Farris, Ann 1937–
Farris, Ann 1937–
PERSONAL: Born January 15, 1937, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; daughter of John Lauchlan (a lawyer) and Dorothy Beatrice (a homemaker; maiden name, Colledge) Farris; married Robert Darling (a stage director and designer). Education: University of British Columbia, B.A., 1959; Yale University, M.F.A., 1963. Hobbies and other interests: Hiking, classical music and opera.
CAREER: Writer. Producer and manager for opera companies and world expositions, 1963–86. Global Art and Business, New York, NY, and Fort Worth, TX, president, 1989–96; Robert Half International, San Francisco, CA, administrator-recruiter, 1997–. Teaches dyslexic students in San Francisco Bay area. Creator of DVD's.
AWARDS, HONORS: Professional Excellence Award, American Society of Training and Development; Alumni Seventy-fifth Anniversary Award, University of British Columbia.
The Other Side of Dyslexia, Dyslexia Discovery, 2004.
Dyslexia: Taking Control of Your Confusion (DVD), Dyslexia Discovery, 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Ann Farris told CA: "I learned I was dyslexic when I was director of the Opera-Musical Theatre Program at the National Endowment for the Arts. Most counselors told me there was little I could do. In fact, they said, 'learn to live your disability.' However, I was determined to discover and change within myself whatever was necessary to improve my quality of life. And, I realized that goal.
"My exploration took me on physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual paths that were new for me. I discovered that my 'technical' reading skills were in fairly good shape. I sound out words without much difficulty—that skill was taught to me as a child. However, my poor concentration and retention along with physical pain and confusion was making my life miserable.
"I discovered that refined sugar was impacting negatively on my body and my ability to read. Therefore, I made the decision to eliminate it from my diet. I discovered that daily physical exercise as well as Brain Gym exercises are essential to stay grounded and read more easily. I decided to undertake emotional work and found that unexpressed anger and fear had a big impact on my inability to read.
"I focused on learning more about my senses, discovering I have the talent of synesthesia (ability to experience two or more senses simultaneously). However, this talent has the downside of causing confusion which can feel like the dyslexic confusion. Now I know the difference between the two and therefore can control it.
"Still, I was being overwhelmed at times by confusion and discovered that it is an energy/feeling in my body which can be harnessed. I am now in control of my discomfort; it is not in control of me. And, I have greater ability to both concentrate and retain information.
"Currently I am giving workshops for adult dyslexics in San Francisco. The first series of five classes focuses on the basic elements that I found to be essential in my transformation process, including color, diet considerations, physical exercises, mastering synesthetic confusion, grounding, and much more. For those who want to learn more and make changes in their lives, I run an ongoing class. I also offer an introductory class which runs about ninety minutes during which I provide an overview of the above. This class is interactive and usually there is spirited discussion. I have produced a DVD of this introductory class."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Ann Farris Home Page, http://www.dyslexiadiscovery.com (May 30, 2005).