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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 30, 2013/ 26 Mar-Cheshvan, 5774

Could dyslexia be a 'desirable' disability?

By Martin Schram




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Malcolm Gladwell was in our homes Sunday morning, chatting with CNN's Fareed Zakaria about yet another astounding but logical-sounding concept in his next surefire best-seller, "David and Goliath."

(Buy it at a 45% discount by clicking here or order in KINDLE edition at a 57% discount by clicking here)

And as Gladwell was explaining his concept -- that the learning disability dyslexia can actually be a "desirable" difficulty -- I found myself thinking it sounded shocking yet familiar.

Indeed, it was. I'd first heard the notion propounded (in slightly different words) in a Class of 2007 graduation address at the University of Tampa. And I heard it discussed again at an October 2011 U.S. Department of Agriculture forum on the advantages of hiring people with disabilities.

The concept, as laid out by Gladwell, is that despite all our latest knowledge about how dyslexia makes it so difficult for so many to read, there is also surprising but ample evidence that many have overcome their disability and achieved positions of leadership in their chosen professions.

Gladwell tells how David Boies, born with dyslexia, became a high-profile Washington trial lawyer. He memorizes what he hears and reads when he has to. Sometimes in court he stumbles when reading aloud. But Boies figures his reading difficulty has an upside. He told Gladwell that "not being able to read a lot and learning by listening and asking questions means that I need to simplify issues to their basics."

Gladwell notes that "an extraordinarily high number of successful entrepreneurs are dyslexic" -- and tells us about one of them, Gary Cohn, who became president of Goldman Sachs.

The key, it turns out, is they all worked extra hard to overcome the disability and work around their limitations. They focused intently on alternative ways of gaining knowledge and mastered what they absorbed. Along the way, Gladwell recounts, most with dyslexia were also teased and tormented by classmates.

A remarkable conceptual researcher and thinker, Gladwell gained his insight into dyslexia and its problems by researching it. Meanwhile, Francesca Yabraian, who has expertise in dyslexia, reached very similar conclusions in a very different way: She lived it. A bicycle accident at age 4 left her with a lifetime of seizures (ultimately controlled in adulthood by medication). At age 5, she was diagnosed with dyslexia.

Chosen as class speaker for the University of Tampa's December 2007 graduation ceremony, Yabraian encouraged her classmates and others to view life's challenges not as obstacles but "opportunities." She explained: "They can enable us to find sources of strength we didn't know we had -- people who can help us get around the roadblocks, overcome the barriers, survive the bumps and, yes, pay the tolls. ... And we will discover that just getting past a roadblock can be an energizing experience."

Yabraian's message sounded much like the message of Gladwell's new book about how underdogs can triumph.


Like superlawyer Boies and financier Cohn, Yabraian also endured cruelty as a child. Not all of it came from children. She spoke in passing of her years in Dallas public schools.

"When I was 6, my teacher told me that I would never make it past the eighth grade," she said. "In eighth grade, my teacher presented me with an award, in front of the entire class, for being 'The Most Brainless.' "

Yabraian stopped there, not mentioning she had run from the classroom in tears. Yet that potential life-shattering experience became her life-molding experience. After all, she was standing there as an honors program achiever and the graduation speaker of her college class.

Two years ago, I saw Yabraian again. She was participating in a panel at the USDA in Washington, where she works as a confidential executive assistant. Her boss, a deputy assistant secretary, was telling an auditorium audience that hiring people with disabilities is more than just a government goal -- because those who've had to work extra hard to achieve become the most productive employees.

Indeed, when Yabraian showed her superiors that the USDA's management website was not just out of date but obsolete, they formed a committee to develop a new website -- and named Yabraian as its chairwoman. She ran the interdepartmental meetings that produced new solutions and a successful new website launch (which, as we've recently seen, doesn't always happen in Washington).

"Dyslexia -- in the best of cases -- forces you to develop skills that might otherwise have lain dormant," Gladwell writes. His provocatively titled chapter --"You wouldn't wish dyslexia on your child. Or would you?" -- is a calculated overreach. But it's not about selling books. It's about selling a sharply honed concept.

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Previously:


09/18/13: Syria's big picture, as Vladimir Putin sees it

08/28/13: Kerry finally gets his moment to look presidential --- at least somebody is

08/08/13: Latest political scandals seem like reruns --- in fact, they seem like parodies of themselves

07/03/13: NSA reforms will come, securing liberty and homeland

07/03/13: As student loan rates double, Congress fails to act

06/05/13: Scandal chatter drowns out best and worst news

05/29/13: Obama vs. Obama

03/13/13: VA's growing backlog needs attention now

03/06/13: When a presidency and press corps collide

02/27/13: Washington unintentionally but predictably triggering a coast-to-coast tsunami, freezing job hiring

02/21/13: Cold War vestiges still afflict 2 nuclear cities

01/16/13: Turnabout sucks

01/09/13: Education must be America's new national security priority

11/29/12: Building a budgetary bridge to somewhere

11/24/12: Voters share blame for negative campaigns

10/24/12: Romney displays unusual strategy for winning

10/17/12: Russia drops a bombshell on U.S. nuclear safeguard plan and few notice

10/11/12: A new debate game plan for a new comeback

07/25/12: Washington news, sanitized for officials' comfort

07/18/12: By withholding, Mitt Romney taxes campaign

06/20/12: Cruel consequences spring from an old leak

06/13/12: Gaffes, not facts, dominate presidential race

06/06/12: Command decisions mark new era of video-game warfare

04/25/12: Safeguarding us all in the nuclear age

04/18/12: The battle for the honor of enraging us more

03/28/12: Eavesdropping on diplomacy and politics

02/22/12: Drawing Romney's big picture

01/25/12: Candidates proving that time-tested Marxist theory

01/12/12: Even with primaries still to go, history's longest year starts now

01/05/12: Iowa caucuses reveal news media lapses

12/14/11: How Gingrich stole Mitt's Christmas

11/16/11: Supercommittee's super-sized surrender

11/16/11: Romney talks Texas-tough on Iran

11/03/11: The Silent Majority speaks at last

10/20/11: Outsourcing our democracy; hijacking our holidays

10/13/11: Decline and fall of presidential press conferences

09/28/11: Washington's Monument to broken government

08/17/11: Tax credits for job creation

07/06/11: Obama's on-the-job retraining from Clinton

06/29/11: Obama, Nixon suddenly joined in posterity



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