time for me.  I learned how to study and asked for help.  It wasn't always easy, I failed many times and took my math class three times before I passed it.  My best story, I was in English Composition and was having difficulty writing a narrative.  I didn't have a clue.  I went to discuss my paper with my professor and he showed me that I was a very creative and talented writer.  That made my year and increased my confidence in English and especially reading.  As a teacher, I try to help kids understand how unique they are in the arts and in their academics.  I feel that becoming a teacher was my greatest triumph.  

Name: David Shoup
Occupation: Ph.D. Student

Well I'm in graduate school, I'm studying psychology and will try to help other people with dyslexia. 

Name: Shawn Norman
Occupation: self-employed

I offer my story to others with learning disability/ dyslexia in order to ensure that they are able to realize their abilities and talents and put off the shame and can live their dreams.

Please allow me to share my own life story of success through determination and acceptance.  My story is like that of many who struggle with a type of learning disability-my own being dyslexia, which often look like a road of pain, shame and guilt.  I am an African-American male who has never been to jail, never sold drugs, never drank or smoked, and do not have any illegitimate children.  Yet, as a child, I grew up without a father, was abused by my mother and eventually placed in foster care.
      When I was in first grade I never knew I was different from other kids in my class until my mother had me repeat the first grade, but I have found myself returning back to the same class and seeing the same teacher but different students. The reason for I had to repeat the same grade and later been tested was I could not spell my name or say that ABC's or count to 10.
     I remember I had to take lot of test and see speech therapy but when I was seeing a speech therapist, I could understand why I would get mad because I felt the therapist was making fun of me. Later after being tested, I was diagnosed with mental retardation and later was placed in a special education classroom from first grade on. I could never understand why other kids is kept making fun of me.
 When I moving to a special education classroom, I was wondering what made me so special and why I was in this classroom, I just thought I was a normal kid who wanted to fit in and do well in school and make my mother proud, but for some reason not knowing how to read write, or spell what made me special. So I guess all the kids who could not read, write, or spell and do math went into a special classroom with other special kids with special problems, then began so felt different and abnormal.
     I remember going to school trying to made friends, but my poor social skills made it difficult for me to make friends and to relate to other kids. I had trouble understand and  keeping up with conversation, but understanding body language what made it hard for me to make friends. This is why most kids didn't want to play with me or they just thought I with a different kid, so they called me a slow boy" there goes the special kid or there goes the kid with big lips" and a call me LD.  At that time, I didn't understand what LD stood for. It stood for learning disability. There was a children's book that inspired me to go after my goals and this book that inspired me was called Dr. Shawn, a guy who dreamed about being a doctor, but with the obstacles standing in front of him and his mother is lack of the funds to send him to college he kept pushing forward.  What amazed me about this book he didn"™t give up on his dream and remembering what he wanted to be in life.  I  used to go home crying getting really mad at myself because the way I look and did not fit in, so my earliest school year I were filled with isolation, loneliness and sadness.

    When I went into high school I still was placed in a special education class. I knew that I was going to be talked about but I said I cannot let that stop me from doing what I came to school to do. I had to keep thinking about that Dr. Shawn whose dream was to become a doctor so I had to stay focused and do my best.
    I later became very active in sports like football and track and field, I was on the varsity football team as a freshman and the varsity track team where I set my personal best time at track and field I became a four-year letterman in both sports, the students like to me because I was good at track and field. but they made fun of the guy who was in special education.
      I had to learn how to channel that anger from these kids making fun of me. I used it to get good grades and get on the honor roll for three years and get perfect attendance awards. Getting on a roll awards for three years having 3.0 GPA made me think about college because that's what I wanted to do since I was a little boy. I said I want to get an academic scholarship for my grades not for sports because I want to show people I can make good grades.
      When I reached my senior year, I was told college was not a choice and I could not understand why. I had good grades, so I don't understand why college not a choice. I was not allowed to take A.C.T which I could not understand why.
       When I graduated from high school, I ranked in the top 15 out of my class and did not receive any type of scholarship information I was truly hurt why give me honor roll awards but not help me get into a college? I started applying to colleges but kept getting rejected, so I kept applying to colleges but still kept getting rejected. I was feeling so hurt and just could not understand why, so I thought about the book I read as a child and this book really helped me to keep pushing forward and never give up trying to reach my goals.
   I later got into a community college, but some of the professors saw that I was struggling in my classes and told me I need to rethink college. College might not be for you but you still can be successful in life, I did not want to hear that so I kept going. I later got into another community college and at this community college I kept hearing the same thing. I kept pushing even harder to prove to them no matter how hard I struggle I know college is for me.
      I was doing so badly at a community college that my GPA had dropped to 1. 90 GPA. I was not going to let that stop me.  I applied at Langston University in Langston Oklahoma. Once I got into Langston, I went out for the  track team later got a track scholarship, but I was placed on academic probation because of my GPA, but that inspired me to do good in my classes and bring my grade up which I did. My GPA went from a 1.90 two a 2.20 GPA. I was happy to proven that I made it, but I still knew I was struggles in some classes but I never give up.

       At Langston University, I met my goals one was to compete in the national track and Field championship and set and 800 m record. The other was  receive an award for academic achievement in track & field, I was named most improved male athlete of the year in track and field, and named president Dr. Ernest L. Holloway student of the year for 1999 & 2000.

     I'm proud of myself for not giving up on my goals even though it took me 11 years to finish my college degree and I flunk classes more than 10 times and all the fun been made of never stop me, even though I had wanted to drop out after flunking so many times but there was a teacher who believe in me. She would never let me give up, so I received the most precious thing I ever wanted and I worked hard for was my degree in health physical education & recreation. I'm now enrolled in the University of Phoenix working on my master"™s degree in special education.

     After everything that I've gone through in my life, I could have just given up and turned to the street and start doing bad things, but I did I wanted to show those people who doubted me and did not believe in me that I could do it without making excuses. 

