Linda Martin, M.Ed., CAGS, AOGPE , offers a valuable resource with her list of the top ten books on Dyslexia for parents and teachers. This list highlights the learning struggles as well as visual strengths commonly associated with children and adults with Dyslexia from the perspectives of scientists, educators, and children and adults who are dyslexic themselves.
Top Ten Books on Dyslexia for Parents and Teachers
Overcoming Dyslexia by: Sally Shaywitz
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 Hidden Potential 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.
The Gift of Dyslexia by: Ronald David
While this book is not without controversy, its strengths lie in its ability to help the reader understand the experience of dyslexia and the explanation of the power of using a student’s visual strengths to help them with their learning challenges. As a discerning reader, I think it’s important to read about all facets of dyslexia, know the research and make decisions from there.
The Dyslexia Checklist by: Sandra F. Rief
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 Science of 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?
The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child’s Confidence and Love of Learning by: Ben Foss
This title really is a blueprint or roadmap for parents not only to advocate for their child, but to help their child learn self-advocacy skills. From busting dyslexia myths and understanding your child’s profile, specific advice about accommodations and protecting your child’s rights, to developing a community of support and understanding, this book offers guidance for the parents of anyone navigating learning differences.
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.
Fish in a Tree by: Linda Hunt
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.
Seeing What Others Cannot See: by Thomas G. West
Published in 2017, this book takes a similar vein as The Dyslexic Advantage. West looks at the ways in which the visual thinking common to many people with dyslexia (as well as individuals with Asperger’s or other neurological differences), positions them well for success in a digital world in which the ability to see the big picture is a significant advantage. Through the use of first person accounts, West demonstrates that the world is experienced differently by visual thinkers as compared to neurotypical people.
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.
Dyslexia Explained by: Nessy
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.
This list was adapted from one originally compiled by Emily Gibbens of The Literacy Nest and permission granted.)