The tenacity and resilience of dyslexic children and adults never ceases to amaze me!  I was doing a radio interview this morning and the host, Christina Nitschmann said, “If only I’d known you when I was in school!”  She went on to say that she was dyslexic and couldn’t read when she entered junior high.  Her parents had been told that she was probably retarded, but Christina knew she was smart.

She realized that no one was going to teach her to read, so she’d better try to teach herself.  She asked her teacher for every book she could find on grammar and reading and somehow taught herself enough to fake it.

But then came high school.  She said, “What really got me was when we were reading Shakespeare and everyone in the class had to take a turn at standing up and reading a part.  Shakespeare!  Just shoot me!”

According to the International Dyslexia Association, as much as 15 – 20% of the population has some symptoms of dyslexia.  This is an astounding statistic, especially in light of the fact that it is commonly believed that dyslexia is a permanent condition, that the only hope is to struggle through school and life with accommodations and coping strategies.

Dyslexia is often accompanied by strong talents in creative arts, mechanics, and out-of-the-box thinking.  This thinking can sometimes lead to wonderful successful careers as actors, entrepreneurs, or radio hosts!  But in spite of successes gained through persistence and refusing to give up, most dyslexic adults look back at their school years with pain.

It doesn’t have to be this way!  Thirty-four years ago, I opened Stowell Learning Center to address dyslexia. By addressing the weak underlying processing/learning skills at the root of the problem, dyslexic learners can learn to read and compete on an even playing field with their peers.  My dear friend and mentor, Dr. Joan Smith wrote a book called You Don’t Have to be Dyslexic.  And that is the truth!  We have seen it thousands and thousands of times.

Because we work with the underlying skills that all people need in order to learn successfully, our population at the learning center has broadened out to include all kinds of smart but struggling students including learning disabilities, auditory processing disorders, attention deficits, autism spectrum disorders, and students who just have to work too hard and too long to get the job done.  Here’s what we know from both the research and our experience:  Most learning and attention challenges can be dramatically improved or completely corrected.

If you or your child struggle with dyslexia or other learning or attention challenges, I invite you to JOIN US for a FREE Parent Information Night.  Learn what’s going on when bright kids struggle in school and what can be done to change that.

Click here for details and RSVP:

If you are not local to Southern California, and we don’t know someone in your area doing this work, check out our Distance Learning programs at


“Helping smart but struggling students dramatically improve or completely correct their learning and attention challenges by developing the underlying learning skills that are not supporting the learner well enough.”
We serve children and adults with diagnosed or undiagnosed learning and attention challenges including learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADHD, auditory processing disorders, and autism spectrum disorders.
Jill Stowell, M.S.
Author:  At Wit’s End A Parent’s Guide to Ending the Struggle, Tears, and Turmoil of Learning Disabilities
Founder and Executive Director – Stowell Learning Centers

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