Resources for Dyslexia
International Dyslexia Association’s Definition of Dyslexia
“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”
Rae (2013): A Strength-Based Definition of Dyslexia
“Dyslexia, a specific learning ability, neurobiological in origin, typically characterized by strengths including creative expression, athletic performance, and scientific discovery. The individual with dyslexia often exhibits strength in thinking outside the box, making unexpected connections, and forms an intuitive sense about the world. Secondary strengths include a different learning style that may be auditory or kinesthetic, the ability to demonstrate knowledge in ways other than the written word, and an uncanny sense of entrepreneurialism that may lead to great innovations and financial success.”
Kansas City Dyslexia Support Group
Meets every other month. Each meeting has an informational session before open-group sharing. Children with dyslexia are invited. To get updates about dates, topics, speakers, and to reserve your spot, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to LexiAbility on Facebook.
The Kansas City Dyslexia Support group is also supporting the development of a new not-for-profit called Dyslexia Helpers. Dyslexia Helpers mission is to promote differences over disability, strengths over weaknesses, community over clinics, and access over barriers in helping those with dyslexia and their families. To contribute time, talents, resources, and participation, please contact email@example.com.
Bright Solutions www.dys-add.com
Bright Solutions, authored by Barton Reading and Spelling System’s developer, Susan Barton, shares the latest dyslexia research with those who need to know. This site has free on-line videos, information about dyslexia and how to get help, and serves as a rich resource for helping those with dyslexia.
Decoding Dyslexia www.decodingdyslexia.net
Decoding Dyslexia is a network of parent-led grassroots movements across the country concerned with the limited access to educational interventions for dyslexia within the public education system. We aim to raise dyslexia awareness, empower families to support their children and inform policy-makers on best practices to identify, remediate and support students with dyslexia.
Dyslexic Advantage www.dyslexicadvantage.org
The Mission of Dyslexic Advantage is to promote the positive identity, community, and achievement of dyslexic people by focusing on their strengths. Everyone should grow up with positive self-understanding, real opportunities to learn, and a positive vision for the future.
Dyslexia Help www.dyslexiahelp.umich.edu
At this website, our goal is to give you a step-by-step approach to help you understand what dyslexia is (and what it is not), develop an action plan, begin to get help, and become your own best advocate.
Headstrong Nation www.headstrongnation.org
Headstrong Nation is a movement dedicated to a radical new approach to dyslexia. We empower adult dyslexics to own their dyslexia, understand it, and develop new ways of learning and working based on their individual profile.
International Dyslexia Association www.eida.org
The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) is an international organization that concerns itself with the complex issues of dyslexia. The IDA membership consists of a variety of professionals in partnership with dyslexics and their families and all others interested in The Association’s mission.
LD Online www.ldonline.org
LD OnLine is the leading website on learning disabilities, learning disorders and differences. Parents and teachers of learning disabled children will find authoritative guidance on attention deficit disorder, ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, dysnomia, reading difficulties, speech and related disorders.
Learning Disabilities Association of America www.ldaamerica.org
Since 1963, LDA has provided support to people with learning disabilities, their parents, teachers and other professionals with cutting edge information on learning disabilities, practical solutions, and a comprehensive network of resources. These services make LDA the leading resource for information on learning disabilities.
National Center for Learning Disabilities www.ncld.org
The mission of NCLD is to improve the lives of the one in five children and adults nationwide with learning and attention issues—by empowering parents and young adults, transforming schools and advocating for equal rights and opportunities. We’re working to create a society in which every individual possesses the academic, social and emotional skills needed to succeed in school, at work and in life.
Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities www.smartkidswithld.org
Our mission is to educate, guide and inspire parents of children with learning disabilities or ADHD. Our aim is to help parents realize their children’s significant gifts and talents, and to show that with their love, guidance, and the right support, their children can live happy and productive lives.
Wrights Special Education Law and Advocacy www.wrightslaw.com
Parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities.
Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity www.dyslexia.yale.edu
The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity serves as a nexus for research on dyslexia, and is as well a leading source of advocacy and information to better the lives of people with dyslexia
Books for Adults
Armstrong, T. (2010). Neurodiversity: Discovering the Extraordinary Gifts of Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Other Brain Differences. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Lifelong Books.
A new term has emerged from the disability movement in the past decade to help change the way we think about neurological disorders: Neurodiversity. ADHD. Dyslexia. Autism. The number of categories of illnesses listed by the American Psychiatric Association has tripled in the past fifty years. With so many people affected by our growing “culture of disabilities,” it no longer makes sense to hold on to the deficit-ridden idea of neuropsychological illness.
Eide, B. L., & Eide, F. F. (2012). The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain. New York, NY: Penguin Group.
