Dealing with Dyslexia

Dealing with Dyslexia
And, one in five children may be suffering from dyslexia, the most common and prevalent learning disorder. Dyslexia is language-based and impairs a person’s ability to read. Dr. Sears explains that Functional MRI’s show that dyslexia is a “glitch” in the brain. Marisa, 10, has dyslexia and dysgraphia. She solves a math problem on a monitor and her mother, Julie, details common types of mistakes on Marisa’s homework. 

Carol Clark, Executive Director of the Prentice School in Santa Ana, California, explains that dysgraphia is trouble with the memory of the sequence of motor events that must occur to form letters, spell and talk. She suggests that Marisa practices multi-sensory instruction, which is the engagement of all three learning channels. Carol describes this as the “feel” of a letter or number as she signs them in the air, sees them on the page and speaks them out loud.  

Childhood Dyslexia: Early Warning Signs

  1. Difficulty spelling and writing legibly
  2. Reading below grade level
  3. Spelling variations of the same word on the same page
  4. Difficulty reading aloud
  5. Reversing letter sequences (e.g. “left” for “felt”)
  6. Awkward pencil grip

The Stigma of STDs
Next, Adina, 35, contracted HPV and genital warts when she was 20 years old. Frightened and confused, she wrote a book called Damaged Goods to dispel the stereotype that only “certain types” of girls contracted sexually transmitted diseases. The aim is to educate women and eliminate the stigma that often goes hand in hand with an HPV or herpes diagnosis.

Statistics show that sexually transmitted diseases are more common than many people think. Approximately 20 million Americans are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) and 6.2 million more are infected every year. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S. At least 50 percent of sexually active men and women contract HPV at some time in their lives. Researchers estimate that up to 80 percent of women will contract HPV by age 60.

There are four types of HPV; two of which are often asymptomatic but are the cause of 70 percent of cervical cancer cases. The other two strains cause 90 percent of genital warts.

Approximately 45 million Americans age 12 and older are infected with genital herpes. There are two types of herpes simplex virus, HVS-1 and HVS-2. Both strains reside in the dorsal root ganglia in the vertebral column and yield few signs or symptoms. When symptoms do surface, they typically appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals or rectum. When the blisters break, they leave tender ulcers (sores) that may take two to four weeks to heal.

While antiviral medications can shorten and prevent outbreaks, there is no cure for herpes. One out of every five individuals has herpes and an estimated eight out of 10 people are not even aware they are infected. The virus can be transmitted whether an individual has an outbreak or not, so a blood test and culture is recommended. Correct and consistent use of latex condoms can reduce the risk of genital herpes.

A herpes diagnosis often takes an emotional toll. Cindi, 40, discovered she had HSV-2 after a routine blood test for her migraines. Shocked and dismayed, she says she grappled with the ramifications the STD would have on her love life. Happily, Cindi found that she was not destined to a life of loneliness and solitude. She sought out and joined the dating Web site, which is designed for individuals who have tested positive for STDs.