It took me the better part of fifty years to realize that I was and will always be dyslexic.
You may ask why I started my own research. It is very important that you don't misunderstand me. So before my next comments; I want you to know that I know there so many caring educators and parents that have given their time and energy and in many cases literacy/dyslexia has become their life's work. These individuals and groups have and are doing amazing things to help our children. But after months that has lead into years of trying to find ways to help myself (as well as others) improve my own reading and writing skills. I have watched time and again as the at-risk children of the poor and unemployed have been made the villains and we are told they are responsible for this mess... this article.... ("should be changed from "Americans" to "Big Business" game the $200 Billion a-year-Disability Industrial Complex"!) and is just one of many articles (excerpt: America’s health-care entitlements—Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare—are the biggest drivers of our exploding federal debt). But, there is no mention of the endless stream of unethical profits by big pharma? It's time that we have to know and hold accountable the real culprit's the Educational Industrial Complex ( a combination of corporations, philanthropies, government agencies, and the organizations that promote privatization and high-stakes testing ).We have a dysfunctional educational system and there is a herd of elephants in the room, and it seems that very few care about the damage being done to our children that don't have the means or the right address to get the help they will need. Please tell me how it is that 8,000 U.S. students quit High School EVERY DAY? This is one very good reason Why!
I started to realize that education just like health care, job creation, and our economic system is based on a broken system of self- promotion, profits and greed. I started to realized that so much of today's information not just on dyslexia, but education in general has been based on either out dated information or products or programs that just don't work. Why would I say something like this? Well there is data that confirms that low literacy levels could be costing the economy $2.2 TRILLION a year ( excerpt:According to the U.S. Department of Education, 54% of U.S. adults 16-74 years old - about 130 million people - lack proficiency in literacy, reading below the equivalent of a sixth-grade level., and even more data that literacy hasn't shown measurable improvement in America in the last 27 years! There are very few that want to talk about that reading and writing are an unnatural skill. And now with the evolution of social media, and the English language in particular being just too complex this according to a long list of notable leaders and scholars including most notably Andrew Carnegie the 19th century industrialists that build 1679 public libraries, Noah Webster (Webster's Dictionary), Benjamin Franklin, Theodore Roosevelt..oh and one of my favorites Samuel Langhome Clemens better known as Mark Twain who tried unsuccessfully to make changes to the alphabet and English language as we know it.
I know this is a very complicated issue and again there are so many working hard and are having amazing results. But until our educational system that is truly broken; where profits come before our children is changed, there will be more and more of the same terrible results especially for those that need the help the most!
We as a society want to blame our children for our own inability to teach them how to read. Why have we labeled our dyslexic children as having a disability? We have got to find another way to help our children learn other than calling our children disabled. Any ideas or suggestions? This is a stigma that will follow them throughout their lives. Is this because we don't have the courage to admit and/or take responsibility it has been our fault all along?
I carried this fear and the down right shame that my reading and writing were so atrocious and had to be my fault. This Shame felt from a very early age, I would always figure out ways to leave the room when it was my turn to read. This became an art that I used even in AA meetings ( reading of the Preamble & reading of 12 steps) that I am now proud to say that I have been clean and sober for 18 plus years. I want you to know that dyslexia was not the the main reason I struggle with alcohol and drugs, but it sure didn't help either.
I still to this day struggle with hearing certain sounds, and some days my reading and spelling skills are much better than other days. The difference today I always have a book or my tablet close by. Kids I want you to know that reading can be done with our eyes or our ears or a combination of both. Today I read on a multitude of subjects. I believe we as a society have got to learn the real history of our great nation, both the good and the bad. We hear "FAKE NEWS” used by so many politicians, pundits and now our friends and family are buying into many of these lies. "Fake News" sole purpose is to plant a seed of doubt in the hope it will cause us to doubt the truth, it's "Not New" like some people and our corporate media would have us believe. I may also suggest going to our history books both old and new reading the research and try to understand the perspectives from different sources. I have read and have to agree history helps us to have a better understanding of the world around us, and helps us create our own framework to gain knowledge. AND most importantly ...We must never be afraid to admit when our beliefs and/or views are wrong or misplaced.
I ask you to be careful with news from major television/newspapers 90% owned by 6 corporations that has an agenda, but not necessarily in our own best interest! There are so many established and now there is a new breed of up and coming investigative journalist that are independent of these out side forces.
This event “The Lights Turn Red” at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in recognition of October Dyslexia Awareness Month for our children is now in it's 5th year ( Sunday October 18th, 2020 6:15-7:30) all started with a song called “Billy” based on my imaginary friend that until last year as..... "I truly started believing in myself " Shame is very powerful & controlling and it's always just one thought away! I could not even think of adding the line. “I no longer had to think I was the dumbest person in the room" Something that I hid for far too long...because today I know I may not be the smartest person in the room, but I am no longer the dumbest either!
I will end today by telling our children .....
I want you to know that with all my heart and soul that I know and believe you are “NOT BROKEN or DAMAGED” you just happen to learn differently!
P.S. Why posted here ....this is just one of the blogs I created to help not only our children facing unheard of amounts student loan debt now estimated $1.7 Trillion, but help me with my own writing skills! You will be surprised how fast you learn to fix mistakes when the whole world can see you work!