S1E16: From Isolation to Empowerment - The Transformative Impact of Community Support for Dyslexia

word blindness Nov 30, 2023

In gaining a deeper understanding of Dyslexia, it's crucial to realize it is a spectrum disorder with varying degrees and manifestations. Unraveling this complexity helps us appreciate dyslexic individuals' unique abilities and needs. This knowledge fosters empathy, advocating for dyslexics' right to tailor-made educational provisions that suit their learning style.

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Gain insights into dyslexia awareness and understanding.
  • Discover the importance of self-advocacy for dyslexic individuals.
  • Uncover the challenges in the education system for dyslexic students.
  • Tap into the power of community and support for dyslexic individuals.
  • Embrace individual differences and celebrate strengths.


Welcome to word blindness. Dyslexia exposed. I am Juliet Hahn. I'm here with my co host Brent Sopel, and we are here to change the narrative. We want to educate, but we also want you guys to understand what it is like to be Dyslexic and how things can change.

So join us every week for Word Blindness. Dyslexia Exposed. Welcome back to word blindness. This is Juliet Hahn, and I am here with my co host, Brent Sobel. How are you?

I'm wonderful. Good. You guys, we always crack up because when we start the podcast, we kind of get into what we want to talk about. Some weeks, we know exactly what we want to dive into. Other weeks, we're like, okay, let's talk.

And we start talking. And then, like ten minutes in, I'm like, crap, why didn't I record? So today I did. I stopped Brent in his tracks, and we are going to record so, so many different things. I mean, I feel like one of the things that I want to kind of touch on and it's not going to be like unicorn and weird, but when you're on the right path well, I know.

Just go with me, please. When you're on the right path, things pop up. And I talk about this on my other podcast a lot, and I think I've talked about it on Word Blindness, but on your next stop, I talk about that. We all have this path, whether you believe in God or the universe, not all of us find it because not all of us let ourselves stay curious and open. We talk on here.

One of the things about Dyslexics is we are curious, we think differently, so we kind of explore. However, not all of us find our path, but what's really awesome is with you and the Brent Sopal Foundation, the Dyslexic Foundation. And you've been doing that. 2018.

What year were you now? 2023. I know. Okay. Yes, but it started in 2018, right?

Yeah, I was good. Okay, so you started that, and that was really because of your story. And you guys, if you have not I mean, if you're just jumping in, you're like, what are they talking about? You have to go back to number one. We're not going to repeat ourselves, even though sometimes we do.

Yeah, we do, but we repeat ourselves on things that are important. But Brent founded the foundation because of his story. We connected last year going back, which my brain doesn't know. We connected last year. Yeah, it's almost a year.

And then I said to you, I have these podcasts. I really would love to talk because I do talk about Dyslexia. I talk to parents all the time. I talk to people because my son and myself but let's get on and talk about this. And you were all in.

And really, since you have gone on this path every year, I feel like you're getting closer and closer to just your foundation. First of all, blowing up because of all the work, the consistency that you've done, but also talking about Dyslexia, I mean, it's like around us all the time. There's people I mean, I know so many people with Dyslexia. Yes, because I talk about it, it's opened, and you do as well. But I feel like every week it's like another person kind of comes out and says, hey, I have Dyslexia.

You're talking to so many different people that I said to you this morning when I was walking the dogs. Everyone knows that's when I do my best thinking, you should have some questions and answers because you're always getting the same questions and answers. And you're one person, right? Yes, you're spreading your awareness, but how can you get and reach more people? So we kind of started talking about having a forum where we kind of host, where it's like questions and answers, and we answer those questions that we got all the time.

And now I know I just really babbled for three minutes. You're great at that's. Why you've got two or 3456 podcasts, because you like to go. I do, but so I said to you, what are some of the questions that you get? And you now I'm going to let you go because you said, I get the same one.

First of all, right, so take it over. Obviously, you talked about purpose and the foundation 100%. This is my life, this is my purpose, and I tell my story honestly, truthfully rise, a word that I get. People say a lot for reasons, because we're not the only ones. I can just have one person hear that and relate and amount of connections that you and I have gotten in the last six months or whatever since we started talking and obviously launching the podcast.

How many people have reached out to you? How many people have reached out to us, social media, talking about the message and what we're talking about, because the foundation, it's a very different approach than most Dyslexic foundation. And I think you wondered me, like, what are you talking about for the first little while? Because obviously Dyslexia is that reading portion, the calculus, the math portion, and Dystrophy of the writing portion is, I don't care about any of that when it comes to schooling. And you're like, what are you talking about?

And then when I started taking that angle of it, I'm all about self esteem. I say, Dyslexia, it's no self esteem. And if you're not having fun and if you don't have self esteem, no matter who you are, young girl, young woman, confidence and fun, you're never going to learn. No matter if you're a fireman or a policeman or an athlete or a podcast, if you're not enjoying and you don't like yourself and you don't have that confidence, you don't go anywhere. I never approach the schooling side of things till we can get the self esteem up to a place where you can start understanding who you are.

I always say I want everybody to learn to love themselves and look in the mirror, say I love you, know it, feel it, and believe it. And that's really, really hard. And I don't know. I guess this is a question. Back to you.

I don't know anything else that comes with a learning disorder that comes with more shame than Dyslexia, right? And again, we've talked about this because it brings up and again, anyone that's listened to us know that we talk about the innate confidence, and some people have that innate fight, right? It's like it's someone else's fault. Like, I used to always blame the teachers and all these different things. However, and I'm going to take it back to the conversations that we had in October with our guest, and I'm going to bring it back to Bridget, who is the founder of the Beyond Beauty Project.

