Gary Karton used to think of his learning disability as a form of torture.

He always wanted to be better at reading as he understood it to be an essential skill. It took the encouragement of one special teacher to help Karton to understand that his learning disability was actually a gift that allowed him to see and learn differently than other kids.

His teacher spent time with him in school to help him develop his reading skills by having him read into a tape recorder, read things he was interested in such as sports, and even read in different voices to help imagine the characters.

‚ÄčAs an adult, Karton has made it his mission to encourage his own children to love reading. His kids are older now, 12 and 14, but he has read with them almost every night since they were born, and encouraged their participation with discussions about the book.

Through these discussions, his children helped him develop the idea for his own children’s book, The Last Akaway. He is thankful now for the encouragement of his teacher, and hopes that every child with a learning disability can see it as a gift, as he now does.

‚ÄčTo read more about Karton’s story, visit the Huffington Post.