forced graduate to create own path for success
with severe dyslexia at age five, Bryson Patterson was told that
he would never finish high school. Despite the learning disability,
Patterson will earn a bachelor's in history
his senior thesis in history, he researched coastal fortifications
used during the Civil War. Working with his adviser, noted Civil
War scholar Gary Gallagher, Patterson read diaries from the 1860s,
tattered records exchanged between Civil War generals and fragile
copies of speeches. Although the dyslexia makes reading a slow,
laborious process, he does not regard it as a handicap -- just
"a way of life" -- and found the long hours of research
"a fun, learning adventure."
paper, with a bit more research and some revisions, has strong
potential to be published in one of the popular Civil War journals,"
said history professor Gallagher. "He analyzed the evidence
from a fresh perspective." Patterson plans to follow Gallagher's
advice then submit his paper for publication.
complete his studies through high school and at the University,
Patterson relied heavily on listening to books on tape provided
by the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. At U.Va., the Learning
Needs and Evaluation Center also recorded texts recommended by
faculty for him.
wonderful to be living in a time where there is so much technology
to help the dyslexic," Patterson said, adding, "I'm
fortunate to have parents who have recognized my problems and
made things available to me." He also credits the tutors
he had from the age of five through 13.
graduating from U.Va., he and two friends plan to hike the 2,200-mile
Appalachian Trail that runs from Maine to Georgia, although he
admits he is "not placing any bets on finishing." The
trio has set a goal of completing the trek by Thanksgiving.
press release on Dyslexia
Forced Graduate to Create Own Path for Success