LETTER: Why “Read Me Differently’ Hits Close to Home


LETTER: Why “Read Me Differently’ Hits Close to Home

We recently received this heartfelt letter from a viewer of Read Me Differently, who watched the film via our ongoing free streaming offer for Dyslexia Awareness Month. We wanted to share it with you today in hopes that you might empathize her experience:

by Anonymous

Thank you for making your film available to stream for free during the month of October. I also purchased it. I appreciated your handwritten note on the DVD case! This weekend I viewed it twice.

Your video hit me hard emotionally. After the first hour I had a BIG cry.  I am glad I viewed it alone. Two days later I watched it again with my husband. He said it was a great film and he could see why it hit me in so many tender places. It was good to have someone help me digest it.

I am 58 and came to find out about dyslexia and attentional problems later in life when my son struggled with spelling, handwriting and maintaining attention. My grandmother also lived in a mess. She was impacted by bipolar [disorder], as was my mother. My father has trouble with spelling, reading, and discerning his left and right. So my genetic stew is an interesting mixture.  Thankfully, when I was in fifth grade my teacher told my mother I was having trouble reading and she cleaned a tutor’s house in exchange for getting reading help for me.

That helped, but I wish someone would have explained to me that I have a learning disability.  That would have helped greatly. I went to college but needed to study in an attic to concentrate. I had to have help with writing papers. I got by with a lot of help from my friends.

When I got out of college I was mostly a wife and mom with odd jobs. The same year my son was diagnosed, I started working at his school as an aide to the school psychologist. That was fantastic. She was insightful and started to teach me about learning disabilities. That led into a full time position as an intervention teacher at a private elementary school. When I see a student with dyslexic like warning signs I direct parents to resources to help them understand dyslexia better. Of course, I know I am not qualified to diagnose dyslexia but I want parents to have information so that they can get the diagnosis and demystify it for their children.

Many are, like your parents, worried about “labeling” their children. Your life demonstrates how valuable it would have been for you to have known. Thank you for making this film and letting us all view some hard places in your life. As Richard Lavoie said, it is a launching pad for discussion.

My daughter is 32 years old and often my ADD and dyslexia have made relating to me difficult. I can see better now that I can be annoying! I hope she will view Read Me Differently soon. The phrase, “Parallel Universes”  hit very close to home!


  • Estela Bilbao Love

    27.10.2015 at 14:15

    I am 52 that realized is dyslexic and ADD 6 months ago when my 14 year old son got diagnosed by LA Diagnostics. My son withdraw from the education system in 7 grade. He literally gave up emotionally and developed social anxiaty and depression because school was too hard and he was labeled “special education class”. The public system hurt my child because he was 5 years in special education to finally diagnosed with LD and put him in probation because of so many days of un justifid absenties. Because of the shool aproached of Truancy my life went upside down in thinf weeks. Lost job, health insurance and emotionally the whouse was a chaos. We are all ADD and dyslexics, Thus, life at home is difficult. After two years trying to understand why our son rejects school. My husband & I are home schooling ( two dyslexics people) because the emotional damage is so deep that we are working with a family therapist, conseling and special classes to re-habilitate our son. Our son is very intelligent, but he has issues writing, reading and executive functions. Diet, family support, tutoring and positive reinforcement and empowerment are the best medicine. My heart & own skin hurts because only someone with LD can understand emotions, fears and how difficult life could be without love, support and undertsanding LD. All people with LD are very sensitive. Thus, emotions and ways to comunicate are very important to not trigger the anxiety that is our worst enemy.
    Blessing to all of you. I pray for today and tomorrow for more people, employers and school understant LD. We all have gift and a mission in life. LD does not mean we are at the bottom of the chain. Apreciation and worthines are very important.

  • Lorin Peritz

    27.10.2015 at 15:09

    To Anonymous: Thank you for sharing your story and comments about the film. The families of the school in which you work as an Intervention Teacher are so amazingly lucky to have you looking out for their kids! Your school is not only fortunate to have you, but also amazing and wise to have an Intervention Teacher in the first place! Teacher training even in this day and age is sadly lacking in awareness as to what LDs such as Dyslexia look like and how to identify the telltale signs of students who may be struggling because of it.

    Private elementary schools–such as the one my child attended until this year–would seem to be in an ideal position to train their teachers and learning specialists to spot the red flags to be able to intervene early with students and their parents, but they must have the will to do it. There is no mandate (in fact there is a great deal of denial all around from both the parents and the institutions), and misconceptions and fears abound as to what it takes to identify and deal with the problem. We encountered a great deal of buck-passing within school administration, with claims that there were absolutely no internal remedial resources that could be allocated to only one child, let alone any group of children.

    Public Schools, which do have mandates, often don’t perform much better. I have never heard of an Intervention Teacher in a public school, only “Special Education” teachers and administration, and psychologists. Maybe they exist, but I don’t know any examples. I don’t know how proactive most Special Education Teachers are in “catching” at risk students. Even there, the dreaded “D” word is rarely mentioned or acknowledged for what it may be, especially before any testing is done. Leaving parents to wait, worry, and question their judgement, and children wondering and blaming themselves as to why they struggle so much in school.

    I was very touched by your story, and by Estela’s comments, too. Thank you for sharing it.

Post a Comment