She's a former model. And what I thought was so interesting, one of the things that she said is there was many times she knew she was smart, but then she got into situations where she was, like, unsure, and then it brings you back to that kid. And when she said that, I was like, you know what? That's actually I can relate to that. There's been times in my adulthood, right, that I've been in a conversation and people are really talking about politics or something that I really have no interest in.

And it's not that I can be like, oh, I have no interest in that. It takes me back to a point where I'm like, wait, maybe I don't know how to have a conversation about this. And then I revert to that kid that's in the classroom, and as much as I am confident, I know how to switch and then go away, but it still dings. You right. It still is.

Like, OOH, I feel a little inadequate in this situation. Now, I've had conversations with people that have listened to the podcast that are not Dyslexic, and they've said, Isn't that like that's anyone in life? Right? People can get dung and do these things. And 100%, you and I both agree with that.

We're talking about Dyslexia because that's what we know. That's our comfort level and not comfort level, but that's what we've experienced. So, yes, there's many different things, and it comes down for everything, is that self esteem? And when we're talking about it and Bridget even said and I think Danielle, who's the founder of Fettech, said she remembers in nursery school that quickly realizing, wait, I'm different. I remember in third grade being separated and then being like, wait a second.

And you have that happy go lucky kid because we've talked about it a thousand times. When you're a kid, you're happy. Most kids are happy. They're just innately happy because the real world hasn't gotten to them. And you can remember all of us can kind of remember around that time that it was like, we're getting our ass kicked in school.

And so it's one of those things, learning disabilities, you can't always see. Yes, there's some right. When someone stutters, there's different things that are outwardly, but dyslexia is not. And one of the thing that we've talked about that's really interesting is, again, we go back to all the strengths and weaknesses, and again, if you haven't heard it, you can go back as there's titles. We really dive into that.

But one of a dyslexic strength. And again, everyone's different but the majority. So we're talking black and white and all these different things, but the majority we're expert communicators writing. And that stuff is really hard. But we're actually very good at communicating once we've grasped it.

Because there's been times in my life where I'm like, oh, my God, I know the freaking word I want to say, and I can't say it now. I communicate all the time. This is my job. And so I've gotten way better at it. I mean, it is one of those things that I've practiced, right?

So when you take it back to school again and you take it back to that kid, that's realizing things are not coming as easy to me, and then you kind of are getting them done all the time, because the teachers are like, just focus. Pay attention. What are you doing? Why can't you do it? Because they don't know that child is struggling.

And that's where you talk to the parents, because that's usually when things all of a sudden they come to you. Because a lot of times, again, we've had this conversation where the shame behind it, as you said? I mean, I remember the shame. I remember not talking about it for a long time and then realizing, Wait a second. I actually feel more comfortable saying, Wait a second, I'm dyslexic if I fuck up.

Right? I'm dyslexic. Sorry. I want to blame it on there. Go ahead.

Yeah. No, you and Bridget, you both had that. You talk about that innate confidence, and you said there that she remembers times where she thought she was smart. She knew she was smart. I've never in my life thought that.

Again, we talk about is that the Nate confidence? What it is? You guys had that. How did you get that? I don't know.

So for her to know that, okay, so it's almost, like, two steps ahead, one step back. I was almost two steps back, one step forward. Because you guys knew it. You knew danielle, grade three. I don't remember any little I just remember straight up hating life, going to school.

I don't remember any of those things, or I remember not fitting in. I was a whack job. And it's interesting how you guys had that positive. You had that piece that I didn't have. So it's, you know, you guys you guys were ahead of, you know, ahead of me.

It's, you know, it's people that don't have it take it for granted. How many times a day you read and when you you realize at a young age you're different because, why can't I do this?

Why can't I do that? Kids are way too smart for their own good. Good and bad. I always talk about in hockey, it's Mites 5678. I always say there shouldn't be penalties.

The kid's sitting in the penalty box. He doesn't know why. He's trying to learn how to stand on the ice. You give him a penalty. I had one of the little girls on my team crying because she was sitting in the box by herself.

Why? She didn't even understand that, right? And we're not even understanding the struggles that are building up in us. And that's where that shame comes from. So prevalently and so widespread is I just want that cute blonde like me.

And I can't read. I'm dumb.

One that came up last night was had a coach. He just find out he's bipolar. He's doing great. He coaches a kid that home life has little issues. He'll play two or three good games, and then he'll kind of go, AWOL.

And he know. The other day he came off the bench. He's like, great job. I'm glad you did awesome, keeping your composure. And it set him off.

I said, Well, Devin, because if somebody tells me I'm smart, I get pissed. I'm like, fuck you. Because what's the opposite? Smart, dumb. I don't believe a word you say.

So it sets me and so instead of saying, hey, how did you get that? That's interesting. Really. That was really good. I like know.

So taking that side door approach, and Devin's like, wow, I never thought about that way. But he goes, that's exactly it. It set him it's hard to be able there's so many layers as we talk about. There's so many layers. How do you encourage and when bringing back to Bridget and I, who knows, right?

It might have just been the way we were born. God might have made us that way. It might have been our know, the dynamic in the house. I'm the milkman's kid must have dropped me on my Canada, right? It might be an American Canadian thing.

