Thursday, November 26, 2009

Now Back to Storytelling for children and adults...


Years ago I started my fairy tale line Fairytales Forever as Fairy tales for Single Parents.  These stories a rose out of my work with inner city children in New York City.  Many of whom are growing up in single parent household.  This seven CD set touches on issues of interest to modern children through recasting the fairytales of old.  I am planning on finishing this set next spring.  You can read more about the Fairy Tales forever series at http://www.fairytalesforever.com/

Sean Buvala is working the other end of this market brilliantly with his new e-book Daddy Teller.  Which you can read all about at http://daddyteller.com/.  What I really like about Sean's work - with out having read it  - is that he is empowering fathers everywhere to use storytelling role model there children.  How else could you get the most bang for your very limited time with your children?

You could take my free e-course on Zen and the Art of storytelling in Seven Simple Steps, but that would still leave gaping holes in your knowledge of how to use storytelling with children as a dad. (or a mom) The fact is that knowing how to perform and knowing how to be present with your children are vastly different skill sets.  

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

12 workshops I wish were at the International Dyslexia Association Conference this year...


Here are the 12 workshops that would serve the attendees - if they happened upon them at this weeks IDA conference.


  1. Statistical relationships in early age bedside home reading and dyslexic student reading later in life.
  2. How to guide to storytelling in the home.  Learning reading through desire.
  3. An interview with a dyslexic lawyer, doctor, teacher, fisherman and fireman.
  4. An open discussion with 3 parents who raised dyslexic children.
  5. The relationship between diet and the brain of your child.
  6. How to get students to care about reading when school has kicked the shit out of them.
  7. Un-schooling the school were no one has a label.
  8. My Waldorf schooled dyslexic child - the good, the bad and the lovely.
  9. An examination of self interest - money and the role it plays in school settings. 
  10. Chinese lessons on dyslexia; using the herbs of the east.
  11. When Dog let's you down.  Discussions on God and dyslexia.
  12. I feel...  How to listen to your teenage Dyslexic. 
I would love to find one of these workshops at the conference.
If you saw one this past week please let me know right a way.  ;-)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wish I was at the International Dyslexia Association Conference this week... not really.


The International Dyslexia Association(IDA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, scientific, and educational organization dedicated to the study and treatment of the learning disability, dyslexia as well as related language-based learning differences.  Click the link to go to there website.

If your a long time reader you will see right away that my approach and the associations to dyslexia is in direct conflict.  Reading through the conference brochure I am struck by how many of the workshops are about getting dyslexic children to mainstream as quickly as possible.  These are children with a completely disconnected learning style form the the style of teaching that is used in modern schools.

Basically it's the word "treatment" that bothers me.  I am not sick - I do not need a doctor or therapist because of my dyslexia.  Though you may argue with me successfully that after attending public and private school as dyslexic person I may be in need of a therapist to rebuild my self confidence.  There is nothing wrong with me - I just think different then 80% of every one else.  I am not broken, but me and my kind have existed for a long time and will exist for years to come.

Maybe dyslexic children are the canaries in the coal mine- demonstrating to us and to our whole society that the modern model of schooling is broken and in need of reform.
For my next post I will propose 12 workshops I wish were at the International Dyslexia Association Confer

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dyslexia is more then not spelling.




Sometimes it is difficult for people to understand that dyslexia is more then just having difficulty with reading, grammar and spelling.  If only that were the case, dyslexia is a struggle with literate world that insists on treating everyone like they can fill out forms by hand.  For many people, dyslexia also effects their audio recognition and more importantly precognition of events.  In other words time is particularly difficult concept for many people who are dyslexic.

Both the movement of time and planning the use of time can be very difficult for dyslexic children and adults.  As a professional storyteller I have struggled for years with stage timing and how to be aware of the time on stage without breaking contact with the audience.

Another reality that many dyslexic children and adults face is shame and other emotional baggage related to their struggle to function in a literate society.  A society that does not seem to recognize best effort or tried really hard, but only recognizes spelled everything correctly.