Is Dyslexia a Gift?

Is Dyslexia a gift? Or is it a curse? Is it a learning disability or a learning difference? It all depends on whom you ask. But dyslexia sure does make it difficult to read. Dyslexia, in fact, is defined as an unexpected reading difficulty that occurs without relation to intelligence, age, motivation, or education.

How could that be a good thing? It makes it hard to read. It comes out of the blue. How can one learn anything without having the knack of fluent reading, let alone attain a high school diploma? How is someone who find it difficult to read going to get through school and get a job?

It is often said that the first three years of school are spent learning to read. After that, students read to learn. Students with dyslexia find it difficult to read, so of course they’re going to find it difficult to learn, right? On the face of it, it sure looks as though dyslexia is a curse, rather than a gift.

Gift of Dyslexia: Superior Understanding

So far, we’re talking facts. Except that there’s another set of talking points on dyslexia that appears to contradict these facts. These alternative arguments say that people with dyslexia just have a different way of learning, that of course people with dyslexia are going to fail if you teach them the way you teach more typical students. This line of thinking holds that people with dyslexia have a superior way of learning and understanding, if only you teach according to their abilities and gifts.

Judy Packhem, a reading specialist, owner and consultant at Shaping Readers explains, “Dyslexia is a neurological disorder that is characterized by problems with phonological processing skills. In layman’s terms, dyslexics have trouble with accurate and fluent word reading, spelling and decoding (sounding out words). Functional MRIs show a difference between the brains of dyslexics and non-dyslexics. Simply put, the wiring in the brain for reading processes is different. But while their reading skills are lacking, dyslexics excel in other areas.”

If you’re a parent of a child with dyslexia, by now, you’re wondering: what are these “other areas” at which people with dyslexia “excel?” According to Packhem, people with dyslexia are creative, out-of-the-box thinkers, which is why some 35% of all entrepreneurs have dyslexia. Packhem recites the usual list of geniuses said to have dyslexia, including Albert Einstein, Steven Spielber, and Bill Gates on her list.

Can Kids With Dyslexia See It As A Gift?

All fine and good. But how do you help children with dyslexia to see their difficulty as a gift? Because if you fail at making them see this, they’re going to feel inferior to their peers who have no trouble whatsoever when it comes to making sense of text. From Packhem’s point of view, the relief that comes with diagnosis solves that problem. “Once diagnosed, dyslexics are often relieved to learn that there is an explanation for their reading difficulty and that they aren’t ‘dumb,’” says Packhem. “They know that having dyslexia means they need to learn in a different way. With the right treatment, dyslexics are able to learn to read. It requires intervention that is multisensory, explicit, language-based, and emotionally sound.”

As far as Packhem is concerned, the gold standard for the effective treatment of dyslexia is the Orton-Gillingham (O-G) approach. “O-G succeeds where traditional teaching does not in that it is able to create new neural pathways in the brain for reading,” says Packhem, who has a master’s degree in reading and literacy and is a certified dyslexia therapist.

But what, exactly, does it mean to “think out of the box?” What does it mean, in practical terms, to learn in a “different” way? For Arvin Vohra, founder of the Vohra Method of study, and author of Lies, Damned Lies, and College Admissions, and The Equation for Excellence: How to Make Your Child Excel at Math, it’s about a difference in vision, in how people with dyslexia see things. “Students with dyslexia often treat letters as three dimensional objects. Just as we consider a pen rotated to still be a pen, they often see a b and a d to be the same thing. This poses a challenge in initial stages of reading, but thanks to the work of many educational innovators, a challenge most students can overcome. But the positive benefits of dyslexia are huge! Students who have that 3 dimensional reading facility have a huge advantage in advanced math, as well as in non-academic areas like sculpture and sport,” says Vohra.

Dyslexia: Gift and Curse

Phil Weaver, of the Learning Success System, doesn’t necessarily agree. “Dyslexia is a gift and a curse. You have chosen a very controversial subject. We deal with that statement every day and know well how emotional people can get around that simple phrase.”

