Dyslexia Reading Strategies with Susan Kahn, M.Ed. | EXPLORING DIFFERENT BRAINS Episode 13


In this episode, Hackie Reitman, M.D. interviews Susan Kahn, M.Ed., educator and author of the “Sue’s Strategies” series. Susan discusses raising neurodiverse children, explains some of the reading strategies she employs with dyslexic students, and highlights the need for governmental support for educating different brains.

To learn more about Susan, please visit her: www.SueKahnReadNow.com

Her books and teaching tools can be found on her website here.

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HACKIE REITMAN, M.D. (HR)

Hi, this is Dr. Hackie Reitman and welcome to another episode of Exploring Different Brains, and we’ve got a real treat for you today: we have none other than Susan Kahn, the author of Sue’s Strategies, and she’s going to tell us all about dyslexia and lots of other stuff, and Sue, how are you?

SUSAN KAHN, M.Ed. (SK)

I’m fine. I’m delighted to be here with you.

HR

Well, thanks for being here with us. Now, you’re up there in Waltham, Massachusetts, right?

SK

Yes, and the storm has ended and we have sunshine.

HR

Well, we’re down here in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and it’s a little bit nippy, might be 60 degrees or something.

SK

Yeah, we’re a little less.

HR

Sue, you’ve had quite a history trying to help people with various disabilities going back to Texas. Why don’t you tell us about your career?

SK

Certainly. I became a teacher of–you know, just regular elementary school classrooms, and I taught a year after earning my Master’s Degree from Boston University in education, where I had majored in reading, and then I decided to have a family.

But my family turned out to be rather different from most people’s families because one son had a severe dyslexia, another son had a very rare physical ailment, which eventually took his life, and a third son had some mental health issues. So I became interested in my own self interest of helping my children in learning everything I possibly could about how the brain learned and how I was going to solve the problems of my children. And I succeeded best with my dyslexic child, and I’ve made it a career, and I’ve actually helped thousands of people. Now I’m trying to spread the knowledge with books, for parents and teachers, so that others will know how to help a dyslexic child read within one year.

HR

Tell us the name of the book.

SK

It’s Sue’s Strategies: Best Reading/Spelling Method Ages 6-60. I am certified at all levels of instruction, elementary, middle and senior high school, but I’ve also worked for mass rehab commission in Boston, so I’ve had experience with adults. And I believe the oldest person I’ve taught was 59 and he just celebrated his 60th birthday. So I–

HR

Do you happen to have a copy of the book handy that you could hold up on the screen for our viewers?

SK

Oh, sure.

SK

Well this is my sample copy. The actual ones are a little prettier, but that’s the book.

HR

All right, great. And where do our viewers buy that book if they want to get ahold of it if it’s not in the library?

SK

Well it’s available on amazon, but the simplest way to purchase the book is through my website, which is SueKahnReadNow.com

HR

SueKahnReadNow that’s a catchy, catchy website. I like it.

SK

I also have another book I can hold up, because once I taught them to read, they need to learn how to write sentences in order to understand them better–so this is the part two of recovering from dyslexia, and it’s called How To Create Effective Sentences.

HR

Now does that apply just to reading and writing, how about the processing verbally?

SK

Oh, yes. It applies to everything. If a person’s dyslexia affects more than just being able to read the words–it affects the way he understands sentences, and usually, the person needs some retraining in how to understand sentences the way most people understand them. And then, once that knowledge of grammar, which is what I teach in this book, is solidly implanted in the dyslexic person’s head. Then, he begins to understand language as most of us do, and his fluency and comprehension both go up, as well as his writing skills improve dramatically because he’s not afraid to write long sentences, he knows that whatever he’s written is correct as long as he followed the rules in the book.

HR

Now, tell us how your son is doing at this time.

SK                                            

Oh, beautifully. He earned an MBA in business administration, he has a great job with an insurance company. He’s married, has two dyslexic little grandchildren, and thinks are terrific.

HR

Now, Sue, tell me how you see the brain. What I mean by that is this: I got brought into this whole thing kind of circuitously because my daughter, Rebecca, has 23 brain tumors and had a couple of major brain surgeries, but she was doing pretty good, and all I knew was on her neuropsychological testing, at the time, she had some ADHD and some memory deficits, and she went off to get her discrete math degree at Georgia Tech, and in so doing, inspired me to make the movie the Square Root of 2, starring Darby Stanchfield from Scandal. But after I made the movie, Rebecca, like yourself, started helping kids with learning disabilities, and the founder of the school she was working at in Georgia said, “You know, your daughter has Asperger’s too,” and I didn’t know what that was, and then I found out about autism–and then I held up release of the movie–so I’ve gotten into this whole thing by researching and then writing the Aspertools book, on Asperger’s, Autism and Neurodiversity.