    Our young people in special education who are fighting their learning challenges get left behind because we feel they will fail so that's one reason why the most people don't work with kids like this. Our youth need a new generation of role models like me and other people who overcame obstacles in their life. I can say it"™s, hard for special education to find motivation and keep them on the right path because it seems like no one wants to sit down and really listen to them and understand them. I feel if we don't listen to them the streets well because the streets are filled with lots of negative people. There are drug dealers and gang leaders who are more open 24 hours a day and week for them.


Name: James Bauer
Occupation: Registered Occupational Therapist

When James Bauer graduated from high school in 1969 he was reading, writing and spelling at less than a third grade level.  He secretly thought that he was retarded and had fooled everyone for the 12 years that he was in the school system.  He was told by his high school counselor that he could not attend college because of his grades but could be accepted into a vocational school.  James' greatest wish was to attend college but without the approval of his high school counselor vocational school was his only choice.  Following his graduation from vocational school, and still reading, writing and spelling at less than a third grade level, James was diagnosed as severely dyslexic by his future tutor C. Wilson Anderson.

James spent five years in tutoring with C. Wilson Anderson which brought him from less than a third grade level, a none reader, to college level.

Today James Bauer is an Occupational Therapist practicing in Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota.  He holds both a Bachelors and Masters Degree and is the author of three books "The Runaway Learning Machine"  "Too Much Time on Sycamore Street" and "Do You Know How to Pick Berries".

"The Runaway Learning Machine", is James' personal account of growing up with a severe undiagnosed learning disability.  In April of 2005 "The Runaway Learning Machine" debuted as a play at the "Lyric Arts/MainStreet Stage" in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. On June 2nd 2008 "The Runaway Learning Machine" made its London debut through Misfit Productions.

"Too Much Time on Sycamore Street", is a self-help book written from one learning disabled person to another.

"Do You Know How to Pick Berries" is based upon a true story taking place in 1967 between a high school dyslexic student and a young man with Down's Syndrome. Two separate lives which walked a similar path for short period of time in 1967.

James has spoken throughout the Midwest on the topic of dyslexia and has facilitated weekend retreats and support groups for those with dyslexia. In the year 2002 James had the privilege of addressing the International Dyslexia Associations of Canada and Brazil. In 2004 James was invited to address The British Dyslexia Association, in Warwick England. Most recently James was invited to address the All European Dyslexia Association, Luxembourg Nov. 2007. Two of James' books have been translated into Portuguese and are selling in Brazil.

In his leisure time James enjoys performing folk music with his wife Molly at local coffeehouses in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and at Itasca State Park and the Forestedge Winery in northern Minnesota in the summer months.

James'  tutor C. Wilson Anderson advanced to the Presidency of The International Dyslexia Association.


Name: Rebekah Patterson
Occupation: Elementary Reading Intervention Teacher

As a young child I was diagnosed with dyslexia at The Reading Center, in Rochester, Minnesota.  Throughout elementary, middle and high school I struggled with some subjects while mastery of other subjects came easily.  I was a bright kid, and I struggled to understand why learning to read, write, spell, and later do algebra was so difficult and laborious.  However, I was lucky to have  committed parents, support at school, and tutoring as needed at The Reading Center.  These factors have been crucial to my success.  Especially the tutoring, it was a pivotal foundation; it allowed me to secure foundational skills to build on.

As an adult, I was able to complete my Bachelor of Arts  in Elementary Education, summa cum laude.  Since then I am living my dream of becoming an elementary teacher  and helping struggling readers, as I specialize in reading intervention.

Name: Kaite Ann
Occupation: CAD Tech/Mechanical Designer

I always knew I was a little different as a child. Spelling has always been one of my biggest struggles. I still have papers where I wrote the word "yoosed, empte, condishaner, and thin", instead of "used, empty, conditioner, and then".  My parents would make me write all my spelling words 100 times each before every test. I would lie to my parents sometimes about having spelling test just to avoid dreaded and seemingly useless kitchen table time. My best friend was the best speller in the whole school so I would sit by her during spelling test and cheat off of her, or I would write the spelling words in my folder that the teachers would have us stand up on our desk to keep kids from looking at each other"™s paper. I knew it was wrong but I did not want to disappoint my parents.  I have also had a big problem with organization and leaving items lying around. My messy organizational style seemed make much more sense to me than it did to everyone el  se in my life. I trip over my words when speaking most recently used the words "rice balls" instead of Israeli couscous because that is what I see in my head when I think of them or I will take a long pause or stop talking in the middle of a sentence to think of what I was going to say not because I suddenly lost what I was saying but because my train of thought would already be way past what I was saying before I could get all my words out. Only my parents and sisters really understand where some of the stuff I say comes from. It is like there is a big game of connect the dots in my head and because they know me and my experiences most of the time they can follow the process. I have a strong need for the "˜big picture"™ in my mind if I don"™t know where I am going how can I get there. Not giving me a clear definition of what I should be doing, why I am doing it, and what the end result should be is like telling someone in California to walk to Tennessee with no map,  it just seems impossible and not worth doing. 
Now for some of the positives.  My brain feels like a large ecosystem everything is connected. I can relate complex problems to simple problems to help myself understand. I make associations very well.   I can catch most problems before they happen. I think ahead not because I want to just because I do. I work in mechanical design for nuclear and fossil engineering company. I started admin but moved up when one person noticed the questions I was asking about things I was coping were good questions.  The group I work in layouts pipes for whole plants. I will know if there isn"™t enough slope on a pipe without doing any calculations. When laying out the piping systems I can catch drainage and fume problems before they arise. Often I will have to go back and explain to colleagues why I may have not taken the easiest route with a pipe. After I "learn" someone I have a lot more tolerance for the bothersome things they do. I see connections from things they have spoken about f
 rom their past and can put together why they act like they do now. 
Some people call dyslexia a problem I do not believe it is a problem at all. It is just a different approach to the world.


