S1E25: The Power of Connection: Understanding Dyslexia Changes Lives

word blindness Feb 01, 2024

Join us as we delve into the challenges of dyslexia and its impact on mental health, exploring personal experiences and stories that shed light on the struggles faced by dyslexic individuals.

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Discover the impact of dyslexia on mental health.
  • Overcome the challenges of maintaining routine with dyslexia.
  • Explore the healing process after trauma for dyslexic individuals.
  • Learn effective communication styles for dyslexic individuals.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of dyslexia and learning differences.

Unveiling the Link Between Dyslexia and Mental Health
In this podcast episode, the hosts discuss the significant yet under-addressed relationship between dyslexia and mental health. They articulate how the intricate cognitive processes of dyslexic individuals can lead to unique mental health challenges. More importantly, they emphasize the need for comprehensive support, which respects the individual's learning differences, to enhance the overall well-being of dyslexic people.


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 back to word blindness dyslexia exposed. I am here with my co host, very smiley, Brent Sopel. Happy Monday.

I haven't seen Mr. Golden sun for a while here in Chicago. So you're my golden sun today, so keep shining. You went out. You're frozen.

Wait. You went out. You were frozen. I don't know what you said. You said, I haven't seen.

I know. I haven't seen Mr. Golden sun for, like, a week. So you're my golden sun this morning. Oh, that's so nice, because I haven't seen it either.

Well, I should say, when I was in Florida, it was sunny, but we were inside the whole time. But it's been raining since I got back here, too, so you're my golden sun, too. So where do we start?

Well, okay. So I think there's a lot of things that we can do. Jesus. My attention deficit is like, there goes a.

It's. It's. It's not being in routine. I mean, that's one of the things. Traveling as much as I have in the last couple, it's made me even more aware of me, which is I'm like, okay, how do you feel about that?

How do you like that? I don't mind that. But when I still can't get in my routine, it's frustrating because I know what I need to do, and when I can't do it, it makes me more frustrated. And then I'm not fair to everyone else around me because I know I'm grumpy, and I'm trying to get back on routine. That routine, obviously, we talked about how crazy my routine and stuff for hockey, and everybody's like, it was the craziest things.

It's the easiest to get out of our routines. It's so hard to go get back into them, but they are so important for us and for mental health. And I have to laugh because I literally hurt when I was like, I got to get back in my routine, okay? And today, I couldn't do my yoga like I normally do. And I was like, normally that would just whatever.

But I was like, you know what? I'm going to try to do it this afternoon because I know I have to get back. I've done three yoga sessions in the last. I can't even tell you how many weeks. But all I heard is you say that because you mentioned that before on the last podcast.

And I started laughing to myself like a crazy person by myself. But I heard you say, it's so important to stay on routine, but it's so hard to get back on routine. And it's really true. And I had said to you, knowing that I'm traveling, all good stuff, right? It's all amazing things that I'm doing, and I'm so fortunate that I'm able to do it.

But I think I even said to you, sometimes it's hard for me to think about because I know it's going to get me off my routine. And then that frustrates me because it's so, like, I don't even know how to explain it because it just gets me in my head being like, okay, how can I try to stay on routine when I'm on vacation or traveling for work or traveling for business? What can I do? And then it just goes all shit, because I'm all or nothing, right? So it's like I go to the other extreme, but I'm not as going as extreme as I used to.

I used to be like, boozing it up, which I'm not drinking, which is great. So I'm coming back. So I'm doing little steps, but it's so hard to get back. And it's like traveling people like, Brent, you're 47. Your kids are all growing up.

Do you want to travel the world? I'm like, shoot me. No, if you don't. Traveling out of your routine, it takes a lot out of you. It takes a lot.

I literally traveled my whole life. That was it. My dad's traveling salesman. We can drive 16, 18 hours a day, no problem. Hockey, travel around the world.

Lived in Russia everywhere. One thing I haven't done is gone nowhere. That's so true. I love that. I love that you just said that, for me, is going nowhere is amazing.

You said when you were traveling for hockey, because this always fascinates me because, again, I love to travel. But then it always is, like, you get back and it's like, it takes you, like, days to get back into it. When you were traveling for hockey with your teams, was it different than going on a vacation? Because it was like you still had those routines because you had your kind of, like, on the road routine. Can you take us through that a little bit, yeah.

It's obviously very different when you're traveling for hockey or vacation. But the hard part about hockey is that our bodies, we're born, we get up, we're supposed to ramp up our bodies, ramp up our adrenal system during the day, then at night we bring them down, while hockey is the opposite. So during the day we're low, then 07:00 at night we're at peak. Your adrenaline and everything doesn't come down till some of us and I talked about. I never took a nap, but all the guys did.

So game nights, they wouldn't fall asleep till four, five, six in the morning, or we'd be traveling, just say we were in Denver, we get on the plane after the game and we fly to wherever we're going, if it's going back to Vancouver or going to Calgary or going to LA. And a lot of times, most of the times when I played in the west division, we changed time zones every time, play everywhere.

So my body has got no idea what is up and what is down, what is left. But we never had days off, three games and four nights in three different cities. We stayed on routine, but we might get in the hotel at four in the morning, have to be at the rink at ten in the morning.

I was always hurt, so I had to be there. I was always there early, and I was there 3 hours before the game. So it's definitely not like a vacation. I didn't take too many vacations in my life because I hated downtime. Can I get on flight again?

Can I please, please? Can I go to another hotel, please? I lived in Russia for three years. I ate every single meal in a restaurant for three years. Oh, can we go out to eat again, please, please?

