Monday, 9 August 2010

from the blog ...I was diagnosed with dyslexia

i love this blog....

from the blog ...I was diagnosed with dyslexia

here is the intro...

My name is Duane Smith, in first grade I was diagnosed with dyslexia. Now I am a college professor. By being encouraged to focus on my strengths, while at the same time confronting my challenges associated with dyslexia - I was able to overcome and succeed academically. I hope my story can help other dyslexics.

to one of his entry...

On June 21, 2010, The Independent published an article entitled "Henry Winkler: 'I first read a novel when I was in my thirties. Now I am a writer.'"

Henry Winkler, AKA The Fonz from Happy Days is now 64, and has written 17 books about a young dyslexic child named Hank Zipzer. The Fonz has authored, and sold 2.5 million books. The Fonz is also dyslexic. In school he was in the bottom 3 percent. However, Henry Winkler did not let his challenges associated with dyslexia hold him we all know. According to Mr. Winkler,

"Because you're not good at academics, it doesn't mean anything. You can still fly like an eagle when you discover what you are good at." He furthers, "Everyone has a talent inside them - you just have to find out what it is." I agree with the Henry Winkler!

If you have read my first post below, than you know it was my involvement with a public speaking team that changed my life. The competitive speech community is a wonderful and amazing culture on many levels. Especially important to me is the emphasis on striving for excellence on all levels. The people who make up the forensics (speech and debate) community for the most part are stellar individuals who have made not just their desire to be fantastic public communicators a priority, but also their education. Most of the people involved with speech competition, are also fiercely committed students.

All my life I have liked to speak out, and be the center of attention. When I reflect with honesty - I realize the truth of the matter is that I have no problem sticking my foot in my mouth. My uncle Frank started calling me "Motor-mouth" when I was only two-years-old. So when I started competing in forensics I was immediately blessed with enough success to keep me interested in this very productive activity. Plus, there were so many pretty girls involved.... Not only did I want to excel in speech competition I wanted to fit in, and be a part of the forensics culture more fully. But -- everyone seemed so smart! I really felt like a fish out of water. I was fine in front of an audience when I was speaking. However, I found the down time difficult. The time between competition rounds, lunch breaks, and at award ceremonies I would avoid talking to people because I felt unequipped to communicate on an interpersonal level within such an extraordinary group of people. I felt like EVERYONE was smarter than me, and I did not belong!

My second year competing I was attending a competition at San Diego State University. I was sharing a room with a really smart guy named Will Strater. Our first night together I shared with him my dilemma. It is important to note that at the time, Will was reading a book, and I was watching TV. Will, without even looking up from his book said to me, "You should turn off the TV and start reading." At the time this was just about the most offensive thing anyone could have ever said to me...I HATED READING!!!! The form of dyslexia I have makes reading slow and tedious. Words jump out of random sentences as if possessed and insert themselves into sentences I already have a tough time getting through. Regardless of my hate for reading, and the fact that I had never in my 21 years of living read a book from start to finish, I took Will's advice, after, asking him for a little more that is. I said to him, "Will - I hate reading! Can you recommend a book that will actually keep me awake through page number one?"

Again, without looking up from his book, he responded "sure, check out 'Jurassic Park' by Michael Crichton." The next day, during the lunch break from the competition I walked to a book store off campus, and begrudgingly purchased my very first book, Jurassic Park. I then willed myself to start reading...half way through the first chapter, all I wanted was more! I realized that if I was reading on my terms, and had something the I found interesting I really enjoyed reading. Now I LOVE READING!!!!! To this day, I ALWAYS have 2-3 books that I am reading. I regularly read papers, magazines, and blogs.

Thank you Will Strater...THANK YOU!

Duane Smith

No comments: