The Dyslexic Advantage

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I was intrigued by this book, because I am dyslexic.  I still struggle with telling certain letters apart, if they are not in the context of a word.  I also have difficulty figuring out which side is my right and which is my left.  Over the years, I developed little tricks that allow me to overcome these problems.

The book gives a brief overview of dyslexia and how the brain of dyslexics processes things differently.  Those differences can create problems in certain areas; however, they also allow people with dyslexia to thrive in other areas.

The advantages or abilities discussed in this book are not in spite of dyslexia.  These advantages are a direct result of dyslexia.

  • People with dyslexia tend to be excellent story tellers and are extremely creative.
  • People with dyslexia have a greater ability to process 3-D images in their brain and determine how those images will function in the real world.
  • People with dyslexia often see patterns, relationships, and associations that are missed by those without dyslexia.
  • People with dyslexia have greater long-term memory abilities, especially when dealing with events or things in a story format.
  • People with dyslexia often have a greater ability to predict future outcomes, based on cause and effect processing.

The authors of the book also questioned labeling dyslexics as having a learning disability.  In reality, those with dyslexia tend to be highly intelligent.  They just process information differently.

The authors also believe our education system is doing a great disservice to dyslexics by trying to force them to learn in the same manner as those without dyslexia.

College Tips and Advice

Today is Gwen’s first day of class at Calhoun Community College.  I have some tips and advice that I would love to share with her.  However, I can’t just tell her my advice.  I am a blogger, so it has to go in a post.

  • If you need help with a class, don’t be ashamed to ask.
  • Stay positive, if you keep working at it you will complete your degree.
  • Attendance is important, so try to be there as much as possible.
  • Get involved in campus life.  Find a club or organization to join, attend some of the sporting events, plays, debates, and special lectures that are available at the college.
  • Learn the material.  Study it until you understand it.
  • Don’t be in a hurry and do your best.
  • Don’t procrastinate, have a plan to complete assignments ahead of schedule.
  • Pay attention during class and take notes.  If the teacher says something is important, write it down and underline it.
  • Keep your notes, assignments, and study materials organized.
  • Make some new friends and have fun during your college years.

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Prom Night – Not Right

It’s senior prom night, and I just dropped off Gwen.  This can’t be right.  It seems like only a couple of years ago, I was a high school senior.  I was the one running off to school events.

In reality, it’s been a couple of decades.  Where did all those years go, and how could they have disappeared in the blink of an eye?

I also wonder what is my mom thinking tonight?  Her daughter just drove her granddaughter to the senior prom.  That’s got to feel weird.

 

Puppy Graduation Week

This week, two of our dogs had final exams.

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Norton aced his Beginner Phase 2 test.  He did everything perfectly and is now ready for the intermediate level class.  Way to go Mom and Norton.

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Little Boy Blue also did a great job and passed the advanced level exam.  The next step for Blue is the Canine Good Citizen Certification from the American Kennel Club.  We have a couple of areas that need a little more work and then he will be ready for the test.

As of today, Joey is the only one that has completed the Canine Good Citizen Certification and is the highest rated in obedience training.  However, his little brother Blue is not far behind and soon we will have two certifiably good dogs.

The Importance of History

I stumbled across this quote yesterday and it is the best explanation for the importance of studying history that I have ever heard.

The society that loses its grip on the past is in danger, for it produces men who know nothing but the present, and who are not aware that life has been, and could be, different from what it is.  Such men bear tyranny easily; for they have nothing with which to compare it.  (Trevor Saunders)

What do you think?  Is history an important part of education?

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Make Rest a Priority

In Matthew 11:20-12:21, we learn Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath and he wants to offer rest for our weary souls.  All we need to do is follow Jesus.

Rest is often undervalued in our society.  There is so much to do at work, at school, and our options for entertainment are phenomenal.  Granted entertainment is fun, but it can also prevent us from getting the rest we need.

Jesus offers us spiritual rest.  We can trust in his acceptance and forgiveness.  He invites us to destress our souls and spend quite time with him in worship, prayer and meditation.  He wants to help us overcome our anxieties and our fears.

We know rest is important and we know the consequences of not getting enough rest.

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Increased risk of disease
  • Decreased ability to function
  • Decreased ability to focus
  • Anxiety
  • Increased aggression

Make rest a priority in your life and you will notice the difference.

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Fragile X Fragile Hope (Parenting a Special Needs Child)

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I learned a lot from reading “Fragile X Fragile Hope” by Elizabeth Griffin and also found it to be inspirational.  Her son, Zach, is intellectually disabled and displays autistic features, which was caused by Fragile X syndrome.

Elizabeth Griffin talks about the medical ramifications that cause her son to struggle in daily life.  For example, Zach’s stress hormones are heightened whenever he experiences a stressor.  Also, those chemicals will remain active in the brain much longer than normal.  As a result, he struggles to remain calm during normal daily events.

Elizabeth Griffin also discusses her feelings of desperation, guilt, and grief.  She gives an honest portrayal of those emotions and how they affected her life.  Support groups became essential, so she could work through those feelings and thoughts without fear of judgement.

There is section about navigating the maze of available services.  She discovered some treatments were a waste of time and money, but others were extremely beneficial.  Therefore, it is important to fully investigate your options and the services offered.

I recommend this book to anyone with a special needs child.  It is also beneficial to people who want to gain a better understand of the struggles faced by parents with disabled children.