S1E23: Fighting Words - How Dyslexia Fuels Competitiveness and PerseveranceJan 18, 2024
Join us as we delve into the challenges of raising a child with dyslexia, as one parent shares their fears and frustrations with the education system. But just when it seems like there might be a breakthrough, everything takes an unexpected turn. Find out what happens next in our next episode.
Brad Burrick, a former MMA fighter and "King of the Cage" titleholder, leverages his diverse experiences to contribute to our discussion on dyslexia. With a background in the army and current employment as a web developer at City Systems, his insights reflect the multifaceted impact of dyslexia across various spheres of life. Through his journey, Brad provides a firsthand account of the challenges and triumphs associated with dyslexia, offering a unique perspective that resonates with the struggles faced by parents of dyslexic children. His wealth of experiences and candid approach to sharing his story serve to enrich the conversation, shedding light on the complexities of dyslexia and the potential for resilience and success. Brad's narrative contributes to a greater understanding and support for individuals affected by dyslexia, providing a factual and informative resource for our audience.
In this episode, you will be able to:
- Discover the untold experiences and challenges of dyslexic individuals.
- Unlock the keys to providing effective support for dyslexic individuals.
- Boost self-esteem and personal growth for dyslexic individuals.
- Uncover the influence of dyslexia in professional athletics.
- Learn how to advocate for dyslexic children in the education system.
Impact on Self-Esteem and Growth
The impacts of dyslexia go beyond education; it deeply affects one's self-esteem and personal growth. As Brad's, Brent’s and Juliet's experiences suggest, finding a passion or a sense of purpose can dramatically counterbalance the struggles brought by dyslexia. Furthermore, accepting dyslexia as a part of oneself instead of viewing it as a debilitating weakness can result in profound personal growth and fulfillment.
Welcome to word blindness. Dyslexia exposed. I am Juliett 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 to wordblindness. This is Juliett Hahn, and I'm here with my co host, Brent Sopel. How are you, Brent? And we have good, thanks. And now we have another special guest.
So, Brad Burrick, he used to be an MMA fighter, king of the cage was one of his highest belts that he had won. He's also was in the army and now works for a web developer. What is the company? So you can kind of give them. A little plug city systems, motor city trucking software.
Awesome. So, Brent and mean, first you got. To say thank you for your know, you and I are here, and you got to get your hair done and dyed and looking beautiful because he fought for so. Right. We got to say thank you at least.
No, totally. And you know what? My dad would be horrified that I didn't say that. I think I said it when we first met, but maybe I didn't because my dad was in the military. He was a marine in was, and I usually do that.
So thank you, Brent, for helping me with my manners, because I totally. In Canada, we got two tugboats and a canoe, a couple paddles, and we're good to go. So I just wanted to make sure.
No, thank you for having me on. I listened to some of your shows, and I'm not going to lie. I even debated, like, canceling at times because I don't really want to talk about it. But then watching rent's video and other stuff, I'm like, man, people should really. Be talking about know.
Thank you for saying that. And I so appreciate it because I know this is very out of your comfort zone, and a lot of times, it is really out of people's comfort zone. Talking about struggles, right. The shame. And we talk about this a lot.
The shame that comes with it. That's how I'm like, other people are going to know. I'm like, people can't know. So that's like the shame of it. Well, again, thank you.
It's not easy, especially for anybody going through this struggle. That shame that we talk about, obviously, for guys, too, we got to be the strong, tough guys. And whenever I talk, this story is not about me. It's about who might hear it. It might be what parent might be going through it and just got their kid diagnosed or they're just finding out themselves because I didn't find out until I was 32.
So whenever I tell my story on here or when I'm in schools, I tell it. It's not about me. It's about who might hear that and who might help, is how I kind of take the day by day. Yeah. That is why I think, I was kind of thinking at the end, if I could help somebody else, maybe it's worth it.
My shame. Right? And the three of us have it. I mean, we've all gone through it. If you can take us back a little bit, and again, where your comfort level is, because this is not about putting you on the spot to make you uncomfortable because of the fact that you're giving your time.
You're here sharing your story, and we've had other guests that, like yourself, have come on. That was the first time they really talked about it, and they later said it felt really good, but they also felt really crappy. But then they also knew that they were going to help people, and that's kind of what took them through. So I love that Brent just said that. Can you share a little bit?
When you realized that you struggled in school, do you have those? Yeah. Yeah. So I remember in first or second, like, we would have some assignment. I can't even remember what it was, but you would finish the assignment, and as you got done, you went to the carpet to sit on the carpet, and I would always be the last one.
And I'm just like, I don't feel like I'm dumb, but why am I so slow? And then actually short. That was probably first or second grade. And then in second grade, that's where they diagnosed me with dyslexia. Right.
