My Elbert: Neurodiversity & Disparagement

The research was published…Personality and Individual Differences (think about autonomy):

Another Recent Study uncovers the “Tendency for Interpersonal Victimhood”: A new personality construct has been defined that describes people who persistently see themselves as victims within interpersonal conflicts [such as disparagement]. This research has suggested, for example, that middle school students with learning disabilities often view academic situations as threatening, even exhibiting physiological stress responses upon entering a room where they will be asked to read. While more successful readers tend to show mild anxiety when asked to read aloud, students with a history of reading difficulties show elevated heart rates and other indicators [sympathetic-anger] of stress even before being given instructions.25


Here’s let’s think about the impacts of dyslexia and the disparagement all creating anger/shame especially in school:


Difficulty understanding any concept without starting with the “whole picture”. The dyslexic learner thinks and understands the world in whole concrete images. If the whole concrete image has not been presented first and is available when the student is starting to learn the parts, the parts will not make any sense and the brain will discard them. The dyslexic needs to start with and see whole images and whole concepts, not the separated parts.


Difficulty with understanding the parts separate from the whole image of the word. If these students cannot see the parts within the whole and the whole image at the same time, they cannot make sense out of pieces or parts of information.

For example, demonstrating fractions. Use two oranges, keep one whole, cut the other up first into halves then into quarters, but always have the visual image of the whole orange present. The student must understand that the word fraction stands for the equal parts you have created from the whole.


Difficulty with the skills of hand printing, spelling, reading, and composing sentences correctly. This usually means that the dyslexic brain cannot transfer its concrete images adequately, which works with abstracts and uses the language of words and numbers.


The dyslexic thinker cannot learn, analyze, or work with what they do not understand or can process. This is a strong indication that although the students are taking in information and attempting to store it in whole concrete images, they are not using it for thinking or learning that requires abstract processing. Instead, they are memorizing the image of the information and giving it back verbatim in their answers. Basically, difficulty with understanding the parts separate from the whole image of the word.


The dyslexic learner does not always understand the abstract words, thoughts, and ideas they hear or read as they cannot easily turn them into whole concrete images they can visualize. Words must be memorized beforehand, so the brain does not have to lose time during reading figuring out how the word is decoded, what it sounds like or means. If the student spends too much time in decoding and recognizing the individual words, comprehension of the story is lost.


The student is forced to reread the passage over and over to understand what they have just read. Their short-term memory can consequently dump the information when the dyslexic has struggled too long to decode the words and find context in what they are reading. Therefore, the student will not be able to answer any questions about their reading assignment because the student has not processed the information correctly or stored it in long-term memory.


Difficulty in following instructions. Dyslexic students need very specific and complete instructions on how to do an assignment, project, test or complete a lesson. Again, this is about the necessity to see the whole picture.

They need to understand how the assignment starts and ends. They need to know: where to put their name, date and title; what kind of paper to use; pen, pencil, or computer; the date to hand it in; how the answers should look (for example: one word answers, a paragraph or a page); and any other issues that may be of concern for the student. Once the student has all the information they require they have the “whole picture” of what to do and can now see the parts so they are ready to start the assignment.

Also, the entire lesson or explanation must be given at one time on the same day. If this does not happen, the students will forget everything they should have learned to be able to work on and complete the assignment. Dyslexic students should always be allowed and encouraged to ask questions to fill in any gaps they have in understanding what they are required to do.

With Disparagement Some Can Start to Disassociate, Increase Shame, AND/OR Become INATTENTIVE to What They Are Reading

Researchers investigate why we “space out” and stop paying attention to the world around us when we become engrossed in social media posts.Sometimes when we are reading a good book, it’s like we are transported into another world and we stop paying attention to what’s around us. Researchers at the University of Washington wondered if people enter a similar state of dissociation when surfing social media, and if that explains why users might feel out of control after spending so much time on their favorite app. [Retrieved from].