Name: Jerald A Edwards
Occupation: Electrical Engineer retired

I have never had problems reading! But rather, I have a problem of omission.  When I was trying to learn to say the days of the week as an example: when asked to say them I would respond with Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.  When ask what day followed Monday I would always respond Tuesday!  My teacher sent home a note saying "Jerry refuses to say the days of the week correctly," which, of course wasn"™t true.  I didn"™t realize that I was leaving Tuesday out.  Also I have never been able to spell.  If it weren"™t for "Word" writing something like this would have been impossible.  The reason for the past tense is because I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and the Doctor prescribed Effexor to treat it.  After I reached the full strength for the medication, I realized that I could now spell.  So obviously, the Effexor is having some effect on my dyslexia! Maybe?

I love to tinker with things.  I am currently restoring a 1930 Model A Ford 2 Door Sedan & antique gas stove.  I am getting ready to publish a genealogy book on my family going back to the 1200s.

I also have ADD.  If I"™m watching TV and my wife wants to talk to me, she first has to get my attention or she could talk to me all day and I would never hear her.

My first wife divorced me in the middle of my junior year and I still managed to finish on time with a decent grade point.

Several of my friends in college were Psyc. Doc. students and 3 of the did IQ testing on me.  According to them the average was 132.  

Name: Jean Alexis
Occupation: Student

I have  challenge reading and writing. I'm  not good at pronouncing and spelling. A Week ago after I took my English final my prof. Said To me that I'm Dyslexic. I had no clue what the word dyslexia mean, I asked her write the dyslexia for me. Since then I started doing my own research. I find most of the stuff people said about dyslexia is like they are talking about me.. Now I'm seeking for help because I'm tired  trying to keep with other student.

Name: David Gladwin
Occupation: Window Cleaner

I don't really have a success stroy, i had a nightmare at school largely due to my hand writing, i came away from school with nothing but several years later had my own business and employed up to 10 people (motor factor / car repair garage, the self esteem issues were a problem in management whilst being self employed and when i sold my business and got a job as a Shop and garage manager. I went from job to job in the motor trade, my biggest problem was i could not manage people very well as i had this need for them to like me (pointed out by a very good boss), i did get some excellent training and knew it all in theory but still found it  hard to put into practice, i had a mental breakdown just after being 40 and had some councilling, i feel i am now awakening to my path of life and am just researching stuff all the time, i have always been very creative enthusiastic, passionate and have a high level of mathematical ability, i suffered in childhood and i  ts taken me a long long time to get over it, i am 47 now and am doing a dead end job that does not really stimulate me, i get depressed but at least i am supporting my family, two of my 3 children will be going to university this year and my 3rd wont be long, my life will change and i hope to put my creative mind to more use, my success story may come in the future.

Name: Gabrielle Gordon
Occupation: college student studying agricultural education for secondary students

Horses Are a Part of My Life
Horses Are My Life

Horses are important to me because they have shaped me into who I am today.  Because I am Dyslexic I did not know my right from my left, though through riding I soon learned this and much more.  Because of my Scoliosis I was dismounted unexpectedly more than most other kids.  Through riding I have learned how to balance myself and to take the unexpected falls with grace, dignity, and humility.  These things have given me a solid foundation on which I learned to build my life.
My best friends have always been my horses, wiping away my tears, listening to my problems, and showing their love to me no matter the circumstances; never judging me or my skills.   I am proud to say I taught myself how to train horses and they have taught me how to sit up straight, how to work for my goals, how to multitask, and many other small tasks that the average person would find unimportant. Horses have been there for me when no person was; they have supported my dreams (literally). Horses are important to me because they are who I am.  They made me, me. 

I wrote this essay, and won the essay portion of the Illinois Horse Fair Queen Pageant.  This has been one of my greatest achievements because my academic life included struggles with grammar, writing, and reading.  I wasn'table to construct a proper sentence until high school and my spelling was atrocious.  During my elementary years my Mom was assured I was doing fine, though the bottom, until 5th grade.  Everything came crashing down and she withdrew me from public school to homeschool me through my high school graduation.  My Mom did extensive research to find out how to help me learn and overcome my difficulties.  She has been committed to my being Dyslexic, though I have never received formal diagnosis because of the lack of resources, the lack of educational assistance programs, the lack of understanding from society, and most importantly the denial its existence or importance to the general population, educators, and beyond.  I am still searching to find somebody that
  is qualified to do formal testing, as I would like to know the probability of my children being Dyslexic and how it will continue to impact my future.  Every day is a new experience and a challenge so that I may achieve my goals no matter how hard I have to work.

Name: Bob Patterson
Occupation: Global Fiduciary Consulting

: Happy to chat about it. Struggled through secondary schools (5), two colleges (BA, History) and Business School. Love the visual arts, philosophy. More on my LinkedIn profile: Keep up the good work!

Name: Kellee Farr
Occupation: Writer

I am Kellee Farr, a dyslexic writer. This poem I wrote is my story. 