No. It's so true. Again, the difference between, obviously we're talking about you're going to Vegas for the Super bowl and such a bad sport.

The most we play like 14, 1516 games in a month. They play that in a whole season. The year we won the staff. Crazy. The difference.

In 2010, we said some mexican games in Europe. We started in Helsinki for two games, came back, we had olympics. I want to say it was 115 or 118 games that we played that year. I mean, I want people to kind of relate. I want them to think about everything that you just said, because there's not everyone that's made for that.

I mean, that's what also sets professional athletes apart from even just an amazing athlete. Right? There's all those different things. And we've talked about the mindset the ability. Right.

Your natural athletic ability. But there's so many different things. Like, you have to be able to adapt to all of that. You have to be able to be able to kind of mold yourself into that. And that's not an easy thing, whether you have the athletic ability or not, that 1% of you guys that can do that, especially if you're an all or nothing kind of person, which you are, but you kind of have to be not.

And how do you do? Like, fascinating. I have so many questions.

And trying to get up hurt every day. Yeah.

For 30 years, I've been getting up hurt every day. My kids, we're walking somewhere. If I drop something, they knew they had to pick it up because 300 discs, my back. If I bent down, I may never get back up. I don't want to play hockey.

I don't want to look like you. I don't want to feel like you. I'm perfect, right. Well, because that's the thing. You're getting an ass kick, and you're kicking ass every.

I mean, especially a sport where it's not golf, it's like non contact to me. There's so much contact, and especially back when you were playing, I mean, that was like, fights and all these things. So it is really something for people to think about and then just adding an extra layer of, like, you had this trauma of not knowing about your dyslexia. You had this trauma of everything that you were going through. That's why when people are like, oh, they're professional, they're actors.

They have everything. I want to live their life. I'm like, you got to think about what you have and then think about what people are going through, because everyone goes through stuff, and this is kind of. Do you see how I did that? Do you see how I linked it about, wow.

Done. I was just sitting back and amazed how you just transition to that. You got this girl, you go, unicorn. But seriously, we all have our stuff, whether it's small or big. And sometimes our stuff comes out even if we think we've dealt with it.

I mean, for women, hormones, different things at different times of the month, different times of the year, different times of our lives, and men, the same thing. And it's like when you don't talk about it and you stuff it and you don't really, even if it's not like a therapy session, but it's like writing or speaking or doing something like that, it's really important. And we all just have to be more gentle with each other. Because this is an angry world. I mean, you're going through stuff every day.

Some days I'm like Jesus to jump in there quickly, what you just said, we got to be more gentle. Gentle world. We got to be gentle to ourselves first. You can't expect somebody to. You've heard me say it many times, if you don't love yourself, how do you expect somebody to love you?

If you're not going to be gentle to yourself, how do you expect somebody else to be gentle? That's not how this works. So it starts with gentle to yourself. And we're obviously the biggest critics on ourselves.

Nobody wants to look back at the trauma. Nobody want to look. It's not fun. No, I don't see that. Rather, as a kid, you want to go back and look at trauma or you want to play some seven up?

What was that? Heads down, thumbs up. Oh, I love that game. Yeah.

How do you get better? How do you become a better person? How do you better husband? How do you become a better wife? How do you become a better cousin?

How do you better uncle and a better aunt? You've got to go back. That's it. Yeah. Everybody has something.

Every one of us has stuff going on. And this is where, if we don't deal with ourselves as adults and we really don't kind of introspectively go through things and talk about things, how can we raise humans that are going to be as normal as they can? Because we all, and we've talked about this, I always laugh. I'll be like, what have I done that my kid's going to be sitting on the couch someday or talking to a therapist, what did I do? Because we're not all perfect, but if we can go back and kind of heal what we're doing, I mean, you and I have talked about this.

We both have healed so much in our lives. Whether we have bigger trauma, smaller trauma, but just talking about it, I mean, being on the podcast and seeing you on Mondays and talking about things, I mean, we laugh because as listeners know, I'm like, yeah, no, I've dealt with my stuff. But then every once in a while, something like just recently came up and I was like, holy fuck. Okay, I thought I dealt with that. I think I did deal with it, but I think I then maybe didn't deal with it completely, right?

Like, there's times where you're like, okay, in that time of your life, how did I show up? How did I heal? How did I think I healed? Because did I really? Was it really something that was a healing experience or was it more of like a band aid on it for a while?

No. And actually you touched on really big in this world is, why didn't I get. I had somebody say to me, why didn't I get the message? When I first went to rehab, they went three or four times because we weren't ready for that. So you just touch on something as we might have dealt with it.

Let's say it's something. When you're 25, you dealt with that the way you could as a 25 year old. It's different than the way you are going to do as a 45 year old because maybe even if you did have kids at 25, they're young kids. Well, when you're 45, they're going to be older. They've gone through more things.

You've gone through more things. So the cycle of your trauma and going back, I don't know. Again, I'm Dr. Brent Farmer, hockey player. I don't think you ever fully go through them because every stage of your life brings up something, a different point in each one of these things.

Now we talk about school for both of us. Is it a trigger? Absolutely.

Every time it comes up and we deal with it a little bit more, you're in a different phase of your life. You and I are both in a different phase of our life. Do we deal with it a little bit differently each time? And does it help us heal and become better people? Absolutely.

It never goes away. Trauma never goes away. Pain never goes away. How do you look at it? Do you look at a glass half full, half empty?