And the reason I’m telling you this whole, long story is I’m seeing every brain as being on a spectrum, not just autism spectrum, but just all kinds of different brains. Okay? And if we start adding up all of the things, it’s ADHD, it’s dyslexia, it’s PTSD, it’s autism, it’s Asperger‚Äôs, it’s OCD, you name it, there’s a million of them–and it strikes me that you’re seeing the brain in a similar fashion, when you’re able to take these dyslexic individuals and have them reading and constructing good sentences and doing all of that in one year. Could you elaborate on your view–your macro-view of the brain and neurodiversity?

SK

Yes. Well my scope has been much narrower than yours, and I certainly admire you for all of the work that you’ve done, and I’m delighted to hear about your daughter–that’s just awesome. My son basically suffered from the ADHD and the dyslexia, and I was lucky enough, eventually, once I got over the hurdle of, “Oh my God, I’m going to put my son on meds,” to have a fabulous psych pharmacologist who understood my son so that his attention was there, and then the issue clearly was dyslexia–now Dr. Sally Shaywitz from Yale University Child Development Clinic, has been taking FMR pictures of dyslexic brains for approximately 30 years. So she can validate that the language cells for dyslexic people tend to be in the right hemisphere and not altogether.

So that it’s difficult for a dyslexic person to learn language when the left hemisphere is really geared for language acquisition and the right hemisphere isn’t–and then the language cells have to communicate with each other and there’s a distance so that slows down the speed. But, Dr. Orton had published the multi-sensory Orton Gillingham method of reading, prior to Dr. Sally Shaywitz’s brain research. And so she decided to give her patients, or clients, whatever one calls them–a one year of reading intervention with synthetic phonics, which is basically what Dr. Orton suggested, and it’s the method I use, although I’ve updated it with lots of memory tactics that we know about now that Dr. Orton didn‚Äôt know about then. So the result of the FMR follow-up studies was that the brain cells had migrated from the right hemisphere to the left hemisphere and suddenly, the dyslexic people found that their language problem had become so much better.

So what we’re trying to do now with intervention, I’m working on advocacy in Massachusetts, is to encourage our legislature to pass a couple of laws that would define dyslexia as a neurobiological disorder that affects language acquisition, to ask them to screen for dyslexia because Dr. Nadene Gabb at Children’s hospital in Boston has recently come up with a 20-minute screening test for five-year-olds that detects dyslexia with 92% accuracy, and then we want the schools to give early intervention with some evidence-based methods, like Dr. Orton’s and mine, that are geared especially for dyslexic students, so that they–the children are all reading on grade level or above before they start third grade, which is reading to learn. And this is all very doable. Now I cannot really teach everybody to read and write within one year, I usually keep students for two years–the first year to teach them the reading process, and the second year to teach them the writing process. But, we know that all of the synthetic phonetic programs succeed in making excellent readers out of the dyslexic children. So it’s very important for us to go state-by-state and just change the laws and give our children an opportunity to learn. So my view of the brain is not as broad as yours, I mean I also understand about different areas that affect learning, you know, the frontal lobes and the ADHD and the executive function, but my work has primarily been with the dyslexic language acquisition problem, and it’s in that way that I can help people the most.

HR

What you’re saying is, is that all of our brains have neuroplasticity in that they can rewire at any age, and that is a very very hopeful and positive thing for many. And that’s true for dyslexia but it’s true for a lot of other stuff, too. And the question is how do we get the brain to rewire itself, and that’s what a lot of the research is about is, is what causes the brain wiring to be abnormal to begin with. Now do you see a great deal of overlap between ADHD and dyslexia?

SK

Well, I’ve been told that one-third of all students who are diagnosed with ADHD will also have dyslexia. I don’t know if it works the other way, but I have a comment about the neuroplasticity–the dyslexia research showed that if the synthetic phonetic intervention did not occur for at least one year before age nine, then the person would learn to read with accuracy, but probably would never have fluency, and that’s what I’m seeing in my private practice. When students come to me at the high school level, whether they’re reading at 2nd grade level or 4th grade level, I can, within one year, put them on grade level–but, I cannot change their fluency because they came to me when their brains were less plastic for this particular movement of language cells from the right side to the left side of the so-called rewiring. So that’s why, in our legislation, we have begged and pleaded for intervention with–well diagnosis for five and six-year-olds in intervention as soon as possible.

