My top Book Picks
I'VE READ THE FOLLOWING BOOKS AND FOUND THEM TO BE VERY INFORMATIVE, GUIDING & UPLIFTING.
Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz, M.D. is a must-have if you seek the how and why of dyslexia and brain research. Sally Shaywitz & her team opened the doors to the brain research that proves dyslexia is a difference in the way the brain is wired, changing the outlook to a 'sea of strengths'.
Dyslexia Advocate: How to Advocate for a Child With Dyslexia Within the Public Education System
by Kelli Sandman-Hurley -- Excellent resource for parents, advocates and teachers! Parents will love this because it walks you through the process of an evaluation for your child. Advocates will love this book because it gives you specifics to look for in an IEP and what is essential to have included. Teachers, especially SE teachers will love this book for the the well-written framework of goals written within (hint: p 135-139--awesome!!). The only caution I give, is the reference to a lot of goals needing to be written--I believe this is only necessary when the teaching is not meeting the student's needs. In my experience as a Resource Room Teacher of 20 years, is the more goals and objectives there are, the more time I spend testing instead of teaching. Aside from all the progress monitoring (PM), I am entrusted to teach the child, all his or her needs far and above the ones written in the IEP, if we PM all of these, for all of our students, then we do not have time to provide instruction. If you have a way to do this that works, please share. This book holds so much value to anyone new to the world of IEP and even seasoned veterans!
The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan by Ben Foss is an essential guide to anyone who is facing any type of learning issues, especially dyslexia. Learning issues or not---anyone seeking to better themselves would benefit from the lessons within to eek-out one's strengths. Ben Foss's philosophy on Ear Reading prompted me to start an Audiobook Library in our school (see my blogpost on Ear Reading vs. Eye Reading).
The Dyslexic Advantage by Drs. Brock & Fernette Eide provides yet another source of wonderful research on the advantages of being a dyslexic-minded person. Their YouTube Channel offers many insights into Stealth Dyslexia, gifted and talented, etc.
The Mislabeled Child by Drs. Brock & Fernette Eide is a book I've recently begun reading for professsional growth. As a Special Education Teacher in a Resource Room, I see the value of identifying the learning difference so we provide the most targeted interventions for each of our students, isn't that what an IEP is designed to do after all? When we label kids as LD (learning disabled) and don't identify dyslexia as a specific type of LD, we run the risk of generalizing their education and missing the target.
Essentials of Dyslexia Assessment and Intervention by Nancy Mather and Barbara J. Wendling. This practical guide to understanding, assessing, and helping people with dyslexia is a MUST for anyone working with this population. This book is filled with helpful tips and expert advice. The layout makes it easy to use as a reference resource as well.
From Learning Disabled to Enabled: A Mother's Journey is written by a Michigan mom & teacher, Wendy Crick, who has 10+ years of experience using a teaching method called, EBLI which I am was trained in this past summer and implemented in my classroom this school year with excellent results! She writes about the history of school systems and her journey navigating it as a teacher and a parent of a child with dyslexia; quick read, great information, highly recommended, especially for teachers. This is one of those I could not put down once I began reading it, finished it in one day, I did forget to feed the kids, but thankfully they know how to make soup! This book is easy to locate on my bookshelf as well because it has 50 colorful page flags marking places I want to go back to--as an educator, working in a public school, so many connections were made. It takes a lot of courage for a teacher to write about the reality of school systems, I commend her for being such a strong advocate for kids and I commend East Jordan Schools for being big-enough to see the value in what she wrote and implement changes, slowly, but slow is so much better than never.
My Dyslexia by Philip Schultz ....short and sweet and filled with rich language that pulls you in and connects with the reader. I read the first few chapters aloud to my kids (pre-teen to teen) who sat somewhat unwillingly at first but grew silent as the story unfolded. I plan to record a reading of excerpts for my students..... so they and their parents can connect with it and continue to persevere, especially those whose gains are yet to be uncovered. Check out Philip Schultz's Writer's Studio, offering online and in-house classes on writing, including teaching creative writing to dyslexics.
Smart but Scattered Teens: Give your teen's Executive Functioning skills a boost. EF skills are under-rated by educators and parents. People who are dyslexic often have EF struggles as well, especially double-deficit dyslexics. This book helps you identify weak and strength areas and provides guidance in remediating these skills which can boost a teen's ability to resolve conflicts, organize oneself, follow through, focus attention, manage their schedule, control emotions, express oneself more clearly, resist peer pressure and work independently.
Also Smart but Scattered for younger kids
For excellent tutors in EF skills, please email requesting a list.
