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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 her.

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 readers also.

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 speed read.

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 website, in their previous issue section.

The Backwoods article can be used for children of any age from 8 on up, while the 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

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 4 KIDS.

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, extroverted children love jumping into new social situations. They are energized by interaction, love variety and activities and enjoy talking spontaneously (without thinking), yelling, etc.

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.


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)


* 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

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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