Irish Writer Colm Tóibín Didn’t Read Until He Was Nine

Colm ToibinI’m in Jakarta, Indonesia right now, having finished a series of presentations for media, physicians, psychologists, and parents on multiple intelligences for Wyeth Nutrition-Indonesia. Yesterday, I was reading The International New York Times and was amused by this recollection from award-winning Irish writer Colm Tóibín:

”I could not read until I was 9, by which time I had developed a serious stammer. Although my mother once warned me that being a dimwit was likely to have dire consequences, my parents were sweet enough not to mention my stammer or my non-reading much and were smart enough not to seek professional help. They left me to myself. Thus I have no childhood books or authors, but I had plenty of time to think and also to study things and people. I did then learn to read . . . ”

Can you imagine the young child being overwhelmed by speech pathologists, learning disability specialists, reading instructors, diagnostic testing, and parental worry?  Maybe he would have grown up to be a dimwit after all!


For information about sensible ways to introduce literacy to children, see my book The Multiple Intelligences of Reading and Writing:  Making the Words Come Alive.

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I'm the author of 19 books including my latest: If Einstein Ran the Schools: Revitalizing U.S. Education - https://amzn.to/2KAxT8F.

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