I wish people understood dyslexia a lot better. It’s not about ‘seeing’ things.

“I always kinda thought that maybe I was dyslexic. It all started to make a lot more sense at the beginning of 8th grade after I was tested for the second time. I had been tested the first time when I was in elementary school, but they said I was “normal’. I wish people understood dyslexia a lot better. It’s not about ‘seeing’ things. It’s not a vision problem. It had always been maddening to me because I never quite understood why I couldn’t read by myself and why I couldn’t understand what I was reading.

After being tested the second time, we met with a tutor who was two hours away and she tutored me over Skype. Younger kids might need a little more face to face interaction, but it worked well for me and saved a lot of time not having to drive. I had one session a week during the school year and two sessions a week during the summer and finished the program last year in 10th grade. It was crazy…it was the first time anyone had taught me to read like that. I’m still not a very big reader, but it’s not as hard as it was. The best thing is now I can read by myself.

My advice to others is “Don’t give up on yourself. Keep trying.” I knew that I would be able to read after I finished all of this and everything would be a lot better. My Mom was always supportive and my County has come a long way since my family got involved. A few weeks ago, I started helping an Elementary School teacher in our County tutor 8 or 9 kids. I also wrote a letter to my legislators asking them to test every student with a Rapid Naming test when they first go to school because it can tell you a lot about how the kids need to learn. It was pretty cool when they responded to me and I printed out their letters. I’ve never done anything like that before. I told my Principal about it and someone in his family is dyslexic too, so he sent his own letter to our legislators.

This year, I’m taking a drafting class at my high school and I think I want to be an architectural engineer. But after I get out of school, I hope I never have to write another paper. Assistive technology helps, but I still don’t like writing papers!”