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A Daughter's Struggle With Learning To Read

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A Daughter's Struggle With Learning To Read

A Daughter's Struggle With Learning To Read

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Time now for StoryCorps.

Across the country, people come to StoryCorps to record interviews with friends and loved ones. Today's conversation comes from San Francisco. Ten-year-old Ida Cortez is dyslexic, so she's had some trouble learning to read and spell. Recently, she sat down with her mother, Kim, to talk about it.

Ms. KIM WARGO (Mother of Dyslexic Child): What are some things that you wish people knew about dyslexia?

Ms. IDA CORTEZ (Dyslexic Child): I wish people knew that it's not like an illness of the brain, it's a difference of the brain. I mean, every brain is a little bit different. Maybe ours are just a little bit more.

Ms. WARGO: Do you remember when you were trying to learn how to read?

Ms. CORTEZ: Yeah. I hated every second of it, actually. But someone - and she's sitting right in front of me - inspired me and helped me do it. When you were helping me read, did you ever, for a moment, think that I wouldn't' be able to?

Ms. WARGO: I never believed that you wouldn't learn how to read. But, you know, I got frustrated at first. I was like, there is the word, you just said it, why can't you read it again? And I didn't understand what was going on because I knew you were so smart. And then, when we talked to your teachers, and they helped us see what was going on, then I knew how to help you.

But what I did worry about was whether you would ever really love to read. Because I love to read, and dad loves to read, and we wanted you to have that.

Ms. CORTEZ: Yeah. I do love reading and now, I'm probably one of the biggest readers in my class. It's changed a lot.

Ms. WARGO: Does that factor in when you think about what you want to do with your life?

Ms. CORTEZ: Yeah, I want to be a humanities teacher, and I want to help people who are dyslexic do, like, spelling and reading and stuff, because those are the things that were really hard for me.

Ms. WARGO: Yeah. Well, what do you think that you've learned about yourself that you might not have learned if you weren't dyslexic?

Ms. CORTEZ: That I can work hard. I can have to do something - and do it. It's not easy - it's not easy for anyone - but I can do it.

(Soundbite of music)

MONTAGNE: Ida Cortez with her mom, Kim Wargo, at StoryCorps in San Francisco. Ida Cortez now reads above grade level. Her interview, like all StoryCorps interviews, will be archived at the Library of Congress. To see pictures and to subscribe to the Podcast, visit

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