Most UnLikely to Succeed: The Trials, Travels and Triumphs of a Throw-Away Kid by Nelson Lauver ...Superbly written memoir of Nelson Lauver's struggles along his journey through his formative years, his happen-stance meeting with a stranger that led him to seek solutions to his challenges with reading and spelling which led to an amazing career and authorship. Nelson's smooth writing style, humor and insightfulness allow you to connect with his story so well. A must-read! (see blog post July 2014). Nelson also appeared on the Ask Dr. Nandi Show (see Home and/or Decoding Dyslexia SE MI tabs). Nelson's very moving interview by Elisheva Schwartz is a must see. As much good as one with dysleixa does in the world, they will always live with dyslexia and far too many live with hidden shame that has been buried deep for years, but surfaces at times. One of the main reasons that led me to Decoding Dyslexia is the survivalist drive to be certain my childrens' early experiences are built on their strengths, so they and other kids have the best shot at making their way toward successful adults without any shame.
Farmer's Son by N.E. Lasater is a great novel about the consequences that are often prevelant with adults with dyslexia; the shame that comes with not being able to read well. In this gripping tale, Bobby McAllister tries to make a better life by hiding his shame but cannot escape it because his own father won't let him. The destruction that follows their lives is truer to reality for many, although it is a work of fiction. Well written; leaves a lasting impression. If you are not dyslexic and struggle to see dyslexia from their perspective, this novel will give that; if you are dyslexic, you will likely identify with many aspects of Bobby's life. If you are not affected by dyslexia but enjoy a story of hardship, humility and grace, you will enjoy this novel. The story of the McAllister's is why I push myself everyday to fight for all dyslexics; to raise awareness of this learning difference and to change how schools teach, how parents perseve their dyslexic child and how peers treat each other. Laws need to be written in the public school code to identify dyslexia and begin proper--early remediation so more children grow up happier, freer, and more capable of making the world a better place to live. (see blog post June 2014)
A Mountain Stands: Confessions of a Supressed Genius by Scott Sonnon ...... I've just begun reading this book and am thoroughly impressed thus far. The book is a series of short stories infused with wisdom from great philosophers of the world and applied to the author's challenging journey through life. Scott has a unique way of turning a negative experience into something he grew from in a positive way. You feel the darkness from his experiences dimming and the light shining as he tells story after story. Perhaps one of the more important parts of this style of writing is that it is written by a dyslexic man in a manner that appeals to dyslexic individuals. When I told my son (pre-teen) about this book, his first comment was said with a smile forming, "Hey, I can read that, one story at a time---I don't have to finish it to get a lot out of it!" He loves stories but often runs out of energy/enthusiasm for the whole thing and is left wanting; this style of writing will leave him feeling fulfilled and inspired to seek greatness in his own experiences.
Thompson Road by Scott Wyatt is a fictional novel that is well written and includes a character with dyslexia. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, both as a book lover and as a dyslexia advocate. I think about the characters often, even though its been many weeks since I've read their story. This book resonates with the struggles so many face while on our life's journey. The challenges Mona faced as a person with dyslexia were captured very well, but even more resonate with me were the strengths highlighted in her character. The freedom with which she danced and connected with was felt strongly, making the injustices she faced that much more heart-wrenching. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story, especially those whose lives are touched by persons with dyslexia.
The Gift of Dyslexia by Ron Davis, was the first book I found on the subject that had a positive title and message. It gave me hope which turned the tied from thinking how hard this journey would be to seeing its endless possibilities. I have not been trained in his program nor did we choose to have our child tutored in this method. I found the methods for using imagery to "watch oneself" to assist with concentration and focus difficult to assertain from their Home Kit. Mindfulness is a much better method to this end (see blog post 3-28-14). However, after reading his book, it altered my perception of dyslexia, we looked upon this as a learning DIFFERENCE instead of a disability.
Other recommended books
I have not read these but they have been recommended by others or thru my research. Feel free to comment on any of these or the above books in the Contact Us tab. Also, feel free to make additional recommendations in the Contact Us tab found at the top of the page.
Children's Books related to dyslexia
There are many books written on dyslexia for kids of all ages! My personal favorites are Thank You Mr. Falker and If You're So Smart, How Come You Can't Spell Mississippi? For middle school age kids, I'd recommend My Name is Brain, Brian" (imagine that I could use formatting and cross off Brain :) A book for high schoolers would be Counting to D, some mature content depending on ones' parenting style--there are large sections of the book I would wish to reprint for any age --- very insightful for a non-dyslexic to gain perspective of what it's like to be dyslexic.
Printable list of books & movies
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