|Bobby with his granddaughter, Kadence|
My dear brother was a gentle, sweet-natured man. He was an artist*, a loving husband, father, son, and brother. He had deep faith although he had little to do with institutional religion. He lived his life and ran his little jewelry shop honestly and ethically.As a boy he was unruly, unpredictable and a nightmare for teachers. He went to elementary school in an area and a time when learning disabilities were not acknowledged due to ignorance in the educational community and due to his teachers**, most of whom just wanted to do their class and go home. He had some horrible teachers. His second grade teacher physically and verbally abused him.
At the age of 21 years after leaving high school and training to be a jeweler, Bobby learned he was dyslexic. What a relief it was for him to learn he was not stupid as many of his teachers and classmates thought and instilled in him!
Having a child with ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity) and remembering Bobby’s childhood, I am convinced that along with the dyslexia he also had ADHD. He had a hard time focusing unless whatever he was doing was something he loved then he hyper-focused…like his jewelry. As a teen living with learning disabilities and low self-esteem, Bobby started drinking, smoking, and using drugs. The alcohol and his drugs of choice lead me to think that like many teens with ADHD, Bobby chose to self-medicate.
Eight years ago, Bobby went through rehab and was sober until he died…but he was never successful at battling cigarettes. He died from cancer that started in his mouth.
|Bobby in his shop|
In the Nicaraguan public schools, knowledge of and accommodations for learning disabilities are almost on the same level as they were when Bobby was a child. Teachers likely do not understand. If by miracle the teacher is able to identify a learning disability, they certainly don’t have the resources or the time to accommodate these special children. All of this leads to children suffering like Bobby did.
|Bobby with his family.|
|Bobby & his son visiting a volcano in Nicaragua.|
*For those of who have visited the CDCA in Nicaragua the lions sitting out front of the house have all their legs because when Bobby visited us, he sculpted one missing leg.
**Bobby’s daughter, Gloria, became a high school teacher and has won two years in a row the best teacher award.