Weaver suggests that you can’t define dyslexia according to a single standard. “The exact definition of dyslexia is wildly disputed. So before saying dyslexia is a gift it would be good to know how the term is being used.

“Many schools and professionals will use the term ‘specific learning disability,’ instead. Sometimes this term is used to circumvent providing necessary programs and other times simply to be more descriptive. In fact, all this vagary of speech is one of the main problems in the space.

“Dyslexia can refer to phonological dyslexia, visual dyslexia, or kinesthetic dyslexia. Phonological dyslexia is a problem with language, which could be either a problem deciphering sounds or a problem with abstractions. Visual dyslexia could be a problem with the eyes which could be treated with visual therapy, or it might be Irlen syndrome*, or a difficulty with visual mental skills such as visual memory, visual discrimination, or visual closure. Kinesthetic dyslexia describes problems with directionality and proprioception. Or, to confuse things even more, any possible combination of any of those, which is actually more likely,” says Weaver.

Children With Dyslexia Need Help Not Battles

“There is a large faction that will claim that only phonological dyslexia is true dyslexia. And they get quite defensive if anyone says otherwise. All of this is ridiculous. These children need help and endless battles are fought over definitions.

“With all of that in mind,” says Weaver, “if we can just go with a basic assumption of some specific learning disability. This means that a child (or adult) has a problem with a specific learning skill, in this case reading, but is otherwise intelligent.”

Building on this idea, Weaver suggests that once we stipulate dyslexia as a difficulty with perception or mental function, we can speak about compensation, which is what people do when they have any sort of deficit. For students with dyslexia, says Weaver, compensation is often seen in the area of social skills. “Students with dyslexia may develop some amazing social skills in the interest of hiding their problem,” says Weaver, who suggests that compensation occurs with a student’s thinking skills (cognition), as well. “When we think we use our internal visual, auditory, and spatial skills. These all work together in such a way that we really don’t notice them. And we all use these skills a bit differently. When one skill is weak, the others will become stronger to compensate.”

In summary, says Weaver, there are an infinite number of ways in which the “gifts” of dyslexia display themselves. “You will hear a lot of generalizations such as ‘dyslexics are visual thinkers.’ The truth is that some dyslexics are amazing visual thinkers. Others may actually have a weakness in that area and that is the cause of their dyslexia. These generalizations all sprout from specific subjective experiences.

All Kinds of Dyslexics

“You’ll also hear many claims of dyslexics being highly intelligent. The reality is that dyslexics span the full range of intelligence. No specific gift of intelligence comes with dyslexia. There are highly intelligent dyslexics. Dyslexics of average intelligence. And there are dyslexics of low intelligence,” says Weaver.

Weaver cautions that while some students with dyslexia do develop their gifts, others never get past the issue of low self-esteem. The low self-esteem comes from feeling inferior to their neurotypical classmates, who have no trouble reading. “If they don’t get past the typical self-esteem issues caused by the disability then it is unlikely those gifts will help much. Some get past it by intentionally developing self-esteem. Others do well by constantly proving themselves.

“For dyslexics to not feel “less than” the neurotypical I think it is important for them to realize that there truly is no “neurotypical.” We all think differently. Some are easier to fit into a box and learn in the standard ways. This just means that their neurological differences are not so obvious,” says Weaver.

Concrete Example Of Dyslexia As Gift: John Crossman, CEO

For John Crossman, however, a 46-year-old man with dyslexia who is CEO of Crossman & Company, the difference is indeed obvious. “I consider dyslexia a gift in that it pushed me (without knowing it) to sharpen my skills as a public speaker. I can now write a speech in my head and deliver it without every writing down a note. I give a speech about once a month and almost never use notes.”