But I want to take it back to people listening that are like, okay, I don't know where to start. Because again, and we bring this back to the beginning because I've shared my story, how I never felt so alone when my son was getting diagnosed. And it was crazy because I was like, wait, I went through this. I have family that I can talk to. I have a partner that is here that's going to listen to me.

That's supportive. But I felt so alone because I felt lost and frustrated, and I just wanted to save this kid. I didn't want this kid to go through some of the stuff I went through. Now, we also talk about this, and there's so many times that people that struggled in life, whether it's financially, whether it's poverty, whatever it is, like, they had a bad home life, that their struggles made them stronger. So there's also a part of you that are like, okay, I know that my Dyslexia gave me this grit and gave me this, like, okay, I'm getting knocked down, but I'm going to get up, right?

Some days I talk about this. Some days you get up a little slower, but you get up. Some days, it takes two days to get up. Other days, you bounce right up. People that don't struggle don't always have that kind of edge, that kind of grit.

And so as you're going through it, you're like, okay, I just want to save this person. I just want to protect this person. But then you also know, okay, life, they're going to have to learn things themselves, because that's how you get grit. But how do you kind of pad it? And that's one of the things that you talk about a lot, is just getting the self advocating, but then also have a parent that's been able to self advocate.

And there was just that I shared on social media that one in five kids have Dyslexia. One in five people have Dyslexia. One in 100 teachers know what Dyslexia is. And that's one thing that both of us became fascinated, and we're going to get more into that because we're kind of doing our own research in the back, and we want to be able to have a little bit more depth to that. But the different ways that schools are testing you and all these things.

And when we had Ashley on, she really brought something that it was kind of like, all right, and I hate the term suits, but it's people in Congress that are making these rules that they're not the teachers. So we sometimes talk about the teachers. Yes. Do we think there's some things that can be better as humans thinking, okay, that kid's struggling. They're five.

Do they really want to be fucking around in class? No, let's kind of look into this. But again, they have this corporate America that they have to fill, and it's coming from the top. But the more we can educate because that's the thing, I'll come to you, and I'll be like, well, how can we change it now? I'm so pissed.

Obviously, I get a little impulsive, and I want to make change and do it now. And you always say, which is kind of funny, because if people could think it's the opposite, you're like, Pause. We have to educate before we can make the change. You went to Congress. Tell us a little bit about what you did in Washington, and that was 2019, something like that.

You're the dates. So good. I should be a history major. So there's a few things the correlation that you and Bridget and myself is that you guys knew about Dyslexia from your mom, other people in your family. So you guys were educated.

I wasn't. So that's where that education piece comes in, is the only correlation where that you guys had that extra confidence because you knew about it. You knew it was okay. Me, I'm, like, never didn't know I was till I was 32. I just thought I was dumb and stupid because there's nothing else, right?

And you didn't even know what the words were. Because the thing and I'm going to interrupt you for a second. The thing that was interesting is that others in our house were diagnosed when we were it was like there was times where there was that whole spectrum, right? So we had, like, processing reading. Now it's like, okay, that's dyslexia.

So it's really interesting. So it was known, but it didn't have a label, but it was talked about, and it was aware. You never even heard of it. Never heard of the word until obviously it was 32 when we got my daughter tested. And then when I found out, I'm, like, didn't even know what the word was.

So put whatever tag label you guys had talked about it being okay with it in your house, that's where some of that confidence you had that and we talk about the biggest thing, is that nobody is ever alone in this. That's my biggest message. Never alone. And I always say we talk about this. You always talk about rate review, share.

And I say, People, you could save a life. People. Yeah, whatever.

Yeah, I'm sorry. Go ahead. No. Suicides have tripled in teenagers last ten years. 90% of the suicide notes have Dyslexic tendencies.

I can go on and on and stat, you might save a life. You don't see it statistically, like cancer, but I'm telling you, you could save a life by sharing this. I had someone in my community reach out and said, okay, I'm seeing these clips that I'm sharing on social media. I finally went and listened to one of your podcasts. I think I'm dyslexic and I haven't.

And I'm losing my shit. And they went and made a doctor's appointment, and they're in the process of doing it, but they're like, I just feel so much better to know. And I mean, here's the thing, and whether it's society or and then I do want you to talk about what you did in Washington, listeners. We're not off of that. I know you're like, well, that's a little tension deficit there.

We're going back to that. But one of the things in society again, it's being different. Whether I've had conversations with people that have been super, super gifted in school, which fascinates me, but they're like, I know you talk about people not fitting in or this or you're feeling crap or pretending that you were something so your friends didn't know how much you were struggling or teachers didn't know. And then I have people that are like, I got hundreds on everything, and kids used to tease the shit out of me, and I tried to pretend like I wasn't as good. And so it's that whole thing in society, if there's something a little different about you, people pounce on it.

And so being okay with who you are right. And having these conversations, I mean, that's the most important thing again, thinking, okay, I am different. And you know what? I actually am going to embrace it. It's easier said than done.

But the more people talk about it and the more that you listen, that's when I had this person reach out. They're like, wow, you seem like then this is what's always cracks. You seem like you have everything together. I'm like, I don't know what that means. My car has zero gas.

My house looks like a bomb went off, and it's like a fraternity house.

I don't know what you mean by I always seem to have it together. I didn't pay my bills this week. Right there exactly why? What does that mean? What does that mean?

