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From Dyslexic to Published Author:
by Cynthia Ward, author of the newly published story Sometimes There's A Dove.
The Inspiring Story of Cynthia Ward
"I was seven when I was diagnosed with Dyslexia. I
didn't understand what it was, all I knew was that it made school and learning hard.
No matter how hard I tried, I was always wrong. I would work on something with everything in me just to have the teacher mark it wrong. There were test I made zeros on because I couldn't read the questions. I remember working a math sheet all day. I'd hand it in, and be told to work it again. None were right. I rubbed holes in my
math sheet from working and re-working the problems. I was near tears and she was at her wits end. I would feel sick and couldn't eat, I was so upset. I would hide in the bathroom and cry until the teacher came to get me or sent someone for me. The one thing I did learn was to despise school.
At 12-years-old I was still in 3rd grade. I felt completely lost. Always in a daze. Never knowing what was going on. How to do my work. Even in special education class, I was behind. My Mother went to my Special Education teacher to discuss the problems I was having. That's when the teacher told my mother what she'd already told me. I "would never read past pre-primmer". After this I told my Mother I wanted to quit school. And she supported me in that decision. The teacher's had already given up on me, why should I stay?
When we got home that evening my mother went to our book shelf, She picked one and sat down with me. "You will fall in love with this story" She said. "Don't worry about anything, just watch the words. I'll read." We sat together and she read me the story of Virginia Dare. The second
time she read it to me, she told me I should read any words I knew. The third time I read the book to her, even though she had to help me with most of the words. The fourth time I read the book by myself. I'd spell out any word I couldn't recognize and she'd tell me what it was. I did fall in love with that book. It was the only thing I could read. It was mostly because I
had memorized it, but it gave me confidence and made me feel as if I 'could' do it...I could read!
I carried that one book with me for two years and read it over and over and over until I'd see the words and recognize them from this book in other books. Then I picked up Other books, Clara Barton, Molly Picture, Dolly Madison and I could really read them. By the age of 16 I was reading novels like 'Gone With The Wind' and anything else I wanted with no trouble. It was a
I also took up writing, even though my spelling was terrible. Everything was 'sound spelled'.
The first thing I ever wrote was a new ending for my favorite book, 'Virginia Dare'. I didn't like how it ended, never knowing what really happened to the little girl or the people of Roanoke Island, so I simply 'created a new one'. From there my love for writing grew. I started writing more seriously when I was 16. That's when I wrote the first draft of 'Sometimes There's A Dove', among many others yet to be published.
I finally received my high school diploma without any formal training when I was 26-years-old. I think every child with this or any other
learning disability needs someone who will be patient and wait for the child to 'find their nitch'. Everyone has different ways of learning, but they all 'can' learn.
In August of 2001 I received a contract from Twilight Times Books for 'Sometimes There's A Dove'. My life has been a struggle, yet I found the strength to press on and to overcome. Now I am a published author, an author who was never supposed to be able to read.
I credit God, His love, and the strength of my
Mother with my accomplishments. When I'd get down,
she'd always say, "Don't give up. Don't quit. Stay in there. No one can call you a failure if you never quit. How can you fail if you never quit?" These words hit me and gave me strength to persevere in the face of everything. Honestly, I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't had her for my Mother."
Cynthia Ward is a self-taught Mississippi artist and writer who overcame a severe learning disability called dyslexia. In the third grade, at twelve years old, she made a decision to beat this disabling and painful situation after a special education teacher told her, and her Mother, that she would, 'never read past pre-primer'... She quit school and after a long
struggle she learned how to read and write and went on, without any formal training, to earn her diploma.
Against all odds, she went into the field of writing, and challenged all the doubts. Thus making a statement of the undaunting spirit and never ceasing ability to be successful by holding fast to one's dreams. Keeping in mind the motto of her Mother, "How can you fail if you never quit?" she faithfully stayed in the race and
now has had her first book, Sometimes There's a Dove, published by Twilight Times Books.