An Addendum to a FAMILY SECRET

Tonight is my biological sister’s 70th birthday who, on the day she was born, was abandoned by our mother and left at a London hospital, never to be taken home with this despicable and self centered parent. Susan never had a cuddly teddy or a home in which to be loved until she was placed in a foster home sometime later. Susan, as she was called, lived in England where birth files and parent information are open for review, unlike in the United States which seals such information. Susan was able to locate this heartless mother and met with her face to face and learned of her American father and the fact that she had a biological sister who was eighteen months older and as a baby was entrusted to her paternal grandparents to raise in America.

There is so much more to this tragic story and is depicted in the novel, FAMILY SECRETS: A JOURNEY OF GOOD AND EVIL written by Dr. Fran White, Susan’s sister. As noted in this novel, a portion of the title , “FAMILY SECRETS” is never completely disclosed. This family secret revolves around the true racial identity of these sisters and how their very young parents, characters effected by World War II and the London bombing and the quest to latch onto life before they might lose their lives and their future. Questions of racial identity and the cruel racist behaviors that Susan’s mother was met with as a war bride coming home with her American husband, did significantly effect the marriage of this young couple.

Susan and her sister did meet for the first time during her well endowed sister’s college years. As written in the pages of FAMILY SECRETS, this meeting resulted in a less than endearing connection between the sisters. Susan’s sibling was on an unsuccessful mission to search for the answers to her racial identity before her impending marriage and future motherhood. The sisters do reunite once later when Susan visits America and an initial meeting with her paternal grandparents which was traumatic and did not end well.

FAMILY SECRETS does have a final ending to this fictional/autobiography story but the real life addendum to this story continues forty years later when the sisters meet once again. Susan searches for her sister and ultimately locates her in order to reveal that their mother just recently died. Susan was anxious to reunite with her long, lost sister after years of growth and maturity. They spent two wonderful weeks together in America with Susan meeting her half sister and brother facilitated by her sister. Unlike their last meeting, they parted amicably and with much love. However, weeks before Susan’s sister was to visit Susan and her family in London, she, without any rational explanation, abandoned her sister, a replication of the actions of their parents and never communicated again with this heartbroken sibling.

Susan did resume her relationship and visits to America to vacation with her half siblings but never made contact with this traumatized sibling. I am Susan’s sister and I have made numerous attempts to contact this sister and to quiz her half siblings, living in this country, to find out why Susan choose to abandon this family member just as their parents did over seventy years ago. The answer to this family secret has yet to be revealed even by the half siblings who I have since ended any contact or relationship with them due to their betrayal and refusal to help two sisters, who were separated for over forty years and reunited again. They continue to welcome Susan into their lives when she comes to America.

Happy 70th Birthday, Susan ,and may all of our Family Secrets be revealed when we reach our final “Journey of Good and Evil”.

FAMILY SECRETS is, indeed, an intriguing novel, filled with romance, love, family devotion, challenges and enjoyed by many readers. This book can be reviewed and purchased through Amazon.Com

Please do let me know “whatsyourfeeling” and share your review of this family drama and secrets.

What is this Thing Called DYSLEXIA?

What joy we all derive from reading a great book or reading and sharing a children’s story book with our children and grandchildren! However, if we struggle with words and sentences in attempting to enjoy a best seller because those configurations of letter symbols confuse you or it takes an inordinate amount of time to process. If our precious little angels experience similar struggles in differentiating between “bs” and “ds” and cannot sound out the letters to create words, they will be excruciatingly frustrated and believe that they are dumb and cannot read like other children in their class. In response to this childhood dilemma, my children’s book, one in a series, NICKI NICE’S TRICKY LETTERS,was just released and describes the frustrations as well as the accomplishments of Nicki, the main character who struggles with dyslexia.

What is this thing called Dyslexia? This term is defined as a condition that prominently effects the ability to read. More than two million students ages 3 years to 21 years old have such learning disabilities according to the U.S. Department of Education and the vast majority of them have difficulties in reading. It should be noted that this statistic reflects students who are receiving services under the special education law, IDEA. Children who have yet to be identified and not serviced are not accounted for in this statistic.

Dyslexia effects the manner in which the way the brain processes written and spoken language, primarily reading. This disability, besides reading disabilities is demonstrated in the inability to master spelling, writing and oral language. It is a life long neurological condition without a cure but with appropriate instructional intervention, a child will find academic success and go on to college with career success.

Children with Dyslexia will experience much frustration and have a poor self esteem due to the stress of attempting to perform academically. Reading a single word can be a tremendous struggle. Dyslexia makes it most difficult to understand and remember what has been read. Connecting letters to sounds prevents a child in sounding out words (phonics). The skill of decoding words to create a sentence is another area of deficiency. Word recognition or sight word reading is a challenge and it requires countless attempts to visually identify words as a whole. Managing to remember the text or what has been read is almost unattainable and dyslexic children get bogged down sounding out individual words.

If a child is identified and diagnosed before the age of eight, they can be helped and will catch up to their peers. Researchers who study the brain, have identified a concept called “neuroplasticity” which documents the ability of the brain to rewire itself in processing data after these children receive specific tutoring and interventions.

There is no single test to determine the existence of dyslexia in a child. The child must be identified due to reading problems and evaluated by a team of specialists. The following steps hopefully will lead to early intervention: a medical exam, a referral by a specialist, psychological testing, completions of questionnaires by parents and teachers. Ultimately, all of the data is put together and a determination for special learning assistance will be determined.

In my next blog, I will provide additional information about this learning challenge and, in future postings, I will reveal stories of success from celebrities and public figures who are dyslexics. I will also provide much needed information on how parents can help their child in understanding dyslexia and methods of parental intervention for social and academic success.

Please do share “whatsyourfeeling” on this blog site.