That's the conversation washington and again with the foundation is you walk into your boss's office, you want to get a PO approved for X amount of dollars. If your boss has absolutely no idea what the hell you're talking about, he's not going to prove it. So how are we trying to walk into your town halls, your principal's office, your directors, your deans washington and tell them to change things? They've got no idea. So obviously self esteem, but it's education.

We've got to educate people what this is, what it means, before they're going to go and change it. Anybody change something they don't know and don't understand? You take a look at CEOs, Fortune 500 company. Most people hate them because usually they don't make emotional decisions. They're educated decisions.

Now, my divorce, straight emotional, zero common sense, but that's a difference. So it's bringing the information to them so they understand what that is. And that's what I obviously the self esteem. We're trying to get everybody to be okay, to have these conversations that that you and I do have, and a lot of people aren't there. It's new to people.

That's why I talk about it. I don't care who it is, what, when, how, what, pink, blue, green? I don't care. One person at a time, this message goes out that they're not alone. You can be okay, and everybody's dyslexia could be a gift.

Yes, it can. We're a long ways away from getting there. If you just found out because it's scary, it's dark, it's lonely, it's daunting. But none of that you have to do by yourself. You're not alone.

No. And you know what? And this also brings up when we were talking to Stephen, you and Steven are know the fact that and if you didn't hear the story I was in a meeting and someone said, hey, can you tell me? Can you see my know, can you read what's on there? And I read it wrong.

And for a second I was like, oh, fuck. There was a lot of people, powerful people, and I just read something wrong. And I for a second was like and then I said, oh, okay. Hello, Dyslexia. I said, that's not what that says.

And they all kind of were like, oh my God. We thought we misspelled something. And I was like, no, I read it wrong. Now, here's something that I do want to talk about. I wasn't always like this.

I've done a lot of work to get where I am, a lot of education, as you said. So I remember when my and I didn't talk about my Dyslexia probably until the last ten years, really. And when my son was getting diagnosed, I remember. So I'm going to bring it back. I remember we lived in a very affluent town, and I didn't want to tell people that he was Dyslexic ADHD, that I was Dyslexic ADHD for a point because I didn't want them to judge him.

And it was a protection thing. So that's why a lot of people and I'm sure people listening are like, yes. I didn't want them to think, oh, I'm not going to have this kid over because he's Dyslexic or ADHD, right? And so there was a part of me that was protecting him. And then as I got more comfortable with it, it and also was like, okay, if they don't want to have him over losers, they are, because he's a freaking amazing, fantastic kid that's actually going to make their kid probably better because he's so awesome.

And then the more I started doing that, the more I was like, you know what? I'm going to talk about it as well. Because there was many times in my life that I wouldn't say that I was ADHD because of the stereotypes that are on there. And again, I'm going to say this. I say this, I try to say it every episode.

Sometimes I forget, but that Dyslexia ADHD all these things is not about your IQ. It's not about your intelligence, actually. We are smarter than most people. And at the end of the day, who cares? Each one of us are special.

And it's the most people that are struggling are the ones that are pointing the fingers like the mean girl. She's a mean girl because she's not happy. Their home life, self esteem, whatever, it's always coming from somewhere. IQ, non IQ, genius, not genius. Ten, 200 million.

We have our own path. We're all supposed to be who are. And it doesn't matter if you're 21, single, 45, and single. You have four kids. It doesn't matter and there's no right or wrong.

It's whatever works for you. It's the stereotypical that you talked about. It's the judging. Judge a book by the COVID Oh, you peel back my cover. You'd have no idea what's under there.

Right. It's having these conversations, and the more people that we can bring into this community of you're special the way you are, whatever that is. Two left feet dance like me, like stick man. It's all good because that's you. And I think the teachers need to embrace that more, too.

Are the classrooms overloaded 25? Yeah, 100%. But you have 252-6283 different human beings in there. Right. And what is that thing that you shared that I was like, oh, my God, it's so true.

Educate all the things that have changed and evolved. And education was built because it was to help people, because it was factories. That's where people worked. It's the way they sat, it's the way they did, and it's because they were training them for a specific reason. And school is still, like, talked again, I've talked about this a thousand times, but senior year English is Shakespeare.

Why can't that be an elective? If someone wants why is that being thrown at? Like, aren't there other books? Yes, I think Shakespeare is amazing. I think he is probably leader in what he did.

Remember my name? No, I was actually not named after Romeo and Juliet. But anyway, back to the history that you're talking about. You let's talk about the evolution of cars. Okay.

Look where it started. The horse and buggy, which I still wish I had on my farm all the way up. Right? But there's been education on all that stuff. Right.

Dyslexia. Nobody knows what it is still. Right. So we're again asking for change when people have no idea. So does the system need to be changed?

Absolutely. Does it need to be completely revamped? Absolutely. But that's going to take, obviously, time and money, just like anything else, but time and money before that. It's got to have understanding, and it's understanding at a very deep level like we have, because let's just go.

Somebody's going to put a billion dollars in. They're going to want to know from A to Z, right. Or A to Z, what do you guys call it? Right? They're not going to want A to B.

They want it all. And I say less than 20% of the world knows what Dyslexia is. So we still have 80% to educate. So we're expecting a lot of things that can happen in my mind. And that's why, as a foundation, that's why I take this different approach, is that anytime I can have the word Dyslexia said, it's a win.

Wherever that is, I don't care. It's a win. Now you've heard it, now somebody says it again. Now we can slowly get it in there, but it's that education, it's that sharing, it's having that conversation, and it's being. Okay.

