One in five children in America has difficulty reading, despite normal intelligence. Most of these children start to show these learning disabilities in school. But that does not mean they are stupid or lazy – as they commonly get labeled. They might be affected by a reading or learning disorder, such as dyslexia. Dyslexia is a common learning disorder which can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling and may eventually result in emotional problems, stress, and anxiety.
Often, parents of children diagnosed with dyslexia begin to worry about the future of their kids and what this disorder would mean for them in the long run. What the parents (and teachers) need to understand is that dyslexia can be overcome –with the right attitude and the efforts of teachers and parents alike. The first order of business should be finding the right school. The Winston Prep Norwalk CT School is a good option. Autism schools NJ will especially appeal to those living in the Garden State. But whatever special needs school or methods you use, make sure they are having an overall positive effect on your child.
Over the years, many people have remained strong in the face of this disorder and conquered it to go on and live normal and successful lives. Have a look at 5 such inspiring stories from individuals who defied the odds and overcame dyslexia.
Orlando Bloom – Understanding
The English actor, best known for his work as Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean, and Legolas in The Lord of the
Rings, has had to deal with a difficult childhood education experience, because of dyslexia. “I was an angry, angry
child at times,” he says,”somewhere in me I knew I was smart, but I was really struggling…” He talks about how school was a lot of extra work for him and he would shout in frustration at whoever made him feel like he was not good enough. His teachers at school, though mostly helpful, did not understand his exact needs. For instance, a particular report card of his read, “If he would only stop looking out the window or into the hamster café, we think he’s probably a bright boy”. The instructors saw the symptoms but did not quite understand the problem or the specific learning profile that Bloom had, which just continued to aggravate matters more. To help school-goers like Bloom from a young age, educational institutes should adopt a method of understanding the students’ individual learning capabilities in the context of a neuropsychological model of learning disorders.
Orlando Bloom has certainly demonstrated that having dyslexia does not mean you cannot be successful. A supportive family, along with an early diagnosis is what helped him get a grasp on matters. In addition to that, finding his passion in acting is what allowed his mind to work more creatively and differently from the traditional reading-writing format.
Marc Jordan – Assessment
Songwriter Marc Jordan has written wonderful music in his career, for big names such as Cher, Diana Ross, and Rod Stewart – all the while, dealing with dyslexia. Although he
kept to himself about his reading disorder, he reveals how he was “so beaten up in the school system”. He was made to feel like he just was not smart enough, which resulted in prolonged low self-esteem. Being told that he had the intelligence “of a spider monkey” by a guidance counselor must have been a strong blow to his confidence. This faulty assessment of Jordan’s condition is where the problem lies. Institutes need to realize that each student has individual strengths and weaknesses that should be identified and built upon. A constant understanding of each student’s potential is what quality education should incorporate.
Marc Jordan overcame his disability by gradually getting involved in the music industry and meeting his future wife, Amy Sky. Sky became his primary facilitator in beating dyslexia. She learned to give him information in small chunks that he could digest easily and double checked schedules and dates to make sure he got everything that he needed to be aware of. So a proper assessment in case of Marc Jordan helped him move in the right direction, and towards success.
Stevie Chandler – Language Processing
A young novelist now, Stevie Chandler had quite a tough time at school, owing to her dyslexia. In the third grade, symptoms of her disorder began to manifest as she started having trouble reading. “Every single day in school I felt like an idiot,” the young novelist says, “I didn’t understand what was going on. The letters mixed up too much. I didn’t know what was happening.” Chandler was clearly having language processing difficulties that needed to be dealt with. The difficulty she faced with accurate and/or fluent word recognition, along with poor spelling and decoding abilities were affecting her self-esteem negatively. And it made her feel “horrible”.
Thanks to amazing teachers who took notice of her specific learning disability, Chandler was able to overcome her shortcomings in class. Her sixth-grade teachers at Meadowview Elementary were the ones who took real initiative on her individual improvement. They helped Stevie find the confidence and comfort that was previously missing from her school life. And it wasn’t long before she found peace in writing, in her sophomore year. Soon, she started writing more intensely and wrote a 400-page full-length novel titled “Pandora”. Following this, she wrote a series of other novels and one of them, titled “The Rules are Simple: Survive” got published under Same Old Story Publishing house.
Nicole Marlene Ruth – Nonverbal Processing
Nicole Ruth’s journey to overcome dyslexia and ADHD won her the Ace Teen Award, which is given to children and teens with ADHD, who show extraordinary strength in the face of their learning disability. The starting of the journey, however, was quite rough for the young student. Words and letter “shook like crazy” to her and she had quite a lot of trouble trying to copy stuff off the board since she could not focus. “I thought I was stupid and dumb, and that I was just not as good as my friends. I had horrible confidence and my morale was really low”, said Nicole on how tough things were for her in school. She had difficulties dealing with reasoning skills, comprehension and communication like individuals with learning disorders typically do. What she needed was someone who understood her nonverbal processing difficulties and helped her overcome them. She was helped by her mother, Mrs. Nonis, who changed her take on parenting to adjust Nicole’s needs. Soon she started learning more about how different she was from her peers and that she needed to cope with the problem, instead of just trying to fit in the wrong way. In the process, at times, she would even joke about it, which really helped her friends not see or treat her differently.
Today, Nicole Marlene Ruth is the vice-chairman of her class and is also active in community work.
Matthew Clark – Executive Functioning
This prospective nuclear engineer/physicist had a significant reading disability and was diagnosed in the first grade. That is when the young Clark realized that life was going to be challenging and that he would have to work really hard to overcome his reading problem. What Clark then engaged in is called executive functioning – the supervisory and self-regulatory mental processes that help a dyslexic student plan, organize and respond in an appropriate manner. A variety of processes is linked to the idea of executive functioning, including goal selection, planning, regulation of goal-directed behavior, metacognition and so on. Mathew Clark set his mind on the challenge, planned his recovery processes and soon started participating in remedial reading programs in school. Along with this, he also started receiving private tutoring sessions on a weekly basis.
He made efforts for a long period of time – a whole decade to be exact. It was a slow and tiring process that required a large amount of Clark’s time on a regular basis. But as he now realizes, the investment was worth the results. He has overcome his dyslexia in a matter of ten years and is now well on his way to fulfilling his dream of pursuing a degree in nuclear engineering and physics.
These five individuals prove that dyslexia, ADHD, and all such learning disorders can be overcome with the right kind of efforts, time investment, understanding, and lots of patience. And to achieve this, schools and teachers play a very important part. A few important factors are all that are needed in an educational institution to make it more helpful for such students.
Schools such as The Winston Preparatory School are designed to incorporate all these factors in their curriculum and teaching methods. A continuous feedback system including proper assessment of the child’s strengths and weaknesses, and understanding of each student’s individual learning profile, methods to identify and deal with language processing difficulties, nonverbal processing difficulties and executive functioning difficulties is what aids the process of learning at Winston Prep. An institution incorporating all of these considerations into their instruction processes can truly help individuals who suffer from such learning disorders – and these 5 inspiring individuals are a testimony to that.