“At first glance, I had nothing in common with those guys apart from our dyslexia. But I noticed they were self-accommodating. I could do that, too. They needed to write and to read, and they found help. So that’s where I started. How do I get read to? What does that look like?”
“I would never have been able to go to law school 30 years ago, or even 10 years ago. But assistive technology, programs like Snap&Read, they let me do it.”
And today, when talking to students and parents, Ptahra reminds them that their situation is unique, and it’s not one-size-fits-all. Just as she found common ground with fellow dyslexics years ago, they might find some common ground with her.
“I try to live my life in truth, to be honest and transparent so I can help break down the stigma that’s still attached to dyslexia,” she said. “I hope I can continue to speak to people, to encourage them, tell them they can do this. I’m here. I did it, and you can do it. It looks different for everybody and that’s okay. It’s not about becoming a lawyer or a teacher. It’s about becoming you.”
For far too long, dyslexic students were held back by the curriculum that was forced upon them. Reading was a struggle, learning was a struggle, and many students no doubt felt lesser than their peers and endured extra frustration and hardship in their lives.
But now, dyslexia is being talked about. Assistive technology is widespread and is more powerful than ever, and those tools can drastically alter the course of a student’s life. Socially, dyslexic individuals are finding each other, talking to each other, and learning from each other to maximize their inherent human potential.
What works for Ptahra may not necessarily work for the students she talks to, and that’s a beautiful thing. We are all unique, so it makes perfect sense that the way we prefer to learn is unique as well.