Who you are. We all have strengths and know every one of us do. And that's I mean and it brings up points like the more Henry Winkler. Right. There was another thing that we just posted, that you posted recently.

Yes. I love the fonts. Well, he went to Southport, where Montgomery went to school, and he talked about that book, here's Hahn. So he wrote a series. Actually, I think it was here's Hahn was his Dyslexic side.

But then there was and I can't think of the other, but Hahn was Henry or something, whatever it was, but it was him, and he was the student, and he had this friend that helped him through. And I remember Montgomery always had that. He always found that friend in class that was able to do it. And it was a Dyslexic font. And I remember my mom saying to me, Just get it.

So I would read it to him. And it was a chapter book. So, again, my reading is a bit slow. I can read, but it takes a little while. And a big chapter book.

I was like, oh, I don't want to do that. That sounds torturous. Yeah. I don't mind reading the smaller books. I did that with my kids.

But this was actually it really did flow. And I remember him connecting so much to that. So then I loved seeing all the sides of Henry Winkler because he really talked about his Dyslexia and how he didn't know and how he struggled as an actor. But there's so many people and again, we talk about this so much. There's so many creative people in the arts that are Dyslexic because our brains think differently.

The memorization that some of us can do, I'm not one of them. But there's different ways. We're not just this. We got skills and strength. Yeah, we got skills and strengths.

Let's go back to you and Danielle. We talked about you guys are able to support each other in your business because you have understanding. So in these Fortune 500 companies, you have a Dyslexic. We have strengths. Can we do great things in company?

Absolutely. Just like everybody else. Can I call business Swiss cheese. Everybody fills a hole, fills a role, whatever that is. Whatever your role is.

But in those boardrooms, are we supported or not? Like, you and Danielle can support each other. You can make your statements or you can make what you're trying to explain understandable. Because there's two of you. Most people, I say this, this, and this, and they look at me like, what the fuck are you talking about?

Idiots. Hockey. I get told every day I'm stupid. I got no idea what I'm talking about. Right.

And you didn't play for 18 years. Fat, washed up, no idea. No, I shouldn't even say played for 18 years. Pro 18 years.

That's that understanding.

You can support each other in your business because you guys have an understanding so you're able to help connect dots for other people together, you're tagging. Most of us don't. We're standing on an island by ourselves, and that's what we're trying to change. And everybody wants to talk about Dyslexic thinking. Every one of us in this world has a role, and we're all powerful.

Two is more powerful than one, three is more powerful than two. And you can't get to two, two to get to one. And that's what this is, is one at a time. You can't jump one to ten. It's got to go one to two.

And the more we can collaborate, the more we can talk about it, more we can be a community and help and support each other and build that strength and that understanding to make that overall change of that school system here across the world at some point in time. Is it going to happen tonight? No. Is it going to happen in the next little while? No.

It's going to take a long time. But the more people that can talk about and share and be okay with it and know that you're not alone and you are supported, it's going to only help grow and support, and everybody wants better for their kids. We talked about this earlier. You go over and above whatever that is and spoil them, or you don't want them to have the scars. Obviously you learn more than losses and gains, but as an adult, the more you can be okay with yourself, the more your kid's going to be okay.

So true. And so I do want to bring it to some of those questions because we did say you get the first question. That's the same all the time. Take us through that a little bit. The first question is, my son or daughter diagnosed with Dyslexia and we have no idea what to do.

Lost. They don't have nowhere to go. I don't think I've ever had a call where they've called me and had support and felt supported. So it was all right talking on off that ledge, first of all, all right, you're supported, you're understood. Being misunderstood is not easy.

And the question is the school. Why didn't the school help me? Why didn't do this? My first answer is, okay, did you get a neuropsych or did the school do the evaluation? Obviously, if you go back to our earlier podcast, that neuropsych is huge in my world, and I believe in that test for everything.

Let's just say 40% of Dyslexics have ADHD, so people always call me, can you give me like a Dyslexia test again? If it's friends or something, I'll give them that test, but anybody else I won't because let's say diagnosing with Dyslexia, right? And there's 40% of Adhe, so I'm going to get one and not the other. So I'm going to still be putting around peg in a square hole. That's not fair.

Now, if we get that neuropsych. There's a complete evaluation, 15, 1820 pages. Now there's full understanding back that education of what is going on and how we can move forward. Go back to the days of the map quests or reading the map, right? Getting there.

Open the glove box. There was a map. Now it's on your phone, right? Going cross country without a map, probably not what we're going to do, right? Let's get that education.

So that's always top of the list, what I do, where'd I go. So first thing I say, that neuropsych. And here's one thing that I want to throw out there because a lot of times they'll say, okay, I went to the school and asked for the doctor. This is what I did. And I'm curious of what your thoughts are.

I did this on my own just because I was like, wait, I'm going to call all the private and Dyslexic schools around me and have them give me a list. I will ask my school for a list as well. And then I'm going to do a little bit of my own research. I do things a little different. So everyone in my community was like, oh, you want to go to these three doctors?

And I was like, I'm not going to those three doctors. I'm going to do the opposite of what you said. Because you guys are just following the herd. Because I don't follow the herd. I was sticking out a little bit.

I listened to why they liked those doctors. And then I did my own kind of cognitive, like I did my own research. No, I didn't dive in. I just asked a couple of questions and was like, you know what? I'm going to go with this doctor.

