Posts belonging to Category Dyslexic in America

No More Shame In My Game

I have received several e-mails as well as several phone calls over the past two weeks; they all were expressing concerns about my spelling and grammar in a professional blog like A Point Of Thought. I guess many people missed the original point of this blog. Originally I wanted an outlet for all the technical thoughts running through my mind. I also needed a place where a person with dyslexia like me, could go and write every day in hopes of improving my overall communication skills. When I originally began to blog, I did not expect anybody to follow or read my thoughts. It was truly a pleasant surprise when I started receiving feedback from people validating, disagreeing or commenting on some of the thoughts running through my mind. Let’s take a second to go through what it takes to complete a blog entry, just as a point of reference for my blogging community.

I begin by dictating my entire train of thought using Dragon NaturallySpeaking (voice to text recognition software). then I will begin to Go line By line and listen to what I have dictate it using Natural reader (text to voice software). as I listened to what I have dictate it, I will begin to insert the punctuation that I believe is correct this usually takes 5 to 6 passes over each paragraph I have dictate. At that point I will start looking for the word (and). I have learned over time that this is usually a place where I have paused my train of thought; this usually indicates it need some type of punctuation. People will begin to notice as they read what I have written it has a certain cadence to it similar to a rhyme or a limerick. This is a tool that I use inside my mind not only to deal with punctuation, but also to do with overall flow. it is almost as if I was hearing a drumbeat in my head and when the machine reads a paragraph, a article back to me. It has a certain beat’ I consider it very much correct. The average time in creating a blog which would be 3 to 4 paragraphs will usually be in the range of 1 – 2 hour.
Even though I highly appreciate everyone’s concerns about the overall appearance to the outside world of a person with dyslexia looking unintelligent because of poor grammar and spelling. I believe at this point in my life I am comfortable (no more shame in my game) with who Leon Lewis Jr. is in his abilities. If it means I lose a contract, not get a job because of the grammar and spelling. I can live with that two. if people cannot look past a disability and realized that there is some intelligence outside of the normal realm of proper grammar and spelling. I am good with that two. For some strange reason in my life I am highly comfortable with who I am and what my abilities are. This is not a excuse for poor grammar or spelling it is what it is, all I can do is write every day. try my best to improve my overall communication skills. if that is not enough for the World So be it. I will sleep well tonight with the knowledge that I truly give, 100% to everything I do, I will spend every day trying to improve myself in one way or another.

I would like to say in conclusion thank everyone very much, for your concerns, but after many years of struggling with the fear of ridicule about my lack of writing skills I have] become comfortable with whom, Leon Lewis Jr. is and I think I am willing to live with any ridicule and criticism about my writing style or lack of it. At this point in my life love always Leon Lewis Jr.

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Thank you Leon Lewis Jr.

The University of Southern Mississippi Master of Education Degree in Dyslexia Therapy

The DuBard School for Language Disorders and the Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education at The University of Southern Mississippi invite you to learn more about the long-awaited Master of Education degree in Dyslexia Therapy, scheduled to begin during the Summer 2014 semester.

About the Program:

DuBard School Outclient TherapyIn development for over four years, this innovative program is the first such degree offered by a Mississippi public university. As school administrators, teachers, therapists and the general public are becoming more aware of students with reading difficulties and the academic challenges they face, the need for extensive and specialized professional development becomes more obvious.