Dyslexic Words

She is born

She is perfect, she says

She is the happiest little girl, she boasts

She dances to a different drummer, she laughs

I like to dance, I say

She can draw, he says

I like to draw, I say

You are creative, she says

Everything I see is beautiful, I say

Tell me what you mean, she says

I don"™t know how, I say

I am me, I celebrate

She is enrolled, they say

I am excited, I celebrate

She has a temper, she says

She is falling behind, they say

I don"™t know what it says, I argue

She is deficient, they say

She is dyslexic, they whisper

But, I am me, I say

She is not paying attention, she says

I am sorry, I say

She is copying it wrong, they huff

I am sorry, I say

She is late, she says

I am sorry, I say

She is weird, they say

I am me, I mumble

That was the funniest thing I ever read, she says

I cannot see it, I urge

Follow the words of the song, she instructs

I would rather make up my own, I dodge

She is lazy, they growl

I am sorry, I say

She is unorganized, they complain

I am trying, I whisper

You don"™t belong here, they say

I can do it, I plead

There goes the dumbest girl you will ever meet, he says

I hate me, I say

Welcome, here we will be sure to push you through, they say

You want to make me hallow, I ask

That is how you will get a diploma, because you cannot do it, they say

I am ashamed, I think

Don"™t think, they say

I hate me, I say

She is not paying attention, he says

NO, you"™re not paying attention, I plead

I can do it like this, I explain

NO, and you don"™t have to explain, they say

I WILL find a way to explain, I know

I tested out of reading, I jump up and down

um, good for you, they slowly back away

I could live in that story, I dream

Here is your test, they say

Here is your money, I gasp

You are the most disoriented dyslexic adult we have ever met, they smile

I kinda knew it, I murmur

No, you are wonderful, they explain

I am me, I say

Here is your computer, he says

Here is your money, I gasp

Hi, we are all dyslexic, they tweet

I am a thinker, he says

I ma creative, he greets

I am clever, he says

I understand, she laughs

I am a businessman, he offers

I have empathy, she tweets

I have courage, she writes

I am home, I sigh......


When I wrote my first novel, my children were starving and I did not even qualify to work a cash register. The only thing I had was my imagination and the unlocked resources of my dyslexia. I desperately wrote with the determination that my situation inspired. I thought self-publishing would be my only avenue, due to errors and the inability to afford an editor. I started self promoting using twitter and Facebook. I found RASP, a publishing company that specializes in dyslexic writers. They liked my work and we are now working on getting my first novel published. After being denied an education and pushing me through school, I, ironically, became what the world said I had no right to be. 

I turned my disability into my greatest asset. I say disability because until I learned to channel the positive side of this learning difference I had thought myself severely disabled.  

Thank you,
Kellee Farr 

Name: Rachelle Analla
Occupation: Business owner Salon & Hairstylist

Until now I had no idea that there are so many people in the world who don't understand Dyslexia. 2 of my 3 children have dyslexia (10 year old has visual processing disorder and my 7 year old has visual memory).  I have know since 2nd grade that I have dyslexia. In first great I was out of school for a month because I developed colidus do to being kept after school and always in trouble for not working hard enough.  Now sitting in my children's IEP I think to myself- doesn't everyone do that?- when they explain their differences.  I have come a long way. I had a mother that was a strong influence and a father that always told me to follow my dreams.  I am a successful business owner, hairstylist, property manager, mother of 3 and wife.  I love how I am rediscovering myself and getting to know my mind and how wonderful it is that I can see things  in a different light.  Thank you for letting me share my story.

Name: Jason Epstein
Occupation: Real Estate Agent

It's intaresting to me that you ask a dyslexic to describe his story through the very medium with which he has diffaculty. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind typing and writing. In today's society I have been forced to get good at it. I just wish that sections like this on applications, dating sites and any other situation where I am required to describe something through words would give the option of telling my story with a medium in which I am comfortable. It's highly improbable but I wish situations such as this would give me an option to tell my story through pictures or diagrams rather than with words.

I have lived my life feeling defective and not good enough. I am 37 years old and when I was in elemtary school Dyslexia was not understood at my school and I was treated as though I was a bad student and that I never really was trying. It became a slef fulfilling proficey. I subconciously figured that if everyone was telling me that I am a bad student then I might as well act the part.

Needless to say school was not easy for me. When I grduated college I felt a greater sense of accomplishment than most of my fellow students because I felt that my hurdles were set a little higher than everyone else and I still finished the race.

After college I decided to take a job that I love to do rather than one that would make me a lot of money. I became a professional model builder. I loved this profession. I loved my work. I was an exceptional model builder. I was very lucky to work on some high profile projects for some very high profile clients. I started my own company in 2004 and sold it for a profit in 2008. I worked off and on as a model builder for a couple of years after I sold my company. However, today, the industry is in the midst of its death rattle. The digital age has snuffed out the need for my talent and technology like 3D printing has made it possible for anyone that know how to use a software program can make a model.

I chose to become a real estate agent because it would require me to utilize my next strongest intelligence and that is interpersonal communication. I am a very strong people person and I am very good with people. My likability gives me the confidence to do anything and everything reguarding communication (small talk, sales, negotiations, non-verbal communication, public speaking, etc.). I'm still very new at this profession so it's a little too early to gauge my success but I wanted to share my story none-the-less.

I want you to know that this is the first time i have written something on my computer without having to reread it and edit it at least 3 times. You are the Center for Dyslexia and Creativity! I figured you'd like to see my REAL typing voice. This is the first time ever I have not used modern technology to mask my dyslexia. I intentionally did not spell check or edit this piece and it feels great to be able to send it to an organization that will not judge my spelling and grammer. 
I would love to know more about your organization and if there there is anythign I can do to contribute. 

Name: Amy Spry
Occupation: Mother

Well I was tested my first year of school in Kindergarden in 1984-1985 because the severity of my dislexia the doctores told my parents that they might have to take care of me for the rest of my life. Little did they know. In elementary school I got the help I needed , when I was in second grade I remember leaving school for a couple of hrs to go to another school that specialized in dyslexia. By the time I reached high school I pretty much got lost in the system. My parents and teachers goals for me  was to just graduate high school. I belive that I could o much more but that's what the teachers said so that's what m parents belive. Because of my dyslexia I have always struggled with the simplistic thing in life as well. When I get a new job I have to work harder than other workers so no one would know I was dislexic. I have also suffered from dispersion and anxiety I also have social issues. Now I am 31 years old and I have a cosmitology licence and a me  dical assistant diploma. I am a mother of two and have a loving husband. Now my goul in life is to make sure that my kids get the help they need and never set low expectations just because you might be different you can do anything you want.