So when people ask me about that, well, how do I get a doctor? There's so many lists. This is the ones that everyone uses in my community. I went to the Dyslexic schools and asked them for their doctors or the private schools that were around just because I felt like it was better than the public school recommendation. I don't know if that's right.

It seems there's no right or wrong. This is going to come out public school I don't trust, right? No, not any single one of them. So this is obviously my opinion. If they gave you a list of neuropsychs, I'd have a bonfire, have some s'mores and burning right in front of them because this may be hard.

They don't care. You had this problem. It's a business. So I would go, I like what you did. Looked to find Dyslexic schools around, but now, obviously it's a little bit easier.

The Internet is there. You can do some research. Definitely do that research. Maybe got to drive a half an hour, whatever that is. You just cannot rely on anything.

The school, public school says that's anything from nuts to bolts to A to Z. So do that research. I really like what you said. If you could go talk to Dyslexic schools who they use now? Let's just say we're small town, okay?

Just do your research. That is it. Again, reach out to myself. You'll be supported. We've got people around.

I will try and help out. Again, that support is there. It's just do the research. You can ever trust what the school says. And I'm going to take you to the thing now.

They're going to give you a list, and they're doing it. There's people in there that, yes, they're good people. They care, but they're told what I always have to. Because Brent, no, you're the extreme. You go black or white.

Now, I do too, but I sometimes will get in the middle there. So just to clarify, it's not that they're like, who, I'm going to try to fuck this person. They have a list that they're told to use. So that's what they're following the herd. They're following corporate.

They're following what they're told to do, what they are supposed to do. This is the doctor everyone uses. The other thing is why I didn't want to go to the one doctor that was in town is because I also was like, is that doctor really? And again, this is me. Some people are going to be like, research.

That's overwhelming for me. I don't know how to do that. That scares me. Right? So as we're saying this, you're going to be like, I'm shutting down.

I can't do it. Correct. What I'm talking about research is asking questions. You don't have to go and read all these things and be like, I need your where'd you get your education and all this? I'm not talking about that.

I'm just talking about asking around and getting the vibe from the doctor, right? Because if you don't like the vibe from the doctor, you're not going to feel as comfortable with it. So my thought process was everyone's going to this one doctor.

Are they really diving in deep and doing what they're kind of meant to do? One of the things that you're going to laugh is one of my biggest pet peeves is when people don't do what they're meant to do. So like, you have a job and you half asset. That makes me absolutely insane. So I do like to know, like, okay, you're going to go above and beyond, or you're just going to do your job, but do it right.

You're not going to fucking slack. And I found that when a group of people go to one place a lot of times and it's getting from the school that doctor has too many patients, they're overloaded. They're doing the minimal, and they're not doing I don't want to even say minimal, sometimes under. So I found that and was like, yes, those doctors on that list, I am actually not going to because I know it's like a four month wait a five month wait, and then you're in there for 15 minutes, and I'm like, 15 minutes? I'm sorry.

No. So those are the kind of questions, how long do you spend with the parents and the patient? And my kid, I should say kid, those kind of different things is when I'm talking about research, like find out their processes, if a doctor is like, yo, it's in and out. I mean, it takes a little while. You have to use them before maybe in that school.

If you could find five parents, five different parents that doctor and see what they say because they've gone through that process now, then they've gone through the school process. Did it align? Did it not align? So it's going to the horse's mouth. And sometimes you can't like, you've had this where you've talked to people.

Sometimes parents can't tell you what they've done because the school has gag, ordered, or they're using an attorney. So there's also like, sometimes you have to be guarded. And it's not easy because that's one thing that I mean, we talked about this. Again, you can go back and listen, but I was like, oh, dough eyed, your favorite version. That means kidlike.

That means innocent. I went in very innocent, because I just assumed, well, no, of course they're going to help us. We're good people. Exactly. So doing that kind of research, education, that's what we're talking about.

Again, not going. So where you're overwhelmed and like, oh, my God, I got to know all these different things. Where did they go to school? No, none of that. It's just finding out their processes.

How long does it take to get back? Because that's the other thing. Our doctor that we use took a little bit longer, but when I say he went through the strengths and weaknesses, he just didn't pull out things. It was the most brilliant thing. I mean, the public school actually later were like, wait, where did you find this doctor?

This is not on our list. And I was like, yeah, because I went somewhere else. And they were like, we love this guy. They actually started using him a little bit more because they appreciated what he brought to the table. So that's the other thing, is how long is the turnaround?

Because sometimes we go into this and we want it done now. Oh, my God, my kid's struggling. He's falling. I need this done. And then you go to the school because they're like, oh, we're a little shorter, and we can help you get this a little faster.

It's not about the fastness, and trust me, I want things done. Yesterday, you touched on a couple of things. A neuropsych, it's a six hour test. It's three to 4 hours one day, three to 4 hours the next day. So, yes, expect a turnaround time of two to four weeks for that neuropsych.

So I just want to preface that is that there's a lot of information that goes into it. It's 15 1822 pages into this, so there's a lot of information. So I just want listeners to know that it isn't no matter where you go, you're not flipping them back out in 48 hours. No. And if they say they are big red flag.

Yeah. If you're going to have a test, it's going to take 6 hours. You're not flipping out. There's a lot of information, so there's a lot that goes into it. So I just want to kind of clarify that, make sure people don't think it is a quick turnaround.

