Changes Life for Severe Dyslexic
You WYNN Changes
Life for Severe Dyslexic
can relate to being a good father, and many understand the difficulty
of trying to be a role model in a challenging society.
But how many people can understand how to juggle fatherhood, work,
school, and the diagnosis of severe learning disabilities?
is a 40 year old man who is thankful for many things. He is proud
of his family, he is on his way to fulfilling his career
aspirations, and he has conquered a fear he has been hiding for
over 25 years - he is severely learning disabled. Only recently
been able to compose his thoughts, communicate his fears, and
tackle a disability that has been holding him back for almost three
Last year, Kelly was introduced to WYNN, a software program from
Freedom Scientific designed to aid individuals with reading challenges
and writing difficulties.
in Third Grade
Kelly was first
identified as having a learning disability in the third grade.
He was told he was dyslexic and hyperactive. "At
nine years old, I wasn't sure what that meant. What they told me
back then is a lot different than what they are saying now about
dyslexia and hyperactivity." After suffering a severe brain
trauma in school from an accident in a physical education class,
Kelly began to notice he was having difficulty in school; however,
he could not recall whether his informal diagnosis and accident were
directly related. "I am starting to remember what happened around
this time and am able to write it now into WYNN. My mom is the only
one who knows what exactly happened; but she has passed on, so it's
difficult to really know."
Soon after the
accident, Kelly was pulled out of public schools. He found himself "bouncing around to many different schools." Kelly
began exhibiting behavioral problems as classmates started
to make fun of him because of his difficulty in reading and writing.
felt it was best to keep Kelly medicated, to keep him
calm so as not to affect the work of the other students. His education
to be compromised.
Cycle of Failure
As the elementary
years passed, Kelly found it harder and harder to take an interest
in school. He returned
where he spent his freshman year in a mainstream
classroom. After this
rigorous year, Kelly was again enrolled in a special
education program at his high school. To avoid any
or other students, Kelly decided to hide the fact
that he was disabled. "I
would come to class late so none of my friends would see me going
to a 'special' class. And then I would sneak out before class ended
so no one would see me leaving the class." Eventually
this failure-induced behavior became tiresome. Kelly's
absences were putting him behind
in his schoolwork and preventing him from keeping
up. In the beginning of his senior year, Kelly dropped
out of high school.
The United States
Army provided an alternate route for Kelly to avoid his disability.
As with many individuals
he found creative ways to avoid paperwork, had
friends help him with
necessary reports, and transferred to units where
he essentially wouldn't have to complete any paperwork.
The Army enrolled
Kelly in a GED course in Texas. That lasted 3 weeks
he failed the
Out of the Army,
Kelly looked for jobs that wouldn't disgrace him and reveal the
fact that he was learning
He found jobs
in construction and retail stores for many years.
As Kelly was promoted through the years, he found
hide the fact
that he had difficulty reading and using computers. "One of
my supervisors started seeing the problems I'd been trying to hide.
Shortly after, I was terminated."
began taking classes in adult literacy at Penn State. Knowing the
difficulty her husband
she suggested he look into an alternative
way to get his GED. "My
wife introduced me to a counselor at Penn State who worked in the
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR). After several evaluations,
they confirmed that I had about five multiple disabilities. Their
approach to me was, 'What accommodations can we make to help you
get your GED?' It was amazing!"
Success - At
Technology Engineer sat with Kelly and offered to work with him
software program that
of his disabilities. He had Kelly choose
two similar yet very different software
tools. Kelly found
the ease-of-use of WYNN. "The other product had a spell predictor
that overlapped my reading materials, so I found it very hard to
work around it. It had windows that opened on top of windows, and
I found it difficult to get back to where I started. I really liked
how straightforward WYNN was, and how I was able to tailor the program
to my individual reading and writing level." Kelly continued, "At
one point, after using the program for just 7 hours, I began to cry.
Suddenly, I realized that the handicap I have been hiding for over
25 years is now under my control and command. I cannot thank WYNN
three decades of hiding his disability, Kelly can now write about
has faced. He can
fear of humiliation. He tells us that
he completed his GED. And smilingly,
tells us that
he achieved the
highest score in his county,
despite doubts that he wouldn't ever
receive his high school diploma.
Kelly is continuing
his work with Penn State to fulfill his aspirations. "I
recently completed a proposal on WYNN for the Office of Vocational
Rehabilitation. It's for a grant to allow me to go to a school to
learn Home Inspections. WYNN has given me the opportunity to do things
I never thought I'd be able to do. I would think to myself - how
can I be a role model to my children and teach them perseverance
if I don't show it in what I do - WYNN gave me the tools to finally