And then I got pushed into special education at that time. And I know that you and I talked a little bit about your experience, and I will say your sister, your twin sister is Bridget, who's been Brad Burrick brown and screwing up with all her bees. The first time. She's on it, like, way too much for me.
Way too. Bridget, she and I connected years ago. I know she's more comfortable telling her story, and her story and my story is a little bit different because we were kind of the ones that were there. Like, you're just the girl, right? This is the best that you're going to do.
And so for you to have a twin that also struggled, you realized that you struggled more than your sister and as you said, did that ever come up? Well, yeah, the family kind of knew. Like, my father was severely dyslexic, and he came up in a time where they didn't have anything. They just pushed him over to woodcraft or something like that, or welding. So I think everyone kind of knew.
They knew I was the more severe and Bridget was. They knew she had attention disorder or something, or maybe it's dyslexia, but she could do enough to get by. And Bridget is a very social person, so I think she could kind of, like, work her way. Where I was very introvert, closed off. And then I think when this kind of happened, then they're like, okay, it's english time.
Time to read. You go off to your other class. I think it just kind of really shut down my self esteem and my growth at that time. And at this time, I don't know what it is now, but the special education, there was a mix of. There was actual people that had severe mental issues that could not even take care of themselves.
And then you're kind of sitting next to them, and you're looking at, okay, well, this is my peer, and I'm not trying to hurt anybody, but it's not, like, the best self esteem thing at the time. And that was kind of, like, how I was handled. I was kind of, like, pushed off to the side, and that's just how they took care of it at the time. They didn't deal with it. And now I would come back for math or science or whatever that, and then I'd be fine.
We talked about that for you. Yeah, we talk about this all the time. Exactly what you just said, that even back in your day. Even when I grew up, I didn't find out till I was 32, so I didn't know the word dyslexia until I was diagnosed.
Her and I fight about this. We're not fighting each other. We fight about the situation and being tossed into special ed classes when we're not shouldn't be there. So that's part of why we do this, is for those things. So, as you grew up, obviously, you got into MMA, you went into the army.
Was that some of your anger pushing you to those places?
I love fighting. Right? I love that anger for my purpose. That was definitely beating the shit out of somebody. You felt good?
Well, I would say the army was. I knew I couldn't go to college at the time, so I was looking for another way to make a living, and I did not have the grades to go to anything, really. So do that. And then fighting was like, I started in martial arts, so I was nine. I did, like, the karate stuff.
This is before the UFC. And the UFC came. And I originally wanted to be a kickboxer because I wanted to fight people. And I think it was more of an MMA. And I eventually did kickboxing.
I think it was more of me proving my worth or that I was actually could be good at something. And then I remember with Bridget, I remember me, Bridget and my father went down to Orlando and I did this big kickboxing event. And I lost. And the guy lost. He was good.
So it wasn't really, like, now I look at him like, okay. But I was crushed. And we're in Orlando at this resort, and, like, didn't want to be by my feel. I felt like, know. I didn't feel like I was worth anything at that point.
That was how I was justifying myself. And it continued for a long time. No, and you know what? And it is like, we talk about that all the time about, first of all, the special ed. I mean, that's something that I even up until a couple of years ago, had to fight for.
My son being like, wait a second. I need to know what the special ed makeup is, and I'm not doing it. But when you're a social person, because we talk about this, and Brent, I get to say my thing early is dyslexia has nothing to do with your iq. It's a learning style. And when you're put with people that can't take care of themselves, and again, the system is so broken.
And how can teachers be like, okay, this kid is social. You can't tell that there's something struggling, and then you have to do it, and it's like, oh, wow, it's going to beat you up, and you have to find something to lift you up. And as parents, it's really important to find the thing for the kids that are good at things. And Brent talks about this all the time. The self esteem part.
If you don't have self esteem, it's just going to take you down a really bad path. So you are like, okay, I'm good at something. And I remember my son went through a very similar thing, just on a flip side. But you're really good. Okay?
This is where you get the good feels. I talk about the good feels, right? Like, you're getting the good feels in the MMA, because you're like, okay, I'm good at this. I'm good at this. And then you have that first fight, and it's like, okay, someone's still better in a situation, and then you beat yourself up in a different way.
But what did that experience, in that experience, where did it take you? Because you obviously then became very successful. So you didn't give up. No, obviously I kept going for it. And I would say where I kind of benefited, I probably got a lot from the army, but getting that grit which all athletes are going to have if they're be successful, right.
They're going to have to learn to go through stuff, whether they're injured or whatever. And then that's where I would lose a match. And then I would basically go kind of in a depression, but then I would obsessively sit there and look at, well, what can I do better? What can I do better? I'd be changing physically how I change technically, how I change, how I eat, all that different stuff.
