Tech Tools are not enough

Technology tools help adults with dyslexia survive. But as the following emails prove, they never stop wanting to improve their reading and spelling skills.

One woman wrote:

I watched your video on dyslexia, and I am exactly like your brother’s child.

I am 48. I am using Naturally Speaking software to write this. Otherwise, I would spend my entire day trying to fix my spelling mistakes.

I’m at the point where my heart is on the floor. I have tried every program in school, out of school, and on the internet.

At the moment, I’m doing a program that is supposed to increase your brain power to try please my mother for the last time.

My tears were flowing as I watched the demo of your program. Your program is the best I have seen in all my life. It makes so much sense to me.

I’m upset to realize that the form of dyslexia I have is complicated. I am also sad because I know this problem will never go away.

I don’t have to tell you the agony that a person living with dyslexia goes through. Because of that, when I was 16, I decided not to have kids. And that was a wise decision.

Things that happen in the classroom also happen at work, as this man shared:

I am 30 years old. I have always struggled with reading. I received extra help in school through Title 1 Reading, Special Ed, and summer school. As you might suspect, I hated school and would avoid going whenever possible.

Recently, I was at a seminar for my work and was asked to read out loud to the group. I was mortified.

Is there anything that would help me – an adult who has struggled for so many years – read better?

Yes. Adults with dyslexia can improve their reading and spelling at any age – so they will not have to avoid careers, as this woman did:

I am a deep thinker. I love learning about different religions and talking about God with my friends. So I would like to get a Masters degree in Theology.

But with that degree, I would end up being a teacher – which I am afraid to do because I would have to write things on the board.

I would also have to grade papers, so I would need to know more about punctuation than just a period and a comma.

And I might even have to read passages aloud to the class.

As the following man shared, companies that employ dyslexic adults are often willing to pay to improve their skills.

I am 56 years old, and I have tried a lot of things during my life to overcome dyslexia.

It started when I was in second grade. I can remember my mom crying when she tried to teach me my spelling words.

I attended summer tutoring for 4 years in a row to try to learn to read. Finally, the tutor said he would not work with me any more because it was a waste of money.

I took phonics in college, but it did not help. In fact, I failed a speech therapy class because I could not hear the sounds.

Many years later, I went to a dyslexia center. But they said they could not help me because I was too old.

Your video nailed me to a tee. When you talked about left and right confusion, that’s me. I always use spell check, and yes, sometimes it does say “no suggestions” or I pick the wrong word from the list because I can’t read them all.

I am in charge of a region with 145 centers that generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. My company is trying to find something to help me. Is it too late? If not, what would you recommend?

No, it is never, ever too late to greatly improve the reading, spelling, and writing skills of adults with dyslexia. The oldest student I personally worked with was 69 years old when we started. The oldest Barton student I have met was 83.

If adults get at least 2 hours of one-on-one tutoring by someone using an Orton-Gillingham based system designed for adults, such as the Barton Reading & Spelling System or the Wilson Reading System, their skills – and their self-esteem – will get so much better.

 

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