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This is a great story that I read in Prevention magazine last month. It is written by Dr. Ned Hallowell, a child and adult psychiatrist.

“When I was in the first grade, I had trouble reading. Back then, if you had trouble reading, you could easily be dismissed as stupid, or you could be ridiculed or even punished.

But I was very lucky. I had an experienced teacher named Mrs. Eldredge who knew there was more to a first-grader’s reading problem than being stupid or lazy.

She knew that, sooner or later, I would start to read and that the most important thing to do for me in first grade was to make sure I didn’t become afraid of reading or start to believe that I was stupid.

So during reading period, this sweet old lady would sit down in one of those little chairs and put her arm around me. When it was my turn to read out loud, I could only stammer and stutter as I tried to make out the words. But none of the other kids laughed at me because I had the Mafia sitting next to me. Mrs. Eldredge’s arm saved me, and it has stayed around me ever since, preventing me from contracting what are the most disabling learning problems of all: fear and shame.”

SOURCE: Prevention magazine, Dr. Ned Hallowell.

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