No Words? Read Hers.

Sometimes something happens in your life and you don't have any words.  Do you guys know what I am talking about?  Maybe a situation changes completely and all of a sudden your mouth is open but no sound is coming out?  Yeah.  That's happened to me.

I did an interview with Dr. Michael Hart and felt really good about it, in the moment.  He posted it on his website yesterday.  

I did not okay the title. 

Then he wrote an unauthorized blog post about me, in the process making some super untrue claims, and as of this writing has still not updated his post.  Cool cool.  So that's how it's gonna be.

Luckily for me scholarship begins at three.   

I might not have any words but my teacher Gina Cooke sure does.  Please read them if you also read Dr. Hart's blog.  They are exactly how I feel and better than anything I could come up with:

Dr. Hart:

You are not the first person to try to police my tone in order to deflect from the facts I am offering, and you won't be the last. Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with my work before you offer your ill-formed fantasies about how it may be received. Managing how adult strangers feel is not my line of work.

You'd like to differentiate yourself as a psychologist, not a tutor. OK, fine. I'm not sure how that's relevant, considering that you wrote an unauthorized blog about a tutor and made recommendations about tutoring. I am a tutor, have been for a long time. But I am first and foremost a linguist; I research the language. That's why I can offer an understanding of it that is accurate and real and helpful, no matter what's "embedded" in a field.

I don't care how "deeply embedded" lies are, or how adults feel about being called out for lying to children about their own language. I'm sure that it was really hard on the feels of the leechers when modern medicine came along. I bet that the alchemists are still licking their wounds over the empirical revelation that you can't turn other substances into gold. And yes, the flat-earthers and the geocentrists are still put out about Galileo, darn it.

Look, science moves. Real science doesn't cling to what's "embedded" in the history of a field, or to research that's all predicated on a falsehood. Language is not static, and neither is the evidence and understanding we have about how it works. "It's embedded in the field" is not a scientific argument.

Your blog post is not helpful; it muddies the waters you thought you were helping to clear. To have a phonics proponent like you who knows nothing about SWI give it some kind of weird sanction in a blog post? Not helpful. Why not take more than an hour to learn about it?

Tell you what: I'll give you a free Introduction to SWI class. You can take it online. No need to even leave home. Contact me through my website to schedule it.

I wish you had just let Emily explain SWI in your interview, rather than trying to paraphrase her in a blog post that she did not agree to. I don't think you listened to Emily: it was not 7 or 8 years ago, more like 2 or maybe 3. She didn't just choose a new "core intervention approach" -- she upended her understanding of how the language does and does not work, based on scientific evidence, and she changed her practice accordingly.

It's not like she took a new training and got a new book and just had a new approach. But I'm not here to stick up for Emily. I'm here to say, no, SWI is not an "also," and frankly, you really don't know what it is. Your blog post misrepresents SWI, and I am calling it out.

With all due respect, when you try to write about SWI, you have no solid idea of what it is. When I write about OG, on the contrary, I know it intimately. You're right -- I don't know you. But I totally know what you do. I know the Dyslexia Industry really well. I know the psychology; I know the neuroscience; I know the research; I know the pedagogy. Really. Well. On the other hand, you don't know a thing about my work, as evidenced by your clumsy attempts to hush me up by scolding me about what OG practitioners might think of me, as though I didn't already know.

For the record; I wasn't being sarcastic. I was being direct. I wasn't suggesting that you don't care about children. I am suggesting that caring about and supporting children is NOT ENOUGH to equip them for a literate lifetime. We need real understanding about the language, not just feelings, tender or hurt or otherwise.

You "did not explain [your] point very well" because you're not sure what your point is. You invested exactly one hour interviewing someone and then threw the weight of your expertise behind a blind recommendation for SWI as an "also" to OG. That's not helping

It's really not helping. Here is what I think: SWI is better.  Heads and shoulders better.  It is 100% what I would recommend.  I don't want my name in a blog post that recommends kids get both OG and SWI.  I do not believe in OG.  I can say that because I used to use it, and now I do not.  I do not believe in OG because it misrepresents our written orthography to my fellow dyslexic humans and I am not okay with that.  

Hold up you guys I think I just got my voice back.