Whether you are a parent of a child with dyslexia, an adult that has dyslexia, a tutor or interventionist that works with children with dyslexia or a classroom teacher that has students with dyslexia in your class, there is one thing that we all have in common. We need to actively seek out information and knowledge in order to advocate for our students (or ourselves). Although awareness is increasing, it is still necessary to be proactive and seek out resources and learning independently.
Here are some of the BEST books about dyslexia. If you need to fill up your summer reading list, you’ve come to the right place.
No book list would be complete without the inclusion of this title. Based on the very latest scientific data through the use of functional MRIs, the book is both accessible to a layperson and informative to someone with an educational background. Some of its particular strengths are the suggestions for parent advocacy, the inclusion of stories about students that frequently slip through the cracks, and a fabulous list of red flags for dyslexia at various ages.
· The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the HiddenPotential of the Dyslexic Brain by: Brock L. Eide
While much of the literature focuses on the struggles of the dyslexic learner, this is a book that examines the way in which the brain differences at the root of reading difficulties are differences that offer people a unique perspective on the world. It is no accident that lists of “famous people with dyslexia” include some of the most creative and brilliant minds in science, art, music and business. This is a particularly valuable book for adults with dyslexia and parents of children with dyslexia who want to embrace themselves as more than their struggles.
This is a valuable reference book for parents and classroom teachers. Its coverage of topics such as dyslexia in high school and college, navigating the special education process, and specific intervention strategies and accommodations make this a resource that will prove a useful tool on your bookshelf for years to come.
· Proust and the Squid: The Story and Scienceof the Reading Brain by: Maryanne Wolf
This book is particularly relevant in our rapidly changing world. For anyone born early enough to not be a digital native or who grew up with a rotary dial phone, the rapid pace of change of how we take in information is unmistakable. Wolf examines the ability of the brain to adapt and evolve to these changes and how the act of reading is something quite new to the human brain in evolutionary terms. While most books examine the what of dyslexia or the what next, this book tackles the why. Why do some people struggle with learning to read and others don’t?
· Dyslexia Wonders: Understanding the DailyLife of a Dyslexic From a Child’s Point of View by: Jennifer Smith
While most books written about dyslexia are written by scientists or educators, some are written by individuals who also happen to be dyslexic themselves. Looking back at their journey and their story, they see things through the eyes of an adult and frequently also as a scientist or educator. This book provides something not only unique but also invaluable. This book was written by a 12 year old child in her own voice telling her powerful story. There is no replacement for the insight we gain from such a close and recent examination of events.
A bit different than most of the books on the list, this is a realistic fiction book about a middle school girl who has managed to keep her learning struggles hidden. Particularly useful for developing empathy among peers or siblings of the student with dyslexia as they understand the challenges of dyslexia. This book is a valuable tool for initiating discussion in a less personally vulnerable way.
· Uncovering the Logic of English by:Denise Eide
Bemoaning the illogical nature of the English language has long been a source of amusement through sayings in cartoons and on coffee mugs, as well as being used to excuse a lack of explicit rule instruction as part of reading curricula. However, Eide masterfully uncovers the ordered nature of English. For teachers and parents that were intuitive readers (as many teachers were), this book makes explicit rules that they never realized they followed. It is vital to be able to understand the logic if one is to teach it to others. And Eide does that in a way that is digestible and accessible.
This cartoon-like visual story of dyslexia is full of information presented in a concise, clear and organized way. A parent I work with saw this book and wanted to give it to all the teachers at her child’s school. Although this book is out of print in the US, it is available for free as an e-book.
It is remarkable to think of how much we have learned in recent years and even more remarkable to think about how Dr. Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham managed to develop instructional techniques that have stood the test of time without the benefit of functional MRIs and modern neurological research. We are fortunate to live in a time when not only has science made enormous gains in understanding dyslexia, but when many talented authors have put that research into some wonderful resources. Continually learning and growing is one of a teacher’s most important jobs. For teachers and for the parents who tirelessly advocate for their children, I hope these books prove helpful to you.