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Living with Dyslexia: Dalilah’s Story


by Leticia Martinez, Central Coast Center for Independent Living, Salinas, CA

Late in her adult life, Dalilah was diagnosed with dyslexia, which causes her difficulty with reading and writing. Unfortunately, Dalilah was never tested for dyslexia or any other learning disabilities during her early years. She remembers being unable to read in front of her class when asked to do so. She felt “dumb” and did not understand why she could not learn like the other students.  After years of frustration she gave up and dropped out of school.

Many years later she learned about Central Coast Center for Independent Living (CCCIL).  She met with an Independent Living Specialist who referred her to the Department of Rehabilitation (DR) for vocational services.  With assistance from CCCIL and DR, she was able to obtain her GED and enroll in Monterey Peninsula College.  Despite her disability, she learned techniques that would allow her to be successful in achieving her goals.

Dalilah is now successfully employed as a full-time teacher’s assistant, working with students with disabilities. Although she enjoys what she does, she continues attending school with the goal of becoming self-employed.  She would like to open a daycare center and teach other children with dyslexia and learning disabilities.  Dalilah’s determination and desire to remain independent has helped her to succeed.

For more information on dyslexia and other learning disabilities go to www.ld.org.