Weaver suggests that what Crossman sees as a gift is part and parcel of learning to cope with dyslexia. “In the context of dyslexics realizing that they have a fantastic opportunity for having very pronounced skills that they can maximize and profit from, talking about dyslexia as a gift is quite healthy. With that realization must come the acceptance that those gifts emerged from a difficulty. With that healthy acceptance, a dyslexic can strive to both maximize the gift, and work to overcome the difficulty,” says Weaver.

Referring to the plasticity of the brain, that the brain can grow connections, improve, and change, Weaver comments, “We are not forced to live with the same brain we were born with. We can change it if we want to. To what extent no one knows. But we can only start with a healthy look at where we are at any given moment.”

*Irlen syndrome is a controversial topic. Some of the studies conducted on Irlen syndrome were in some ways faulty, and it is disputed whether or not the syndrome actually exists.  For more information, see:

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/002221949002301010

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-colored-overlays/study-doubts-colored-overlays-for-reading-problems-idUSTRE78K4J420110921

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2011/09/15/peds.2011-0314

http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g4872/rr/761729

https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/irlen-syndrome/

New Dyslexia Law May Lead to Early Identification and Treatment for Virginia Schoolchildren

A new dyslexia law has got Virginia educators and dyslexia advocates mighty pleased and excited. The new legislation, just signed into law by Governor Terry McAuliffe, calls for teachers to undergo training in dyslexia awareness. Teachers will have to take a single one-hour online course in order to qualify for or renew a license to teach.

Can a brief one-hour virtual lesson for teachers make a difference in the classroom?

Dyslexia experts say yes. Because that one lesson won’t make teachers experts in dyslexia, a reading difficulty affecting one in every five children. That lesson will, however, help teachers spot signs of dyslexia in their students. More to the point, the course will guide teachers in ensuring those children have the support and assistance they need to succeed in the classroom.

New Dyslexia Law: Effective July 2017

The new dyslexia law takes effect beginning with the 2017-2018 school year. Dyslexia experts say the law is important because the earlier children are identified as having dyslexia, the sooner they can begin treatment. The earlier children receive treatment for dyslexia, the more likely it is they will learn to manage their difficulties and go on to read and learn.

Because teachers have not been educated to spot reading difficulties in their pupils, some children with dyslexia fall through the cracks. Some children fake their way through school and life pretending they can read. As adults, they may never find adequate employment.

Why would a person pretend to be literate? It’s a societal thing. We take pride in academic accomplishment. Not being able to read, in that light, can feel shameful.

Which is a shame, because there’s no shame in having dyslexia, a common disability. And there are ways for children with dyslexia to excel in school. They just need to receive help and support.

An Unexpected Difficulty

Dyslexia is defined as an “unexpected difficulty,” which means that people with dyslexia are of normal intelligence. That is why we fail so many children with dyslexia. It’s why these children are not diagnosed and treated.

Teachers look at the student with dyslexia and see a child of normal intelligence, not learning to read. That teacher may think, “This child is not trying hard enough,” or even, “This child is lazy. The teacher may even reprimand the student, or give a negative report to the child’s parents. This leads to shame and feelings of failure in these children. Sometimes the effects of all this last a lifetime.

The new dyslexia law should change all that for the children of Virginia. From next year on, a teacher who sees a bright child struggling to read, will understand the child has a reading disability and needs extra help. The accusations of laziness will be a thing of the past, and so will the shame. There will still be calls home to parents: calls that explain and advise, rather than accuse.

There is nothing shameful about having a brain difference, which is how many experts see dyslexia. The brain simply sees things a different way which makes it difficult to translate symbols into sound. The new dyslexia law will do a great deal to change educators’ perceptions of students who struggle to read. This will, in turn, do a great deal to help children with dyslexia feel good about themselves. Freed from any sense of shame, children with reading difficulties will  now feel encouraged to do what they need to do to get ahead in school and in life.

