Student Author Overcomes Dyslexia

April 28, 2014

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Writing has never been easy for Victoria Barski. Neither has word recognition, reading or public speaking. After being diagnosed with dyslexia in second grade, Barski has worked hard to make sure dyslexia doesn’t define her. The freshman business administration major can now say she’s a published author. Her essay, “The Truth About Dyslexic Underdogs,” will appear in the May edition of The Dyslexic Reader—a print magazine published by Davis Dyslexia Association International.

“It was amazing when I found out,” Barski said. “It was the best day of my life. It was like all my hard work had finally paid off. I went through multiple drafts of the paper and kept rewriting, and now I’m seeing what all my time and effort has done. Being published has definitely given me more confidence in myself as a writer.”

Written as part of an English Composition II class with TLU lecturer Beth Barry, her essay talks about perseverance and seeing dyslexia as an advantage rather than a setback. She writes:

"Ashamed is not the emotion that I would use to describe how I have reacted to being dyslexic. I know that it has shaped me and will continue to shape me every day. I know that it has engrained into my DNA the trait of hard work. Throughout the years, I have been told by my teachers and other adults in my life that I am a hard and conscientious worker. I know that stems from the learning trials that I have endured. I am also a very determined person; once I decide to do something I will not to quit until I have accomplished it. How you face life’s challenges is one of the most important things that you can do to shape your personality. I believe that the ways in which you handle setbacks in life can either help you or hurt you; dyslexics know that better than anyone else."

In addition to gaining confidence in her writing ability, Barski also sees being published as an opportunity to let others with dyslexia know that just because something is challenging does not mean one should give up.

“It’s not easy and it’s going to be difficult,” Barski said. “But if you keep working and struggling with things that don’t come easy to you it will pay off. Maybe not tomorrow or the next day or the day after that, but you’ll get there and you can overcome things. Don’t be ashamed of being dyslexic. Use it to your advantage. I wouldn’t be who I am today without it.

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