Ellen's Story is a testament of my persistent struggle for literacy, the crippling defeat I suffered in my adult life due to this problem, and the ultimate steps I needed to take toward triumph.
My story begins in England as World War II breaks out. As a victim of the times and of a society unaware of learning disabilities, I fell further and further behind in a system focused on only achievers. At the age of 18, contemplating a dim future as an ill-educated factory worker and bearing thoughts of suicide, I immigrated to Canada. But dreams of a new life of marriage, children and friendships never came to be; struggles with learning disabilities sabotaged every hope. My marriage failed, I sunk into a deep depression, and I tried to raise four children on welfare. Eventually, after intensive therapy, I was diagnosed with dyslexia and only grade 7 reading skills. Through the incredible support from the Victoria READ Society, a special school in B.C., I came to believe I could learn, and learn I did.
However, my triumphs came with more pain. Literacy problems had devastated my life and my relationships, and I felt an incredible fear knowing the lives I'd hurt. But then I learned I was far from alone; there were millions in Canada that were feeling the same shame and hopelessness that I was. What was the true number of people - particularly children - suffering as a result of this issue.
The terrible effects of literacy and numeracy problems on human health, wealth and happiness are unseen. The victims face lifelong shame, guilt and failure. I hope my story will open eyes to the real destruction of this hidden epidemic and give courage to those willing to come forward and attend classes. But more importantly, since less than 5% of adults with learning difficulties seek help, I hope my story will give courage and hope to others.
Please refer to preface for more regarding this silent devastation.
Author: Ellen Szita
Publisher: See a Book Take a Look
Format: Soft Cover novel, 279pp