By Megan Friedman
Kendra Thomas would tell herself, “I can’t be a writer, I can’t do this, I can’t do that—I’ll never be a straight-A student.” She didn’t think of herself as an intelligent person. But three published books and one play later, despite her struggles with dyslexia and ADD, Kendra is a successful principal at a school in Texas working on her dissertation and a fourth book.
But it didn’t happen overnight. Kendra didn’t think she could be a writer when she was diagnosed with dyslexia going into second grade. It took a lot of support and hard work to get to where she is today. “It was so important for my mom to be there and say, ‘It’s okay to get a C in math; I know you’re giving 100% and if giving your 100% is a C, that’s okay.’”
Kendra also worked very hard to achieve her goals. “The best way to learn to write or to get better at writing is to do it,” she says. “Some people take three weeks to grow; some people take three years to grow. As long as you’re heading in the right direction, you’re going to grow.”
By college, Kendra began to feel more confident. She wrote a play that her college theater professor liked, and it sparked a chain of confidence that she would carry through a successful career and life that includes writing her play, The Struggles. The play is about a student named Megan who is struggling with dyslexia and ADD. Megan’s world is “filled with embarrassing read-alouds, late papers, missed assignments, and forgotten homework.”
The play, like Kendra’s own experiences, shows how struggling with dyslexia and ADD isn’t necessarily a weakness. “It doesn’t matter what you struggle with, you were put on this Earth to do something, and you can do it if you put in the work,” says Kendra. “Having dyslexia and having ADD pushed me farther, it made me work harder.”
To view a sample of The Struggles click here.
Megan Friedman started volunteering at the International Dyslexia Association in 2012 and is now the Publications/Communications Coordinator.
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