Don’t Panic

By: Claire E. Furio

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Artist Statement

What if I told you that being diagnosed with dyslexia was the greatest gift I have ever received? I realize that this statement sounds crazy but it’s absolutely true. I was in the sixth grade, and after taking a series of tests, it was determined that I had dyslexia. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to dyslexia. Just ask anyone diagnosed with this learning disability and every story you hear will be unique. For me, dyslexia was not an occasional stumble over a word here and there; rather, it was endless hours of frustration and confusion. It was like looking through broken glass or wearing reverse googles. Words swapped places and even appeared backward; almost like my brain and my eyes were not in sync. After years of learning new strategies and ways to work with my dyslexia, I have realized what a gift having dyslexia has been. My disability has taught me pure determination and how to better relate to the world. I hope my piece gives my audience a new perspective and a glimpse of what dyslexia is like for me and maybe like for others.