I received this email from Lisa in Virginia. I have posted it with her permission.
As a parent of a daughter who is dyslexic, I have been researching and trying to understand what my daughter is going through. I read an autobiography of Susan Hampshire, an actress from England. This is how she described her brain: “It actually felt as though my skull housed a whole ball of string, with an end sticking out of my crown. I thought that if I pulled at this, I could get the string out, empty my head of it, unravel the tangle in my brain. I longed for the day when there would be no more string in my head – it was so heavy. I wondered if everyone had a ball of string…” ( Hampshire, Susan; Susan’s Story; 1982; p. 26-27)
My daughter has told me, with tears in her eyes, “Mom, it is big!” In other words, it is bigger than her; bigger than she can understand. That broke my heart, but I continue to encourage her. In Sally Shaywitz’s book, Overcoming Dyslexia, she writes, “I cannot emphasize enough the importance of focusing on the strengths as well as the weaknesses. The goal is to make sure that the strengths and not the weaknesses define the child’s life.” (p. 93) We are giving her another place to succeed through the Online Reading Tutor program.
She is still going through the program. It has been a challenge for her, however, she tells me that she wants to finish. I may not ever understand her struggles with reading, but I am her biggest advocate. She shines on the soccer field and I am looking forward to the day when she shines in the reading field.