Let me introduce myself: My name is Ben Foss, and I am dyslexic.
When I was a kid, my mother read out loud to me. When I went to college, I’d fax my term papers home to her in New Hampshire so she could read them to me over the phone and help me find spelling mistakes. I know what it's like to feel lonely, and I want to tell dyslexic people—especially dyslexic kids and their parents—that you’re not alone. I’m collaborating with NCLD over the next few weeks to share some of the insights I’ve gained on my path from special education to completing my law and business degrees at Stanford, and eventually becoming the Director of Access Technology at Intel. I’ll be sharing insights that I hope will help you learn the facts about dyslexia, tell your story and build a toolkit that will allow anyone with dyslexia play to his or her strengths.
For starters, let me tell you that when it comes to dyslexia, most people focus on reading or spelling. They should instead focus on shame. Shame is a feeling that you’re unworthy because of something you are. It’s different from guilt, which is feeling bad about something you did, like stealing or cheating. Shame comes from not feeling normal. But what is normal? As my mom told me when I was a kid, quoting the humorist Emma Bombeck, “Normal is just a setting on your dryer!”
If you’re terrible at a thing you’re asked to do every day—in my case as a kid, reading—you begin to assume that you must be the problem, and you try to hide it. That is shame. The key to success as a dyslexic person is to understand your strengths and weaknesses. This can be very scary, and it takes time. Finding joy as a dyslexic person or a parent of a dyslexic child involves first understanding the facts, then starting to tell your story to people you trust, and eventually creating a practical toolkit—including books on tape or a computer that will write down what you say—which allows you to play to your strengths. My NCLD series will outline a plan for this that’s based on the material from my upcoming book, The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child's Confidence and Love of Learning. In addition to the text version, there is also an audio version.
I look forward to taking this journey with you, and I hope to hear from you in the comments below.
See Ben’s “Native Tongue”I have found that people have a hard time believing my dyslexia when they see only the final product of my written work. These days, I generally speak to a computer and use Dragon Naturally Speaking to have it transcribed, greatly increasing my speed and accuracy when writing. For this blog, that material went through four rounds of edits, including structural, copy and proofing, further polishing the material.
You will see this blog written as I would write it in raw format. In this case, I listened to the text and transcribed it without the benefit of spell check or word correction now standard in most word processors. I publish it to let you see “behind the curtain” Yes, I am dyslexic for life and proud. Consider this my, and all dyslexics, native tongue.
lLet me introduce myself. My name is ben foss and I am dyslexic.
When I was a kid, my mother read outoud to me. When I went to gollage I faxed my paper home to my nother in new hampshipe so she could read them to me over the phoe and help me find spelling mistakes. I know what it is like to feal lonely and I want to tell dyslexic peopel and especially dyslexic kids and their parents.
I am collaborating with the NCLD to share some of the expereicne I have ganed on my pat from completing special education to completing my business and law degrees at stanord and eventually becoing the director of access technology at Intel.
I'll be sharing insights tha I will hope will halp you leanr the facts about dyslexia and how to tell your story and a toolkit that will help any one who is dyslexic play to his or her strengths.
For starters, let me tell that whwn it comes to dyslexi, most people focus on spellingf or reading. they should Instad focus on shame. Shame is a feeling that you are unworth becaue of something you are. It is different that guilt which is feeling bad about tsomething you did like stealing ro cheating. Shme come form not feeling normal. But what is normal. As my Mom cold me when I was a kid, quaoting the humorist emma bombeck, “Normal is just a setting on you dryer”
If you are terrible at a thing you are aksed to do every day, in mycase reading, you being to assume that you must be the problem and you try to hide it. That is shame. This can be very shary and it takes time. Finding joy as a dyslexic person or a parent of a dyslexic child involed first understanding the fact then telling you story to people you trust and eventually creating a practical toolkits including books aon tape or a computer that will write down what you say that allows you t pay to you strenghts.
This NCLD series will outline a plan for this that is base on material form my upcoming book, The dyslexia empowerment plan : a blueprint for renewing your child's confidence and love of learning, as well a son free content available on headstrong nation.or, a non profit websites I founded 10 years ago to help dyslexic people play to their strenghts.
look forward to taking this jounrye withyou and I look forward to taking this journey with you and I look forward to hearing form you in the comments below.