And then it kind of saved me, too, because in a way, when I was not fighting, then I was drinking, and I would only stop drinking if I had a fight going up, only because I knew not only it hurt my performance and losing hurt more and I had to maintain a certain weight. So I think it just kind of like, in a way, it really kind of saved my life. I would say the army was the first step that kind of given me somewhat of a tool set, and then next was being competitive. Well, Brad, obviously everything you're saying is obviously a pretty spinning image of my life, too.
Again, the courage, the balls to come on here and say what you did. You got a family right here. You're heard. You're known. You're a great man to be able to come on here.
You got a family. So know that you're supported and loved by us here, because I know exactly what you felt, because that was me. For years, I've been sober. I appreciate seven years. I stopped drinking during people like, oh, you don't have alcohol problem.
Summertime when I had to train for hockey, yeah, 100%. It was to a t my life. Hockey ended, and I drank and I did drugs, and I was almost dead. And I was trying to be dead before I was 40. I almost succeeded.
So know that you're loved, you're supported. You're only four or five hour drive away. You ever want to get together, I'll come up there. You come up here. Bring the kids.
You're not alone in this battle. I always say. Our highs are so high, we get so excited, we train our asses up, and then we lose. And what do we got? We're nothing.
But look where we are today. So know that you're loved, you're supported, you're part of this team, part of this group. We're complete nut jobs. I don't dye my hair yet. She does.
And you guys actually have me in tears right now. Brad, thank you. I don't think you understand how much that you just touched people listening to this, because so many people don't have that purpose or something to give them that they can fight for. And so they don't have that, like, okay, I knew I couldn't do it because I had to train because that's where you got your confidence from. And so if you're listening to this being like, how can I find that?
That's your goal in life, to find that thing that you're good at, that you love, that you can. And this is where I talk about all the time, is that daydreaming is like finding that thing that lights you up. Because when you have that, even if you're in your darkest spot, if you can find that little thing that gives you a little bit of a butterfly or a little bit of light, that's what you have to find. And so the fact that you shared that, because that's not easy. That's not easy saying, you know what?
I wasn't as strong as I had my outside. No, no. Not at all. And when you come from, as Brent said, two macho men, and I don't like that word, but two men that are, know, manly men, to share that, that's going to know, have someone else let down their wall and be like, okay, I need help. Yeah, no, thank you, too.
I appreciate it. Yeah.
It's good. Don't be sorry.
Yeah. And I would say, obviously, you guys understand, is when you win something, everything comes together, you feel great.
It's amazing. But then my buddy always say, when you're fighting, you have the highest highs and the lowest lows.
Totally is it? And I think that's where I got my worth from. And then I continued to do. I fought till I was 40. And then at that point, I realized that I wasn't the same guy as I was 26 physically, but I was still doing it.
So now, the last five to six years, we've been trying to learn to deal with Brad as not as a competitor as he used to be. And how I find my stuff of that and a lot of is, fortunately, it's been my kids. I put a lot on my kids. At some point, they don't want to deal with me.
You're telling our both stories. Because I played hockey till I was almost 40. I played pro for 18 years. I think the average career is four to five years. I always said breaking bones and tearing ligaments and knocking my teeth out were nowhere near the pain of the fear of the real world.
I got screws coming out of my elbow right now, right here. So you and I are very similar. And, julian, we talk about all everybody in this world. In the dyslexic world, we have different paths, but we have the same. Know, we have the same.
My ex girlfriend used to say, your highs are high, brent. You're so. I think, you know, I wanted to touch on that is, when you win something, you're high. Absolutely. You're excited.
You got there. But correct me if I'm not wrong, both of you. For us, is our highs are higher than what a normal person would be, and our lows are way lower than what a normal person would be. So, that win, let's say that belt. Yes, we won the belt, but it means so much more than winning a belt to us.
Yeah. It'd be funny because a couple of guys I trained with, and they became good friends and stuff, were a part of my team, and one of them, he gave me a lot of advice, and I would be, like, down about something. He's like, what are you down? Why are you, like, you did this and you don't. Like?
You don't understand. This wasn't what I seen. That wasn't what I set out to be. Instead of looking at it, I guess, for a more positive. That's like I was saying when I went on with my dad's sister, we went down to Orlando for this one.
We're at this beautiful pool and stuff, and I did not want to even buy them. I was, like, off in the hall walking by.
Hear you. Literally. The reason why I'm smiling is because I know that that's Brent's story. And Bridget knew, and then when I talked to you, I knew that you guys were going to connect, and it was going to be this beautiful connection, because as professional athletes, there's such a thing that when you finish something that you love, that, again gave you. So it's so multi dimensional.
Brent calls it the onion. Right? There's so many layers to it. You have this thing that you're good at, and then, you know, obviously there's going to be come to an end of it, but then it's like, okay, well, how am I going to be as a man, support my family. And how am I going to now enter the real world without that discipline?
I mean, the army, all these different things that gave you. Okay, I need this discipline. If I don't have it, how am I going to succeed? Right? I just recently was talking to a parent that just found out that their child was dyslexic.