The new dyslexia law is a beautiful thing, almost a miracle. Let’s hope the idea of educating teachers in dyslexia awareness spreads and grows so no child ever has to feel shame for being different in Virginia or anywhere else.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe

Spatial Awareness Difficulties: Does Your Child Have This Problem?

Spatial awareness difficulties: that’s the fancy name for someone, say a kid, who doesn’t seem to know whether she’s coming or going. Does your child tend to bump into things? Does she seem to have a poor sense of where her body ends and the wall begins? She may have spatial awareness difficulties.

Spatial concepts are complex unconscious thinking skills that most children master at an early age. They acquire this knowledge with no apparent difficulty. But for some children, the understanding of the self and the relationship between objects within a given space is difficult. Such children have trouble with simple concepts like up, down, on, under, in, out, behind, and in front.

It’s natural for children to learn concepts in their own sweet time. So a difficulty in understanding spatial concepts isn’t uncommon. Some kids simply learn these ideas later than others.

Parents may first notice the problem when warning a child of approaching danger: “Adam, watch out! Jaden is about to bump into you with his tricycle from behind!”

Fallen tricycle

As a parent, you want Adam to have an instant understanding of where Jaden’s trike is in relation to his body and within the space occupied by the two boys. That is what Adam needs to understand in order to quickly get to safety. If Adam fails to understand “from behind” he won’t know how to position himself in order to avoid a collision with Jaden. He may look around (or up and down—or even just stand stock still) in dismay, as the realization comes that once again, he will get hurt for reasons he just doesn’t understand.

You can see a child is having spatial awareness difficulties when you direct that child to do something and are met with a blank stare and inaction. For example, you might say, “Emily, you left your hat on top of the clothes hamper again. Can you please put your hat on the hat stand where it belongs?”

Emily may understand the words “hamper” and “hat stand” but she doesn’t understand “on” or “top.”  These are key directional words that may have no meaning for a child having difficulties with spatial concepts.

hat in space, isolated
Any of us might have trouble figuring it out: is this hat floating or resting on a surface? A child with spatial awareness difficulties may have trouble understanding, even in the best case scenario, where an object lies in relation to space.

Such difficulties sometimes suggest a broader issue that must be dealt with, such as, for instance, dyscalculia (a type of dyslexia with numbers and math instead of words and reading) or autism. That means the difficulty is not something to take lightly or ignore. Spatial awareness difficulties will not go away with time, though your child can certainly learn to adapt and cope.

Do the two scenarios with Adam and Emily remind you of your own child? If so, you’ll need to take a proactive approach to getting some help. But first, an explanation of spatial concepts is in order.

Understanding spatial concepts has to do with the development of a spatial awareness of the self in relation to the things that share space with you The self is at the center of this concept and is crucial to one’s general perception of well, everything. A person needs to understand his location in order to gain knowledge of such critical information as distance, position, and speed, for instance.

Processing Stimuli

Spatial awareness is the culmination of a series of cognitive processes. We must process, interpret, and organize the multiple stimuli we receive from our environment and the items within that environment. Only through these steps can we create an understanding of the relationship of our bodies to the spaces we inhabit and the objects that surround us.

A good example of spatial awareness and how it is learned is demonstrated by the infant who is learning to reach out and grab a toy. A baby, using the hit-or-miss method, learns where his limbs are in space (called proprioception) and how far he must stretch the muscles in his arm to span the distance from the arm’s starting point (his body), to the toy (spatial awareness). Each successive attempt should add information to the baby’s brain about the amount of muscle stretch required and the distance of the toy.

The baby can then apply the knowledge he gathers over time to similar objects and situations until the information is fully a part of his unconscious thinking. The infant comes to know on sight whether an object is within his reach. This sight knowledge is gained through mastering concepts of distance and learning the boundaries of his own physical limitations: he learns what distances his arms can and cannot reach.

