SAN ANTONIO – Addison Shafer, 11, said she’ll never forget the day she found out she was dyslexic.
“Everyone thinks it’s such a big deal but it’s just dyslexia,” Addison said.
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects a person’s ability to read, spell, write and sometimes speak.
“But it doesn’t really mean you see letters backwards,” Addison said. “It just means you need more help in school.”
Addison was diagnosed in the third grade and it’s affected her in the classroom ever since.
“I have to go to different classes on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday,” Addison said. “Every time I take a test, I have to have someone read it to me or the computer read it to me.”
But having dyslexia also gave Addison a great opportunity to be featured in a traveling exhibit at the DoSeum.
‘Beautiful Minds — Dyslexia and the Creative Advantage’ was created by the Oklahoma Science Center.
Vice President of Exhibits at the DoSeum Meredith Doby said the goal is to celebrate those with dyslexia.
“It’s looking at the ways that dyslexia can be an advantage that it creates outside-the-box thinkers,” Doby said. “And it showcases some local people who have been diagnosed with dyslexia. Talks about their stories.”
“We went to the studio, we took some pictures and then we, we did a voice recording of like, like with this microphone and that eventually got into the museum,” Addison said.
Connie Shafer, Addison’s mom, is a reading specialist who works with dyslexic students at Northside ISD.
Connie said she knew the challenges her daughter would face with her diagnosis, but also knows it won’t hold her back.
“It’s just, her brain works differently,” Connie said. “We know that she’s super creative and she loves to draw and paint and dance. And she’s got so many other strengths that she just needed a little bit of help in reading.”
Addison said she’s not worried either.
“I think its because… we found out I was dyslexic at the right time. And I wasn’t an adult, like, in college,” Addison said.
Dozens of dyslexic students in the area also got to submit artwork for the traveling exhibit.
‘Beautiful Minds – Dyslexia and the Creative Advantage’ will be at the DoSeum until March 28th.
You can learn more about the exhibit by clicking here.