HR

Well that screening makes all of the sense in the world, and I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t do it.

SK

Well, we have another problem, and that is that synthetic phonics is not normally taught at any university in America. I think maybe we’re up to 17 universities now, so that teachers are trained, without ever being required to take a course in synthetic phonetics–they don’t know how to teach the kids, they’re automatically licensed by the state government, and they go into education and so the failure is repeated year in and year out. Now, Great Britain and Australia have both passed government mandates that require elementary school teachers be trained in synthetic phonics, and that that be the way children learn to read, in those nations. So the United States is not following the research. Dr. G. Reid Lyon, from the National Institute of Health, said in 2002 that synthetic phonetic instruction, I believe he was referring to the methods that we follow–is the best way to teach all children–but we just can’t seem to bring that, yet, into the public schools. And so we’re fighting this out state by state–I’ve joined a group called Decoding Dyslexia: Massachusetts, which seems to be professionals, parents and grand parents who really want to make life in education better for the future than it’s been for our children, and there are these decoding dyslexia organizations in every state now, of the union. So that’s another way we’re approaching the problem.

HR

Now, you mentioned ADHD and dyslexia as, what I’m going to call comorbidities, if you will, what other comorbidities are you seeing with dyslexia?

SK

Okay, I’m seeing quite a few cases of anxiety, but I do not know if it’s the failure in school causing the anxiety or if it’s organic. And I’m also seeing some cases of depression, and, again, I don’t know. But, because of the comorbid nature of ADHD, one could easily have the ADHD, the dyslexia and the anxiety or depression. So, you know–without being able to look into somebodies mind, I couldn’t say what the cause is. But yes, often people have several different difficulties.

HR

Why don’t you rattle off for our audience, some of the great people who are functioning quite well, who are dyslexic in this world–so-called celebrity dyslexics?

SK

Okay, well Steve Jobs, obviously, is a favorite of mine. Charles Shwab, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Tom Cruise, Cher.

A majority of students at MIT are dyslexic, 50% of NASA scientists are dyslexics, you see, dyslexics are very lucky in one way–they may struggle with language, but their right hemispheres tend to be a little larger than people like myself, who have the ordinary left hemisphere being larger, and something good happens in that right hemisphere–they have almost a visual-spatial language. In other words, Einstein used to think in a visual-spatial language, I could never understand, but he was so brilliant, he could translate his thoughts into words. And then share whatever it was was going on in his head with the rest of the universe. I find that most of my students have–well we say are hard-wired for math, science, engineering, architecture–the creative arts–the something different about the way their brain acquires information and it’s very useful for society to have people like this, so we definitely want to teach them to read and achieve their potential.

HR

One of the things I like to do, is I like people to not feel like the lone ranger when they go through something tough. You mentioned earlier that you had lost one of your sons and I wondered if you’d care to share that as it might benefit our viewers in some way–in some way.

SK

Well, it–a loss like that is always tragic, and, of course, I bare the scars even today. My son died of a very rare bleeding disease, and the cure was not developed until 20 years after his death, so there was nothing that could have been done about. It was a thrombocytopenia–an inability to clot.

HR

Which thrombocytopenia specifically was it?

SK

It was called a congenital thrombocytopenia, he just couldn’t make platelet cells. So at any rate, I became–well, first I thought anybody who had a child was very lucky. And then, anybody who had a child who could live and grow up was even luckier. And when my baby was born, I basically said to the baby, I don’t care what problems there are, just don’t die on me and we will face them together. I had no idea that the journey would be so difficult. But at this point in my life, it’s really rewarding because my son is flourishing, I’m sure my grandchildren will do fine because we’ll give them the intervention they need, and I’ve developed a method that basically allows anybody who sticks with it the way the method is written, can improve his or her reading ability within two–between two and four grade levels within one academic year. So children don’t need to be behind for very long if they will work hard to catch up with the method. So I have, you know, a great deal of love for all children. I don’t–I don’t quite understand it myself, but I really love all of the children that I deal with. And I have a desire to see them all grow and prosper. You know, when children can’t learn to read and can’t get jobs, bad things happen. They become substance abusers, they may end up in jail which costs $34,000 a year, they drive their families crazy, they cause divorces–it’s better for everyone if we just provide the right academic programs for dyslexic children because they are so talented that we can benefit from just having them in our society. And they’re wonderfully warm, loving people just the way you and I are, it’s just they have this little difficulty learning how to read and write in the beginning. Does that answer your question?

