"I couldn't read and my life was different. In third grade I could not read, and all the other kids in my class could read. I remember when we would read in circles, and it was my turn, I could not read. After that, at recess, a group of kids said `You stupid idiot, don't you know how to read?' I did not know how to read, but the kids did not know that I had dyslexia and could not read. They did not know what dyslexia was and just thought I was stupid and always called me dumb. I guess as far as reading goes, I WAS dumb.

"With dyslexia, you see words or letters backward. Without proper training, people with dyslexia seldom learn to read."If I couldn't read, I would not be able to spell and write and probably not be able to do my math. If I could not do any of those things, I would not be able to realize my dream of being a chemical engineer.

"I wished so much when I was in third grade, and before then, that I could read. I wanted to read myself so that I could know that things my family and other people were telling me were the truth or not the truth.

"Like the time I went to school and the kids were reading out loud about wasps. My family had told me things about wasps that were not as up-to-date as the facts the kids were reading from the books. I could not read myself, and I thought the kids were lying. That often caused hard feelings and sometimes fights . . . ."

"I can't imagine what my life would have been like in the future if our school had not lucked out. The resource teacher they hired had been trained in teaching dyslexic kids to read and learn.

"I do know what my life was like when I could not read: full of hurt, anger, frustration and low self-esteem. I can see my life in the future being the same way if I couldn't read . . . .

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words hurt the worst. I felt that there was no place that I could fit because everyone else could read and I could not. I was ashamed that I could not read. . . ."