Young man with Down syndrome enters signature jams in food competition

by Leah Binkovitz – Nolan Stilwell steps into his black chef’s jacket. He’s moving slowly, thoughtfully. His father, Randy Stilwell, helps with the sleeves and buttons. Normally Nolan would don a gauzy white cap to work in the kitchen, but today he has a show to put on. He goes instead with a snug black […]

Documentary by dyslexic filmmaker raises awareness on the disorder

by Ann Nyberg – Documentary film maker Harvey Hubbell is dyslexic. Educated in Newtown in the 1960s, life for him was difficult because educators didn’t know then what they know now. A lot of very successful people in the world are dyslexic. They can’t read or write but can be taught to do so if […]

Artist finds inspiration in son with Down syndrome

by Bobby Bozeman – Shoals artist Martha Beadle said she thinks of her abilities and style as a gift. Beadle’s son Sam has Down syndrome. And when he finished high school at the age of 21 there was nothing for him except the sheltered workshop. He had a complete shutdown, Beadle said. “He went through […]

Turning dyslexia from learning problem to advantage

Martial arts World Champion Scott Sonnon.

by Jeffrey Graham – Scott Sonnon couldn’t stop writing backward. At the age of 4, everything Sonnon would write came out looking as if viewed in a mirror. Once a physical representation of his dyslexia, Sonnon, 44, has used the mirror writing as a metaphor for inverting the negative experiences in his life to find […]

Football coach names friends with Down syndrome team captains

by Lauren Zakalik – Football season is back in Sanger, and the only thing more certain than getting sacked and sweaty in practice is seeing Blake Pyron and Austin Waters on the sidelines. “Especially when you’re tired and coming off the field, and you see them yelling with the crowd — [it] makes you feel […]

Awareness campaigns can show the brighter side of being dyslexic

by Preston Phro – Childhood can be difficult–dealing with homework, classmates, teachers, parents, and sweaty, screaming gym coaches is enough to frustrate anyone. But add a learning difficulty like dyslexia to that mix and “difficult” becomes a drastic understatement. For many, the frustration of being mislabeled as lazy or simply shunned for having difficulty in […]

Non-profit gives young adults with special needs a community

by Diane Murray – All most parents truly want is for their children to have a full life of their own. When you hear the news your child has a disability, your heart breaks a bit thinking that simple dream will not ever be possible. That’s how I felt when my son, Matt, was diagnosed […]

Theater program is designed for adults with learning disabilities

by Emma Bartholomew – The first set of adults with learning disabilities are set to graduate from a groundbreaking course, which aims to break down the “institutionalization and prejudice” of what they can achieve. Pupils on the seven-month diploma in performance making have worked with BBC casting director Sarah Hughes, actor and performance artist Mat […]

Prince Charles’ godchild reveals her autism diagnosis

by Jenn Selby – Tara Palmer-Tomkinson has battled with substance abuse, hyperactivity and has long been the subject of tabloid fodder thanks to her hard-partying, socialite lifestyle. But the 42-year-old godchild of Prince Charles has since had a revelation. She has since been told she’s been living with autism. “I was diagnosed as having a […]

NFL player inspires children with dyslexia

by Sally Absher – What do Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Einstein, John Lennon, Muhammad Ali, Steven Spielberg, Henry Winkler, Tom Cruise, Whoopi Goldberg, Walt Disney, Nolan Ryan, Greg Louganis, Jay Leno, and Agatha Christie have in common? They all have dyslexia, but grew up to be very successful. And if you are a NFL football […]