Up Here in the Cool, Clean Air

It’s funny I want to meditate today because I am feeling full of goodness. A few nights ago, I made myself go see a viewing of the documentary “Journey into Dyslexia.” A friend and I drove to a private school that teaches kids with reading disabilities, Hamlin Robinson. I clicked on their website a few months ago and didn’t get further than noticing tuition is $15,000 a year. Since then, I met a woman who sends her daughter to this school. It was great to hear her thought process for enrolling her daughter and hearing her son, who has similar issues, still attends his private Catholic school.

But I’m getting away from this euphoria. This woman invited me to the movie. I knew it might be difficult to watch, but the panel discussion following it was filled with people from organizations I should become familiar with, including a parent support group. I can’t make myself read any books about Annie’s issues, so I knew this would be a great introduction to dyslexia. I won’t have Annie tested for dyslexia for at least another year, but, again, I know her developmental delays mimic dyslexia, so she needs to learn to read with a program designed for dyslexic children.

The documentary was fantastic. Yes, I cried off and on. But I learned so much. There were kids, ranging from about 7 to college age, talking about the difficulties of being dyslexic. Better yet, there were successful adults who displayed a wide range of emotions about dyslexia. Yes, the cliché idea of having dyslexia as being a gift was on the table. Still, the man I liked best, Ben Foss, took issue with the idea of overcoming dyslexia.  “I don’t need to be fixed,” he said.

I learned 35% of entrepreneurs have dyslexia, according to one study. I now know that dyslexic people use much more of their brain while reading. Most people use the left side of the brain, while dyslexic individuals use mostly the right side of the brain. It’s like there is a road, and most people take that nice, short, straight easy path to learning how to read. The ten to fifteen percent of the population with this reading disability take a longer path, over the river and through the woods and up that pockmarked trail over the big hill, to arrive at the same place. But this is only one slice of a person. My favorite panelist, Laura Rogan, said, “I say I have dyslexia, I don’t say I am dyslexic. It is one part of me, but it isn’t everything.”

Speaking of Rogan, I feel a little bit in love with her. She is the creator of the learning-to-read program, Wired for Reading, that Annie just began with her new tutor. Rogan answered my email a few months back with an excellent reply and a list of people for me to contact for help. I used her list and found this reading tutor and a women who will give Annie a comprehensive test when we are ready for that step. It was fantastic to realize this woman is brilliant and we are traveling down just a really solid avenue with Ms. Annie on this journey I never asked to be on.

So that is why my heart was singing when I sat down to meditate this morning. I feel full of grace today. Like this difficult school year is about to end on such a high note for Annie and I. That place full of grief, well, I still visit there, but right now, today, I feel full of relief, like I am breathing cool, clean air. I am right where I am supposed to be, where I wanted to be back this fall when breathing was oh-so-difficult some days.

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