  • Participants may be eligible for state and private foundation scholarships.Click here to learn more and apply for The Robert M. Hearin Foundation Scholarship. Click here to learn more about the Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship from the State of Mississippi.
  • The program began in May 2014. New cohorts begin each summer.
  • It is a 30-semester-hour master’s degree program, including the practicum component
  • The program will result in a Master of Education degree.
  • The methodology taught is the scientifically based DuBard Association Method® which is Orton-Gillingham based in content and principles of instruction.
  • Those eligible for admission will have a teaching license and/or a bachelor’s degree in education, speech and hearing sciences, or a related field.
  • The program is a collaboration between the Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education and the DuBard School for Language Disorders in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences.
  • The DuBard School Professional Development program has been accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC) since 1998 and was one of the first four nationally accredited programs for multisensory structured language education (MSLE). Therefore, the master’s degree program is accredited by IMSLEC (
  • The degree program meets the International Dyslexia Association’s Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading (
  • The degree program is delivered in a hybrid format including on-campus instruction during part of two summers, online courses, three weekends (Friday evening and Saturday) in the fall and spring, and a supervised practicum experience.
  • The practicum may be completed on the Southern Miss campus and at other sites such as the graduate student’s work site. Supervision will be live and/or by virtual technology.
  • All instructors are highly qualified and hold a Ph.D., Ed.D., CALT, QI (Certified Academic Language Therapist, Qualified Instructor), or combinations of these credentials, therefore are experts in dyslexia. In addition, they hold credentials in literacy, communication disorders, learning disabilities, related disorders, elementary education, special education and school administration.
  • Graduates will be eligible for the MDE Educator Licensure endorsement #203 for dyslexia therapy.
  • Graduates will be eligible to sit for the Alliance for Accreditation and Certification national exam which, when successfully completed, will lead to eligibility for the Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT) national credential and membership in the Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA) (
  • Applications are available online at
  • Click here to download the plan of study. 

Students reading in DuBard LibraryAbout the Application Process:

Applications are available online Applicants will need:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Official reports of test scores (GRE or Praxis II)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Letters of recommendation will be submitted through the Southern Miss graduate school website, through which the recommender will complete a form and upload the letter of recommendation.
  • Application fee ($50)
  • Letter of intent stating your professional goals, your reasons for pursuing this degree, and how attainment of this degree would help meet those goals. This will be used as a writing sample.
  • Professional vita (resume)
  • Copy of all current teaching licenses (if applicable)

For more information or if you have additional questions, contact CISE at601.266.5247 or Dr. Maureen Martin at 601.266.5223 or

Southern Miss Dyslexia Master's Inaugural Class

Dyslexic in America and Depression

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, somebody asked me an interesting question. Does being dyslexic ever depress me, I have been thinking about this question for several weeks now it has made me reflect on lots of points in my life. Until the age of 12 years old I had a highly explosive temper and would go off the edge at the slightest provocation. After years of having other kids make fun of me, adults calling the illiterate and a educational system that had no clue on how to, educate a person with dyslexia. My mind must’ve built its own self-defense mechanism just about the time I turned 12. My whole personality seemed to change and an instant. It became impossible to gauge any emotion from me at all. It seemed if I no longer cared about what anybody in the world thought about me. But my grandmother called it “the lost of all innocence” some other people would say my heart turned to stone.

As my circle of people grows, who faces the unique challenges of dyslexia there are quite a few things that do concern me. But hopefully with education and a loud outcry from the many millions of voices impacted by dyslexia and other learning disabilities, we can come together and change the future for all of our children and grandchildren there seems to be lots of recurring themes that I come across day after day.

• The lack of willingness of the educational system to recognize or help individuals with distinct learning disabilities like dyslexia

• The unwillingness of the federal and state governments to abide by ADA laws 504 and others ( a couple weeks ago one of the people who reads my blog sent me a letter from EEOC out of Buffalo where basically the director said they would not file a discrimination case against the employer because it would be hard to win. there was no consideration if the law was broken the new mantra for EEOC seems to be we only fight the cases we can win. civil rights are no longer the reason organizations like EEOC and other government entities exist.)

• The lack of educational materials and counseling and support groups for parents with a child with the gift of dyslexia.

So back to the original question do I ever get Depress, I have come to the conclusion in my life I do not have the right to be depress

• I am an African-American male that holds three college degrees

• Live in a house that me and the bank owns

• Have a lovely wife and a son

• Enjoy a robust relationship with most of my family

• enjoy going to church

• Highly enjoy being a mason

• Who can reasonably meet all of their expenses every month and have the ability to put a little bit of money away for retirement.

So for those reasons above I fill I do not have the right to be depress. Over situations but just to leave everything to a higher power and do what I Truly considers is the right thing at all time. The one thing in my life I truly refuse to give up is the higher ground (what is the higher ground to me it is the place when all individuals truly look at what is best for overall society and not just their own self interests).

