We are always finding interesting books and ideas about Dyslexia. We are starting to put them on our website for your information.
If you know a great book on Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, being Right-brained or other related topics please let us know so we can share with others.
"Unicorns are Real"
by Barbara Meister Vitale
We love this book! This book was written in the 1980's but it is timeless. When Karey Hope first became involved with Dyslexia with her children this book helped her a lot to understand what being right-brained meant. The ideas for teaching and accommodating Dyslexics are very helpful and key to the improvements Karey started to see with her three Dyslexic children.
We will begin to understand how the two hemispheres work together to give the individual a holistic view of his natural environment. If either hemisphere is limited in its processing ability, the picture is not whole and the individual's perspective is limited. As out understanding grows, new methods and refinements will be added to those that appear in this book. We will begin to develop methods to strengthen the right hemisphere of those who are very left-hemispheric. Finally, we will understand how to balance the two hemispheres and reach for our highest human potential. This potential is achieved when both hemispheres are working to their capacity and the information from both is integrated into a whole.
This integration creates an intelligence far greater than the sum of its parts. It is an intelligence that exists beyond specialization and beyond the individual modes of processing present in each hemisphere. It is this intelligence that is the unknown. It is the intelligence that invents, created and evolves. We may never understand this elusive concept, but we must keep trying. We must give children of the world a chance to reach their greatest heights!" ~ from "Unicorns are Real"
A Whole New Mind - Why Right Brainers will Rule the Future
by Daniel Pink
This book has given me great insight into how the world is changing rapidly from a left-brain dominant society focused on rigid planning and set patterns of production to a mind set that is right brain dominant - a creative and touchy-feely future. Very inspiring to us righties who have been sidelined and even sneered at in industry in the past as being too flighty and not grounded in what they call reality.
"Right-Brained Children in a Left Brained World"
by Jeffrey Freed MAT
As you know Karey and I do a lot of research on Dyslexia and Right Brained learning styles and we find lots of great information and we come up with our own ideas too. Earlier this week I started reading the book; Right-Brained Children in a Left Brained World and it is fascinating. The author, Jeffrey Freed MAT, is an educational consultant who has tutored and helped thousands of ADD and Gifted students. This book is interesting for me for a couple of reasons; it is written in a fashion that makes it a joy to read and it says so much of what we believe.
We are learning that there is a lot more in common with ADD, Dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Jeffrey makes it clear that being very Right Brained leads to all kinds of learning issues. These learning problems are just behaviours that are the result of being taught in a fashion that is inappropriate to Right Brained students. The problem with these children is not with how they learn but rather how they are taught.
He tells the reader about many techniques he uses to help his students, many of them are almost exactly what we recommend to parents and teachers. I have heard from some of the teachers who attend our Professional Development workshops that our teaching methods are just good basic teaching. Jeffrey says the same thing but the important thing to remember is what both Jeffrey and we realize that we are working with students who process information differently.
Sometimes we meet with teachers who would be grateful to just be given methods that work for specific children based on the label put on them by professionals who do the Psych-Educational testing. Having the methods to teach specific groups of students is only going to work if you know what that child is all about.
Jeffrey makes it clear in this book that we can’t label these children by the behaviours they exhibit that are result of the frustration of being taught in a manner that makes no sense to them. We can’t focus on the deficits that are used to create the labels used to name the learner. We need to focus on the incredible learning strengths of these Right Brained learners.
This is a great book to put on your reading list because it helps put Dyslexia as a particular learning style into a positive light; there are simple methods that do work with these learners. The methods are easy to duplicate, take no specialized training and can be done with materials readily at hand.
"The Everything Parent's Guide to Children with Dyslexia"
by Abigail Marshall
This is a great reference guide for basic information, coping skills for parents and the dyslexic child, popular teaching systems, and statistics about dyslexia.
The descriptions of various types of dyslexia and other conditions related to it such as dysgraphia and dyslcalculia are simple and easy to read. It gives a parent a start on understanding the labels that psychological tests will apply to their children. The book also explains the IEP process (Independent Educational Program) in the USA and how a parent can be proactive about their child's rights. This is often a frightening and lonely experience for a parent and you will find some very helpful information to arm yourself with when taking on a school system. It is very clear on the role of a parent as an advocate and what that means.
There are also suggestions for how parents can choose the right school and deal with teachers which can help set up a more positive experience for their dyslexic children. This can go a long way in ensuring your child will have a better chance of being more successful in the classroom and learning their skill sets.
The author covers homeschooling and how to set up a plan to teach your dyslexic child at home and pick an appropriate curriculum. Homeschooling can be complicated with a regular student so it is important to consider carefully how to approach teaching a dyslexic. There are some good ideas in the book that will be very helpful and eye-opening when thinking about homeschooling.
So if you are looking for a book about dyslexia that is good start at understanding what your child is up against I suggest you might want to add this book to your reading list. To order
"Proust and the Squid"
by Maryanne Wolf
A thorough and provocative history of how written language was developed, it’s effect on civilization over the centuries and the world today. She also discusses at length the problems written language has created for Dyslexics. This is a heavy read, very technical but if you want to understand how and why we came to use alphabets and phonemes to represent the sounds in words and why it is so difficult for Dyslexics to understand this system, this is the book for you!
"Learning Outside the Lines"
by Jonathan Mooney and David Cole
Part of what we do here at D.V.O. is research, lots of research. I recently read a very interesting book about the personal journey of two Learning Disabled individuals as they both graduated from an Ivy League college with honours. The book is called "Learning Outside the Lines". One of the co-authors is Dyslexic while the other is an ADHD student. I won't go into details but will say that the book is a fascinating and an often moving read.