Name: Jefferson Stewart
Occupation: Artist & Entrepreneur

I was diagnosed with dyslexia toward the end of my first time taking first grade. For much of that year I had been confused and baffled by what seemed so easy for everyone else. Thankfully my parents and the school I was in was supportive, but reading was massive challenge, and I feel like I really couldn't read well until I was in seventh grade, and that I couldn't really write well until my senior year in High School. I struggled with school until my junior year in high school, and then things just seemed to get easier -- that once I knew I could excel I could excel at anything. That having the confidence in myself that I could succeed became self fulfilling. Growing up I felt like I was the little kid, that I always had to work harder and that I had something to prove. I think that tenacity and ferocity never left, and now I a much better and successful person because of it. 

I am an Honors graduate of Washington University with a major in Political Science and a major in Painting. I also have a MFA from Yale University in Painting. Since graduating I have worked in video games and online marketing, and helped build online products. I have become a Director at the largest privately held online marketing company, and I have started numerous small businesses. While in college I took Hindi, and while I could never read, I was able to converse. Likewise, after dating a Chinese woman for years, I decided to learn Chinese and have passed two years of Chinese.

I hope children who are diagnosed with dyslexia know truly that they are not stupid or defective, and that in the not even so long run they will be better because of what they need to go through. That the first ten years of school will be really hard, but if they can just grit their teeth and figure out how to work around issues, they will succeed.

Name: Matt DeMay
Occupation: Student

I am Dyslexic/ADD and have always wanted to be a physician.  I had to work much harder than other students because I learn differently.  I chose to attend Western University of Health Sciences after making sure they had the resources I knew I needed to succeed including an organized curriculum, tutors (including one-on-one tutors for students with learning "disabilities"), technological help and access to teachers to ask questions. Unfortunately, these ended up being empty promises and I was left to fail!

After talking with numerous other students, assistant deans and the dean himself, we decided there was no way I could succeed in this "learning" environment. The dean said it was very likely that I would get my tuition back because they acknowledged their wrongdoings. Now they have gone back on their statement and are making me deal with their lawyer. Fortunately, I found a lawyer who is also dyslexic and understands the struggles with fitting into an education system that often times leaves us out.  I personally feel that our schools have to cut costs and we are the ones that end up getting left out.  It is cheaper to pay those of us off to leave a school instead of providing the "extra" help we need.         

Is my situation something that happens often? Has anyone gone through similar struggles? I feel bad for all of those left out of an education system and society that doesn't understand our abilities. 

On a happier note, I have been continuing to self educate using videos and podcasts. I have also pursued my interest in using electronics/technology to help me learn. I also plan on starting a few businesses in the near future. I am also helping others who are struggling to "fit in" our education system.  Someday, I hope to be able to take the USMLE step 1 board exam after preparing for it using my strategy of using excellent recorded lectures and the Doctors in Training program (that I have already purchased)!

Keep up the good fight everyone! Things will only get better as time progresses.

Name: Emily Crosier
Occupation: full time student

My story begins when i was in fist gread and still effects me to this day. My mom always say she should have known something was up whe came  home with him spelled backwards and  the h turned backwards. 
There so much i don't know where to begins so i will start with when i was first diagnostic. I was in first gread and they tested me for the next 2years. once they found out they told my parents that they they would not diagnostic me because the didn't want to spined the money one the program it would take to teach me. so they through me in special ed classes where they pretty much for got about me. this in turn effected my hole life, which there is so much more to my story but i will not bore you all with that just thank you for this page that aloud me to tell my story.

Name: Earl Middleton
Occupation: Police Officer

I have had problems reading and spelling all my life. I would read for my father and he would call me stupid. Those words continue to destroy me today. I never wanted anyone to know that I had a reading problem so I thought I would cover it up by being good and/or better at different things (sports, art, music, speaking or being a better person). The thing that I later learn was I was naturally good at those things anyway. Reading was still my problem. I managed to get into Southern CT State in New Haven. I needed to enter into a summer program, which I did. I was able to send more time doing my school work. College taught me to study better. I still was not an "A" student but I found that college was easier because I told my professors that I had dyslexia and I needed more time. I graduated in 1994 with a degree in Human Performance (Exercise Science). I later became a police officer in the town of Vernon CT. I have been there for the last 15 years.  My r  eport writing is still a problem and it takes me a long time to complete the reports but when they are finished, they are good reports. Four of those years, I was assigned to Rockville High School as the School Resource Officer. In the school, I was allowed to be creative. I started a musical rock band of police officers and high school teenagers. I created a Teen Dating Violence program that I have shown to over 5000 students across the state of CT and I have gone many other things. But I still want to read better... Thank you for your time:) 

Name: John O'Sullivan
Occupation: Technology Intrgration Specialist/Assistive Technology Specialist

I was one of the first special education students in the modern system of special education. I was in special education in the 70's. I had teachers who did not want to teach me to read because they thought there was no point. I was four years behind in reading after being left back. I still own testing that is 30 years old and scary to read. I can produce proof. 
I presently have two master's in education and I teach teachers how to integrate technology into the classroom. I was a special education teacher for 10 years and now I write Assistive Technology reports. I have excellent reading and writing skills but I have worked my whole life to attain this success. When I graduated college my skills were still lacking. My Website:
I have done public speaking on the subject many years ago but would like to return to speaking on the topic. Please call me if interested 508-808-1231 or home 508-309-3684
The most rewarding thing I do is recommend cutting edge technology that can help a child that is struggling in school. I would be happy to talk about that as well. I love what I do. My success is when I get others with the similar issues to be successful.  