Poor me. There's a million different ways, but we all have it. Yeah. And I love what you just said about the stages of your lives because we become more wise and we become more kind of, again, introspective when you're having conversations, when you're talking to someone else, or it's like, oh, wait, I kind of forgot about that in my life because I dealt with it and put it on the shelf, right? Because it was like, yes, as you said, like my 15 year old self, my 18 year old self, my 25 year old self.

And then as you have kids and you're raising kids and you're going through stuff like how we school, right? I was like, oh, yeah, that's all good. And then going through every year with the IAP, I'm like, oh, fuck, I'm not good. This sucks. And I know that the next stage is the same thing, right?

And so I think that's a really? I love that you just brought that up because, again, it's another thing for someone. I want someone to listen to that twice because if you really think about that, it's going to bring you to a different level because it really is so important. As you said, we're always going to be healing. We're always going to be dealing with stuff from our past, whether it's a friend going through something that triggers you, whether it's something that you saw, something you heard, something family members going through, but it's also the time of your life that you're meant to deal with it.

And that's the beautiful thing. And I think so many people don't acknowledge it. The same as when I talk about following your dreams and your passion and all of that stuff. If something keeps coming to you, you have to look into it. You can't stuff it or just brush it away because you don't feel like dealing with it.

It's the same thing with trauma. Something keeps coming up, sit and pause and be like, okay, what is that? What is that? What do I need to kind of think? And so many people, I would say there's not a lot of people that want to sit with that.

I mean, really, who does? But, like, I don't know anybody who wants to. Let me be clear. I don't think there's anybody, any listeners we don't want to. There's things that we don't want to do, but we know we have to.

Yes, you know exactly what it is. I don't think there's anybody going to say, yeah, can I wake up? And my daughter said the other day, if I would have known, I wouldn't have gone. This car accident, I wouldn't have went. No shit, Sherlock.

Because none of us, if we knew that was going to happen, we wouldn't have gone. But let's just. I love that. That brings us into an interesting weekend. Your message, a couple of things that happened to me last night.

If you want to dive into it with the listeners, because it leads right into everything that we're talking about of trauma and dealing with things. Don't even know you're dealing with things and why. And it's very interesting. Go ahead. No, I want you to go ahead because that was a really good transition how you just did that.

So I'm going to let you lead. So last night I was coaching the brother Rice, the high school team here. And I'm in the lobby, there's a jv game and then the varsity game after in Canada. I don't even know how they quivel like that, because we don't have JV and varsity in Canada. Yeah, one and two.

Yeah. No, yeah. The grade eleven and twelve game and the nine and ten.

But I had a gentleman come up to me. Now, I spoke at brother Rice about a year ago. It's a Catholic all boys school on the south side of Chicago. I spoke there through to all 750 boys. I talked for about an hour.

Then after that, in the evening, I did an open session with all the parents, whoever wanted to come, and telling my story, and gentleman raises his hand. He's probably about 80 years old now. I think he was in the army and he's dyslexic.

I've never said this.

I saw him last night, do you remember? I'm like, oh, I remember you, sir. Again, his two grandsons are playing on the JB team, so that's why they're there before our game, because I coached the varsity. He goes in 40 years of AA and all this other stuff. Nobody has helped me more in my lifetime than you did.

I love that. I love that. In a 30 minutes conversation, he's like, I'm sitting there listening to it going, is this asshole reading my mail? How does he know this stuff about me? How is he finishing my sentences?

I'm not even talking. How does he know? He's like nobody else. He goes, here, I want you to introduce you to my wife. My wife is a second grade teacher.

She still makes me sound things out. Let me bring her over here. It goes against her. Brings her over, cutest little lady ever. And she says, thank you.

I don't know what she's like. You made him okay for the first time ever, and you helped him turn a page, and nobody's ever helped.

That's incredible. Now, listeners, we talk about this, and there's one more to go. There's a second story to this, a completely different family, but we always talk about share the old rate review and share. You have no idea what this means. This gentleman, now again, he served, I think he was in the army.

The grandkids heard me speak during the day, and I think, if I remember correctly, came home and said, grandpa, you got to come and listen to this. So they brought him there because they're dyslexic, right? So they brought them there, same kind of thing. If they didn't come back and tell him, his life wouldn't be where it is today. And when we talk about sharing these podcasts, and we share the documentary that I've done.

You don't know who this is going to hit.

Then later on, halfway through the game, there's a second period. We go in there for you non ice hockey people. The little Zamboni comes out and cleans the ice, looks all nice and glistening. And all the players go back to the dressroom. And I'm walking back, and my budy Vince is why I'm there.

His wife stops me and calls me over. There's a lady there and said, oh, my God, I can't believe you're here. You changed my daughter's life. Oh, my God. It's amazing.

You need to write a book, because when she was diagnosed in grade three, she just wanted to tell everybody how she read and why she read slower. Oh, my God. I can't believe you're here. This is amazing. No idea who she is.

None now. Then games over, come back, and Vince is like, oh, my wife just texted me, hey, she wants to take a picture. I walk over there, take a picture with the daughter who's, I think, high school. I think she might have been there. It was senior day, so I don't know if she had a crush on a boy that was there.

Because the whole funny thing is that Vince's wife had no idea who she was. I thought, they're friends. Had no idea she was sitting in front of her. Just couldn't believe that I was there. Oh, my God, he changed my daughter.

And Vince's wife is sitting right behind there. So I thought there had no idea. Just, again, incredible. You don't know who this is. Hit.