And he said to me, what is dyslexia? And I explained to him how my dyslexia presents, and he went, oh, my God, I think we're twins, okay? I think I'm dyslexic. And his wife goes, yeah. And he just said, oh, my God.
And then he literally just went down this thing. And I felt so much for the wife because she doesn't understand and she's trying to help him, but if she moves any of his stuff, he's like, oh, my God. It throws me in this world, and I have to do everything the same every day, and if I don't, then it throws me off. And I was like, my wife hates me for that.
Why do you have to do this way? I'm like, I have to do it this way. You don't understand. That's like, how if I'm successful at something, I'd be like, do it ab. I have my way of doing stuff.
And I see this in my son a billion percent. And it's like, my husband will be like, oh, my God, when he goes to college, how is he going to continue? And I'm like, he will figure it out. He'll figure it out. And I have to say, yes, there's a lot of stuff that I do in that sense.
But also being the one that stayed home with the kids, I had to change. I had to be able to change. But I was the first one. If someone said, hey, do you want to do this? I'd be like, no, sorry, I'm on my schedule.
And a lot of people didn't understand that about me because I was this fun loving, like the four kids, oh, life apart, I can do whatever. I love adventure. But there is this structure that people don't understand. Saying that when we get on here, I always say it's the understanding, the relatability, so that people out there with dyslexia can connect with us, and the people without dyslexia can understand. Everybody talks about school system, we want change, we want this, we want this.
And I always say, so I've been taking a different approach for a long time. Everybody looked at me, this guy is a complete whack job. He's missing half his teeth, he's got bones sticking this way. He can't turn his wrist. But what is he talking about?
So for me it's always self esteem. But first off, you can't change to educate. The more understanding we have of somebody or something, the better this world is going to be. And I'll tell you, I played pro hockey for 18 years. 18 years.
I didn't leave with one friend because everybody thought I was a complete whack job. My routine, they still make fun of it. This had to be here. I got up here. At this time, I had to stand up.
At this time I had to turn at this time I had to listen this song, I had to go here, I had to jump around, I had to stand on my head. It was the most fucked up thing in the world. But if I didn't do it to an exact, I might have not well went on the ice because I was fucking. So don't think when you go through your day you're not alone because there's millions of us. And like I said, rookie parties.
You're saying that rookie parties, the rookies would make fun of me. My routine. I jump around and do this fucking somersault and I'm getting my hair wet over here and I'm running over here and I got to drink twelve bottles of water and I got piss over here, dude, what the fuck is wrong with you? When I didn't want to come with a friend because I had complete whack jobs. So you're not alone when it comes to this because I look back and wow, jesus, he fucked up.
Let me ask you this because it's funny. My neighbor, he's a therapist and he brought this up one time and I was like said he said it in a nice way, but I knew what he was getting at. He said I liked escapism. I was looking for escapism. That's why I was fighting so long, because most guys don't fight till they're 40.
But you guys see that avoiding other things, well, that's just like I said. The fear of the real world. But the other thing for us, for me, and I won't group you myself was. The only thing I was good at in life was hockey. I sucked at everything else.
And I tell people all the time, like, you go to school for 8 hours a day, you might as well sit in electric chair for 8 hours. Nobody else wants to.
I always say the gas tank is a self esteem. If we keep the self esteem at half a tank, right? It fills up the full quicker, it's cheaper if you put it on empty, what does it take forever to get there? It costs a shit ton of money. So I go to school for 8 hours.
My self esteem is in the gas tank. Like, I was empty. My car wouldn't move, couldn't start. I had nothing. So only place that I got my self esteem, where I was good at, where I could function, was on that hockey rink.
So you had to pull me up. My parents would have to pull me out. Six in the morning, I'm on there at noon anytime I could be in it. That was the only place I think I was good at. Everywhere else.
I sucked. I hated myself. I hated life. I've talked. Suicide was my best friend.
That's what I thought about all the time. So I don't know if I'd call it escapism. That was the only place for me is where I got my self esteem. So I played. You're like surviving almost.
That's how you. I mean. So, Brad, I think for you, it was something that you were good at and you knew what you were. Um, there wasn't a lot of uncertainty because you knew what you had to do to win. So it was like you didn't have to.
But then the second it was like, okay, this is over. What is next? What is next? And so I think that's where you and Brent can relate, know, getting to that space in your career and then being like, okay, now what is left for me being a woman in this? And we've talked about, know, we talked about this with, you know, I knew I always wanted to stay home.
And I was fortunate enough that my husband made a good enough living that I could. But I do remember, and we talked about this where I jumped jobs. And I always would be like, it was my attention deficit. I was getting bored. But I think a lot of times I could interview, and this is where bridget and I are.
