Dr. Frenette Eide, Co-Author of The Dyslexic Advantage, Interviews Tom Guyer for their Newsletter
Dr. Eide was great to talk to. The message being sent by The Dyslexic Advantage book and accompanying website is very cool. Their findings, based on brain science, support the idea that while dyslexic individuals may have difficulty with learning reading, this difficulty comes with advantages in how we think and solve problems. I was humbled to be singled out for a talk with Dr. Eide.
Here is a brief summary of her article: I knew that Tom was both a strong proponent of the strengths associated with dyslexia and President of Winsor Learning, but I didn’t really learn his back story until I had a chance to interview him.
Tom comes from a creative family that all have dyslexia in some degree. One day, Tom’s mother was talking about her children’s literacy challenges to their neighbor Marcia Henry. Marcia was trained by Paula Rome who in turn trained with Anna Gillingham. Marcia referred Tom to Arlene Sonday who ended up tutoring all five Guyer children.
Tom was tutored from 2nd through 4th grade and went from a struggling student to a good one. Tom continued to improve as a student over the years and eventually graduated from the University of Denver with a 3.75 GPA.
Instead of moving to California to work for a clothing company, Tom returned home to work on a project with his former tutor. They recognized there was a need for a curriculum that would be simple enough to be used by non-professional volunteers, parents, and grandparents, but also authentic to the Orton-Gillingham method. They went to work and eventually the Sonday System was born.
Today the Sonday System has helped over 500,000 students in over 2,200 school districts in every state in the US. The program has had impressive effects in every type of school including Title I schools and schools with high English Language Learners.