Murphy and Zajonc (1993) affirmed a previous finding that positive and negative affective responses “can be evoked with minimal stimulus input and virtually no cognitive processing [fight, fight]” (p. 723). They further found that when affective network response is elicited outside of conscious awareness, brain response is diffuse and a specific location cannot be specifie

Over time, I observed those who experience disparagement- go from anger in nature, to hatred and resentment. Similarly, those with shame nature- go from regressive anger to shame, grief, and guilt, “The emotion is a direct avenue to explain a spiritual truth.” Likewise, “draw away the mind from its grief… “later noting that ‘we ought not to grieve for those whom we see to be set free, and we bear in mind that so many holy souls are, not without a purpose, at this time loosed from the chains of the body’ (1.67). ” Written by Rt. Revd. Prof Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe HERE

According to Fr. Stephen Freeman, acknowledging our emptiness and brokenness, our failures and weakness, is an exercise in confronting shame. It can be quite painful – something we either avoid or cover over with self-loathing. Shame is not self-loathing. Indeed, the energy behind our self-loathing is simply pride (ϕιλαυτία). Self-loathing is consumed with the self and driven by its unwillingness to be that person. Bearing our shame is the willingness to acknowledge the truth of ourselves and our lives as a simple fact, without protest or promise of reform. It is enduring the simple fact of our lives, how we live them, how we fail, how we really do not love God or others, etc. It is not an exercise in comparative failure – it does not matter whether our weakness is similar to anyone else’s. Such comparisons are merely another exercise in self-justification, an avoidance of the fact, the shame, of our lives. ‘ Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. [Ps. 110:1.]’ Hebrews 12:2

In this particular ancient tradition, anger [and shame], or any passion for that matter, is not an appropriate motivation for any action….Of course one must act, personally and politically, in whatever ways are possible and appropriate to make the world a better place, but not with anger burning in your heart.  Anger blinds and deafens.  Anger keeps us from thinking clearly and from paying attention to and loving the human beings in our presence right now.  Anger drives away the Holy Spirit and consistently leads us to say and do things we later regret.  Anger is not the way. We need to give the heart a way out of itself. This goes back to the idea of opening the heart to others. If you want to get out of the trap of anger or resentment, of bitterness, of depression, a key starting point is to find ways to serve another person, because when you really serve someone else, when you offer genuine compassion to another suffering person, the heart does not have time to be bitter, does not have time to loathe or to hold onto energies.

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Published by Tricia Cook, MEd., Online Dyslexia and Behavioral Interventionist, RSP, AA O-G Tutor & Montessorian

Dyslexia Screenings & Emotional Intensive Intervention - Staff Training - Online Courses- Consultancy- Tutoring-Reliance and Family Coaching I have a unique approach in helping individuals achieve their full potential. With over two and a half decades of experience, I have a passion for learning new techniques and being at the forefront of groundbreaking advancements in education. As a graduate of the renowned Auburn University, I have earned both her BA in ECE and Masters Degree in Secondary with Reading Specialist certification from the University of Alabama. I have experience at the Montessori School in Birmingham which has provided me with valuable insights into the best practices of teaching young minds. I have also developed training programs for teachers, providing essential support to students with neurodiverse needs such as dyslexia, ADHD, and autism spectrum. I have focus on developing a "whole child" pedagogy that caters to all modes of learning, I continually work with Dr. Joseph Nwoye on teaching and learning including DEI. I have helped develop programs and training with SDIG ( in promoting the intersectionality of the complexities and complicated issues of diversity. I have credentials as a reading specialist with a speech pathology background expanded greatly while owning Cook's Independent Tutoring, Coaching, Consulting, LLC. I currently pursuing a Neurodiversity Family Coaching certification in the framework of the CReW Coaching Institute. Again, I have a commitment to being at the forefront of groundbreaking advancements in education. As an enthusiastic learner and educator, I am confident that I have the necessary skills to support others in achieving their goals ( For more information, contact Tricia Cook, Cook's Independent, Tutoring, Coaching and Consulting, LLC. (;

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