The Pretenders


By Barbara Guyer, Ed.D.

Gifted people who have difficulty learning

What would you do if, no matter how hard you tried, you could not learn to read? Would you continue to try or would you resign yourself to pretending, for the benefit of others, that you could read? If you were unable to read, it would affect every area of your life. How could you hide this fact from those around you? And how would it affect your self-esteem?

The Pretenders tells the stories of eight people who never stopped trying. From humiliation in school and the anxiety of coping with everyday life unable to read street signs and menus, to shopping, driving, and working, these people lived in a world of dashed hopes and dreams – regardless of outward appearances – until they discovered their learning disability and unlocked their true gifts.

Dr. Barbara Guyer, an educator for more than forty years, shares the stories of those she has known and worked with throughout her career. She has helped countless students, from elementary school to college and even medical school, understand that their learning problems were not unusual, that they could learn, and that they were intelligent, even gifted, people.

Dave, whose story the author tells, described his frustration with dyslexia to her: “My tutor keeps saying, ‘I know you can read this, Dave. Now show me what you can do. I don’t believe that you can’t read these sentences.’ He treats me as if he thinks I’m pretending I can’t read. I’ve pretended I could read all my life, but I’m not pretending any longer.”

Anyone who has ever endured a failure in school will appreciate the heartache of people who knew nothing but failure, yet held great potential. Called “retarded,” “lazy,” “immature,” “delinquent,” and more, they managed to get by, all the while thinking that deep down they were worthless people – that everything anyone ever said to them was true. Except, as they would discover later in life, it wasn’t.

ISBN 0-9653744-1-6
191 Pages

Additional information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 0.5 in


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