My Dyslexic Journey by Frankie Kerr. Steve Jobs was Dyslexic- and so many other AMAZING people!
Imagine you are in grade school and you are the only one in the class who cannot read what is on the board. That was me a few years ago. My name is Frankie Kerr, and I am dyslexic.
I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was seven years old. While at Winchester Public School, my parents and teachers realized there must be a reason I was not picking up reading like the rest of the kids in my class. I went to see and educational psychologist and that started my dyslexic journey.
Last week, I gave a talk on dyslexia at the Rosedale Day School. The purpose of this talk was to educate people about dyslexia and help them understand our struggles and achievements. I have had many of both.
The first thing I wanted people to know is that dyslexia is not a disease. It is a learning difference. We process language differently. I also wanted people to know that here are many different types of dyslexia. I happen to have phonetic dyslexia. I find it difficult to put sounds in to words and then words into meaning. I have to read almost everything twice. People often think dyslexia is merely confusing letters like “b” and “d,” but it is way more than that.
When you have dyslexia, people can be mean. They don’t understand why you read slowly and they sometimes make fun of you. I have learned to own my difference and try and stay positive all the time. Dyslexia has made me understand what it is like to be a bit different. But different isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
I have been very fortunate that my parents found excellent reading and writing coaches, tutors and resource staff to help me along the way. I have had to work extremely hard to get to grade level, and at times I can get really stressed out.
I have found several strategies to help me along the way. I use technology to help keep up with the workload at school. I use speech to text, and audio books when I feel I am falling behind. I also ask that all my tests be very well spaced and that I get some extra time to read everything at least twice.
I finished my talk with a little quiz about famous dyslexics. Did you know Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Steve Jobs and Jamie Oliver were all dyslexic?
I think the 50 people who attended my talk really learned something about dyslexia. My most important piece of advice for anyone with a learning difference is to be perseverant. You will get there eventually.
I also collected over 50 books for the Children’s Book Bank, and raised some money too.
I really want people to know that dyslexics are everywhere are we are awesome! As Steve Jobs famously said, “think different” and that is exactly what we do!