This lady's like, you need to write a book. So I took a picture with the daughter, and she was so happy. I'm like, here's team crazy. But these are two stories of two people or two families that I came across in short conversations. The other lady and her daughter, no idea who they are, had no idea what they are, what they're about.

And she's like, what you're doing for dyslexia is the most amazing thing. Don't stop what you're doing. Please write a book again. You don't know who might hear this. You don't know the effects of this, of how dumb we feel every single day, how isolated, how secluded, how misunderstood we are.

And now those are amazing stories. Gentlemen's 80 years old. And then they started talking to Elizabeth after, and she kept asking questions and asking questions and kept going. They just hit 50 year anniversary together. I'm like, jeez, I'm trying to live to 50.

Never mind. Together with somebody for 50 years, second grade teacher, for her to say thank you and you changed his life.

People, you don't know that. That's how in depth and that's how deep these things go. And then we're going to transition to your story. Juliett, what you told me yesterday comes off the heels of these two have no. I'm like sitting with my silly smile, like, so when people watch back, I mean, Brent, that is.

And you shared a little bit with me yesterday. Well, not even like a sentence. You're like, I'm not going to tell you until. And I was like, oh, my God, totally. You're so pissed.

I know. I was like, fuck you. Okay, well, I went to bed, so that was good. But that is exactly. And it's because you have the balls to stand up and talk about hard things.

And you have the balls to swallow your pride and be like, it's not about me. It is about helping someone. And that's exactly what you do every day. And that's exactly what a lot of people see you do every day. But then there's this whole other world that doesn't see what you are all about.

And that is so incredible that I love that. And I love. I was going to ask you. I love that Elizabeth was there to witness that. I mean, I love that she gets to see kind of all sides of your life in different rinks and that you've been doing this by yourself.

Just whoever needs you, you're there and you'll talk. But that's why we are doing this podcast. That's why I stalked you.

What you just said, I misunderstood every single day, and that's okay. But there isn't a day in my life I'm led by an ego. I'm led by pain. So everybody in Hoffman estates that I work for and coach with, every one of them are assholes. I lead with pain so that another kid never feels the way that I do.

This gentleman is 80 years old. He had a smile on his face like I've never seen before. I wish I was there to hug him.

I got a call from my wife, who still makes me sound things out.

Oh, my God. I just recently had a conversation with someone that was dyslexic, and they were talking about the thesaurus. Oh, the guy, David, who we're going to actually interview this week, he was actually saying. He's like, oh, do you remember? And I was like, oh, do I remember?

I was like, that was torture. The dictionary and the can't I don't even know what it starts with. How am I going to find it? The phone book. It's only good enough to put.

Hang on. Where's the phone book for your short people put on under your ass to sit down. My girlfriend used to sit on it and drive. Yes, Lynn, I'm talking to you. She had two phone books.

She had to drive two. One each cheek or double height? Yeah, double height. She's 410 and a half. I think we say 411, but now we can.

Really? Because she said. I've always wondered that, though. That's dangerous to be that close to the wheel. Does the airbag work that close?

I mean, nowadays they make cars different, but back in the day, it was just like she had to put it up. She was so close to the wheel. And we'd be like, lyn, I think we should drive. She'd be like, fuck you mean she's. She is a badass.

She runs, like, a huge influencer agency. She's ahead of sales. Like, she is. No joke. Yeah, but she did have to put those phone books, and she actually would be so pissed that I'm talking about this right now.

She's never going to listen. I love it. Little white dog.

She is a force.

But again, as you just said, there's people that you don't know needs to hear it. And so we'll go to. My story is. It all starts with the tattoo. It's very long.

I'm not going to go in the back, but someone that I knew in high school, actually, it was like my second boyfriend. Yeah, don't leave that out. That's an important piece. Is he your first boyfriend ever or second? He was my second boyfriend ever.

So the first one went to college. I don't mean to cut you off, the first boyfriend, how much earlier is there correlations?

Now we're really diving in here. My true, true first boyfriend, I was a freshman and he was a junior, so he was a little older. Really nice guy. I'm not going to say his name. Such a great guy.

Wrestler, football player. A really awesome guy. He went to college, and that kind of destroyed me a little bit. The whole. We talked about the divorce, your dad leaving, all that kind of stuff when he left, definitely.

I was just looking back. I was telling you, I was looking back at, like, good old journals, because I was like, this is so interesting. So the second boyfriend. Yes. Was kind of on the heels of the first one leaving.

However, the message he sent was so incredible that I was like, oh, my gosh. This is insane. So he was a year older than was, I guess, my junior year, his senior year. And he was like the bad kid. Like the principal actually called my parents and was like, called my mom and was like, something's going on with Juliett.

She can't do this. My mom forbid it. It was like this whole, or do she forbid it? Not really. But she was know.

So I would say, no, I'm going to Lynn's house, and I would not be going to Lyn's house. So sorry, mom, if you're listening to. So basically. But he was such a good guy. But he was really misunderstood.

He used to fight. I mean, he used to get in fights in school, out of school, always fighting. And I really just thought because the town we grew up in was definitely a wealthy town. He wasn't from that great, an amazing artist. He and his brothers were an amazing artist.

Like art that you would look at and be like, holy crap. Because remember, I thought I wasn't creative, right? So I was in awe of his art and just a really good kid, but completely misunderstood parents would, because he was always getting into fights. I mean, everyone knew he would kick your ass if you looked at him sideways or looked at someone that he loved sideways or liked sideways. So there was always that.

