As we know, dyslexia is not something you can outgrow. Children with dyslexia become adults with dyslexia. While remediation can decrease the reading gap, there are still certain challenges for adults with dyslexia. It can also provide some benefits. When undiagnosed, dyslexia is particularly damaging to self-esteem and self-concept.
Dyslexia in adults may cause slow reading, difficulties with spelling, confusion with similar words, and difficulty with public speaking. Adults with dyslexia may have difficulty advancing in careers when doing so requires testing or administrative work. People with dyslexia are more likely to drop out of school, work lower-paying jobs, and are more frequently unemployed. Dyslexia can take an emotional toll as people feel compelled to hide their learning difference from employers and coworkers.
Typically, people with dyslexia have excellent skills in other areas. People with dyslexia thrive in careers that use their visual-spatial or kinesthetic talents. Engineering, trades, entrepreneurs, arts, athletics, police officers, and business executives are all careers where individuals with dyslexia have excelled.
People skills are often a dyslexic strength. Reading people and making conversation often come easily to dyslexics. The resilience that comes from overcoming obstacles and challenges often continues to serve dyslexics well in their adult life.
Here are ten books for and about adults with dyslexia:
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1. The Teacher Who Couldn’t Read: One Man’s Triumph Over Illiteracy by John Corcoran
This book tells John Corcoran’s journey. John went through school and college and even became a high school teacher all without learning the basic skills required for literacy. Despite this system’s failure, he conquered his literacy struggles as an adult. He has become one of the nation’s leading literacy activists. This moving story sheds light on what is really a national crisis.
2. This is Dyslexia by Kate Griggs
Kate Griggs is a leading dyslexia advocate. She founded a charity whose mission is to not only support dyslexics but to understand and value the unique and excellent aspects of dyslexia. This book outlines the 6 Dyslexic Thinking skills of adults. It not only shows how dyslexia has impacted our history but also how it shapes our future.
3. The Adult Side of Dyslexia by Kelli Sandman-Hurley
What better way to learn about the adult experience of dyslexia than to listen to the voices of those who have lived this experience? Sandman-Hurley includes information from numerous in-depth interviews addressing issues such as school experiences, the emotional impact of dyslexia, and the impact of dyslexia on their ability to succeed.
4. Seeing What Others Cannot See: The Hidden Advantages of Visual Thinkers and Differently Wired Brains by Thomas G. West
This inspirational book examines the ways in which different kinds of brains and ways of thinking enrich the world in innovative and unexpected ways. Based on first-person accounts from individuals with a variety of learning differences, West not only documents their achievements but discusses the ways in which these unique thinking skills are particularly useful in our global marketplace. He also tackles some of the controversies of his work and emerging neuroscience.
5. The Bigger Picture Book of Amazing Dyslexics and the Work They Do by Kate Power
This coffee table-style book embraces the diversity and wide range of dyslexic experiences. These remarkable people share inspiring words and encouragement stemming from their success despite and because of their dyslexia. These amazing people are brilliant at what they do and represent a wide range of careers.
6. The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal by Jonathan Mooney
The author grew up labeled as dyslexic and severely learning disabled. He “rode the short bus” and despite his challenges grew to become a successful adult. This story is not just about how he overcame his challenges, but about how he and thirteen people in the thirteen states that he visited redefined what it means to be normal.
7. Normal Sucks by Jonathan Mooney
With his trademark humor, Mooney explores the effect that society’s narrow definition of normal has on parents and children, especially those who are neurodiverse. Partly memoir, partly a letter of advice to his sons, and partly anecdotes, this book seeks to empower us by redefining what we think of as normal.
8. The Janitor’s Secret: Another Life Altering Secret Revealed by Cornell Amerson
This fictional story could just as easily be true. It is based on the author’s experiences of being denied an education due to his learning disability in Detroit’s public schools. This book tells the tale of the multiple and devastating ways that learning differences can set in motion events that permanently shape peoples’ lives.
9. Undiagnosed: The Ugly Side of Dyslexia by Ameer Baraka
Dyslexia is present in roughly twice the percentage of the general population in prisons. Baraka tells his story of how with an undiagnosed learning disability, he finds himself in trouble with the law and believes he is unable to learn. When he enters prison, he is nearly illiterate, but is finally diagnosed with dyslexia and learns to read in his early twenties. Determined to prevent others from the school-to-prison pipeline, Baraka has become an activist for literacy and education.
10. The Dyslexia Guide for Adults: Practical Tools to Improve Executive Functioning, Boost Literacy Skills, and Develop Your Unique Strengths by Marci Peterson
No matter when you receive a dyslexia diagnosis, there will be challenges. This book helps readers understand and embrace their creative and unique way of thinking. You’ll learn more about dyslexia in adulthood, proven strategies for coping, and find that you are not alone.
While we know the importance of early intervention, it is never too late to learn to read. These books can inspire, comfort, anger, and assist. These stories remind adults with dyslexia that they are not alone and that they are capable of great things.
Looking for more books about dyslexia? Check out these lists:
- The Top Ten Books About Dyslexia for Parents and Teachers
- 12 Children’s Books With Dyslexic Characters You Can’t-Miss
- 12 MORE Children’s Books About Dyslexia You Can’t-Miss
- Part Three: MORE Children’s Books About Dyslexia