Walking a Well-Worn Path Alone
When James graduated from high school he was reading, writing and spelling at less than a third grade level, despite the best efforts of the educational system, which had him enrolled in special reading programs for the entire 12 years. James thought at the time of graduation that he was “uniquely flawed” and had fooled or manipulated the school system for 12 years.
At age 20, following graduation from a technical college and still reading, writing and spelling at less than a third grade level, James was diagnosed as severely dyslexic by his future tutor C. Wilson Anderson (former IDA president). In a five-year period, using the Orton Gillingham approach, Wilson brought James from a third grade reading level, a non-reader, to college level.
Today James is a Registered Occupational Therapist practicing in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. He holds both a Bachelors and Masters Degree. James’ Masters Thesis/Position Paper was published following his graduation as a book titled “The Runaway Learning Machine”. This first book was discovered by the theatre community and written into a play. It debuted in the Minneapolis area in 2005 and was performed in London in 2007.
James went on to write two more books. “Too Much Time on Sycamore Street” is a self-help book written from one dyslexic person to another. “Do You Know How to Pick Berries” is based on a true story that took place in 1967 between a high school student with dyslexia and a young man with Down Syndrome who was placed in a Minnesota state hospital by commitment.
James has spoken throughout the upper Midwest on the topic of dyslexia as well as in Canada, Brazil, England, Luxembourg and Hawaii. He has also facilitated support groups and weekend retreats for dyslexic adults.
During his leisure time James enjoys performing with his wife, Molly, on his 12 string guitar in coffee houses and in northern Minnesota area.