So one on one. I could interview for any job, even if I didn't know it. And I actually had the balls to do it because I'm competitive. I'm like, I want to see if I can get this job. They're saying that this is what you need.
Let's see. And I would go and I would interview and I would get the job, and then I'd be like, oh, fuck, I have no idea what I'm doing. And I would always find the person in there that I could get help from, or I would figure it out. But a lot of times, now that I look back in it, and I really probably didn't make that correlation until the podcast. I think there was times where I was bored because I was like, this is getting really hard.
Okay. I still haven't grasp it. I'm still not good at this. Let me jump ship and see. I would say, oh, let's see if I can make more money somewhere or what other job I can get.
So I think that there's a part of that that I could say that was like an escapism. But again, I would blame it. I'd be like, oh, it's my 80 day. I can't focus. I'm bored now.
I want the next thing. But it really was because I didn't know what I was doing, if I can be frank. It got hard. And do you think your skill set was social? Yeah.
Like my sister, 100%. She and I used to laugh. I'd be like, I could interview for anything. I remember one of my positions, really, right out of school, I was working at a buying firm. So, like, an advertising, that's where JB and Hahn, that's where we know Bridget's husband and I got poached to be an assistant, and it was at Buena Vista, which is the subsidiary of Disney.
And they're like, okay, you're the assistant. Well, I was the worst assistant. I used to make jokes about it because I can't spell that. I don't know how to say that person's name. I was, no, no, I'm going to be good when I get your jobs.
And that's what I would say. So I had this balls that I would be, no, I need to get to where you guys are now. These guys were. This was like the best job. They made so much money and used to literally lunch and play golf and go on trips.
It was like everyone wanted their job. How's this work? What's the name of it? How do I work there? It's not around anymore at all.
But that's like old advertising, and that's how this company was. So really, there was no movement. Like, I was not getting to that next step. So then I knew, okay, I got this skill set, I'll then go and go somewhere else. And that's when the Internet started.
That was like the Internet boom. And so then I would jump, and I got, like, an inside sales position. You just aged yourself. You just aged yourself.
But I totally aged myself. But so then I jumped, and I got an inside sales job. And then once I was like, okay, I'm kind of okay. But I could sell, but all the paperwork I had to do, I'd be like, okay. And then I would be like, okay, on to the next thing.
This is a little bit boring. I'm not. And then I would go and get a sales job and then something else, and I just kept jumping. And again, it was a little bit of a boredom, but it was also because I didn't want to be found out, really, now that I look back at it. And so I think for you guys, you're at this position where, okay, now you have to go into the real world, but it's like going to bring all of your shit up, right?
Like, okay, well, I'm not good at this. I'm not good at that. And as a man, were you married at this point? You didn't have kids yet, did you? When?
Sorry, like, when you were finishing mma, were you married? Yeah, I was married and I had two kids at that point. Yeah. And was it ever in your head where it was like, okay, what am I going to do? Well, I'd already been doing development.
The thing I think, for me was, who was Brad when Brad wasn't Brad? The was. Had been so much of justifying myself. And then I think when we had the third kid, it kind of.
Because. You went from man to man, his own defense. Now.
I just want to be able to sleep, right.
No, go. No. Obviously, kids put that factor in who are we? We talk about that again, go back to that self esteem. Who are we to ourselves when we wake up?
Are we okay with who we are Today? Obviously, I've been sober just over seven years now and just starting to be okay with who I am, with my strengths and my weaknesses. Obviously, the last year that Juliet and I have been communicating and doing the podcast, my life's changed. She's been a huge impact in my life. To be okay with my strengths and weaknesses, to be okay with saying that, yeah, I struggle with that because I could never say, oh, do you know this person?
Yeah. Oh, yeah. I could never say no, meaning I was going to get exposed. Oh, I don't know that person. Really?
Oh, I don't know how to do that. No. She always talks about going on in these interviews. I'm like, absolutely fucking lootly. Not.
I didn't have that balls. I'm like, I have emails and text messages that come in that I'm afraid that I'm petrified to open up, that it's going to say something bad. Meaning a no. Or I don't even want that. No, I can't give you my tool gun tomorrow because I'm using it.
Even that no is hard for me.
Yeah. It's funny how you do, like, the interviewing you're talking about. So in our field, a lot of times they'll get you and they'll have you do, like, a test basically online or something there. And usually if that starts a. I just.
I just know.
But that back then, it didn't. And so that was what's really interesting is because there was one job I had to do and I had to take a math test. And I remember being like, oh, I didn't know about this. And I had to go into a room. And I'm more like, Bridget.
I'm. The dyscalcula I couldn't do was in the industry small. So I did leave being like, I know they're going to talk about that, but I know it's going to be like, okay, she just went for this job and she can't even do that simple math. I remember that was a shitty feeling for a little bit, but then I just pressed it off because I was able to do that, but probably stuffed it. Right?
