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DM News Blog

Latest news in literacy, child development, and all things DM Ed


Illiterate father learns to read at age 63

by Sarah Forrest|| 20 March 2017

It’s a story you hear all too often.

Back in the middle of the last century, children with reading difficulties were labelled as ‘disruptive’ or ‘behaviourally challenged’, and often segregated from the mainstream school setting. Sometimes a parent was left to figure out how to educate their child outside of the system entirely, because a school would not allow entry.

Though there is still much work to be done, our educational institutions have moved a long way since those difficult decades.

Chicagoan Alby Lee Lewis tells his story of getting a dyslexia diagnosis at age 55… and finally learning functional literacy 8 years later, after his daughter discovered he couldn’t read the back of a food package well enough to heat up his dinner. His persistence – and her dedication – led to the eventual publication of his autobiography, “Life With No Words”. An amazing feat, considering its author could read or write for six decades, hiding his secret from everyone but his wife and mother.

You can read part of his inspiring story here: