Dyslexic Super Learners [Premium]

Dyslexic Super Learners [Premium]

“This isn’t how I think either; this is how I have trained myself to think, because it works.” – Kevin Horsley, World Memory Champion and author of Unlimited Memory   It seems surprisingly common that dyslexics are found among the world’s super-learners. It might be that all share a passion for understanding their memory strengths after suffering what may have been years in the school system, not realizing how to use their gifts. It also might be that dyslexics as a group have strengths in metacognition, especially when studied in selected groups like those found in universities. When Kirby and colleagues studied dyslexic and non dyslexic students in college, his study group of dyslexic students were more likely to use metacognition (i.e. thinking about their thinking), […]

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Recovering from Pandemic Losses [Premium]

Recovering from Pandemic Losses [Premium]

As we all hope the worst of the pandemic is behind us, the schools must all anticipate an even greater variability in reading, writing, and math levels for students due different degrees of pandemic loss and social and emotional stress. Educational researchers and school psychologists are warning parents and teachers that the diagnoses of learning disabilities may be especially prone to errors: “When education has been disrupted by COVID-19, rigid adherence to DSM-5 criteria for initial diagnosis of a specific learning disorder entails substantial risk of error. In the past two years, most youth have experienced some loss of academic instruction. Many have also experienced psychosocial adversity (such as death of a loved one or decreased social support). Interventions might not have been available within […]

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Sky’s the Limit: Finding Self-Efficacy [Premium]

Sky’s the Limit: Finding Self-Efficacy [Premium]

“If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning…” — Mahatma Gandhi More people may have heard about self-esteem than self-efficacy, but self-efficacy may be a more important quality that will predict how a person may make personal life goals and meet challenges in the future. Self-esteem relates to how one values oneself. Self-efficacy, on the other hand, is a belief in how you can be successful or achieve something in the future.   MAJOR INFLUENCES ON SELF-EFFICACY Dr. Albert Bandura, a pioneer in the study of self-efficacy, states that the major influences on self efficacy are: — mastery experiences (starting out as a beginner […]

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Actor Stephen Graham [Premium]

Actor Stephen Graham [Premium]

Actor Stephen Graham has been described as one of the most talented actors the United Kingdom has ever seen. Yet, he almost didn’t get a chance at his breakthrough role in Snatch when the director Guy Ritchie, asked whether he had come to read for the part. Stephen had just come along to support his friend who was trying to get the job, but when Guy found out that he was also an actor, he encouraged him to give it a try. Stephen told him that because he was dyslexic, he couldn’t do a cold read. I don’t know whether he knew that Guy Ritchie is also dyslexic – but fortunately for Stephen, Guy asked him to improvise the scene instead and he completely smashed […]

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Grit and Resilience [Premium]

Grit and Resilience [Premium]

“The worst problem any dyslexic has to face is not reading, writing, or even spelling, but a lack of understanding…” — The Reality of Dyslexia   Grit is the ability to persevere in the face of setbacks, challenges, pain, and adversity. Resilience is similar, but different in the sense it describes an ability to “bounce back” from difficulties. Both, as it turns out, are important for the achievement of long-term goals and mental well-being. When students in dyslexia specialty schools were studied over the course of years, researchers found that grit and resilience scores increased over time in these schools – and that correlated with lower levels of anxiety and depression and improved academic performance. Want to assess your grit? Click here —> GRIT SCALE […]

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The Voice Inside Your Head [Premium]

The Voice Inside Your Head [Premium]

“When I was eight years old, a school psychologist gave me a bit of advice about my brain. He said I may have a form of brain damage, and he wanted to send me to a special class. I was a classic dyslexic: I wasn’t born with a good memory, and I couldn’t concentrate; reading and writing were always a challenge for me. Throughout my school career, I learned by having my mother and friends read the syllabus to me; I forced myself to memorize it and what I didn’t get, which was most of it, I just didn’t get. I had no future because I just couldn’t grasp what was being taught to me. In twelve years of school, I couldn’t read a book […]

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From High School Drop-Out to VP of Engineering [Premium]

From High School Drop-Out to VP of Engineering [Premium]

There are some people who are so insightful into their cognitive processes that talking to them is pure gold. Gary MacGregor is one of those people – he’s a VP of an electronic device company and recent PhD recipient from the University of Texas at Austin. He has a remarkable story and has been very generous in sharing what he has learned. Gary: “I’m a high school dropout. My parents were high school dropouts. I’m the first male in the family to go to college.” When Gary dropped out of school, he took a job working an oil refinery – a lucrative career for a person without a high school diploma. While he was working 12 hour shifts 84 hours a week, he would exercise […]

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The Social-Emotional Side of Dyslexia [Premium]

The Social-Emotional Side of Dyslexia [Premium]

“A lot of the time I take the parts of learning that are still hard for me as rejection — as someone telling me I can’t. I see points taken off for misspelled words on in-class English essays, and I start to see my future crumbling. I see the colleges that my dyslexia could prohibit me from going to. I see the kids with better scores, who don’t need tutors, or extra time, and I feel jealous. I feel worthless.” – Anna Kopelmann   The social emotional journey for dyslexic people can be complex and change over time depending on one’s life contexts, support, and environment. As few as 1 in 4 dyslexic students may be formally identified in public school systems, leaving the majority […]

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