Do you guys text a lot? I have to voice text, but I text with him because he doesn't like a voice text. And my husband hates a voice text. Do you voice text? I'll text.
And I feel so bad because they're like, what did you mean?
46 and single, you're trying to date somebody. I'm like, listen, if that doesn't make sense, maybe to call me if there's some words or sentences that are missing. This is why. So don't worry. I always lead with that.
Hey, I'm dyslexic, so if something doesn't seem right before you go off me, how about you give me a call and maybe explain that? Or there's a paragraph missing.
Texting is so nice and simple, but I mess stuff up so bad, and then I will read stuff wrong and they'll be like, well, what about this? I sent you to text and I'm like, and I'll reread it, like five times. That's not how I took it the other day. No, it was like a month ago. I got this and I'm not going to go into what the text is.
And I read it and I was like, I literally went to my husband. I was like, okay, there's a total problem, blah, blah, blah. And then he's like, okay. And we handled the problem. And then I reread it and I was like, oh, shit.
That's not what it said. I just did it for my oldest. I was like, oh yeah, you got accepted into that college. I got the email. You guys didn't get the email?
And they were like, no. Okay, fine. We actually sent the soccer coach saying he got accepted. And then when I opened the email, I was like, oh, what is that? Did you guys see bubbles in my face?
Yeah, you had bubbles earlier. Miss Bubbles. That's your new nickname, Miss Bubbles hand movements. It's so annoying. It's like if I move my hands.
You think I'm italian? How I talk my hands? Try the heart. Try the heart. See if it does the heart thing.
It doesn't come up in mine, only on hers.
You must be in the tech world.
Oh my God, that's so funny. I totally do that. You try yours. Do it. I don't get nothing.
Where's your thumb. Anymore? Come on. I think it's like this. Yeah, see?
Come on, Juliett, do it. Do it.
Because right now it knows that I'm pissed. No, that's so funny. Oh my God. Now, like attention deficit. Let's talk about that.
Oh, the squirrel just ran by. What am I supposed to do? That's my husband's favorite. My husband's favorite thing to say. Anytime I'll do something, he'd be like, oh, that squirrel is happening right now.
Oh my God, that's so funny. But yes. So reading that stuff back is really difficult. And if I don't read it a couple of times, I do things like that. Everyone was like, well, why did you tell us?
I got in. I go, well, why did you guys take my word for it? Why didn't you fucking look? And I got so pissed and I started laughing. He did finally get in.
So I was like, I guess it's just an omen that you are going to get in. But I was like, shit. It says, welcome parents. That's all I read. And I was like, it, why would.
You need to read anything else? I do that all the time. That's how I am too. That was enough. Read half of it.
I interpreted it. I'm done. Well, didn't you call me last week, Juliett? I just read the first couple of letters, or senses and I called you. Now we're going to read the rest of it.
Yeah, because I think there's something really exciting and I don't want to double read. So. So this is what Brad, this is what I love about just really the community and, I mean, I think this is what. And, Brent, thank you for saying that, like, the last year, because again, too, you brought up stuff that I was like, no, I'm good with all this. And then all of a sudden, I was like, oh, I guess there's some stuff I haven't dealt with.
Let me stir that. But there is this really interesting everyone that we talk to and the group that I say to Brent, we're, like, collecting these amazing groups of dyslexic people. And there's something to say about that because a lot of times when we're on having these conversations, there are a lot of similarities. And it's really funny. I was talking to my mom the other day.
She's like, well, wait, do you think that's your dyslexia or your adhd? And I was like, I'm going to say it's my dyslexia. It was so funny because this is what these conversations should happen because we should be okay with it because of now where we are, right? And there's a lot of people out there that are not in good spots because of their trauma. And they're in it, right?
They're in the chaos. I mean, I talk about the survival mode. Like, my kid's a senior right now. I think he's just getting out of the survivor mode even though he wants to go to university. And I know that that's going to be a whole, like, I take a breath because then it brings me back to when I went to university and I was like, oh, how many times did I want to drop out?
But then I figured it out. And so I think there's so much to being said with you coming on and sharing your story.
I'm really good at reading people. I could feel your shoulders up and then you feeling so much better, a little more relaxed.
You took it right across to the temple. Now he feels good.
Literally. I was like, man, maybe I don't want to do this. I'm like, oh, that's not right to cancel the day before or whatever, because I'm like, I don't want to. What am I going to talk about? Why am I going to talk about that?
Who's going to know about this? So I think it was all those. Of course. Just about every single person. Brad says what you just said.
Again, it's funny. As many times Julian have done this, we could probably have 15 different things that people say are feeling. And eight to nine, correct if I'm wrong, Juliet, eight to nine to ten of them are checked off every single time. And the last five are probably because it's male female, a woman to a man coming on there is probably Julia. Am wrong.
