Michael P. Balzano- DYSLEXIC: My Journey
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Michael P. Balzano, Ph.D., the author of DYSLEXIC: My Journey, was a high-school drop out who couldn’t hold down a job. The son of working-class immigrants who lived pay check-to-paycheck, Balzano was known as “Crazy Mikey” for his unruly behavior. He was thrown out of one Catholic school, a public school, and the military. He lost dozens of minimum-wage jobs for his disruptive behavior. Not one of his teachers recognized that Balzano had a learning disability, which was the source of his bad behavior.

From his earliest days, when Balzano looked at the printed page, the letters appeared to him in reverse order. Had his teachers been trained to identify learning disabled students at the time he was in elementary school, it would have been clear that he was dyslexic. In DYSLEXIC, Balzano describes his life as an example of what other learning-disabled students can achieve. His book is a call to action for parents, teachers, and school counselors not only to recognize the signs of dyslexia and other learning disabilities, but also to understand the importance of alternative paths to success besides college.

Balzano went to college after he became a craftsman, and credits his success in life to entering an optical apprenticeship, which taught him self-discipline. He encourages learning-disabled students to consider careers in the trades or industrial arts and to enter college, if that is their goal, after entering apprenticeships in the trades. “An apprenticeship can change your child’s life,” says Balzano.


Michael P. Balzano was a high-school dropout and garbage man before earning his doctoral degree from Georgetown University. He received a Ph.D. in political theory with distinction from Georgetown University. He was the advisor to six presidents on workforce issues including Presidents George H. W. Bush, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Bill Clinton.  He was the director of the Peace Corp from 1974-1977. He is presently the Director of National Workforce Coalition. For more information, https://www.michaelpbalzano.com

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