Name: Alan Hellard
Occupation: Vice President of Creative at 1K Studios

From my earliest academic memories, I had trouble reading. I knew I wasn't keeping up with other kids and my test scores proved there was a problem, yet no one red flagged me as dyslexic. I was labeled as lazy and not applying myself. I feared reading and was terrified of read out loud. I always started each school year in classes with other "under achievers", like people with bad attendance, drug use or students that had English as a second language.
My high school guidance teacher told me in 10th grade to forget college because I clearly didn't care about school and should just hang in there until high school was over. I really thought I just wasn't as smart as everyone else.

One thing that I knew was, was Ultra CREATIVE. I realized that I could get through school by applying my hyper creativity and being out going and likable. I barely graduated high school and attended a junior college before getting into a real 4 year college. In my first semester of that college, I was watching the news and saw a story on the Dyslexia. My jaw hit the floor as I realized what my life struggles had stemmed from. I talked to my parents and explained that I thought I might be dyslexic. It was at this point I got tested at my college and the diagnosis was positive. When the person who diagnosed me read back my results, tears ran down my face as I realized that I was challenged all this time and that I had a clear picture to success now.

I had spent my life figuring out ways over come the requirements of reading. Memorization, class clowning and dazzling people with creativity had been my escapes. I now knew what my biggest obstacle had been all these years and no longer would it control me.

Since college, I have made a career out of being a Creative leader in the entertainment industry. I have spent time working in Special Effects, Comic Books, Theme Parks, Apps and Online.

I am still a terrible speller and my grammar is often incorrect, I especially hate long emails. But, my ideas are way out of the box. I love the opportunity to pitch my creative ideas against anyone and thrive on having the best concepts and ideas on projects and campaigns. I always push my staff to new creative heights.

I am a great public speaker and teacher. My dyslexia struggles forced my to become stronger and more confident in my approach to everyday life.

When people find out Im dyslexic, they are always surprised and very curious on how I can even exist with this disorder.

I became aware of your organization after just watching a documentary on HBO. That's how I found your website. I'd be happy to share my story further if you'd like.


Name: Chris Cornette
Occupation: NYSE floor broker

I was inspired to write to your center after watching the HBO documentary. I have a story to tell that I always thought maybe unique only to myself but now I am not so sure. My recollection of my grammer school days are filled with angist, self doubt, and sadness. Needless to say that I struggled in school in my local Catholic school. In second grade the teacher suggested to my mother that I be left back, which may or may not have been the right decision. My mother feared that a stigma would always follow me if that happened, so she brokered a solution wih the teacher, Mrs. Kuffner, that I would go to summer school to make up the differance.  This would be the first year of six weeks of summer school at the local private college that would last until 7th grade. In the 7th I lucky to have Sister Mary Vogel who worked with me after school everyday during the spring semester to keep me caught up with the other children. I also think something else drove her to be devoted to me. I was picked on by other children horrifically. I could not verbally defend myself against the "glibness"- a word I borrowed from Dr. Shaywitz in the documentary but even that is very nice comparison to what actually happened, so this nun gave me the much need attention that I did not get anywhere else. This attention was not only academic in nature but very much spiritual. She recognized hurt inside of me. This recollection that at this moment has brought tears to my eyes. She was pivitol in my life and I am crying because I am not sure if I or my mother was ever able to let her know how important she was to my future. I owe her a debt of gratitude. I had the very lucky fortune of having Sister Mary become an eight grade teacher that year and I was in her class. We had a bond that trancended normal academic relationships. In eight grade I was in full blown puberty and much of my academic struggles left me. "Experts" told my mother that the growth of my brain associated with this time in my life allowed me to "catch up" with the other children. I graduated with second honors and was greeted with a big smile at the end of my diploma walk by the now retired Mrs Kuffner who was there to see her grandson graduate. I had mixed feeling about her happiness for me because I had blamed her for much of my sad and difficult times in school. Remember that all the trouble began with her suggestion that be left back. I owe her an apology. Being happy to leave grammar school behind with a measure of academic success yet still affected socially since I had no friends, I entered high school tepidly. Once again it is here where I think Devine intervention happened to me again. In home room we sat in alphabetical order thus I sat next to and in front of two young men who shared my story as "social rejects" yet did not suffer the same academic plight. We would team up as friends and students the next four years and with their collaboration high
  school was easy for me except for my foreign language class. I had effectively failed my Latin class all four years but because I had the interest to attempt it in the first place my teacher passed me barely. I think he ended up doing me an injustice here because still my dyslexia went undiscovered. I was an auditory learner(and still am) thus by paying attention in class and taking good notes allowed me to skip reading the text book. This would come to haunt me. I got into a fairly good college, Catholic University of America, heavily relying on my math sat scores and high school grades. I also think I got a free pass here by being a "city" kid. I belive the school wanted regional diversification since they were dominated by all suburban kids. I was only one of two NYC students that attended my year. It was now that my academic "sham" started to show itself. Thinking that going class everyday and taking good notes would get me past having to read those 200 pages of text book in order to get good grades, I began my college career with hope. That hope soon unraveled with my first couple of tests. Professors made much of the tests based on the text book that l knew that my sucess in high school was fleeting. I could never read all of those pages in the time frame they gave me. I finished my freshman year with a 2.1 GPA. Barely enough to continue. One thing that had repeated itself here as was in high school that most of the questions I got to answer were correct. Even though I didn't do the readings, I wasn't going to be able to finish all the questions anyway so I just skipped  the ones based solely on the text book readings. I began my sophomore year with an official notice from the school AND my parents that I would be pushed out of school if my GPA went below 2.0. Thus when my struggles to do keep up were worse instead of better I panicked. A secratary that I worked with in work study told me about the academic counseling center an campus so
  I quickly made an appointment.  I only had wished that I was aware of this place the year before. It was here that I had met Prof. Reggie. I told her my issues and I told her of how I felt that it unfair that teachers expect you do so much reading in so little time. She explained to right then and there that the reading was not extraordinary and asked me if I would submitt to battery of tests. Since I was about to fail out of school I said that of course I would. She began to test me each week for learning disabilities even though at first the subject of my testing was not revealed to me. I knew something was up because as we progressed Reggie was elated in my presence. Her reaction to me verses the other students around was profound. I was a big "discovery" for her since most students at college level already had their issues vetted out. I was very happy with the extra attention from her. It harked back to my time with Sister Mary. It was also extra ordinary because there 
 was a time limit to the counseling you could get. I could not eat up all the resourses that this small center had on campus. Prof. Reggie stopped my testing and gave me her thoughts and suspicion that I was dyslexic and needed to go to a center away from the University for further testing. This would cost money so she alerted my parents. I think that my mom was crying on the phone. I could just see the empathy Reggie had on her face. I knew then, as a young adult, that my problems all these years were also my Mom's problems. The weight that was burdened with was also carried by my parents. Everything that I suffered with suddenly went into focus. I did continue with the testing outside the University and with Reggie's tests, a host of doctors all proclaimed me to be dyslexic. Who would of thought that such a moment would be a "happy" one. I got untimed tests and was taught some reading tricks. Within one semester of being declared dyslexic I achieved a 4.0 with the help of untimed testing and taking one less class. I returned to full class schedule and never got under a 3.0 in any one semester again. I graduated with a 2.9. I must put an astrix here because I was also shuffled out of the school of arts and sciences. Since I had Latin in high school I made an attempt to take in my fall semester of sophomore year, the same time I started my LD testing. The Latin teacher was also the dean of arts and sciences. I did attempt French in my freshman year but dropped it when I knew I was going to fail. Now, the latin teacher had pulled me aside to tell me that I did not try in his class and that I was a disruption. He told me point blank to drop the class because I was going to fail. Needless to say I did drop it. My problem now in junior year AFTER I had my diagnosis in hand was that this person alone, the dean of arts and sciences, could grant me the waiver for the language requirement. He did not. I am still bitter today. I was forced to transfer to
  the city school inside the university, which was the night school for adults because it did not have a language requirement. Ironically, now as a professional man, the current dean of the school of arts and science calls upon me to see students and talk to them about my profession. Recently, when he asked me about making a gift to the school, I told him of my experience with one of his predecessors. I did not make a gift to the school. Even in my professional life I have found people to dismiss my dyslexia and what it really means. I am a member of the NYSE (lots of math, no reading ;) ) and am required to take professional tests. Because I am still armed with my test results from 25 years ago and my current eye doctors note( keeping the evaluation current) I asked for an untimed test.  Well the proctor of the exam who WORKED,past tense, for NYSE Regulation demanded a conferance call with my boss and compliance officer. I didn't know what it was about but soon after a weird
  line of questioning I realized she was tring to expose me and my dyslexia as a fraud. She felt that i was trying "to pull a fast one" to get a leg up. This person was a top cop at the NYSE and had many different relationships with my firm including certain regulatory powers so for her to do this put me in a bad situation. I did not vigorously defend myself in light of the audience on the phone and felt demeaned by the whole thing. I called back my coworkers to explain and defend myself and forwarded copies of my records to protect myself from discrimination. Later that afternoon I called her back and really gave her a piece of my mind. I told her that I was going to make a complaint to her boss for deliberately trying to embarrass and demean me. Ultimately, I found the test easy,  finished with 5 minutes to spare and got to see that woman get laid off. As you know from my very long story that I am indebted to several women much like your Dr. Shaywitz. If I can somehow pay it forward with my story or talking to a young person that is having a hard time or to parent that needs help understanding, I will. Thank you. Even if no ones reads this it helped my to get a lot off my chest and closure to some parts of my life. The work that you is profound to someone's life. Again thank you.  

