My Dyslexia Story
by Dr. Megan McSwain Mann
Having dyslexia was a real struggle for me as a child. Starting around first grade I noticed that I could not read as well as my classmates. In fact, I remember pretending to read during story time. By second grade I was being pulled out for small groups and going to weekly tutoring. Not only was the academic stress embarrassing and frustrating, but just going to school and feeling “different” caused me a great deal of anxiety (aka lots of stomach-aches and school avoidance). By third grade I had the great fortune of going the Atlanta based dyslexia support school, the Schenck School. The Schenck School gave me the confidence and skills to learn to read and write and gave me a love of school and learning. However, from an emotional side the change in school was a rocky road- I missed my old friends and was sad and mad about having to be a different. In order to cope my mom decided to sign me up for art classes after school. Art became my passionate and gave me tools of communication that extended beyond words and spelling. During this difficult time in my life creating art became my therapy. As young adult just out of college I was unsure of what exactly I wanted to do as a career- until I found out about art therapy. Being a counselor and art therapist has been the prefect career, as it allows me to help others using my favorite tool ART! Over the years I have worked with many dyslexic children as a therapist and mentor. Now, nearly 11 years after completing my masters, I am so happy to announce that I have created an art therapy based program specifically designed to help children build confidence and gain support for dealing with challenges and gifts of being dyslexic. By finding my gift as a dyslexic person in the world I feel so lucky to get to pay it forward and provide others with the support and tools they need to feel successful and confident.