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The Field of Learning



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Part One The Field of Learning Disabilities There was something wrong with my brain What had previously been a shadow of suspicion that hovered on the edge of consciousness became certain knowledge the year that I was nine and entered the fourth grade I seemed to be like other children but I was not like them I could not learn to read or spell Throughout my childhood and youth the nature of my disorder remained mysterious When I was twenty two it was diagnosed I was dyslexic Ellen Simpson psychotherapist and poet in her Autobiography Reversals Having made a strenuous effort to understand the symbols he could make nothing of he Gustave Flaubert wept giant tears For a long time he could not understand the elementary connection that made of two letters one syllable of several syllables a word Caroline Commanville in Souvenirs ln times describing the French novelist Gustave Flaubert I remember vividly the pain and mortification I felt as a boy of eight when I was assigned to read a short passage of scripture at a community vesper service during summer vacation in Maine and did a thoroughly miserable job of it Nelson Rockefeller in TV Guide October 16 I976 I missed my nurse terribly Every day I wrote her a short badly written ill spelled note writing and spelling were always terribly difficult for me I was always recognized though quite kindly as the slow one of the family It was quite true and I knew it and accepted it Agatha Christie in An Autobiography For years I had hidden from parents sisters teachers friends even my husband the fact that I can read on y a few minutes at a time before becoming confused and exhausted My problems extend beyond the inability to read well Although I managed to earn a bachelor s degree and attend graduate school I can neither recite the alphabet straight through nor do I know the multiplication and division tables I have difficulty writing down the simplest note Roa Lynn in Learning Disabilities Part One The Field of Learning



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