Let's just say your son or daughter is in grade four struggling. We all want to fix it now. Absolutely. And you think you're getting wasting time and then they're going to get further back and you're like, oh my God, I need this now, because we need to make changes now. It's not too late.

And I didn't mean to interrupt you, but it's not too late. Take a breath, because you are doing something now and you're talking about it. Another thing that I think is really important, because I've had a couple of people come to me and said, I think I'm Dyslexic, but I'm going to get an ADHD test. And I'm like, okay, tell me a couple of things. Remember, if you listen to us, we have our PhD or what do you say?

Our DHD or white coat. No PhD. DHP. Backwards. Way too many, but too many letters.

But that's where again, you're doing something, but it is backwards. Because if you're getting the ADHD test first, not all, as Brent said, not all people with ADHD have other learning disabilities. A lot of them do. But we come from a very long line of a lot of stuff. And it's interesting because I do have cousins, siblings, kids that maybe are just ADHD with no learning disabilities.

And that always fascinates me. That fascinates me because it's a very interesting profile. But the majority of the time there's learning with the ADHD as well. Dysgraphia. Dyslexia?

Yeah. You're talking about ADHD. Even if that's all you have, do you have full understanding of what that is? Most of the doctors don't talk about what dopamine is. Most teachers don't know what that is if you don't have it.

So it's educating and having understanding what that means. I always call ADHD a doing. We can think of a million things right. It's can we get started? Do we have a realistic list that you have 7000 things on there that was that one day we don't get dopamine in our brain like everybody else does, so we go get it.

I always call it sex, drugs, rock and roll. I always say it's like a faucet when we do that. Adrenaline turns that dopamine on. So it's oh, my God. Amazing.

We don't get that. I've had teachers or coaches yelling across Brad. The words never make it to the kid. It's like a wall. You've got to get right over there.

I got kids. I grab them right here. All right, I need you to do this. Okay? The words don't get there.

So it's having that full understanding of what all that means for your son or daughter, no matter if it's Dyslexia. There's so many varies. Is it paper? What is it? Is it dyslexia?

You got to be the biggest advocate for yourself or your kid. It goes back to that education portion and asking these questions and listening in October, obviously, we had those interviews, but it's amazing how many correlations that we all we were on different paths, but we weren't. No, and the thing that was interesting about that too, and we talk about that in, I think, the last episode that went out that was kind of funny is that well, I know, at least I had, like, the giant smile on my face, even though we were talking about hard things and sometimes very vulnerable things that are sad. But I stupid smile on my face because I was like, oh, my God. Because every single one of us has a very similar path and a very similar story, even though we maybe got there different, right?

But we had these same feelings and emotions around it. And that's what this podcast is about. Being misunderstood every day is the hardest thing in the world. So to sit there and see somebody on the other side of the screen go, oh, my God. That understands.

They understand. And again, this is what I love so much, because I know when you and I first met, you were like, wow, you're really more positive and this and that. And it's not like a bad positive, because I have been around people that I can relate. I mean, as you said, the company I'm working for, my boss is Dyslexic, and we grew up together. There's so many different things I have been very fortunate that I have been around.

Where it is we talked about in one of the episodes when I met my husband, he's like, what the hell? Everyone that you know is like, Dyslexic and ADHD, what is like, in your freaking water? He's like, seriously? I've never met so many people doing our drugs. We hang out with people that do drugs.

We're hanging out with other people. We can well, it's like minded. People meet. And again, if you stay open and you stay curious, and that's where I really believe that you ask questions, you're okay with who you are, and you talk about it, those conversations happen. So that's where I've been very fortunate, because, again, to a fault, I am very honest.

I don't keep a lot. Who I am is who you see. We all started the same spot, right? Didn't mean to cut you off, but you started that same spot maybe 30 years, ten years ago. But we all started that same spot.

So don't think anybody you started at that spot earlier. Now imagine in ten years, all the Dyslexics are going to be around you.

You're going to have a little gang of them.

Oh, look, I made ride my short bus. You're going to have a thousand short buses and we can make that joke. I did not ride the short bus because I had to ride my bike to school. However, we can make that joke. No handlebars.

I had a dirt bike and then a ten speed. Yes, of course I had it. I was like tomboy, like tough girl. Look at me. Yeah, I didn't have any banana seats, but no, but it is funny.

But it is someone that's listening to this that is just starting this kind of journey. I was going to say adventure. Adventure. Really? It is adventure, but a journey, this adventure, this journey.

Again, you're not alone. It's not about your IQ. If you're there for your kid, it hurts. You don't want your child to be in pain. And it is probably some of the worst times of my entire life.

And then not getting the answers that you need and getting frustrated and pissed, it's a lot on someone. And even again, and we've talked about this when we were interviewing, as much as you think that you're okay with where you are and what you've done, there's times that you're not. And it is okay. You have to give yourself grace. Giving yourself grace.

It's one of my favorite sayings these days. My family hates it. They're like, what is with this grace? But you do. I think I even said it to you the other day.

You got to give yourself grace. But you do. You have to not be so hard on yourself when you're having these emotions, because what you're doing is you want to protect your child. And that's what we're here for. That's what we're trying to do.

But you're not doing anything wrong. If you're taking the steps, you're asking questions, you're reaching out. Just don't be ashamed of it because there's nothing happens when it's supposed to. This came up last night. I went to therapy ten years ago.

Why didn't I get it then? I'm like, Because you weren't ready for it. A lot of parents that have shame. I wish I found out sooner. Don't say that.