And he would fight with teachers and argue, which again, I thought it was just kind of where he grew up. But he said to me in a text, were you communicating? I know you and I talked, but did he just reach out to you out of the blue? No, because he had a tattoo and Montgomery had the tattoo. So I had reached out to him because he was a tattoo artist for a while, and I was like, okay.

But again, I think we probably my dyscalculus not going to help me get to my math, but I haven't talked to him since probably his senior year, my junior year. I don't think we really, in the last maybe five years on social media, he's really not on social media that much, but I think we connected. And it was like, oh, nice to see you. I hope your family is well, that kind of stuff. But I did have a question for him about a tattoo.

And so that's like, I guess a couple of years ago or last year, really we reconnected. And the year before, I think it was again, like just one message. And so really haven't. But since we started the podcast, no, no mention of anything. And then he actually said, I see that you're doing this dyslexic podcast.

I had no idea you were dyslexic and left me this incredible message about a situation he remembers about me giving him a card and him not wanting to read it in front of me and pretending. And he's like, I read it for 10 seconds, thinking, okay, that's enough time. She's going to think I read it. He goes, and then I said, so, like, attention deficit. I was like, oh, wait.

Shit. I gave you the wrong card. I gave him Lyn's card. And he goes, I was like. And he literally wrote all this.

He's like, I was like, crap. She's going to call me out for not reading it. He goes, but you never did. And that's one of the things I remember most about you. You never made me feel stupid.

And I then left him, like. And then he's like, keep doing what you're doing. It's not easy to talk about dyslexia. I really appreciate what you and Brent are doing. And then I left him, like, 30 voice texts.

I was like, wait, what? You said something. You left a key part out to me is that I always thought you were the smart one. He did. He goes, I always thought you were smart.

And I said, well, no, I hung with the smart kids because I played lacrosse, so my group of friends were really smart. I totally left that out. He's like, yeah, I thought you were a smart kid. And I was like, well, wait a second. I go, clearly, we never talked about grades ever in school and how hard it was.

And he said that in there. He said, he's like, you were always trying to hide. He's like, I was always trying to hide. And I was like, I am floored. So then I started asking questions, and then I asked him to be on the podcast because he's doing some really amazing work, really important work.

And that goes to everything that we're talking about today, is that you never know. Now, you said he was always fighting. He was always fighting with teachers. He's misunderstood. Was he angry?

Absolutely. Was I? Absolutely.

I go and beat the shit out of the puck.

That's the part of being misunderstood. Now, if you think back to your time with him, obviously you guys connected in a way you didn't even understand. You connected. You were protecting him in ways you didn't even know. That's how smart we are.

Without even knowing what we're doing. We're doing it.

Yeah. No, it's really crazy because again, I was like, holy shit. I cannot believe it. And then again, I was like, I want to know, were you fighting. I always thought you were fighting because your family life.

And then I was like, wait, I don't want to know. But now I'm sure it wasn't. It was so many things, because, again, was just like, our school was like a school that everyone was really good at everything. Well, to that point, let's dive into what you just said a little bit. I thought you were fighting just because your family life, dyslexia, doesn't discriminate.

White, pink, blue, green, yellow. What race, what culture, where you're from, it doesn't discriminate. Now, to your point is I thought you were just fighting just because your home life, you went through a divorce. My parents were divorced. I'm divorced.

Life isn't cup of tea. It's not easy, but there's always something under there. There's no such thing as a class clown or a bully. Back to that point again. Yes, home life for some kids isn't good.

But the biggest point of all that if it's your home life, if it's your dyslexia, if you're ADHD, it's being misunderstood.

The less things that we can be misunderstood with, the better. Right? And that's why we talk about that, is to understand what dyslexia think or understand what ADHD is, understand what dysgraphia is. Dyke. That's why we talk about this.

That's why we're open about this, is to understand. And you understood them, and you just said something. I thought it was your home life. You connected with him in a way you didn't even know he connected.

And the fact that he remembered that little piece, I was like, holy shit. I used to love writing cards back then. That's how I expressed my love. I know. I don't really, like.

Isn't that funny? I looked back at my journal. What? You didn't? No, I also talked.

I'm sure I did both. I'm sure I read it as I did it. There was a lot. A lot of communicating. I've always been good at communicating, but when I was looking back at my journal, I was like, God, my penmanship was really neat at a time, which is really interesting.

I was like, wow. And then you could see it getting messier and messier as, like, I probably was out of school because I wasn't writing as much. Right. But one of the things, and I'm going to say it again, like, IQ has nothing to do with dyslexia. Our iqs are usually higher.

But the other thing, and this is why we are doing what we're doing is if we think of our kids and think of the generations that were diagnosed earlier and were able to say, okay, I'm dyslexic. Right. I mean, we talked about Montgomery because we haven't signed the papers, and I'm not going to say anything about that yet. But the fact that he was able to talk to the coach and say, hey, I'm dyslexic, he is able to say it and be okay with it. And I know it's because I'm also okay with it now, but I went through my journey because of him.

Right. I realized, wait, I'm actually totally dyslexic. This is, like, ridiculous. Even though I was diagnosed with other things younger, it is those things that if we can have the understanding, we can educate, because you can't change until you educate. Right.

That's one of the things that you say all the time, is these conversations are going to make that next generation be okay. And I'm going to say it because I said I'm going to say it in every episode now, like, 50, what is it, 51% of prison or 56, whatever it is, inmates are dyslexic. That's not okay. That is not okay. And Joel and I wasn't going to mention his name, but he could have went down that path because of his dyslexia.

