As many as one in five people struggle with dyslexia, a language-based learning disability that interferes with people's ability to take in, process, and produce spoken and written language. While many private and special education schools offer programs to help children with dyslexia and related language issues, dyslexia is still a life-long condition. People with dyslexia can achieve great things, but they must receive help, such as multi-sensory techniques, which use more than one sense to teach people with dyslexia how to read and process information.
In addition, children with dyslexia and their parents can benefit from first-hand accounts and scholarly books that have recently come out on this subject. Some of the more recent titles are testaments to the ability of people with dyslexia to lead meaningful and successful lives, even if they struggle with reading and writing in school, and these resources can help dyslexic children believe in their potential. Here are some helpful books about dyslexia:
My Dyslexia by Philip Schultz
My Dyslexia, by Philip Schultz, is a first-hand account of an award-winning poet who struggled with dyslexia his whole life but did not realize he had the disorder until his child was diagnosed. Schultz won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2008 but could not recover from feeling stupid from his school days, as he did not learn to read until he was 11. This book helps to remind kids, parents, and teachers that many students who get a late start along the academic path can still achieve great things and that there is much to be said about the sheer force of will--not just the ease with which things come to people. Schultz writes with a poetic voice about the confusion his condition caused in his early life, when there were many fewer resources to help people with dyslexia. Nonetheless, he feels that people with dyslexia must still forge their own paths. Schultz feels that while he spent much of his life struggling with dyslexia and in pain, the disorder actually allowed him to use language in creative ways, bringing a novel quality to his acclaimed poetry.
Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz
Overcoming Dyslexia is written by Sally Shaywitz, the co-director of the Yale Center for the Study of Learning and Attention. She explains the disorder and how it can affect intelligent children and adults, and she provides information about the most useful and research-driven methods to asses and treat dyslexia. Shaywitz, a neuroscientist, has helped unravel the root of dyslexia--which is thought to involve a weakness in the brain's ability to understand and discriminate between phonemes, or units of sound, that make up words. She also offers advice to help children with dyslexia preserve their self-confidence while contending with the disorder.
The Dyslexic Advantage by Brock L. Eide and Fernette F. Eide
In The Dyslexic Advantage, the authors write about how dyslexia can confer advantages on those who have it. They argue that dyslexics often possess superior skills in areas such as spatial reasoning, logical reasoning, narrative ability, and creativity. Anyone who has worked with students with dyslexia knows that these students often have superior design skills, a sense of creativity, and an ability to make social connections that go beyond the skills of most other children. This book can help students with dyslexia and their parents understand that while dyslexics may struggle with reading and writing, the dyslexic mind can work with agility and insight in other areas and that children with dyslexia can grow up to be successful in a number of professional fields.
Learning Ally, formerly Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic, has a library of over 300,000 audio textbooks that allow students to download titles that they can listen to while they read, thereby increasing their comprehension. According to the site, listening to books while reading them increases comprehension by 76%. The cost of membership is $99 annually, and some schools will help pay this cost.