Part of our motivation as humans to be upright and walk is found in the desire to reach things that are too far away to touch. A child can see that people who walk can get closer to items the child wants but cannot reach. The child sees that as one walks over to an object, the position of the object is closer to the body.

Baby reaches for toy
It takes practice for the child to correctly judge how far to reach to grab an object. But spatial awareness difficulties can mean a child has issues learning to comprehend distances.

The child also begins to understand that a faraway object looks smaller, while from close up, the object looks larger. A child, in short, gains with age and experience an understanding of the proximity of items and people in relation to his own physical self. He gains mastery over his own movement as he grows in the understanding of his own personal space. He controls his limbs with ever greater precision.

A child with poor spatial awareness will tend to have difficulties with visual perception. Such a child may be clumsy, often bumping into things. He may stand too far away from or too close to objects.

It may be difficult for a child with spatial awareness difficulties to master the act of writing. A writer must measure the distance between pencil and paper. He needs to know how much pressure to apply to the pencil to make legible marks. A writer has to know the difference between right and left. A child with spatial awareness difficulties may be confused by the teacher’s writing instructions (e.g., hold the front end of the pencil between the third and second finger of the right hand, while allowing the end of the pencil to rest in the crook between thumb and index finger). By the same token, the child with poor spatial awareness skills will have trouble in gym class and playing games that require equipment (balls, bats, goal box).

Little boy writing, concentrating hard, head close to paper
This child’s head is too close to the paper as he writes. It may be he needs glasses. Or it could be he has spatial awareness difficulties.

Spatial awareness issues are not all about deficits. There’s an upside! Children with spatial awareness difficulties tend to have strong auditory memory skills–they remember what they hear. For this reason, they may excel at music and benefit whenclassroom teachers use multisensory teaching methods. The verbal comprehension skills of children with spatial awareness difficulties actually exceed those of their classmates. They also have excellent verbal and non-verbal reasoning skills.

Spatial awareness can improve with therapy. The therapist may begin by having the child draw a picture of a person. The resulting picture will help the therapist understand how the child sees the human form in relation to the environment. A child’s handwriting also offers clues to the therapist regarding a child’s spatial awareness deficits. A child who starts a sentence in the middle of the page or attempts to write vertically instead of horizontally is telling us how he sees things in relation to his awareness of the space around him.

The therapist will also want to observe the child’s gross motor skills. Watching the child play a sport such as soccer, for instance, will show the therapist how the child judges the distance and speed of an oncoming ball and the distance between the child and the goal box into which the ball must be kicked. Children who appear clumsy at such games, place themselves where they shouldn’t be, and bump into the other players, offer all lots of valuable information to the watchful trained therapist.

Boy with foot on well used soccer ball. Boy in background holds up arms. Black and white photo.
Watching a child play soccer can tell the trained observer a great deal about a child’s spatial awareness skills.

Where conditions are good, babies learn spatial awareness without any help from adults. That means allowing a baby plenty of freedom (within reason) to explore his immediate environment. But even where parents offer infants lots of freedom of movement, things can get in the way of spatial awareness development. A child may, for instance, become ill during a key phase of development and miss out on an important learning opportunity. There may be a developmental disorder that causes a lag in spatial awareness development.

Improving spatial awareness should be a conscious goal of all those involved with the child: parents, therapist, and teachers. Target games are excellent therapy for this purpose. Have the child throw beanbags into buckets, hoops, or over a homemade finish line made from chalk or tape. A homemade obstacle course can help a child learn to position his body in relation to the obstacles he confronts as he runs a course. Dance, or the act of moving the body to music, teaches children the efficient use of space, and how to control body movement according to specific speeds and rhythms. Shooting marbles can help to develop a child’s judgment in relation to spaces and distance.