I learned of the center from the HBO documentary from goggling Dr. Shaywitz. If could ever help, my email is 

Name: Nina Harmon
Occupation: Student

I produced this ten minute documentary to build awareness about disabilities and to stop kids with disabilities from being bullied because of their differences. In the piece I also share my personal struggle with dyslexia. This is part of my Girl Scout Gold Award Project, I need 500 hits by March 2013 in order to get my award. Please watch and send to others. So you know this video is geared towards elementary age children. If you have any questions email me at
-Nina Harmon

Here is my video, if you type Kids like me (dyslexia) you can see my video.


Name: Cheyenne Rhodes
Occupation: Clinical and Transition services

I was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADD in third grade back in 1986. My mother has always been supportive and very involved in my educational development. My father who is an undiagnosed dyslexic was of the mind set that "there's nothing wrong with me or my daughter". I attended Catholic schools where the teachers did not know much about dyslexia, however, most of my high school teachers were very open to learning and helping me succeed. My elementary school me erodes are filled with being to I could read or write. It was very discouraging. I spend many nights becoming frustrated with homework, crying and throwing tantrums. My mom found a center in Nassau county that specialized with learning disabilities. I remember going there and having to do different activities. I remember the colored films that they used which helped against the harsh fluorescent lighting of the classrooms. By the time I was about half way through high school I had learned my own copin
 g skills. I would take notes writing everything phonetically, then when I got home I would have my mom help me re-write my notes by using a dictionary. Flash cards are still my best friend if I need to remember or memorize things. I have more of my story but for now I will end with the fact that I have four college degrees in different subject areas, dispute the negativity I have experienced from educators I am smart, talented, and successful. I am proud to be a dyslexic. I wouldn't change anything about my educational path. I would love to share my story and meet others like myself. 


