DYSLEXICS and A.D.D. KIDS BECOME GIFTED SPEED READERS - by George Stancliffe
Almost two years ago, a lady who had signed up for one of my speed reading
courses showed up early on the first day of class to privately inform me that she
had a reading disability, so that I wouldn`t be too frustrated at the poor performance
that she was expecting in the class. I gave her some words of encouragement and
told her that she might do better than she thought she would. I`m glad I encouraged
She ended the course reading 18,000 words per minute.
While it`s not uncommon for children to attain such reading speeds, I`ve only
had one adult student in my life who could go faster.
Last night I just finished talking to my friend, Troy, who is a school teacher.
He and I have the same hobby: We teach children to speed read. It was nice to find
out that Troy has noticed the same pattern that I have noticed in our speed reading
students: Some "Learning Disabled" people are EXTREMELY gifted when it comes to
speed reading. Specifically, the children who have ADD and Dyslexia tend to catch
on to speed reading better than most other children, based on what Troy and I have
seen in our speed reading classes (in fact, the charter school where Troy has taught
at for the past 2 years has 50% of the students DIAGNOSED with Attention Deficit
Disorder [ADD]) . I know other speed reading instructors who have noticed the same
pattern with ADD (including ADHD) and Dyslexic children also. Recently, new evidence
has come forward that verifies what we speed reading instructors have discovered
on our own.
In 1997 Jeffrey Freed, M.A.T., published his book RIGHT-BRAINED CHILDREN IN A
LEFT-BRAINED WORLD, in which he explains, among other things, that kids with ADD
and Dyslexia are usually gifted when it comes to speed reading. This is because
normal reading and speed reading are each processed in completely different parts
of the brain. Normal reading is processed in the Left half of the brain. But speed
reading is processed in the Right half.
Since children with ADD and Dyslexia are generally Right-brain dominant, it makes
sense that they would have an easier time of learning to speed read than to "slow
read." ADD and Dyslexia are not really "disorders." They are just different ways
of processing the same information. The "solution" to these conditions is a different
APPROACH to learning altogether.
I agree with Mr. Freed, based on my experience as a speed reading instructor.
Most of my star students had the symptoms of being Right-brain dominant. And those
who had the most difficulty displayed the symptoms of Left-brain dominance. Of course,
Troy indicated that those ADD students at his school were generally his best speed
If you have a child who may have ADD or Dyslexia, and you want him /her to be
a better reader, one of the best things that you could do is to teach him/her to
It`s all pretty easy, really. There are two articles that have recently been
published on the subject of how to teach your children to speed read. You can do
it successfully even if you don`t know how to speed read yourself. One article is
found on the this website under the subject of "speed reading." The other
one recently came out in the Sep-Oct 1999 issue of Backwoods Home Magazine, pages
40-45. The Backwoods article is also found on the backwoodshome.com website, in
their previous issue section.
The Backwoods article can be used for children of any age from 8 on up, while
the selfgrowth.com article is geared for children from 8-12.
If you want all the most up-to-date information and instruction on how to teach
children (and it works for adults, too) to speed read, consult the manual SPEED
READING 4 KIDS, available from The American Speed Reading Project at www.speedreading4kids.com.
This method has been successfully used in the classroom and at home for teaching
"normal" kids as well as ADD and Dyslexic children, to speed read (even some children
who were so poor at normal reading that they were considered non-readers). Though
it is recommended that children attain 3rd grade reading level before beginning
the program, it wouldn`t hurt to give it a try if you have no other alternatives
for your child.
George Stancliffe lives near Yakima,
Washington and teaches speed reading locally and nationally. In 1997, he formed
The American Speed Reading Project, dedicated to making speed reading become a universal
skill for all children by the age of 12. He is the author of the manual SPEED READING
Hold the Holiday Hoopla for Introverted Kids - By Nancy R. Fenn
It?s holiday time and we?re all so excited! We can?t wait for get togethers
with the family and out of town guests, holiday shopping, coking and traditions,
maybe a visit to Disneyland ? tree trimming, carols and New Year?s celebrations
with poppers and party hats! What a ball we?re going to have.