Spatial Awareness Difficulties: Therapies

In the home, parents can turn everyday activities into spatial awareness therapies:

  • At table, talk about things you see during a modified version of “I Spy,” e.g., the breadboard is in the kitchen on the wall hook above the counter to the left of the microwave oven.
  • Hide an object and give your child instructions on how to find it, e.g., the tennis shoe is under the bookshelf in your bedroom.
  • Ask the child to tell you which items are closer and which are farther away, e.g., which is closer to you, the front door or the television set? Add more items to the list as you go along to make the game more challenging.
  • Turn your child into a “robot,” giving him directions, e.g., turn right, go up three steps, turn around, go down the stairs, now hop up and down.
  • Play “Simon Says.”
  • Take your child to play on the jungle gym at a local playground or park.
  • Spend time together, working on jigsaw puzzles.
  • Build models that come with illustrated instructions that describe the building process in detail.

If you think your child may have spatial awareness difficulties, speak to your child’s doctor or teacher. They can tell you how to have your child tested. In the event that your child tests positive for spatial awareness difficulties, they should also be able to direct you toward getting your child the therapy he needs to improve perception both in and out of the classroom.

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Editor’s note: This post was originally published March 17, 2014, and has been completely revised and updated for accuracy and scope.

Music and Reading: The Music in the Words

When I write, I have no formula and I have no concept of how to create an outline. Instead, I listen for the music in the words.

The syllables of a sentence tap out a rhythm. The sounds of the vowels and consonants are the melody. I know that a certain musical hook in a phrase will be answered with another that fits a specific meter that complements the melody of the first.

I tried to explain this to my family not long ago, even bringing out a book to show them an example of what I meant. I told them I know from the very first sentence of a book whether the writer is gifted—whether I will want to read the rest—and I know from the sound of that first sentence how the second sentence should sound. I read the first sentence of that book to them: my husband and children. They looked at me blankly.

I Heard Music

They didn’t hear the music I heard in the words.

A few days later, I attended a demonstration of an educational system called Bridge It, designed by Heather Barr Cohnen, an educator. Barr Cohnen says that learning takes place on four levels: the concrete, the semi-concrete, semi-abstract, and abstract. In the classroom, most teachers omit the second and third levels and so there is a gap that prevents the total absorption of a lesson into the long term memory of a student. The student may master the material long enough to pass an exam, but won’t retain those French verbs, for example, into adulthood.

Barr Cohnen’s theory is that learning has to be experienced using all the senses in order for lessons to be fully internalized. Her demonstration to a roomful of tutors and teachers was impressive. I felt she’d really nailed it.

On the long ride home from the demonstration class, Heather asked me what I was thinking about relative to her theories: what was my “takeaway” from the evening?

I told her about the music—the music in the words. How I hadn’t studied journalism, hadn’t even attended college. But I knew how to write because I heard the music in the words.

Music and Reading: I Needed Text

I told her I experienced words differently than other people and that this had made it difficult for me as a student in school. I needed to work with text—saw text somewhere in the vicinity of the front of my forehead as I searched for the words to use in my writing. I couldn’t, however, listen to tapes and podcasts, or a teacher droning on about history.

I had to have text.

I experienced the sounds of the words only through text, and not through the spoken word. My teacher would speak and my mind would cut out. I’d be a million miles away when a question, directed at me by the teacher, would bring me back. I wouldn’t be able to answer the question because I hadn’t heard the material.

I couldn’t do without text—couldn’t learn without text: without a book. I couldn’t hear the music without the black letters and white spaces, without paragraphs or punctuation marks.

Music and Reading: How I Roll

It’s how I roll.

I thought of this today when I read about a research project by Hebrew University psychologist Merav Ahissar who studied auditory perception in musicians with dyslexia. It turns out it was not so easy to scout out subjects for this research trial. Musicians with dyslexia appear to be rare, certainly rarer than dyslexia itself, which affects between 10-25% of the world population. Ahissar persisted, because she wanted to learn more about the connection between auditory processing and dyslexia.

music in the words

It was Ahissar’s assistant, Atalia Weiss, a graduate student at Hebrew U’s music academy, who managed to unearth the 24 subjects that comprise the main participants in Ahissar’s research trial. The rest of the trial subjects represent the control group for this study.

