I grew up struggling with dyslexia, trying countless techniques to cope, but never finding any help. Then a friend told me about the Ron Davis book, The Gift of Dyslexia. Even though I was skeptical, I ordered the audiotapes of the book (as I was unable to read it). It was only then that I began to feel hope and I was soon registered for the Davis course in dyslexia correction. This was to become a turning point in my life.
After completing the course at age 46, I knew that I had finally found something that worked. I became so enthusiastic about my own success; I made it my goal to help others in hopes that they would not have to go through life bearing the same burdens of low self-esteem and discrimination that I had endured for so long.
Everyone I met at the Davis Dyslexia Center encouraged me to pursue my goal. Very few of the Davis Facilitators are actually dyslexic themselves, and they knew that my personal experience with dyslexia would give me an edge and an insight that is unique in dealing with other dyslexics. After intensive training, I received the certification of a licensed Davis Dyslexia Correction facilitator in 1998. I recently retired from the Arizona School System with the “no child left behind” program. It is still amazing to me that my job actually includes reading to others – an accomplishment that would have been impossible to even consider before the Davis program.
I realize now that many experiences in my life have given me valuable training in being able to work with those with the gift of dyslexia.
- Coping with dyslexia myself means that I can truly relate with my clients.
- Some of my own children have dealt with attention and reading issues in life. This has given me hands on experience with the challenges that these conditions present to parents.
- As an Arizona state licensed habilitationist for 15 years, I have worked with a range of disabilities such as blindness, deafness and Down’s syndrome. Working with the disabled in school and respite services has been a great help to me in understanding people who have special needs.
Note: I am no longer an official licensed Davis Dyslexia Facilitator listed on their website, and I can not offer the Davis programs, however I still look forward to the opportunity of working with you and sharing my knowledge.
John F. Mertz Jr.