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Would you tell your kids that you struggle when reading?

Updated: Jun 2, 2022


Would you? Should you?

It's embarrassing to admit something like that after all these years. You’ve hid it so well until now.


If you went to a yeshiva day school in the 70’s and 80’s like I did, none of us were tested for learning disabilities or ADHD back then. There was the smart class and the dumb class. And as long as you didn’t act out, they passed you on to the next grade. But you suffered in silence if school was hard for you, and especially if you didn’t read well. You faked it. You memorized. You studied with your friends. You managed. And if you were lucky enough, you even got good grades.

But you suffered in silence if school was hard for you, and especially if you didn’t read well. You faked it. You memorized. You studied with your friends. You managed. And if you were lucky enough, you even got good grades.

You graduated from college and went on to build your career, got married and started a family. That’s pretty great! You’ve accomplished so much since you were a teenager.


Maybe you still trip over new words or skip over them entirely when reading a book. Or you lose the place and the rhythm of reading, when nearby noise interferes with that voice in your head, sounding out each word. You read slowly, and often have to reread a passage two and three times to get its full meaning. And when you write, you choose to use an easier word than the one you really want to use, because you just can’t figure out how to spell it. (And when your spelling is THAT bad, spell check doesn’t help!)


I’ll bet at least one of your kids has been diagnosed with one thing or another. Speech, OT, CBT, horseback riding therapy, the list of “fixes” is endless; all in the pursuit of helping your children, and at least partly because you want them to have an easier time than you did.


I’ll bet at least one of your kids has been diagnosed with one thing or another. Speech, OT, CBT, horseback riding therapy, the list of “fixes” is endless; all in the pursuit of helping your children, and at least partly because you want them to have an easier time than you did.


If you can relate to some of what I’ve been saying until now, your reading difficulty remains a part of who you are today, and it touches many aspects of your life. I suspect you have experienced at least one of the following scenarios.

  • You stay quiet when friends discuss a newspaper op-ed or editorial they have read, or more likely, in order to cover it up, you turn everything into a joke.

  • You are not the parent who helps the kids with homework.

  • Deep down, you still feel inadequate, feel less than, like damaged goods, even stupid, because you are ______ years old and still struggling.


What if you could find the courage to say it out loud, to “own it”? And then do something about it? You wouldn’t only be helping yourself. Imagine what you would be doing for your kids!


Would you tell your children you struggle with reading?

Can you please take a minute to complete my survey, so I can find out what you are thinking?

I would love to hear from you.

Gayle Shimoff


P.S. Watch this space for Part 2: --------, and for results of the survey!




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