He was fortunate that he didn't. But those are the kind of things when you're just written off because you're not good in school, and then you look at districts that are really poor, districts that have no one championing for their students. We're missing out on all those brilliant minds. But also those people are going through things that they don't need to be going through. They can be saved if people just talk about it.

And change is what we need to do, and that's why we're doing the education and so much more to come. The hard part is, your favorite line is, it's not about IQ. You're right. Most of us are on the higher end of IQ. And that's where the frustration and anger comes into.

Is being misunderstood every day. No, that's not what I mean. That's not what I'm talking about. So that's every single day I deal with it. It's taken me now 47 years.

It took me 46 years to have somebody understand me, which is you. 46 years. I want the listeners to hear that. 46 years to have somebody where I work right now. There's some good people there, but most of them have no clue who I am.

They have no understanding of who I am. And I got to sit there for 810, 12 hours and get judged, and they have no idea. And then when you sit there and go all day long and they just look at you like you're an idiot. But here's the thing also that I think is really important. I just recently have kind of dropped saying it.

But for years, I would always say, especially in work environments, I would say, do you understand what I'm saying or does that make sense? I used to always say that, does that make sense? And someone asked me, why do you say that? And I'm like, because a lot of times someone doesn't understand me. So I want to make sure they understand what I'm saying.

It's not saying it as, like, a rude thing. It's like, wait, do you understand that? And I have dropped that in the last number of years, but I remember I used to say it all the time, and I still catch myself sometimes in email saying, does that make sense now can I ask you, because that's probably not my number one phrase. So let me ask you, why did you drop that? I think because more people understood me and I wasn't questioned.

People weren't like, wait, I don't understand. Okay. Because I don't know. Like I said, that is probably my number one said phrase a day. Because how many people I talk to a day?

Come on. Elizabeth's like, I don't know. You talk to 10 million people, all the teams I coach, all the coaches, every people that I work with. So is it easy for me to speak to 250 different people a day, no problem. So out of those 250 people, maybe five are dyslexic.

So trying to coach. I coach some hockey teams, four hockey teams, none of them are dyslexic. So I say that, hey, does that make sense? Does that make sense if it doesn't say it? If it doesn't say it?

So it's funny you said that because that's by far the number one phrase. Okay, so this is an interesting question. Do you do it because you want to make sure they. Is it coming from a. I don't know if I'm going to explain this right.

I'm going to ask you if it makes sense in a second.

And I'm take it back for a second because I used to do this on the podcast, and I think someone said to me, drop that. You say that all the time. And I was like, because I want to make sure. My question is, they understood it. So that was something I had to work on.

Now I think I did it because of people being like, wait, that doesn't make sense. I don't understand. And I have to rephrase it. Right. They didn't understand exactly what I was saying.

So I think that came out of more of a trauma thing, of being like, I just want to make sure I'm being understood. Good. Now, do you think yours is out of a trauma thing or is it out of a teaching thing? Because I think there's teachers that will say, does that make sense to everyone? And they do it from a good place to make sure everyone's on the same page, or do you think it's both?

No, it's definitely not from the trauma side of things like last night. It's funny, somebody's like, last night's game is our last game before playoffs. You're not yelling like you normally do. You okay? I'm like, no, today I'm not coaching.

I'm teaching. I'll let the other coaches. I'll flip that to your question. It's definitely not trauma. I want them to understand because I never understood what they're trying to say.

So I never want them to feel the way I do. So it's all, does that make sense to you? This is definitely not the trauma portion of it. It's like, I want them to make sense because it's different. And I know that I've learned that if I'm talking to ten different people, this is what a lot of people don't get, is that everybody learns differently.

Are you a visual? Are you audio?

You're talking about your five love languages. Five different love languages. What are you. Everybody's different. So you have to make sure you're trying to pass that message that way.

So it's okay if I'm talking to ten kids? They're not OD. Now I got visual. Is there bored? Is it this?

So I'm always trying to find ways.

Is that one, two, three? Is it ABC? Very easy for kids to understand. So it's definitely not trauma. It's just trying to find ways that more groups of kids can understand what I'm trying to say to them in a simplified way, if that makes sense.

No, it totally makes sense. So you just did that again. No, but you're doing it because you are an innate natural coach teacher, right? That's not one of my strengths, and I'm not saying that negatively. I'm not a coach teacher.

I used to do it because of people being like, wait, I don't understand. Can you say that again? Or what? You don't make sense or whatever. So mine was coming more from that.

I think yours is coming from again. You've been coaching, teaching, talking to so many, so many different people that it's more of you want to make sure everyone's on the same page. Yeah. And for you is that when you're on your podcast, you're interviewing some very high profile people, very accomplished people. So you're very smart and artistic.

But when you're asking questions, when you're telling them what we're doing right now is audio visual. So that's your way of checking how they're learning. How do they learn? Did that make sense?

You are still a teacher in your own right. Yeah. So you're asking a question through a place it's not on paper to add that audio visual look. So I know exactly what you're doing. When you're interviewing certain people at a high level that have been very successful, it's finding out how they learn.

I wouldn't take that. Yeah, that makes sense as a trauma. That's you being aware of what the situation is, where you're at and want to make sure that you're doing the best job you can to pass that message to them or ask that question to them where they learn. No, I love how you just broke that down. And that is probably very true.