Did you know that many successful architects, lawyers, engineers—even bestselling novelists—had difficulties learning to read and write as children? In this groundbreaking book, Brock and Fernette Eide explain how 20% of people—individuals with dyslexia—share a unique learning style that can create advantages in a classroom, at a job, or at home. Using their combined expertise in neurology and education, the authors show how these individuals not only perceive the written word differently but may also excel at spatial reasoning, see insightful connections that others simply miss, understand the world in stories, and display amazing creativity. Blending personal stories with hard science, The Dyslexic Advantage provides invaluable advice on how parents, educators, and individuals with dyslexia can recognize and use the strengths of the dyslexic learning style in: material reasoning (used by architects and engineers); interconnected reasoning (scientists and designers), narrative reasoning (novelists and lawyers); and dynamic reasoning (economists and entrepreneurs.)
Foss, B. (2013). The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child’s Confidence and Love of Learning. New York, NY: Penguin Books.
More than thirty million people in the United States are dyslexic—a brain-based genetic trait, often labeled as a “learning disability” or “learning difference,” that makes interpreting text and reading difficult. Yet even though children with dyslexia may have trouble reading, they don’t have any problems learning; dyslexia has nothing to do with a lack of intellect.
Frohlich, C. (2013). Dyslexia: Time for Talent: The Ultimate Guide for Parents and Children. Guilford, Surray: Frohlich Publishing Ltd.
This comprehensive guide provides a wealth of information for parents of children with dyslexia. It guides and empowers parents through dyslexia, from the early years through to adulthood. It is the first book of its kind to address dyslexia from a holistic perspective: academically, emotionally, behaviorally, socially and spiritually. While other books tell you what dyslexia is, this book tells you what to do. Dyslexics’ innate skills, which may include verbal, social, spatial, kinesthetic, visual, mathematical, or musical abilities, are their unique key to acquiring knowledge. Figuring out where their individual strengths lie, and then harnessing these skills, offers an entrée into learning and excelling. And by keeping the focus on learning, not on standard reading the same way everyone else does, a child with dyslexia can and will develop the self-confidence to flourish in the classroom and beyond.
Rae, C. (2014). DyslexiaLand: A Map and Guide for Students, Parents, and Educators. Seattle, WA: Olympus Press.
DyslexiaLand may be an imaginary place, but it’s very real for the 1 in 5 students with dyslexia. Dyslexia Project founder and expert advocate Cheri Rae shows parents how students with dyslexia can survive – and even thrive – in school. * Learn to identify your student’s strengths and challenges, meet with teachers, and effectively advocate for your child. * Discover how to avoid Humiliation Hills, cross the River of Denial and reach the Land of Full Potential. * Understand how to turn obstacles into opportunities, stresses into successes, and how high tech can be a huge help. Complete with insider tips, easy-to-follow directions and colorful foldout map for a successful journey through DyslexiaLand.
Shawywitz, S. (2005). Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level. New York, NY: Random House.
One in five American children has trouble reading. But they are not stupid or lazy. In Overcoming Dyslexia, Dr. Sally Shaywitz, codirector of the Yale Center for the Study of Learning and Attention and a leader in the new research into how the brain works, offers the latest information about reading problems and proven, practical techniques that, along with hard work and the right help, can enable anyone to overcome them. Here are the tools that parents and teachers need to help the dyslexic child, age by age, grade by grade, step by step.
Books for Kids
Esham, N. (2014).If You’re So Smart, How Come You Can’t Spell Mississippi? A Story About Dyslexia: Adventures of Everyday Geniuses. Ocean City. MD : Mainstream Connections.
Katie always thought her dad was smart; he is one of the busiest attorneys in town! People are always asking him for advice! She has been a bit confused since asking him for help with her weekly spelling list. How can her very smart dad struggle with one of her spelling words? This definitely didn’t make sense. the word Mississippi has changes everything…
Gaynor, K. (2009). Tom’s Special Talent: Dyslexia. Ireland: Special Stories Publishing.
Tom is’ t sure if he has any talents at all when he sees how good his friends are at writing and reading. But a school competition soon helps him to find his own very special talent ! Children with Dyslexia or a learning difficulty often find school a daunting and sometimes terrifying daily task. In an environment where certain skills, like writing and reading, are praised and highlighted more than others, it is important for children to recognize that everyone has a ‘special talent’ of their own. It encourages other children to be mindful of the differences that exist between their friends and classmates and to be aware that all children, regardless of their talents, learn differently.
Hunt, L. M. Fish in a Tree (2015). New York, NY: Nancy Paulsen Books
Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.
Moore-Mallinos, J. (2007). It’s Called Dyslexia: Live and Learn Series. Hauppauge NY : Barron’s Educational Series.
