“You are stupid”; “My little sister in second grade reads better than you”; “You go to the Retard Class.” These are the taunts heard by the people whose stories you will read. Some teachers and counselors added to the problem by remarks: “You will never go to college,” “You need a vocation in which you can use your hands,” “You can’t handle a college prep course,” “College for YOU—You are kidding yourself,” “No college will ever accept you.”
Phyllis Kohl Coston is Director Emerita of the Learning Center and Professor Emerita of Christian Education and Education of West Virginia Wesleyan College, and an ordained Deacon of the United Methodist Church. She was known as a pioneer when she started Wesleyan’s Learning Center in 1963 and the Special Support Program for college students with learning disabilities in 1982. Dr. Coston received her BA from West Virginia Wesleyan College, MA from Northwestern University and Garrett Evangelical Seminary, and Doctor of Humane Letters from West Virginia Wesleyan College. She has been recognized with numerous awards for her teaching and her work with learning disabled students and with the United Methodist Church, including: The Award for Exemplary Teaching from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church, Distinguished Teacher Award from the West Virginia State Reading Council, the Francis Asbury Award for Fostering Ministries from the West Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, and the Outstanding Alumni Award from Garrett Evangelical Seminary. She is married to Dr. Herbert Coston, Professor Emeritus of West Virginia Wesleyan College. They have two successful children, Robert and Susan.