But there'll be times where even sending an email now with my job, with fettech and I'll read it and I'm like, okay, that makes sense to me. But the thing that, again, if we think about I, and it's funny because I'll catch myself and I'll flip it back, but I will change. I almost write how I speak because I'm like voice texting. So I'm actually doing that. But sometimes phrases need to be put the other way when they're in words.

And so I'll go to read it and I'm like, oh, wait, that's like opposite. I need to flip it. I need to put those two words in the beginning and lead with the others. And I'm really good at doing that now. But there's times where if I'm trying to get a complex idea through an email, which is really hard, and we've talked about this, it's really hard, and I have to do that now.

Yes, there's times where I can jump on a call with someone, but there's times where I can't. And I have to get an email out and I'll have to read it a couple of times. And I first voice text, and then I have to read it a couple of times, but every once in a while I'll catch myself being like, I'm just going to put, does that make sense? Because it makes sense to me. But are they going to be reading it the same way?

And that's the biggest thing I remember looking at pictures on walls with people, what the fuck do you see? Not what you see, people on the other end. And this is exactly why we do this. The people on the other end might go, why are you asking that question? Does this make sense?

Go back to the doctor, Montgomery and his concussion, right, your favorite. But a lot of the people, and this is why we do the podcast, a lot of the people that aren't dyslexic don't know there's another way to think. That's true. So true. And they don't understand it, right?

How can they understand something if they don't think there's no other possible way? So the things that we talk about, that's why when we say, oh, what about this? What the fuck are you talking about? Makes no sense, right? Because they don't know there's another way.

They don't know dyslexia. You just flip your b's and D's. They don't know there's another way of think. They don't know there's another way of approaching it. Why do you think 50% of people in prison are dyslexic?

Because we get told we're dumb, we're stupid. So it's educating the world out that there is other options. There's other ways. I mean, how many times have you and I just recently been in a conversation and this is like what we now, it's like fun for us because it's like talking to another dyslexic and they're like, oh, wait, I didn't realize you did that too. I didn't realize that that's part of the dyslexia.

I thought I just did that because it's weird. And then talking to a couple of people that we've been talking to that are not dyslexic, that, right? Just thought it was flipping the D's and D's and then we take them through a list and you guys have listeners have heard me talk about the family that the dad said, well, what is dyslexia? Instead of me reading from what the definition is in the dictionary. I said, well, I'll tell you what my dyslexia looks like.

And he again was like, oh, wow. And I'm going to take you through again because some of you might forgot. But for me, I can speak all day long, and no one would ever realize that I really struggle in school. But for me to take what I'm saying, like, if I went to go take this and write it, I could not do it. It literally will not go from my head to a piece of paper.

I can't do it now. Reading. Reading silently, I comprehend better than if I'm reading out loud. If I read out loud. Was that my card?

That's your business card. Did I give that to you when I was in Chicago? Yes. So to apply to this, I saw that I cannot take an email address from a business card and put it on computer and get it right. Never.

I get it wrong every time. Right? I have to copy. That's so funny that you have. That I have to copy.

And then that's why electronics, it makes it better because how many times. And I still. I mean, I always will laugh if I have to take something from my phone and put it somewhere else. It's like I will get it wrong every single time. So those are very traditional dyslexia traits.

Now, I think what I was saying is reading out loud, I cannot comprehend anything. Like, I have to actually read it silently to myself, and it will be slower. I'm a slower at reading, but that's why in school we would always. I mean, everyone said that, right? Like, when you're in english class, you're counting how many people and then how many paragraphs and what paragraphs you're going to read.

So you can read it first, and it's a panic. You're not hearing what anyone else says. And this goes back to Joel. Like, him saying, you just are trying to go under the radar to not be found out your whole lives. And the fact that we could have understood each.

Like, he was like, I can't believe that you. Because I literally was like, no, I graduated with a. I'm not going to say it on here, but really low. I couldn't get into University of Maryland because my SAT scores and I was being highly recruited for lacrosse. But then I was like, oh, you were already graduated.

That my senior year is when things really went sideways. But all of those. The teacher calling me retarded, that was my freshman year. But we weren't friends then, right? So I didn't go back and talk about that.

Oh, hey. Yeah. Teacher called me retarded, so those are like, little things that you don't talk about. You try to forget about those things. Just you bringing up.

The last time that came up for me is in know at West LA at an a meeting, and it's called an open book. I'm like, I went with a guy, and the fuck?

Awful. I'm trying to heal myself from drugs, and I have to read. That's awful.

We talk about dyslexia, how it can be our gift in the business world. We walk in the conference room. That's why you and Danny are so good. You can support each other. Because our ideas seem so far fetched and we're not supported.

How many people get fired or get laughed at, end up quitting because you walk in fuck ideas? That. That's so stupid. Right? Because you don't have that support of another dyslexic.

To understand your approach to this. Just the thought of sitting in that room counting paragraphs, pound lines, till I had to read again. Yeah. I mean, it makes me sweat every freaking time I think about that. And I can see.

And again, you're not learning. Right. What you could be learning, because we are smart, but it's because we're trying to figure out how to get by and not be found out and not be found out every day. We're counting sentences, so, okay, there's six more people. Okay, we're doing paragraphs.

So then what part of them we're not paying a fucking attention to? Goddamn word that's being said. Okay, we got Juliet, we got Lee, we got Bob, we have Sarah. Okay, I got five more. Then I got five more.

We're not paying attention. Now we're sweating. All right. How the fuck can I get out of this? How can I get out of this?

How can I.

