My name is Naomi Smith. I have struggled with and overcome severe learning disabilities that resulted from medication in childhood. I faced many challenges and achieved many triumphs in dealing with dyslexia. At Arizona State University, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Masters Degree in Curriculum Instruction for Early Childhood Education. To achieve this, I had to explore new ideas and be creative in overcoming my problems.
This website is dedicated to my younger sister who has encouraged me all throughout my educational success.
I provide helpful information and link to web sites from useful organizations. My website creates opportunities for students who struggle with learning disabilities.
We hope this information here helps you with new innovative learning alternatives so that you can have success on your journey in education.
Hello my name is Naomi. I was not born with dyslexia. When I was four years old I became very ill. One night my father was driving my family home from a nightly engagement. While getting me out of the car, he saw my eyes roll back in my head and rushed me to the hospital. I was unconscious and in a coma caused by measles. They gave me a drug to pull me out of the coma and this drug is what caused the dyslexia. This happened between 1970 and 1971. My mother told me all the children to whom the hospital gave this drug developed learning disabilities. The day I became dyslexic is the day my challenges began.
As an adult who suffers from severe dyslexia, looking back in my childhood, I can remember being in an inclusion class room from first grade to fifth grade. During this time I was integrated in regular classrooms for about a couple hours a day. During my academic program in the first five years I had the same teacher. Mrs. Howard. She really prepared me to do my best, to be successful, to be creative, to fight and never quit my education. She was able to bring my reading level to the sixth grade level. The barrier that I faced when I became a sixth-grader is that I was put into an inclusion classroom. This had no structure like my regular classroom.
There was very little education learning in my inclusive classroom. I listened to old 45 records and was teased profusely by my peers who were in regular classrooms. I wrote Mrs. Howard a letter stating that I did not want to be in the special education class any more. I told her what was going on in my special classrooms. I was not learning anything and I could not handle being teased any more. The learning material in my regular sixth-grade classroom was hard, but I told Mrs. Howard I could be successful in the regular classroom. I pleaded with her to help me convince my parents and the principal of the school, who was her husband, to put me in regular classroom. Within a month I was in a regular classroom. Since then I really had to fight hard to succeed in education. From my sixth-grade education to my college education I encountered teachers and professors who suggest that I quit school or college.
I made this web site with information which I gained through my education years. I believe the material will guide and encourage students and adults to be successful in their education and careers. Some of the information I came across by accident. For example, I went to a seminar that was provided by Disabilities Resource Center at Arizona State University. There was a doctor giving a seminar about mind mapping and meditation. I was so intrigued by the whole seminar that later in the week I e-mailed him to ask about mind mapping. Beginning with the seminar provided by Dr.Munn, I embarked on a journey that has not ended. I learned about focusing, calming your mind and body, having a positive attitude and believing in success. Dr. Munn came up with a learning strategy for a geology class that was extremely hard. He drew pictures of rocks and other terminology which help me to pass the course. Along with his wife, we are all very good friends.
I have encountered a lot of gracious people who helped me with my struggle in my undergraduate work and in the Masters program. Especially Jody and Marcia they both have always been there for me and help me to achieve whatever I was doing. My younger sister, to whom I dedicate this web site, gave me a lot of support when things looked especially bleak. Without her encouragement I do not believe I would have finished my education career. There are always problems that I face with my learning disability. However, if I have the faith and keep my determination there is nothing I cannot accomplish. I leave you with two quotes that I love and memorized. The first is from Winston Churchill. He said “Never… Never … Never… Never give up”. The last quote, from a sermon of Martin Luther King Jr’s father is, “Everyone can be great”. So, let us never give up and in so doing achieve greatness.