You found out now. Look at me. I was 32. So if your kid is green grade four, great. Look at the amount of scars that they're not going to have compared to me, right?

Hindsight is 2020 for a reason. It doesn't work that way. I wish I did. Don't play the what if games, right? You found out now.

Now we're starting at that point where Juliet started 20 years ago or whatever you're starting now. That's when it was supposed to happen. It's when you're supposed to find out this information good, better and different we're all starting at one. And again, it's because a lot of times it really is when you're able to do something about it, right? I mean, and who knows, right?

You can't go back and think, well, what if I found out 20 years, whatever. Don't do that. I do not. I might be the one women's most funnest games ever. What if games, what if I was fat?

All right, well, on that note, we're going to wrap up. No, but it is you're not alone. What if we don't? What if we spend five more minutes? Where will this go?

One of the things is that we do bring up a lot of points and subjects by brainstorming. And it is always fun to have that person in your life that you can kind of talk to, that understands you, that you can kind of riff with and get ideas from and feel understood and feel like, okay, I'm making a difference. Even if five people listen to this podcast, it is going to touch someone. Because every time we put one out, right, we get a message or get five messages, and it's like, you know what? I think I need to do something.

I think my kid's struggling. I haven't wanted to think about it or you know what? I think I have some underlining things that happened in school that maybe I do, because, again, this is hereditary. So this is also like with Stephen Key, his children did not get Dyslexia, which is crazy. I know.

This is where the science and as much as I would love to research that, you're in science meetings all day now I know. So now it's like, oh, yeah, because science was not my I mean, I shouldn't say that it's fascinating. I just wasn't very successful at it. But thinking about that, thinking about, okay, it is hereditary. How does that look?

Where does that look? Where does that go? And if like a family with five, right, two have dyslexia, okay, the other three. But then a child of the other one, it's really fascinating. So Stephen didn't and as I said to him and then I felt a little badly because I was like, well, I don't mean to, but his grandkids, he needs to be aware of it, right?

Your grandkids might get the second you see that maybe a grandkid struggles. I mean, I remember and it doesn't stop. And when we were naming Montgomery, my mom said to me the first words that are messed, she's like, with all our learning disabilities, is that a good idea? And I looked at her and I go, well, I'm not going to have that determine the name. I was like, mom.

And of course, they got all of them. However, I'm not going to determine that. He's figured it out, right? But I remember the first day he came, can I just be called M? I can't even spell Montgomery.

I'm like, I'm so sorry, honey. I really fucked you right there. No, I have to say it. I have to actually say it as I write it. I can't do it successfully either, but that is kind of the fascinating thing.

And then seeing but we were aware, right? Okay, wait a second, because, okay, we have a lot of learning disabilities. The second things did not pop, and he was our first, so maybe it took us a second to be like, oh, he's doing all these other amazing things. And we kind of didn't think about it's. Not like he was diagnosed in kindergarten.

I mean, he wasn't diagnosed until third grade because we were like, oh, no, I think he's trucking along, and then you get the second one that things come easy to. And I'm like, oh, crap. All right. I missed that. If it was opposite so much Dyslexic and then a smart and smarty pants, I'm like, Come on and say good in school.

Right? Good in school. But that's what's so interesting, because ours is like my other two school comes easier to them, I should say. My last one, as she says, though, she's like, I still struggle in some things because she's math everything. I'm like we're fascinated.

We're like, oh, my God. It's really impressive. But it is interesting to see how and then different traits. I mean, it is what it is. But aware of it.

Exactly. And to be aware of it and to be able to support and help and have the conversations are what's important. It's not something to be ashamed of. I will leave at this, because this, I think, is interesting. I remember when Montgomery was diagnosed, we put everything kind of under the Dyslexic umbrella.

So you also have to think about your family. Like, he was very relieved. He's like, oh, I have something that I can wrap my head around, so I'm not just dumb. Right? But then it was like, okay, you're also naming the other things.

But when he know nine, we weren't like, oh, and you're this and you're that and you're this. We left it under the Dyslexic umbrella. And I remember one day he came home, he's like, I think I'm also this, I think the school was saying. And I was like, oh, yeah, that's all under the same thing. But you have to think because some kids don't like, some parents are like, well, I don't want to give them a label because I don't want them to feel like this.

You got to think about your family. And then obviously, 15 years ago, there was only one little thing. Obviously, science have evolved, so we're able to branch and understand things a little bit better. That ADHD that's that knowledge out there. And you said something before we finish up is a label.

Every one of us has a label. That's our last name. Yes. Every one of us is supposed to be where. We are.

We're all special. Doesn't matter what the people that don't want to tag that put a label on there are the ones that are struggling in other ways. And so I love doing this, but we're going to wrap up. So tHahn you for joining. Word blindness dyslexia exposed.

You guys, again, brent has said it, but rate, review, share. You do not know who you can help. You do not know who needs to listen to this. You might have listened to this and be like, oh, I don't know anyone. Your neighbor, your aunt, your cousin.

Someone again, Dyslexia is one in five. It is hereditary. You know someone that's Dyslexic, you just don't know. So don't forget to rate review and share and we'll see you for another episode of Word Blindness. Dyslexia exposed.

My focus is entirely on helping you follow your passion, even when you feel like you've got stuck in crazy town. There is a way out, its me helping you. You don't have to ditch everything in your life that is making you feel overwhelmed and stuck, you just need some help to navigate it.


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