Ahissar and her colleagues tested 52 musicians, including the 24 with dyslexia, in basic and more advanced auditory perception skills. The subjects were called upon to differentiate between similar-sounding tones or time signatures. They were asked to discriminate between different melodies or rhythms and to distinguish words from similar-sounding non-words. In addition to all this, the musicians were administered tests on memory, reading accuracy, and reading speed.

Music and Reading: Working Memory

As it turns out, the musicians with dyslexia scored on a par with their peers without dyslexia, and in fact, better than those among the general population in most of the auditory processing tests. They did, however, earn the worst scores in auditory working memory, which is the ability to remember sounds for short periods of time, for instance seconds. The musicians with dyslexia who performed the worst in this area also had the lowest scores in reading accuracy, while the subjects with higher scores for working memory also had higher scores in reading accuracy.

Ahissar and her research team published the results of this experiment in the February issue of the journal Neuropsychologia. In the report’s conclusion, Ahissar and her colleagues suggest that those with dyslexia may have an obstacle to reading in the form of poor auditory working memory. The repercussions of this study would completely shift the current state of dyslexia research toward the regions of the brain connected to memory in addition to those brain areas connected to auditory faculties, which have, until now, already been a major focus in dyslexia research.

The study interested me because I have always known that reading involves connecting text to sound, just as I have always heard the music in the words, lines, and spaces of a text. Reading about this research trial in Jerusalem, it hit me: how can one read if one can’t remember the sounds of the letters and words?

Music and Reading: Completing the Circuit

I would not be able to write a single sentence nor nary a word without having the sound uppermost in my mind as I type. By the same token, hearing the words was never enough for me to make the connection to my memory bank. I have always needed the text to complete the circuit, to enter the data into my long term memory.

I too have an auditory processing issue, even if it has no name. I am totally and utterly dependent on text to hear the music in the words.

In a funny way, my dependence on text helps me understand all the better the gap in cognition of the written word by those with dyslexia. Perhaps the takeaway here is that we all have our learning strengths that light the way to understanding. The key is in finding one’s particular learning signature and an understanding teacher who is willing to teach according to student need instead of teaching to the syllabus.

 

Dyslexia Humor

Dyslexia humor. Does it sound like a contradiction in terms? Or did you happen on this blog prepared to become very angry, thinking that someone had a nerve to make fun of dyslexia, which is no fun at all.

Nope. No fun at all. We totally agree here at Kars4Kids. There’s nothing fun about the struggle to read in a world where reading is key to everything we do.

Letting Off Steam

That said we feel that having a sense of humor goes a long way toward releasing pent-up tension, especially toward the end of the week when it seems that if we have to cope with even one more weekday we’ll go out of our minds. The frustration mounts until we’re longing for a way to let off steam, at work or in school. All the more so, for anyone who struggles day in, day out with a learning difference. That might be an adult or a child, a man or a woman. Unfortunately, dyslexia is an equal opportunity thing.

We find that with dyslexia, or with any other learning difficulty, perspective is everything. If you can laugh at yourself for the mistakes you make, you’re more than halfway there to feeling better about yourself. We promise. So take a deep breath and prepare to be amused.

There. Now wasn’t that fun? Since you were such a good sport, we’ll give you another, a particular favorite of ours, here in the K4K office:

Felt good to laugh, right? See? We told you. Sometimes you just gotta laugh to get those endorphins flowing and your mojo back. Reading may be difficult but guess what? You win. Because you’ve kept your sense of humor about you.

Now do a good turn and share this blog piece with someone you know who’s struggling (with reading or something else) and in need of a good laugh. Oh, and before you do that, leave a comment below and tell us if you’re feeling better now. We really hope so. If you like this one, we’ll be happy to bring you more joy in this space.

Your wish is our command.