Name: Glenn Kapostas
Occupation: Survivor

 I see that dyslexia has many forms.  The worst ones for me is not being able to remember names two seconds after hearing or reading them. Next would be saying things wrong or not being understood, at 55 I have gotten much better at not saying the first thing that comes into my head but I still do it. I read at a 5th grade level. Write and spell at a 4th grade level. I am fine with numbers most of the time. I get lost I my thoughts, I could be having a conversation with someone, start thinking of what they said and then I realize I have not been listening for 2 minutes.  Not being able to write a note for your child that missed a day of school is disheartening. 
My Story
I blocked out much of my childhood and I prefer not to even go to deep there but you do need some back ground. I remember my mom telling me how she thought I was going to do so well in school because at a young age I love looking at picture books.  Well it didn't happen; growing up in a working class city (Bridgeport, CT), was a nightmare.  My mother and father were no better then anyone else in making sure I know I was stupid.  I was small as a child but I would not take the insults, I got in fights and beat up almost daily.  I always thought out of the box and that was not cool in the 60's.  I always tell the story when in 6th grade; the class was talking about history. The question was, were did lamp oil in the Middle East come from.  I looked at the map and know they didn't drill at the time so I raised my hand and after much moving and shaking the reluctant teacher called on me.  My answer was perfect, whales. Everyone including the teacher laughed at me. To this day If 
 I see some one from that class, the first thing they would say is â?owhale oilâ?. 
I donâ?Tt know when I decided to give up and except I was stupid but I did. The school system passed me along and I got out of high school at 18. The only classes I did excel in were drafting and geometry. We had on art classes. What do I do with my life?  School was not an option so I went into the Marine Corps, by this time I was good at fighting.   One day in basic training changed my life.  I was told to go to a meeting there were maybe ten others from our group of 600 at this meeting.   The man in dress uniform started with how we are over achievers and top grade earners in high school. They want to send us to prepatory school to make us ready for Annapolis. I looked around and was thinking to my self (what the ____ am I doing here).  Turns out I have a very high IQ.  I could not take their offer since they were talking about four hours of reading a night and I think all of you can translate that for us.
From then on I have done my best to make it in a world that does not understand my way of thinking.  I have missed many opportunities because I did not see them for what were.  I did get tested at 42 and the results were I am highly dyslexic.  
Out of four children I was the only one to graduate collage and the only one to pay for it myself.  My father said they did not help me because I never finished anything.  I have a B.A. in graphic design and photography.
I was a product photographer for 12 years until the digital camera killed the business. I went back to school for computer graphics and I always blow the young kids minds with what I can do visually. But employers in the art world only want youth; I managed to get into high end Photoshop work. Then the print industry took a nose dive and I had to reinvent myself again.  I went back into carpentry at 42. I had done some while working through school. Over the next 12 years I worked my way up to doing and then being the lead of crews installing high end finish work in over the top houses. This work let me be very creative.  But it was always as a sub contractor.  A year and a half ago I finally got a full time job in the trade show industry as a carpenter.   My boss know of my graphics background and four months ago I was made graphic manager. 
There are so many jobs I can not do but I always seem to find work.  Many people when they hear all the different things I can do call me a Renaissance man and I tell them, if only I didnâ?Tt missed the 15th century it would be great.
I my not be able to visualizes letters but I blur out my eyes and see almost anything else like it was there.  I actually don't do it to much any more because people make comments it looks like I am in a trance. I have enlarged optic nerves that the doctor keeps an eye on. Is this common in dyslexics? 
I have many ideas in my head that I believe could help our world, maybe there should be a dyslexic think tank. It might be what the world needs. I also think that not to long ago, before literacy was wide spread, we were the town tinkers, the people who solved the daily problems.    
I would love if there was a group near by so I could share thoughts with like minded people. I live 12 miles from New Haven, if I could help in any way let me know.  I am sure there are many like me who did not get parental support and never found there way.  Thank God for spell check and thank God most of you that had parented that saw who you really were.

Name: Angela Walker
Occupation: Graphic Design

 I have problems with my reading, writing and spelling.  It starts when I was in high school, I don't how to reading a book or write an essays for english class.  My spelling is not so good, but I did graduate from high school with a diploma.  I also went to college, university and a trade school, but I don't graduate yet.  My major is graphic design.  I have a tape call self-taught reading program so it can help me with my reading, writing and spelling.  When I finish the tape self-taught reading program, I'm going to read a book.  Then, I will be going back to school to get my degree in graphic design.

Name: Becky Cole
Occupation: Formerly professional writer/editor; now refinishing furniture

I wasn't diagnosed until I was 26.  Until then I thought I had a visual problem.  I'd been told I was lazy, an underachiever, "afraid of success" (really?), and the rest of the usual folderol.  I started cutting school in Jr. High School when the textbooks were suddenly printed in tiny fonts and double columns with no room between.  I learned best from teachers who spoke eloquently on their subject, but failed other classes.  I dropped out in my senior year of HS when I learned I'd have to go back for a year and a half to graduate, and got a job instead.
     When I was finally tested, I scored off the charts on verbal skills (hence my former career), but read terribly slowly, wrote unpredictably (for lack of a better word), and lost concentration easily.  My math skills tested in the 4th percentile (which explains taking algebra four years in a row and still not learning it).
     I was fortunate to be a good writer, doing freelance journalism and finally TV writing.


Name: Lynelle Porter
Occupation: Struggling Student

Yesterday I saw The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexic. I learned that I had Dyslexic when I was about 10 years old going through the 4th grade for the 2nd time. My school and parents decide to skip me to the 6th grade this was the first time I my family and other people moved me on without explaining my disable. Through out my school years I was pushed along and told you have a learning problem. None explain what I had or gave me tools to overcome my handicap. I just ignored to the best of my ability. I did not have many friends because I did not want other kids to know that I could not read on there level. This keep me from trying new thing. I thought because I had dyslexic I would not be good at anything and there was no one in my life who pushed me to find something that I would be good at. Its like once my family found out that I had dyslexic they stop trying which made me stop trying and I started trying to avoid my dyslexic. I am currently a college student at The Art Institute of Philadelphia. I need help. That is so hard to say because I have been dealing with this by myself since I was 10 years old. I don't have a up to date IEP and I don't know where I can go as an adult to receive a new IEP. Please Help.