HR

Yes it does, yes it does. I know when I was in the waiting room at the Mayo Clinic waiting for Rebecca to get off the operating table, having some experimental brain surgery when she was about four years old, she’s 33 now. And she wasn’t supposed to make it through, and if she did there were going to be a lot of problems, we were told, and I remember making every kind of deal I could with God, and I met so many parents there whose kids didn’t–did not make it, okay, and I called mine the “bad dream I got to wake up from,” but that is kind of what sent me back into pro-boxing and doing a lot of the stuff I’m doing, and I think that the richness of what you give to so many is just something to be greatly greatly admired, how you see things clearly, how you want everyone to prosper, and you want all children to do good. And these children have a way of turning into adults, too, you know?

SK

Very nice adults.

HR

And I was so glad to hear that your son, now, is–you know, taking the challenge of dyslexia, he’s working, he’s got a family–he’s doing well, and how you’re helping so many others with a very, very finite tool. With a very finite tool. It’s not a big mystery. And we want to help mainstream what you’re doing and help you get some of that legislation passed. It amazes me that the powers that be don’t want to do these screenings. There was recently one of the medical associations came out against screening for autism at a very young age–and I just–I don’t get it, you know? I don’t get it. I know at the Boys and Girls Club sofa Broward County, where I was a previous chairman, that we serve about 13,000 kids, and it makes so much more sense to give all of these youngsters a chance to advance, to matriculate. We’re very proud–we have a 90% high school graduation rate,–

SK

Great!

HR

Whereas the county and the public schools have a 36% high school graduation rate for African American males, and we take the same demographic and have a 90% with a miniscule, miniscule budget compared to that, and I think that the government is going to have to get with the program to help reach more and more and more people. What does it look like up there, politically, for you to be able to get this through in Massachusetts?

SK

Well, we have 20 days left–our bills are in the education committee of the house and senate, and we‚Äôve done a lot of lobbying and I’ve written many articles and scattered them to all of the legislatures who would read them, and I’ve had, you know, my students parents calling and my friends calling and my relatives calling, I just don’t know what will happen. Now, up until this past year, we didn’t have convenient 20-minute screening test, the screening tests were–you know, took longer and cost a lot of money, and I know in Massachusetts, anything that cost a lot of money for special education on top of what they were already spending, wasn’t going to fly. So we are at a unique point right now where we have an inexpensive 20-minute screening test, and hopefully the schools will say, “Yes, we want our children to succeed.”

HR

Do you happen to know off-hand if they have this legislation in Florida? Where I am?

SK

I don’t know that yet–13 states have come up with some type of legislation in the past three years, but I don’t believe I’ve heard of it in Florida.

HR

Okay, so as soon as I get the information from you, we’re going to hop on that bandwagon after we check things out a little bit, and what about at the federal level?

SK

Oh, okay. At the federal level, last week, President Obama signed a new law I just picked it up off my internet, it’s Smith’s Dyslexia Research Bill, and it appropriates $2.5 million each year for dyslexia education research and programs. So that’s very new. It’s called the Reid Act, and it’s Dyslexia Act H.R. 3033, aims to enhance early detection of dyslexia to bolster dyslexia training for teachers and administrators and to develop curriculum and educational tools for kids with dyslexia.

HR

Very cool. Very cool.

SK

And we also wrote into the federal government for that law, as well as others which have failed. But I think that the time is coming for us to be more inclusive for all of the different kinds of brains, and simply to say there has to be a way to succeed.

HR

Absolutely, as opposed to one-size-fits-all.

SK

Yeah, I hate that.

HR

I do too. I’m just going to read off some of the organizations you belong to, and by the way, I’m a graduate of the six-year medical program at our mutual Boston University.

SK

Well, that’s a good program!

HR

Yeah. I don’t know how I got into it. And I also did my residency in orthopedic surgery in Boston as well. Organizations that Susan B. Kahn, Masters in Education; Sue, the creator of Sue’s Strategies: CHAD: The Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the IDA: International Dyslexic Association, the International Reading Association, the LDA: Learning Disabilities Association of America, the League of Women Voters in Waltham, and the Waltham Chamber of Commerce. Did I miss any, Sue?

