What if you couldn't read or spell what would you do?

I am Dyslexic, who knew? Who knew this was a thing? Who knew not reading by the 6th grade wasn't normal for most people? Who knew Dyslexia would come with characteristics, that will lead me to depression and zero self worth? Who knew this would bring my self-esteem so low that I couldn't even imagined finishing any schooling and would try and drop out by the 6th grade. Well after all those "who knews", I'm happy to say that it turned out to be the best thing ever! The day I found out I was dyslexic was the day I could stop pretending like everything was okay. The day I could actually start feeling a little bit closer to understanding what was wrong with me and who I am.

I learned that because I'm dyslexic, things like being very creative artistically, being good at sports and playing musical instruments are my strengths but of course with all these pros comes cons. As I thought to myself and my squirrel brain started going south I started to think about all the cons like my reading out loud anxiety. Still to this day I get nervous even though I can read out loud very well now. As all these thoughts started coming in with doubt, I was thinking back on how hard it was to write things and understand what I was reading.

I literally couldn't spell orange. I couldn't even read words with more than one syllable. Thank goodness I had friends because then who would have done my spelling tests every Friday? I genuinely did not understand what the teachers meant by saying "sound it out". It wasn't an easy 1,2,3 process like they told me it was. I remember going to the resource room in elementary to practice reading and spelling and I remember thinking to myself, "this is the most backwards concept I've ever heard". Trying to memorize every word in the English language, wondering, "wow this is probably not the most efficient way to read". Thinking back this was the most dumbest thing I ever heard of and I was a kid!

At this point I was feed up with teachers telling me it will get better, after knowing very well they didn't have a plan set for me. So I told my mom I'm not going back and she will have to drag me by my feet if she wanted me to go to school! Huh oh! my mom thought to herself, "I can't drag her she is too heavy"! My mom thinking to herself, "how can this be so bad that Kersten already has chosen to not go to school at 12 years old and won't go back"! This was the start to my new beginning. Talking to the school about what's happening with me and my mom telling them I was Dyslexic, but the school didn't seem to care or help us with programing. So I moved schools and started Barton, this was the best thing that my mom could of done for me as I'm truly grateful.

With these short stories I am sharing, I want to give families hope and tips about Dyslexia. These stories are from my personal experiences and situations that happened to me. I want to share my journey and where I am now and what I did that helped me become a strong reader and speller. Here is one thing I want to suggest: get tested by a psychologist that knows how to test for Dyslexia! Once you know you are Dyslexic this is the first step into self-acceptance. Here in Canada Dyslexia is considered a learning disability and we must use an Orton-Gillingham based approach to help with the reading and spelling. If you are unsure about what Dyslexia is here are some areas where you might struggle:

  1. Difficultly reading and spelling.

  2. Trouble with auditory processing skills.

  3. Issues with word retrieval.

  4. Comprehension issues due to difficultly reading and spelling.

  5. Lack of vocabulary when spelling or reading more than two syllable words.

Tips for Parents & Teachers:

  1. Stop telling students to memorize or sound out words! Dyslexic brains are not processing these concepts yet without teaching them the rules on how to figure out what vowels says.

  2. Stop making them read out loud in class and take notes! If they can't read one syllable words what makes teachers think they can read phrases or sentences?

  3. Stop telling Dyslexics this will get better by simply doing the wrong intervention.

  4. The longer the teacher tells you to wait the BIGGER the gap reading and spelling will be.

  5. Children can be tested for Dyslexia when they reach the 2nd grade.

How can you help your child or your self who is Dyslexic? Check out to sign up for your first initial screen! If you want learn more about Dyslexia and my journey stay tuned for more stories and tips you can Email me at

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