No, it's. And this is why I always have to kind of clarify because I always have this stupid grin on my face. And it's like you're talking about something that's. And so I always laugh because I'm like, if someone's watching the YouTube, they're like, why is she fucking smiling, like, so big? They keep talking about something that's sensitive, but it's because every single time, it's like, we get you 100.
Not only, like, oh, kind of. No, a hundred percent. And then we get the other people. And so it's like I have a smile on my face. And then that's why I also started crying, because I was like, oh, my God.
It's so crazy how every single time it is a similar story and a similar. Okay, this is what I had to deal with in school. Now, Brent didn't get diagnosed until he was 32, so his was just like, okay, you dumb athlete, just get through. When I was there, it was like, okay, you kind of test low here. You test okay here.
This is the best you can do. You're a girl. Just focus and move on. There's so many different things now. The thing that also, I think is a connection is a lot of us have children that.
Because this is one in five, right? It's hereditary. I mean, you have a strong back family of dyslexia. You know, it's going to come somewhere, but you also have to know it's going to be okay. And you have young kids right now, and it's like, stephen Key, one of the things he said, and it broke my heart.
I was like, oh, my God. I want to throw all. I just. When I had kids, I just was like, oh, my God. I don't want them to have what I have.
I don't want them to. And he. And panic. Yeah.
So my daughter, she could read way beyond what I've ever been capable of. When she was younger, I remember having that anxiety, and I'm like, you have to read. You have to do the words, learn the words. And I make them memorize words. And that's what I'm now doing to my son.
And my wife's like, just relax. I'm like, what do you mean, relax? What do you mean? I can't relax. Like, he can't read yet.
So, yeah, that definitely is like, it changes your perspective because it's not you anymore. And it's your fear and you don't want them to go through the stuff that you did. And then I don't know if I'm hoping the education is better, but I don't have that much faith in it. No. And this is why also this community, right, of us, we can talk you through it.
This is what we experienced. Because when I went through it with my son, and it was interesting because I said to Brent, he obviously didn't know that he had it, so he wasn't looking. I was like, I know someone's going to get it. And I kind of had this. I don't know if it was a positive, but I wasn't fearful.
I was like, I knew I had my mom. And again, I didn't know how dyslexic I was. It was like this whole journey. But then it was like my dad and my sister, and it was like, okay, he's presenting a little bit, but when we had got his neuropsych, I think I even asked the doctor, I was like, well, he doesn't have these two things. The doctor literally spit his water out and was like, yes, he totally does.
You haven't noticed that? And I'm like, well, no, it was ADHD. I was like, he could sit still. I couldn't sit still. I was a spaz.
He loves to be read to. I can sit and read to him for hours. I'm like, it's difficult for me. It's kind of sucky. But I'll do it because this is where I know we can connect and it's nice.
And I'm reading, like, kid books. But then going through the school, that's when my shit came back up because I was like, wait a second. Why aren't you guys protecting him? He's such a love bug. You guys talk about how much you love him all the time and now you're not helping him.
And then my feelings got really hurt and then I became like, well, fuck everyone. I'm going to rip faces off. Yeah, I think the parent has to be their advocate. I don't. And that's why we're having this conversation.
Brad, is the school systems better? Some better understanding? I will say yes, but I also, in the same breath, say no. But where the better understanding is right now is that, you know, you've got this got, you know, obviously your sister, you've got Juliett, you've got myself. This is what my foundation does.
This is what I do every day, all day long. Advocate, help educate yourself, help educate your wife. If it does present itself in one of your kids. So 100%, 150,000,000%, they're going to be okay. Just like you're going to be okay.
No matter what that school system does present it. What they say, it doesn't matter because you have a team behind you that love you, that support you, that understand her. And I will. I'll say the one thing I know the best is not hockey is this dyslexic world, and you and your wallet can walk into a meeting if it does ever present. Not saying it is, if it ever does present itself, where you have to meet with a school, you will be armed with a plethora of information that will make your kid successful.
Oh, I love that you just said that. And it's so true because this is the thing you're going to know. What. Okay, this is what I need to see. This is what I.
Not now your experience. And this is where we're going to give you the background of being like, okay, these are the things to ask for. This is what you want to make sure in this school. Is this school okay for it's. And like I have to say, montgomery still went through stuff, but it was less stuff than I went through.
Brent's daughter went through way less stuff than he went through. So, yes. Is there still going to be an ignorant teacher here and there? Is he still going to sometimes be, ugh. But the self esteem is one of the most important parts.
So that's what you want to make sure. Like, okay, he's struggling reading right now. Do you want to be throwing the words down his throat when he's like, okay, I can't keep doing this. I can't keep doing this. Daddy wants me to do this, but I can't.
You know what I mean? And I know that that's hard to hear, but you can arm him with other stuff. Okay, you know what? Let's take a breath. Let's go do something.
