March 13, 2017

A 12-Year-Old’s Story: Dyslexia Won’t Hold Me Back

Guest Blog by Megan, age 12, Learning Ally YES! Program Member

I can remember when I cried every night because my homework was so hard.  I watched everyone move up in their reading groups, but I always stayed the same.  I remember when my best friend made me a birthday card.  She was so proud!  She asked me to open it and read it in front of a group of my friends.

Megan Close Up“Happy Birthday!  I love sss … sp … sp …,” I read.  My eyes filled with tears.  “I love spending time with you,” she finished for me.  I felt embarrassed and frustrated.  I thought I was dumb.

All of that changed the summer before 4th grade when I was tested and identified as having dyslexia.  My Mom and Dad explained to me that there was a reason why I struggled so much in school.  My brain just worked differently from other kids.  I was smart.  I was so relieved!

One of the first accommodations I was given was the ability to read with both my ears and eyes using Learning Ally.  It was amazing!  I could finally read books that interested me.  I could read the same books as my classmates and join in their conversations.

I went from hating books to loving to read with Learning Ally.

Learning Ally introduced me to the YES! Program.  I met many smart and talented kids with dyslexia like me. During the first meeting, a few of the YES! Ambassadors stood in front of the room and shared videos that they had created to talk about their dyslexia with their teachers.  They talked about the importance of self-advocating.  Megan and BrotherThey inspired me!

Now every year before the first day of school, I send a video (see below) and message out to my new teachers introducing myself, telling them about how I learn best, and outline ways that they can help me.  The Reading Interventionist at my school has even used my video to help other teachers in the district learn about dyslexia.  I hope to become a YES! Ambassador this year!

If I had to describe myself in a few words, “dyslexic” would be only one of them.  I‘m dyslexic, but this difference won’t hold me back.  I know that I have to work hard, but I am proud of every accomplishment that I’ve earned.

Learning AllyIf you would like to learn more about dyslexia, Learning Ally audiobooks or the Learning Ally YES! Program, log onto LearningAlly.org. We are able to provide these programs at a lower cost due to the generous support of donors. Our Building Books for Student Success campaign is going on right now. Find out how you can help here: LearningAlly.org/Building Books.

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– Jules Johnson


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