Six and Twenty learns about Ballard, dyslexia


Submitted article



The Six and Twenty Club met Friday at the First Christian Church in Wilmington on a bright, sunny day, one of the loveliest days of the summer.

Members were greeted by Mrs. Ruth Ann Faris and treated to a table inside. Cookies and nuts were available on a table centered with a variety of summer flowers.

The program for the afternoon was presented by the program leader, Mrs. Faris, who first gave some background on her book selection, “Into the Deep.”

Authors Robert Ballard and Christopher Drew write about finding the Titanic, Lusitania, Bismarck, developing robots that roam the ocean floor, and in this memoir, Ballard gets personal. He opens up about his private tragedies: the loss of his son before the age of 21, the dissolution of his first marriage, and he reveals the late-in-life discovery of his own dyslexia, which now he understands not as a disability but as a gift essential to his distinguished accomplishments as a scientist and an explorer.

Ballard never thought he measured up to his brother. His difficulties in reading were a challenge, he spent more time on his homework, but he believed he could overcome any challenge. Being a visual thinker helped him in science and shipwreck searches.

He never understood why he seemed to think differently and then one day he heard about a book, “The Dyslexia Advantage.” What he read felt familiar and he began to wonder, “Do I have dyslexia?”

He began reading the book and at the age of 72, this book was finally explaining who he was! Authors Brock Edie and Fernett Edie, both M.D.’s, make the point that although the brains of those with dyslexia are wired differently, their thinking isn’t defective, just different and a gift! The leader continued with individuals who are diagnosed with dyslexia and the kinds of minds they have, the way they process information and the things they do really well.

One graduate of Stanford achieved a law and business degree and found recorded books helpful He had a talking computer, books on tape, and never touched a book in law school. Here is a helpful description he added: accommodations are a ramp for a wheelchair. There are modifications for most processes.

Following current events, the meeting was adjourned and since some members and their families are participating in the WC Summer Theatre, music and the participants were mentioned.

Submitted article