If he's really good at something else, let's go do that for a little bit. Let's come back to the words. You're going to figure them out. My mom used to say one thing that I thought was brilliant. She was a kindergarten teacher.
She used to tell kids, you'll learn to read. I'm sorry she didn't say it like this. She's like, there's two ways of reading. You could read pictures and you can read words. A lot of kids first read pictures.
So you have him reading the pictures. You have him listening to audiobooks still do all these things, right? No, but that's how you can tell a story. And then they get that confidence of, oh, yeah, I'm reading. Maybe I'm not reading the words, but the words will come.
They're going to come, honey. Don't worry. That's interesting because I catch him like we're reading through a book and I catch him looking at the pictures, but I'm trying to think he'll call it something else, but it's another word for it. But it's a completely wrong spelling. Some other word is automobile, but he calls it car.
You know what I mean? It's like you were looking at the pictures. Like, I know what you're doing, but. That'S where it's good. If you would just have him do that because it's taking the pressure off.
Because if he is dyslexic, he's not going to get those right now and he's just going to feel shit. Right. I mean, I remember when my oldest, all of a sudden, there's two years apart from each of my kids. My middle son didn't struggle. They're two years.
So it wasn't kind of like a noticeable thing. When my daughter came and we talked about this really strong reader, she actually was doing her earth science homework next to me yesterday. And, mom, can you help me look some stuff up? I was like, sure, I'll look some stuff up. And then we couldn't find an answer.
And she was able to. She's like, well, let me do this backwards. And I looked at her and I go, you're fucking unbelievable. I was like, that is so impressive that you can figure out a different answer, a question to get the same answer to what you need. But I literally just said to her, how do you do that?
It's so interesting. And she read early because she was afraid she was dyslexic because she watched what we were going through with my son. There was a lot of tears. And she was like, oh, my God, I can't read. And I'm like, you're four.
You're not supposed to read. And there was a kid in her preschool class. I mean, she really had like, a meltdown. 36. I can't read.
Honey, what happened? Is that okay? Of. That's okay. You have good strengths.
But she said, she's like, well, George. And I'm not going to say his last name, can read. And I looked at her, I go, well, George is weird. He's four. He's not supposed to read.
Stay away from George. And she still was like, oh my. Just remember being like, okay, George is know, but it's those things. And I remember when my oldest did come and to is, why is she such a good reader? Why is it so easy for her?
And I just remember being know it's going to be hard. We can't say that. It's not going to be hard. It's always going to be hard. There's things that are hard.
But life is hard. That is. And even George was reading at four. He's going to have struggles. That's life.
There's no white picket fence at desperate housewives hawked up on Xanax. Yeah, now we're talking desperate housewives. A couple of bottles of wines. Now we're dialing in now. But that's life, right?
You will be armed. You're a great man. Your wife can't say she's a great woman. I don't know her, but she has to be married to you and put up with your shit. She's a great woman.
She's a great woman.
Because I know how it is. We are weird. Meaning, because if you don't have it, you don't understand it and we can't explain it, but you're understood completely. 125% on this little panel right now. You really are.
No, you really are. Brad and I would love to have more conversation about this around this, because there's so much more we can dive into. But I really appreciate you coming on because I know this wasn't easy. I know it wasn't. Thank you.
But your story is going to change someone's life. Your story is going touch someone where they're like, oh, my God. Okay. And so thank you for joining. Word blindness, dyslexia exposed.
Thank you. And I appreciate you guys doing this. I'm hoping it does help people 100%. Will, you don't have to be connected. I promise you, you will.
This story will hit so many people. So your courage today is the most courage that anybody's seen that way I've seen in a long, long time. So if I was there, I'd pat you on the back, I'd give you a hug. But you have to do it yourself right now till I'm there. No, but true.
It really is, Brad. It really is. And the fact that you were open with like, no, I was going to cancel. And that's what someone else needs to hear, whether dyslexic or not, if they're supposed to do something and they're uncomfortable because it's a vulnerable moment. Think about the people that you can impact and touch with stories.
I say this a million times. Stories connect us, and they really do. And when you tell and share your story, you just feel like, okay, I'm not alone. And that's what this world is about. We need to not be alone.
We need to be able to touch and share. This is a community, and you are not alone. And so you guys know what to do. Like share rate review again, you don't know who this episode can help. You don't know who is struggling right now and needs to hear Brad's story.
And I'm going to say it. Thank you for your service. You don't have to ever thank me. You're a great man. Thank you for your service.
Obviously, thank for your encouragement today. It was courageous for you to come on, especially on a Monday morning.
But I also hope this starts your week and you know that you guys are going to be fine. It's not going to be easy, right? But life isn't easy. And you know that better than most. It.
Yeah, definitely. All right, well, thank you so much and we'll see you guys 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.
WHEN YOU FOLLOW YOUR PASSION YOU WILL NATURALLY ENRICH THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE