Daddy Am I Stupid: The Dyslexia Dilemma
As assistant director of the family resource center, Lisa Doyle’s job in the Bourbon County school system is to help eliminate barriers to children’s education.
And she’s also a mom. So when her son Mason, now 11, was experiencing difficulties at school, she put her resourcefulness — and her love for her son — in full throttle and sought an answer.
By the fourth grade, the bright, engaging boy who showed a lot of artistic talent was reading far below his age level — at the second grade level or less. He worked hard; he just wasn’t making the connections.
But one night the Doyle family was gathered on the couch, enjoying a movie. When it ended, everyone got up, but Lisa stayed in the living room and started flipping through the channels. She lighted on KET — and was dumbfounded at what she saw.
“I heard a man talking about dyslexia — that there was a glitch somewhere between the eyes and the brain. The eyes are fine. The brain is fine. That’s what I’d always thought about Mason. I watched the whole program and said, ‘this man really knows what he’s talking about.’”
That man was Dr. Robert Dahlem, a Louisville veterinarian who invented special prism lenses to help his dyslexic son, Austin, who was struggling in school. Dahlem dedicated himself to changing the lives of other children struggling against this puzzling learning disability — and became the subject of the independent documentary Daddy, Am I Stupid? The Dyslexia Dilemma, first aired on KET in October 2006.
After watching the program, Doyle immediately e-mailed Dahlem, asking for an evaluation — and to be a part of Dahlem’s study of the effectiveness of his treatment.
“I was just flabbergasted,” she recalls. “It took 20 minutes. Mason would look at the pages and was asked to name the colors.
At the end of the interview, Mason was diagnosed as severely dyslexic and was offered the strongest prism lens Dahlem makes. It made an immediate difference.
“Before he got the glasses, he was two reading grade levels behind. Now he’s reading above his grade level. When I heard Dr. Dahlem on KET, I thought, ‘this is just wonderful. Here is the answer!’ And it was. Without seeing the program on KET, I would have never known.”
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