Well, some of us, about 70% of us, are going to have a ball. But what about the
remainder, the introverts? Introverts make up 30% of the population.
If your child is an introvert, you may actually be torturing him or her with
well meaning activities like noisy celebrations, visits to Disneyland, large gatherings
of relatives and elaborately staged gift opening routines. Listen to the voices
of the introverts I?ve interviewed about ?Holiday Time?.
?Disney at the holidays is my biggest nightmare,? said one young introvert. ?I?m
more afraid of there than of dying, seriously!?
Another commented, ?I drive my extroverted husband and daughter crazy. They always
insist on surprises ? treasure hunts, impromptu visits ? God I haaaaaaate that.
I just want simple, family oriented celebrations. For them celebrations mean lots
of noise and more noise. No! Plus the Disney thing, nooo Disney for me pleeeeeeeeeeease.?
?Holidays?? says another. ?I cried and threw up a lot as a kid and now I understand
why! Throwing up was a reaction to the stress of just too much stimulus and too
much being expected of me in public situations at those times.? An introverted man
commented, ?Poppers at New Years, augh no! No no no please no. Way too loud and
startling. In an ideal world, none would be allowed in a one mile radius of me.
Party hats maybe. If people aren`t waving them around and cluttering everything
up with them they are borderline tolerable, but still distracting and stressful.
* say yes to soft lights, music and time to enjoy
Another guy volunteered,? Small family gathering is about all I can take. Disney
and theme places, oh my gosh. No. Just no. I`m sorry. No, no, no. ! And actually,
ideally, maybe not even family either. Ha!?
These introverted adults are able to pick and choose among holiday options and
expectations but children are not. Most holiday activities are planned for extroverted
children. According to Paul Tieger of PersonalityType.com, extroverted children
love jumping into new social situations. They are energized by interaction, love
variety and activities and enjoy talking spontaneously (without thinking), yelling,
Introverted children on the other hand like to watch from the idelines. They
are energized by having a chance to reflect on things alone (in a room with a door
that shuts). They like to concentrate on one thing or person at a time. And they
need to think it through before they speak.
* say yes to wrapping presents
* say no to opening presents with an audience and much drama!
How can you improve on your introverted child?s experience of the holidays? Here
are some guidelines for introverted children.
TOP TEN WAYS TO PROVIDE FOR YOUR INTROVERTED CHILD AT THE HOLIDAYS
1. Keep social activities to an absolute minimum.
2. Rehearse required social behavior carefully. Introverts are easily humiliated
in public. Good byes, hellos, thanks yous and handshakes should be reviewed at home
first. Include a few simple words your child can use and leave it at that ? such
as ?Thank you for the nice time, Mrs. Jackson.?
3. Limit noise and lights where possible.
4. Limit size of gatherings.
5. Avoid uncomfortable clothing.
6. Avoid putting child in spotlight for ?present opening?.
7. Allow breaks in activities so your child can retreat to a safe place for contemplation
and restoring batteries.
8. Introverts are intensely territorial. If humanly possible, please don?t kick
them out of their own room or bed for Aunt Sally or Grandmother Gertrude.
9. Introverts are territorial about their own physical space, too. If you can
possibly arrange for relatives to look and not touch, that would be very nice. Hugs
and smooches are not welcomed by introverted children.
10. Make watching from the sidelines perfectly OK. It is the preferred way for
introverts to participate.
This year enjoy your holidays more knowing that your introverted child is comfortable,
too. Follow the TOP TEN GUIDELINES for introverted children.
* please say no to performances door to door (caroling)
INSTEAD, SAY YES TO
* cooking quietly with mom or dad and a sibling
If you have any question as to the appropriateness of an activity for introverted
children, please email The IntrovertZCoach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nancy R. Fenn is the IntrovertZCoach.
It is her mission in life to raise consciousness about introversion as a legitimate
personality style. Learn more on the web at
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