The following was written by Dillon Brennan, a bright young dyslexic who wrote in and offered to share his story.

It’s Not Just Reading...

As a child with dyslexia, I learned how this condition affects more than your schoolwork—it affects your whole life. I recall kids making fun of me in grade school for having to go to special education classes. The word “Sped” was used in a derogatory tone. (“Sped” is short for "Special Education.") I felt really badly about myself and I became self-conscious. I was always makings sure I did things correctly and double-checked my work so as to not make mistakes. From schoolwork to basketball and even Cub Scouts, I was really careful about writing essays and filling out registration forms. I reread everything several times. I was diligent and didn’t give up trying. I continued to go to my special reading classes. I learned Orton-Gillingham, a reading instruction method, and double-checked my work. By the time I went to high school, I had gone from special education classes to Honors and International Baccalaureate classes in high school. My self-esteem has grown, and more importantly, I realized that I can achieve anything I set my mind to. As it turns out, I am pretty bright. I had always thought I was slow. And all the strategies and thoroughness I learned as coping mechanisms have helped me to be even more successful and confident.

Though I have always been a sensitive person and some of these earlier years were hurtful, I have persevered. I am looking forward to a successful senior year, and I am preparing for college. I hope to study engineering or medicine and look forward to a career where I can help others and excel in whatever I do. My parents and teachers have always been encouraging; I am deeply appreciative of all their assistance. I value the impact teachers have on students’ lives, and I am proud to have earned their respect. Through this journey, I have become even more intuitive and understand different viewpoints.

I didn’t choose to have dyslexia, but I have accepted it and the life lessons it has taught me. I think I have become a better student and better person because of my challenges. I am still the same person, just a little wiser.

I would be happy to talk with anyone who might need some motivation or someone to listen to their challenges. My email address is