Embracing My Reading Challenges: A Personal Tale of Overcoming Dyslexia

My mom would sit at the kitchen table and do reading flash cards with me. I would cry. The written language was so hard for me to figure out. While I was super high functioning academically, reading never became automatic for me, or fully integrated. I have seriously struggled to learn to spell, and I have basically been dependent on digital spell check to send messages without typos – for some reason my brain just doesn’t always register typos without a red squiggly line under the word! Or I simply cannot figure out how to spell the word at all, so I have to use another word instead. I really truly need an editor before hitting publish on things like this post — and full disclosure, this website is all written by me WITHOUT an editor currently, so I am sure there are typos everywhere. I’ve struggled to read, I’ve struggle to spell, and yet these forms of communication (written) are how I have made most of my income during my adult life. I’ve written for the local newspaper, I’ve blogged, I’ve contributed articles to websites, and I chat a LOT on whatsapp and email for work purposes.

I love to communicate in all forms, its just that reading can take up so much energy for me! I loved to read my whole life, but it was usually a slow experience and I often had to read the same paragraph several times. As an adult I learned to LOVE audio books. I do keep a few print books in circulation for days I’m needing a break from screen-time. Realistically it takes me a year and a half to finish most print books that I am reading because its so laborious for my brain. With an audio book, I can more rapidly learn. I personally learn best by listening, and then writing it down. Learning through print is really hard for me, unless its print that I have written down myself. I write mostly in cursive or a hybrid of print and cursive, which allows me to write fast and disguise mis-spellings!

I could tell almost right away my Sun had a different way of processing language than his older sister did. Now that I’m in this dyslexia intervention course I can see the signs (in hindsight) from early on. I had a mom who saw my struggle, who believed in me, supported me, and helped me. I’m not sure anyone in my family had the word dyslexia on our radar while I was learning to read. Reading Comprehension was the only subject I struggled to finish during the time allotted for standardized tests, because I couldn’t get the reading done in time to answer! So I’d be in a state of panic the whole time, racing, rushing, and not comprehending. It was very stressful! Somehow, I always scored well on those types of tests, so no one noticed.

Now I know to give myself the time I need, to request an editor before I hit publish, and to use speech to text if I cannot figure out how to spell something. What I’m particularly excited about right now is that as I’ve gone through these dyslexia courses, I’m learning how to decode the written language myself! I’m figuring out how to spell things I haven’t been able to figure out how to spell in almost 40 years. The classes are HARD for me (7.5 hours of zoom per session!) which makes my brain feel like its being sawed in half some days – but I can see the results in my life so I feel confident I have a chance of helping the struggling reader in your family figure out how to interact with the written language with more EASE and hopefully JOY! My son was a non reader on his 10th birthday, but in a matter of weeks he was able to read, once we started using an Orth-Gillingham curriculum.

I believe reading didn’t have to be so stressful for me or for my Sun – if we had been exposed to the proper METHODOLOGY for the way our brains work. I think we each potentially could have figured it out at a much younger age. With that being said, I am so grateful that my Sun’s journey with reading has greatly changed the course of my journey with reading. I’m only in the first semester of this program to become a Certified Academic Language Therapist and I can already feel the impact of this knowledge in my life. I also know first hand the absence of language therapists in the area because of my experience looking for support for my Sun! It is almost impossible to find someone local who can help, until now! I am stepping up for the community in this new way, and I feel really excited about it!

So far I have completed a home training on the Barton Reading System (how I taught my son to read in 5 weeks!), the Reading Readiness curriculum through Rawson Saunders, and I’m in the final stretch of the Basic Language Skills, Book One curriculum (Also through Rawson Saunders) now. As a child who struggled her entire childhood with written language…… I feel proud that I’m writing a book. I feel proud that I’m building this website. And I feel proud that I’m learning new things at almost 40 years old! I have some big ideas about incorporating yoga and movement into reading classes and I look forward to talking to you all about this when I feel called!

With all of that being said – I feel ready to start practicing with more families in December of 2023. I’ve created a wait list for people who want to talk to me about reading intervention for a struggling reader in their family. There is no need for a dyslexia diagnosis to qualify. please send me an email to reading @ sovereignliving . com



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