The child in this story knows the alphabet, but she sometimes has trouble putting all the letters together to read words. No matter how hard she tries, she often mixes up the letters or writes them backwards. She’s unhappy until her teacher explains that she has dyslexia, and that she can be helped to read and write correctly.
Palacco, P. (2008) Thank You, Mr. Falkner. New York, NY: Philomel Books.
When Trisha starts school, she can’t wait to learn how to read, but the letters just get jumbled up. She hates being different, and begins to believe her classmates when they call her a dummy. Then, in fifth grade, Mr. Falker changes everything. He sees through her sadness to the gifted artist she really is. And when he discovers that she can’t read, he helps her prove to herself that she can – and will!
Robb, D. B. (2004). The Alphabet War: A Story about Dyslexia. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Company.
When Adam started kindergarten, the teacher wanted him to learn about letters. But “p” looked like “q,” and “b” looked like “d.” In first grade, he had to put the letters into words so he could read. That was the beginning of the Alphabet War.
Winkler, H. (2004). Hank Zipzer Series: The World’s Greatest Underachiever. New York, NY: Penguin Group.
Inspired by the true life experiences of Henry Winkler, whose undiagnosed dyslexia made him a classic childhood underachiever, the Hank Zipzer series is about the high-spirited and funny adventures of a boy with learning differences.
The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia (2013)
This documentary is both lively and inspiring. In it, parents and kids share what it’s like to live with dyslexia. Successful adults like politician Gavin Newsom and business leader Charles Schwab talk about growing up with reading issues. And they all offer words of hope for other parents and kids. Their message? Dyslexia doesn’t hold back anyone’s imagination or creativity. Anything a kid dreams up is possible for him!
Dislecksia: The Movie (2013)
Kids may enjoy this documentary’s lighter approach to reading issues. Sometimes it’s funny or silly. But it still says a lot about dyslexia. Filmmaker Harvey Hubbell V doesn’t see the issue as a learning disability. He sees it as a learning difference. Hubbell shares what growing up with dyslexia was like for him. And he shows advocates, scientists and students working to make things better. He also films famous people with dyslexia. You’ll hear from actor Billy Bob Thornton and real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran, among others.
Embracing Dyslexia (2013)
This documentary had very personal beginnings. Director Luis Macias says, “I can’t take back … the many times I accused my son of being lazy and not trying hard enough. This film is my way of trying to prevent other children and their families from having to go through what we did.” In the movie, people with dyslexia, experts and parents explain what dyslexia feels like. They encourage early identification. And they stress how much support in school and at home can help kids.
Headstrong: Inside the Hidden World of Dyslexia & Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (2007)
Headstrong follows six very different adults into the hidden world of dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Discover the untold story of an Alabama civil rights hero who won an historic dyslexia discrimination law suit; share a teenager’s struggle in a California public school as he discloses his ADHD for the first time; and enter the remarkable life of a 44 year-old dyslexic single mother on welfare as she strives to graduate from a top university. Our narrator, Ben, is on his own journey to understand the dyslexia that has driven and frustrated him throughout his life. He takes us from Northern California to the deep South in search of the people and insights that will connect this unseen community.
Inside Dyslexia (2005)
Two filmmakers who have dyslexia created this 2005 documentary. It’s one of the first intimate looks at the lives of young people with reading issues. The film follows three young students. We find out how their parents discovered the kids’ reading and writing issues. We see the students at school and at home. And the kids talk honestly about what it’s like to live with their issues while dreaming about their futures.
Journey Into Dyslexia (2011)
Society would be much poorer without people who think differently,” says Alan Raymond. Along with his wife Susan, Raymond is one of the filmmakers behind this HBO documentary. In the film, the Raymonds talk to many well-known adults with reading issues. They interview advocate Erin Brockovich, Intel Reader inventor Ben Foss and Nobel laureate Dr. Carol Greider, among others. They talk about their reading and writing issues. And they share how they’ve learned to succeed with them. If you want your child to be excited about what he can do with his life, don’t miss this movie.
Like Stars on Earth (2007)
In this Indian film (dubbed in English), 8-year-old Ishaan can’t stop daydreaming in class. His teachers think he’s lazy. And his parents get tired of him getting into trouble. They send him to boarding school, where the art teacher notices more than just Ishaan’s active imagination. That’s how Ishaan finds out he has dyslexia. With tutoring and class accommodations, he starts to do much better. Finally, he can feel confident about his academic and art skills. The hopeful message makes this fun film great to watch as a family.
Read Me Differently (2011)
Filmmaker Sarah Entine was identified as having dyslexia as a child. But she doesn’t fully understand what that means until her late 20s. To explore her reading issues, she decides to interview her family. That’s when she discovers something about her mother and grandmother: They may have undiagnosed learning and attention issues. A lack of understanding has hurt relationships between family members for years. This documentary is an authentic look at how dyslexia can impact a family.