Author Delicia Barther: Opening The Door to Shine Light on Dyslexia
When you write a children’s book, it has the power to change lives. It has even more power when it has the ability to disrupt norms, start meaningful conversations, and challenge the status quo. That’s the kind of power of Delicia Barther’s writing. A Dyslexia Therapist, she knows all too well the heartbreak of those who struggle to read. That struggle is no fault of their own but of a condition called Dyslexia.
Delicia’s personal experience with Dyslexia made her want to help others, and she found herself in a position to do just that when she became a dyslexia therapist. She wrote the book because she wanted her students to know that they were not alone and that their challenges did not define them. She also wanted them to know the amazing progress that can be made with early interventions. And while the book is geared toward children, Delicia hopes it will also help adults to understand dyslexia and to see those who struggle with it in a new light.
In an interview with Delicia, she shared her journey to becoming an author, her work as a Dyslexia Therapist, and opened up about her own insecurities. Her story is inspiring and provides valuable insight to encourage and motivate anyone working towards a goal.
Share a little about yourself and what inspired you to become an author.
I am a first-generation HBCU graduate. I was raised in Rockdale, TX. I chose to attend an HBCU l because I craved the Black experience. My cousin would allow us to come and visit her at Prairie View A & M, and I immediately fell in love. I enrolled at Huston Tillotson College (at the time) as an education major specializing in reading and was on my way. I had self-esteem and confidence issues. I made lots of mistakes. By the time I graduated, I had had two miscarriages and had been kicked out for fighting my second semester. I didn’t believe I deserved my success, but I knew that I had to graduate from college.
I began my teaching career as a reading interventionist. I married my college sweetheart and started my M.Ed., and I found out we were expecting our first child in 2006. Alex was born in September 2007. I completed my Educational Administration degree from Texas Christian University in December 2007. We welcomed our daughter, Addison, in 2012.
I began my training as a Dyslexia Therapist in 2018. I graduated in May 2020 from The Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia at Scottish Rite Hospital.
In January of 2021, I compiled a list of 300 things that I wanted to do. Writing a book was on the list. One of my students suggested I write a book when we were discussing our dreams. I published my book, “Dyslexia Does Not Have Me,” on April 30, 2022, and dedicated it to him.
What is the key theme or message in the book?
The key theme/message I would like readers to take away is that we are all capable of being great. Students with dyslexia may sometimes experience frustration until they receive the help they need. They don’t always realize they are not the only ones with dyslexia. Having a teacher to encourage and teach specific strategies can make a world of difference. I also wanted to ensure that readers understand that paying it forward is important. I would have never gotten to the position I’m in without the help of so many amazing angels along the way. I had people cheering for me when I wouldn’t do it for myself. As humans, we all need support.
What is the significance of the title?
“Dyslexia Does Not Have Me” is a reminder to students with challenges that it does not define them. They have the talent and skills to be successful. I have found that my students improve significantly upon completing a structured dyslexia intervention program that a highly trained individual teaches. It is important that students understand that we all have our own paths. No one’s journey looks the same as the others. As humans, we judge ourselves harshly and rarely offer ourselves grace. I believe the title of this book helps instill a sense of self-confidence and appreciation of neuro-diverse individuals.
What was the highlight of writing this book?
The highlight of writing “Dyslexia Does Not Have Me” was the process. I had the house all to myself one weekend in November. I already had a title in mind. I sat in my living room and meditated, and the words began pouring onto the pages. I was able to write at least half of the book that day. From there, I started adding pages here and there until it was completed. Writing a children’s book about something I hold near and dear to my heart was a confirmation that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.
What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?
Don’t be afraid to start. I spend lots of time thinking of everything I want to do in life. I decided in 2021 to begin living my dreams unapologetically. Once you know your vision/message, begin filling in the blanks. I like using outlines as a prewriting tool. I also need quiet with few distractions. I have a busy life, so I had to carve out time to write. This was a project that I kept close to my heart until it was completed because I didn’t want/need any outside influences. Find a process that feels right to you, and go for it.
What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
I hope readers will know that we are the creators of our reality. Although we may have been placed in situations that are not fair, everything works for our greater good. We are all capable of being amazing, regardless of the difficulties we face. A learning disability/setback/mistake does not define us.
What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
The key challenges I faced were confidence and time. I struggled with believing that I was capable of becoming a published author for the longest. The idea of writing a book has been something that I’ve wanted to do for years. I just never believed that a small-town girl like myself could be a published author. That was MAJOR!!! I began making changes on the inside. I began to heal the parts of me that had been broken for so long. I took time to love on myself. I was no longer holding on to it if it wasn’t bringing me joy. This creative balance allowed me to make time to write. My creative juices began to flow, and the words followed suit.
Are you working on anything at present you would like to share with your readers?
I am. It is another multicultural children’s book. I anticipate publishing it by December 2022, just in time for Christmas. This book will focus on self-confidence. In the past, I struggled with feeling confident. It is so easy to encourage someone else but encouraging ourselves can be challenging. This book reminds us that being ourselves is enough. I am very excited about this release because it focuses on another topic I feel passionate about.
How can people connect with you, find your book, etc.?
I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook/Instagram @author_deliciabarther, and on www.linktr.ee/authordelicia