No. 670



We had a big laugh at our house the other day when Viola received a letter from a reader in Sturgis, Mich. This lady had read my column in the Sturgis Journal where I talked about Viola having two total knee-replacement surgeries. This lady reader had experienced the same surgery and she said, “One thing about having total knee-replacement surgery is that you never have to fear going to the dentist again.” While we can laugh about it now, believe me it was no laughing matter for a few weeks after each surgery. As I thought about this, I realized this was yet another way to say that everything is relative.
Along these same lines, I got a letter from Linda Gore, a certified dyslexia testing specialist, who reads my column in Watkinsville, Ga. She had read my column about “Detecting Reading Problems” and wrote to correct me regarding my definition of dyslexia. Linda says that dyslexia is NOT seeing words backwards and this is erroneous information that has been perpetuated for some time. This lady is a specialist and I would like to pass along her information in the hopes that I may be able to help many people who have this serious problem.
First, let me share her definition. Dyslexia is a genetically based disorder that interferes with the processing of language. It varies in severity and causes difficulty in receptive and expressive language. The symptoms of dyslexia are easily recognized. She says, “It is sad to note that by the time most school systems will test a child for learning disabilities, they are already in the third grade and have already experienced several years of being the class “dummy.” Most of the time dyslexic children do not even qualify for LD help. The emotional damage lasts a lifetime even though the reading, writing and spelling difficulties can be corrected through scientifically proven methods of tutoring.”
At this point Linda directs me to a Web site and a lady by the name of Susan Barton, founder of Bright Solutions for Dyslexia, who has developed a list of the warning signs of Dyslexia. Susan has given me permission to share this information with you. I will give you her contact information at the end of the column if you have an interest in learning more. These warning signs cover preschool, elementary school, high school and adults, as well. No space to list them all but you can certainly get them from her Web site: www.BrightSolutions.US
In Preschool — delayed speech, mixing up the sounds and syllables in long words, chronic ear infections, constant confusion of left versus right, difficulty learning to tie shoes, trouble memorizing their address, phone number, or the alphabet, can’t create words that rhyme. In Elementary School — dysgraphia (slow, non-automatic handwriting that is difficult to read), letter or number reversals continuing past the end of first grade, extreme difficulty learning cursive, slow, choppy, inaccurate reading, guesses based on shape or content, skips or misreads prepositions (at, to, of), can’t sound out unknown words, terrible spelling.
In High School — limited vocabulary, unable to master a foreign language, poor grades in many classes, may drop out of high school. In Adults — slow reader, must have to read a page two or three times to understand it, terrible speller, often gets lost even in a familiar city, still has difficulty with right versus left. For those who suffer from dyslexia, this information could open up a whole new world. Contact Susan Barton at susan@BrightSolutions.US.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To support literacy, buy his book: “Learning, Earning & Giving Back.”)