SK

I forgot to add my newest one, Decoding Dyslexia: Massachusetts.

HR

Decoding Dyslexia: Massachusetts.

SK

Massachusetts, yes. That’s the group that I’ve been working with for the new legislation.

HR

You know what I’m wondering, Sue? I imagine it would meet a lot of resistance, but it comes to mind that perhaps a nano-degree, just a specific little degree in the type of dyslexia training you’re talking about, might really be helpful, you know? As opposed to having to have the whole educational perspective, is to just be able to focus in on that one thing. You know? That one thing, where maybe even someone with special needs could become that teacher and tutor.

SK

Well, I would like that. But I’m also more of a generalist. In other words, the tools that I’ve developed, you know, the best reading/spelling method, and the how to create effective sentences, they teach what middle school kids are supposed to know about grammar and writing, but in a much faster way, because I’m using this program I’ve developed called RIPPS, and it says, R: For REMEMBERING, is the key to learning. So the thing is that children have trouble remembering, particularly dyslexic children. The I: Is INFORMATION, the tools that you need for learning. And then we have PPS: Which is PATTERNS, PICTURES and STORIES, because those form pathways to memory. Now what happens to the students who aren’t reading, and when they’re dyslexic, is they can’t remember the words, but by providing them with the sound symbol connections, like S is going to say “sss” or “zzz” and telling them when it’s going to say “sss” and “zzz,” and then by teaching them how to divide words into syllables so that they never have to read very many letters at a time, blending the words into syllables and reading them one piece at a time, they get to be terrific readers.

Now, it doesn’t hurt any student to know that, because many students who acquire the reading skill very easily, struggle with spelling, but if they know this other way of figuring out words, a syllable at a time, they would have much less trouble with spelling. Likewise, the grammar is very abstract, but I teach grammar through a deck of cards, as a memory tactic. I use red for hearts, who love only the green clovers, with, you know, 3 humps: Subjects, Objects, and Predicate Nominatives, and we have the Black Spade, who is all motion and action, but he is unorganized so he needs the purple diamond to tell him where, when, why and how to go. Now, must kids, whether they have a disability or not, can pick up the instructions so much more easily, by using these methods. So the question is, why aren’t my methods being used on all kids to accelerate learning? It shouldn’t just be given to special kids.

HR

Understood.

SK

Special kids may need them, but everyone would–you know, basically progress faster.

HR

Sue, if you had to reduce things to like a one-minute or less sound byte for somebody who is dyslexic or has a child who is dyslexic or a spouse who’s dyslexic, what would that sound byte consist of?

SK

Use RIPPS method, and you will learn to read, write and study whatever interests you, and achieve your potential.

HR

Where would they find that?

SK

I posted a YouTube yesterday of RIPPS, but it’s the strategy behind the books that I’ve written.

HR

Sue, before we wrap up, and first of all, I want to thank you–this has been a wonderful, wonderful episode of Exploring Different Brains, and certainly we’ve learned a lot about dyslexia. Please tell our audience again how they get in touch with you, what your website is, the names of your books and what they should remember about how to get in touch with you?

SK

Thank you. My name is Susan Kahn, and my website is SueKahnReadNow.com and I also have a weekly free blog that is part of the website, and I’m on Facebook and twitter. My email is SusanBKahn@gmail.com. And I would love to help anybody who has a question for me, because that’s my mission in life; to help others, particularly in the area I know best, which is dyslexia. The names of my books are Sue’s Strategies, (that’s the name of my company,) Best Reading, Spelling Method Ages 6-60 and that book will teach a person to decode and encode, which means pull apart words and read them and build them back together again and spell them. Now if the dyslexic person needs someone to instruct him in the book because he wouldn’t read well enough to read the book, but the book is loaded with pictures and memory tactics, so that it’s easier to follow than most books and it’s in full color. Now if a person is having trouble with writing skills, I’ve published, in April of last year, Sue’s Strategies: How To Create Effective Sentences Ages Ten and Up, and that, again, is a colorful book with lots of memory tactics, explaining the process of sentences and how to expand sentences, and the results of that program enhance reading comprehension, reading fluency and written expression.