Telling that about that kid hitting the kid in the back of the head every time so he would get kicked out so he didn't have to read. Now, anytime you got called up to the front of the class to read or up to the board. Oh, my God. Writing in the fucking board. Oh, my God.

Oh, my God. I can never do it. And then you would get yelled at for being messy. Oh, my God. So every time he get called to write on the board or to read, when he walk up to the front of class, he'd slap somebody in the back of the head.

So he purposely would get. I did that.

I didn't want to get in trouble so much heartache. Because then you can't spell and you can't write in. Oh, my God. And then also being dyscalculate, being sucking at math, counting the people, and then your attention deficits and going, oh, wait, are they counting again? I mean, you're constantly trying.

I never may. I can make myself look so fucking small in a desk. Don't ask me. Don't ask me. Right?

And then the more you shrunk, the more teachers wanted to fucking call you out. Oh, fuck. If I could find those teachers.

Nobody's hiding, trying to make them look small because they want to be called upon.

But then you have the teachers say, well, we thought that they were being shy. Okay? Do you see them in any other situation? Okay, if they're being shy, so let's force them into something instead of helping them. Last time I checked, you're going to force a square peg in a round hole.

It doesn't work out too well. But if we help them, maybe we change directions or whatever. Let's not. That sounds good. Let's watch kids suffer.

Oh, that sounds great. Yeah.

It's insanity. But again, right, the amount of learning that we did not do because of what we were trying to do to get out of things is remarkable. But that's the other thing with dyslexia, right? The lefts and the rights. I mean, we talk about it.

I talk about it all the time now. I don't know my lefts. And, like, I have to really think about it. I know them, but I have to think about it. It's not just something that's natural and that's something that.

Tying shoes for young kids. And the thing is, remember I said to you, Montgomery knew how to tie his shoes, which was crazy. He taught himself. I mean, I taught him because it was like, okay, right, this could be something. Let's see this.

Then he was able to teach his brother, but my nephew couldn't tie his shoes, right? So it was like, oh, definitely dyslexic. But Montgomery, it was like, that's why he went under the radar more, because it was not everything. All of us are different. We all have different things where our dyslexia presents.

But then there's also very similar things that we all also go through. I coach mites and squirts right now, which is mites are 5678, and then I think squirts are 910 left wing. Oh, is that the near side or far side? Because they don't know left from the right. Parents are idiots who are going home in car.

These kids are going home in car seats, and you're not telling the position. They don't know where lefts from her rights. Right. And when you don't know something simple like that, let me tell you, it is not fun. Even when I played sports, I would get yelled that by the coaches all the time.

You're not paying attention. Because why would they think that? I didn't know my lefts and rights, right. And I'm a teenager. I should know my lefts and rights.

So they just thought I was fucking around and not paying attention. Yes, there was times where I was fucking around and not paying attention. We'll call a spade a spade. But there was other times where it was. No, I was like, oh, I didn't have enough time to think.

And it's the processing thing that's, again, why I love what you do with coaching, because there's kids out there that are really athletic, but they're processing because of dyslexia or the way they learn is. And I remember Montgomery at a young age. We said to need. We can either talk to the coach, this is when he was little, or you should, because sometimes it looks like you're not listening when you're on the field, but I know it's because you're processing what to do. And he said, oh, right.

That is true. And I was like, you'll start getting yelled at. Like, I used to get yelled at. I used to get screamed at. Screamed at by my coaches.

And it was because I was processing. Right. And so there's so much to it and so much where you just have to keep getting yourself up. And it's the understanding the more we support each other, the better we'll be because we understand each other. And I love that story about brother Rice.

My God, you guys must have been just so touched, because, again, and that's so nice that they came up to you and weren't just, like, kept it to themselves. That's what I love, that they came up to you and said, because there's so many people that maybe wouldn't. They might be like, oh, I don't want to. I'm still uncomfortable, like, all the people that you help, but the fact that people do, because a lot of people do reach out. But that's, like, a really special one.

I mean, that's an amazing one.

He's like, the past 40 years that aa and everything I've been in, nobody's helped me more than you did in a 30 minutes conversation.

And then let me notice your wife, who makes me still sound things out. I love it. I love it, though. Oh, my gosh. Well, I'm going to leave it at that because that is just, again, such.

It just shows you. I'm not going to leave it at that. It just shows you that I was like, can I leave it at that? No, I can't. It shows you that that is where there's things where you're meant to be and things that you're not meant to be.

And that's another thing that I want the listeners, whether you're dyslexic or not dyslexic, there are signs that God, universe, whatever, whoever, you want to say, but there are signs that you are not on the right path. And when it's like constant negativity, constant, you have to check yourself to see what you're bringing to the table there as well. But you also have to think, okay, these are reminders that this is not what I'm meant to be doing. And then you get reminders of those two, and it's like screaming from the rooftops, which I know since we've been doing this, since I know you've had them your years as well. And I've done that in my life, too.

It's like, okay, I'm on the right path, but the screaming from the rooftops that we get every single day is amazing. It's amazing and it's inspiring.

The door is definitely not closed and closing in certain directions. And the foundation and my purpose, no question, it's never been clearer than the dyslexic world. All right, now I'm going to leave it at that. So rate and review and share. You guys, you know what to do.

And as Brent has said, and we talk about this all the time, you don't know who needs to hear this. Again, we keep giving you individuals that come to us and say, oh, my gosh, thank you for sharing that, because it has changed something in my life. You don't know know who needs this? You don't know whose life you can actually change with just a conversation. So go out, 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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