This website was written and designed by me, the author. I grew up with Adhd and Dyslexia and have a lifetime's experience with living with it. Due to having some friends who were psychologists and coaches who often dealt with executives in larger corporations, I came to learn of the existence of these "conditions" called Adhd and Dyslexia. They provided me with examples of people with these conditions and I learned of their experience with coaching senior executives with these conditions.
It created several "ah ha" moments for me as I came to learn about the traits that had been identified recently. I grew up in the 40's and 50's and went to college in the 60's prior to those conditions having even so much as a name.
So college was a difficult task. At that time I was not a "reader" and did not use reading much at all. Not knowing why reading was a problem nor that it was a problem at all kept me from the single most important source of college-oriented-input... reading. I was not a reader. That meant that my grades suffered a lot.
It is also important to note that at the University of Pennsylvania course instructors were themselves not trained at all in the art or teaching. They were mostly graduate students in the topic at hand and had no training and often very little experience in the art of teaching. That meant that they and their supervisors in their respective courses did next to nothing to "teach" as opposed to following a syllabus which had not been altered much for many years. It was all done by "rote."
One of the aspects to not knowing about not reading is that you don't know what is wrong. So, I would embark on a course that I thought would be really interesting to me to find that there were heavy demands to read a lot for each course. And I did not read much at all. So, my course input to me was lacking by a lot.
So, an art course where I learned how to paint or draw was easy and and art history course involving reading lots of books on the history were not useful at all. I just did not read them. It may be helpful to say why:
Whenever I embarked on taking up reading a book I got drowsy. My attention could be diverted easily onto anything else, I could fall asleep, the words on the book were jumbled in my mind. So, unless the book was filled with pictures and short 3/5 sentence paragraphs interspersed with pictures - somewhat similar to what are now called info-graphics - I got little from that book - as shown below:
The major offenders were the books I encountered in my German class. Those books, at the time, were set in German Old-Script which looked something like this:
I am very aware of webpage "heat maps" and of "eye-movement-maps" done to observe how a person scans/reads webpages. In the case of webpages, most people "scan" the page jumping around from headlines and pictures and back again to revisit some previously scanned part of the page as they may find it compelling.
Most people do not actually read webpages at all.
Whereas, text in book-form is read and the page is not scanned… for most people that is. Reading book-text has also had its eye movements recorded. Most people read text in an easy sine wave pattern which is smooth and floats across the line of text in an easy sine wave pattern.
I have observed my own eye movement pattern and it is not an easy sine wave at all. It lurches and jumps around the whole page's text. You might see that a dyslectic's eye scan pattern greatly reduces the ease or grasping the written content and reduces the ability to retain information from that text as well.
Of course, this would make a reading-based-college-education a real problem. What affects this scattered eye movement pattern??? You ask.
The answer is: several things:
- Interest in the content in the first place
- Pictures, especially color pictures - how many, how relevant to the topic, how well done
- The typeface used - this matters a lot
- If the reading is "fun" or not. If it is funny or humorous or friendly
What fails to work is:
- Academic, laborious, self-important text
- Other things too
The eye movement patterns are jerky and undisciplined insofar as gaining access to the whole point of reading it in the first place is concerned.
Reading colorful and lots of pictures text was far easier to do.
Big lesson was: a dyslexic's attention-span or boredom-span could easily be provoked. Once it was provoked it was too late. To learn from reading text for a dyslexic sure was a problem because once the boredom-span was provoked it caused the whole event to get dumped and very difficult to get past.