I also have sold a pack of flash cards, which are a review for the grammar program, and that’s just 28 grammar flash cards, and I have two products available on Teachers Pay Teachers: I have my 96 flash cards, which are multi-sensory, colorful and the rules are written right onto the flash card so more information is obtained by using my flash cards than any others available, and I also published on Teachers Pay Teachers a spelling booklet, which teaches the major spelling rules: Consonant Y, Silent E, Doubling, CK, TCH, DGE. And the TeachersPayTeachers.com is an opportunity to buy materials inexpensively because the person downloads them to his home computer and prints them out. I think that’s it so far. I’m working on a new book.

HR

You don’t sound busy enough to me, Sue. I think you ought to be more productive.

SK

Well what about you? Look at all of the activities you’re involved in. Wow!

HR

Very impressive. Sue, I wanted to ask you about what it’s like to be a mom and doing all the things you did at the same time? Talk about that. Talk about you, personally, with your children, your family and your profession.

SK

Well, it was just a very difficult time, because I was working full-time as a special education teacher in an environment where special education kids are not valued and where people would say, “Oh, there she is again and she’s got, you know, that problem kid,” so it was very difficult. I started teaching when so little was known about dyslexia, that one teacher said to me, “Oh, all you need to do is give them a good kick in the pants,” and then they’d be fine. And you know, finally we got through pseudo-architecture, from, you know, Beth-Israel Hospital, and then finally we got to something real like the FMRI’s with Dr. Sally Shaywitz, and then people understood that dyslexia really was a different type of brain. But it’s taking–it’s been very difficult, because it’s not just that I would teach in a school, I would teach in a school that just didn’t understand and that was all over Massachusetts. When I came home, of course, I had to re-teach my son everything that he didn’t learn at school that day because he wasn’t able to access the regular programs. So that was difficult. My adorable sick son had died, but I was left with a psychotic child, of course I had no idea what psychosis was at that time. So I was working very hard to keep him emotionally stable. He went on to Swarthmore, you know, he was a brilliant kid, but then he broke down, and, unfortunately, because of his atypical psychosis, has never recovered. The bad news for me was that my husband developed depression about the time we had completed our family of three. And so he was unable to help me. So it was kind of my battling sick children, a sick husband, working for a living, I was never getting enough sleep, and it was just a very difficult time of life. So I’m happy to have come through that intact, and I feel fortunate that, you know, I’m still healthy, and that I know enough to make other people’s lives better than mine was. Mine was very tough through those years.

HR

Wow. Totally inspirational. And people think that boxing is tough. That’s tough.

SK

Oh, everything is tough. It just depends–I mean I didn’t pick this life for myself, it just sort of came upon me.

HR

Well, the rest of us are benefitting from your trials and tribulations because you’re helping so many people, and that’s to be admired greatly. Well, we’ve been talking to Sue Kahn, and it’s been a pleasure, Sue, and I hope to see you again soon, and we will–and I hope to meet you in person.

SK

I would like that, I hope you’re going to be in Boston.

HR

Yeah, I think I have a speaking engagement there in the fall, so hope to get back up there to our Alma Mater, Boston University.

HR

Good. Thank you so much for this lovely interview and I’m looking forward to meeting you in person.

HR

Likewise. We’ve been speaking with Sue Kahn, at SueKahnReadNow.com.

 

This video is owned by Different Brains Inc, kindly donated by it’s original producer PCE Media LLC.

Author Image
Dr. Harold “Hackie” Reitman is the founder of DifferentBrains.com. He is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, children’s activist, retired orthopaedic surgeon, and a former professional heavyweight boxer. He who currently serves as the CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based PCE Media, LLC, the multi-platform production company he founded in 2004. Dr. Reitman wrote, executive produced and co-directed the full-length independent film, “The Square Root of 2” (starring Darby Stanchfield of ABC’s “Scandal”), and is the author of the book “Aspertools: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Embracing Asperger’s, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Neurodiversity” from HCI Publishing. He also hosts the DifferentBrains.com interview show “Exploring Different Brains.”
Author Image

Harold Reitman, M.D.

Dr. Harold “Hackie” Reitman is the founder of DifferentBrains.com. He is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, children’s activist, retired orthopaedic surgeon, and a former professional heavyweight boxer. He who currently serves as the CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based PCE Media, LLC, the multi-platform production company he founded in 2004. Dr. Reitman wrote, executive produced and co-directed the full-length independent film, "The Square Root of 2" (starring Darby Stanchfield of ABC's "Scandal"), and is the author of the book "Aspertools: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Embracing Asperger’s, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Neurodiversity" from HCI Publishing. He also hosts the DifferentBrains.com interview show “Exploring Different Brains.”

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