PS I will dedicate the year 2010 to disseminating any information that might help people out there dealing with the gift of dyslexia. Please realize I will need all the help out there that I can get from people who have gone through situations and are willing to share with others. I do not believe this is a battle that individuals can fight alone. We must come together as one loud voice stand our ground protect our children and grandchildren and change the educational model in the United States of America to understand different is not bad different is what truly made the United States of America the great country it is today. Would we lose the minds of Thomas Edison and Leonardo Da Vinci in today’s society due to the fact that they could not read well this is the question we must ask one another?

Dyslexic in America – Who is Leon Lewis Jr.?

I began to write this long drawn out blog, trying to explain who Leon Lewis Jr. really is. This is not that complicated I’m an African-American male born in 1964 in New York City with a disability called dyslexia. My father is a African-American male who used to be part of the black panthers and spend some time in and out of jail. My mother is a African-American woman who tried her best as a single mother to raise two kids.

There are lots of points and times in my life that defines me, but the overwhelming influence in my life is my Grandmother. In the early 60s when people did not understand what dyslexia was you always had outsiders giving a vice, the child is just lazy and your child is just illiterate. At this point in time there was always one shining voice in the dark, in the voice would always say.

“No matter what they say you will always be my baby. You can truly be anything you want to be. If you let other people define your boundaries your life will always fall short of your true potential, set your own boundaries for your own life, Respect other people, You should never do anything in the dark that you do not want to come to the light”. These words of wisdom from my Grandmother, have become the guiding principles in my life.

This is a note to all of the parents out there with children with dyslexia. Please take the time to encourage what your kids are good at. Instead of being stuck on the negatives please always encourage your kids to do what they are good at. This will go a long way in making your kid into the person he/she can truly be. This is a life lesson I learned from a truly wonderful person ahead of her time thank you grandmother.

So back to the original question who is Leon Lewis Jr. I am a man who has truly been blessed in my life with love from many people, even though lots of people see dyslexia as my weakness. I see dyslexia as the true strength of my personality and a true blessing from my God. It has taught me to hold the great amount of respect for all people and always treat people how I would like to be treated myself. It is the true underpinning of my character as a man today.

Mississippi bill for dyslexia test

 Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill Wednesday that requires kindergartners or first-graders to be tested for dyslexia, a reading disorder that can sometimes go undiagnosed for years and leave children struggling to learn.

The matter is intensely personal for Bryant. He was in fourth grade before a teacher discovered that dyslexia was the reason he saw scrambled words and had trouble putting the right sounds with letters that appeared in print.

“I repeated the third grade. What a difficult, horrible experience that was for a young child,” Bryant, 57, recalled during a bill-signing ceremony in his Capitol office.

House Bill 1031, which requires the early dyslexia screening, also allows a limited amount of school choice. If a dyslexic student in grades 1 through 6 is in a school that lacks programs specifically to help with the reading disorder, the new law will allow the student to transfer to a different public school or district that offers the services, or to get a scholarship to a private school that offers them.

Bryant Wednesday also signed:

House Bill 1032, which creates a college scholarship program for people who want to study dyslexia therapy.

Senate Bill 2776, which creates a ratings system that gives each school and school district a letter grade like a report card: A, B, C, D or F.

Senate Bill 2461, which allows any honorably discharged veteran to have a driver’s license marked with a tiny American flag and the word VET.

The driver’s license bill became law immediately and the three education bills become law July 1.

Bryant said dyslexic students who don’t receive help are more likely to drop out of school.

“It can be treated. You can overcome this,” he said. “And one of my great joys and passions today is reading.”

Stephanie Powell teaches dyslexic students at Canton Academy and hopes to earn a master’s degree in dyslexia therapy. She said by the time many children are diagnosed with dyslexia, “they want to quit.”

“They have a wall built up,” Powell said. “And teachers for the most part don’t understand what dyslexia is. There’s a lot more to it than just making their B’s and their D’s backward. It’s hard to figure out what that is. It’s different for different children.”

During the bill signing, Bryant displayed a small framed photograph of Josephine Henley, the fourth-grade teacher who helped him at south Jackson’s Marshall Elementary School.

“Mrs. Henley … was kind enough and had the wonderful heart of a teacher to explain to me that I was not dumb, that I simply had a challenge seeing the words,” he said.

Henley’s daughter sent Bryant the photo after the governor mentioned her mother during his State of the State address early this year.