Discover Dyslexia

Tiffany Hackendorn

November 29, 2020

I am starting this blog as a way to share information about what I have learned about dyslexia. I am also starting this blog as my Original Contribution assignment, which is part of one of my final courses at ACE, American College of Education. On my home page, I included a quote from Lau Tsu: “Give a man a fish; you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish; you feed him for a lifetime.” I included this quote for a variety of reasons. First, my son at the ripe old age of eight, is an avid fisherman. He loves to fish and can tell you many, many things about lures, bait, rods, and the best fishing locations in Southern Delaware. My son learned how to bait a hook before he learned how to read. He could bait a crab pot and catch dinner for his family at age four. At age three, he could name every tool in his pop-pop’s toolboxes and tell you the purpose of each one. However, he could not recite the alphabet song, he could not rhyme words, he could not spell his name and he could not recognize letters of the alphabet – AT ALL.

I knew he was dyslexic, no one believed me. He was too young, too immature, a boy. These things come in time “they” (feel free to insert any title – doctor, teacher, parent, husband, friends, and family). I guess it would be unfair to say no one believed me, but no one saw what I saw. On the outside, everyone that met my son found him to be delightful. My son absorbs information like a sponges absorbs water. Oh, and he is a TALKER! Shew, his vocabulary has been off the charts since he could speak. And that was the band aid for the first five years of life. Talk, keep busy, and charm everyone.

So now that you know a little about why I am here. I want to share some of the gritty information I have come across. Some of this information you may already know, some information might hit you like a ton of bricks, and some of the information will lead you to the light bulb moment.

First, I would like to share the definition of dyslexia with you. Thorwarth (2014) shared this: “Dyslexia is defined as an unexpected delay in reading in an otherwise healthy child/ adult who has received a proper education” (p. 52). Now, that in itself is vague if you ask me and leaves lots of room for confusion and misconceptions. Shaywitz & Shaywitz (as cited by Thorwarth, 2014) explain that dyslexia accounts for 80% of learning disabilities, is genic in nature, evenly affects girls and boys, and is life-long (p. 52). This means you never ever, ever, ever outgrow, cure, or get rid of dyslexia. It is with you for life. However, that does not mean it is a debilitating, life sentence of never being able to read or be successful. In fact, many famous people are dyslexic (more on that later). What this means is that you must find the right combination of supports and accommodations to make learning easier. Hence, the second reason for the fishing quote. It seems appropriate with dyslexia to reference that Tsu quote because at first it will seem so daunting, heavy, and hard for your child and you will want to do everything for them. You will want to read for them, write for them, you will want to give him the fish. I remember the day we were finally able to have a proper doctor’s diagnosis. When I told my son that he was dyslexic, he looked at me and said “mom, I am so glad I know what to call it now.” He was relieved, but that was only just the beginning. I had been giving him the fish, now, it was time to teach him to fish.

#zerotohero #discoveringdyslexia #dyslexia #dyslexic


Thorwarth, C. (2014). Debunking the myths of dyslexia. Leadership and Research in Education1, 51–66.

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