The authors question the definitions of "stupid" and "smart", the purpose of our education systems and they actually dedicate whole chapters on using study techniques that have very little to do with reading and writing. Don't automatically judge this as foolishness, I thought so until I read the chapters, these techniques are based on the same ideas we advocate. We say that the best learning technique works with the strengths of the individual no matter how that individual learns.
If you decide to read the book be prepared to get shook up because the author's recounts of what they went through in school is not pretty but you may recognize some of what they have gone through. The book gives a view of what some individuals are going through right now but it also offers hope.
After all, if two "Learning Disabled" students can create methods that helped them graduate college with honours this book is definitely a book that should be read by anybody wanting to learn about Learning Differences.
"Family Math Fun"
by Kate Nonesuch
The activities are based on real world applications that teach the child about different math concepts. She finds ways to use our natural environment to understand; counting, adding things together, what numerals are, different purposes for numbers suchas names, addresses, phone numbers, learning about measurement, how to use money and many other simple but effective and fun mathematical ideas.
Young Dyslexic children have a difficult time understanding abstract concepts such as arithmetic, measurement, time and money. They are confused when learning skills that are about sequences and artificial systems that we have created to quantify things in our lives and keep track of certain things such as what time of the day it is.
One way to help Dyslexic children understand these abstract ideas is to relate them to real things or situations that will have meaning to them. This will help them visualize and process mathematical problems they are studying in the classroom. "Family Math Fun" is a great source for activities that teach Dyslexic students about math in their environment.
The book is a free download but is copyrighted and only meant for personal and educational use. You can find it with this link:
A sample activity:
Setting the dishes out
Maybe you're handling the plates, and a little one can help with the forks and knives and spoons.Very little ones won't count at all.
You might ask, how many plates do we need? One for grandma, 1 for grandpa, 1 for brother, 1 for sister, and so on, pulling out a plate as you say each name. Then, how many forks? Let the little one get out a fork for each person as you name them again. Then, how many knives? The little one can pick out a knife for each name, again. As they begin to count things, you could first count: How many people for supper? Name and count each one.Let's say 7, for example. You count out 7 plates. Then ask, how many forks? You may have to count the people again, or maybe count the plates, or maybe the kid will remember. Let the kid count out the forks.
Again, how many knives? Let the kid count out the knives. In any case, while everybody is eating, you'll get a chance to check that everybody has a fork and knife and plate, and congratulate yourselves on the counting.'
"Dyslexia as a Barrier to Achievement (The Dyslexia Friendly Schools Toolkit)"
We would like to suggest a very helpful and easy to read manual about creating a Dyslexia Friendly classroom by Neil MacKay - "Dyslexia as a Barrier to Achievement (The Dyslexia Friendly Schools Toolkit)".
"Neil MacKay is a freelance trainer and consultant who created the concept of Dyslexia Friendly Schools. He is an experienced teacher who has taught for 26 years, working with children with a wide range of ages, needs and ability.
He is known for his ability to bring the classroom into his training and for providing lively, entertaining and thought provoking opportunities for teachers and teaching assistants to reflect on and develop their practice.
His audiences particularly appreciate his ability to offer workable responses to a range of learning needs, including AD(H)D, Asperger's Syndrome and Dyspraxia in ways which meet diverse learning needs without affecting the work of the rest of the class." Action Dyslexia - www.actiondyslexia.co.uk
This manual gives a comprehensive picture of how to create a classroom environment that is appropriate and welcoming for Dyslexic students, students experiencing learning disabilities and I would like to say, any student going to school.
Neil explains how a Dyslexia Friendly classroom is much the same as any classroom but with a few tweaks, lots of encouragement and an emphasis on multi-sensory teaching, school can be become a very exciting and supportive place to be for any child.
Gabby's Wordspeller & Phonetic Dictionary
Gabby's Wordspeller & Phonetic Dictionary" designed for a 13 year old girl, Gabby, to use in high school. Gabby had been diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of eight in 1993. At the age of 13, being the brilliant kid Gabby was, she asked her Mom to please write her a dictionary which spelled the words the way she did, phonetically. In 1997, this project to create a dictionary which misspelled words, while leading the user to the properly spelled word, began. What started as a simple idea, turned into a large project requiring hundreds of dyslexics, teachers of K-12 and peoples of ESL to facilitate this creation.
Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner
Do you know things without being able to explain how or why? Do you solve problems in unusual ways? Do you think in pictures rather than in words?
If so, you are not alone. One-third of the population thinks in images. You may be one or live with one. If you teach, it is absolutely certain that some of your students probably the ones you aren't reaching are visual-spatial learners.
Dr. Linda Silverman coined the term "visual-spatial learner" in 1981 to describe the unique gifts of people who think in images. They get the big picture because they see the world through artists' eyes.
They remember what they see, but forget what they hear. They're disorganized, can't spell and have no sense of time, but they have an infectious sense of humor, wild imaginations and can lose themselves completely in the joy of the moment. Visual-spatial brilliance created the computer and the Internet, the vivid displays at the Olympics, and the International Space Station.
Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner is the blueprint for parenting, teaching and living with these delightfully different beings. It is also a manual for discovering and honoring your own hidden gifts.
Time Table Sing Along CD Book
"I work with a small group of dyslexic children teaching numeracy. As I am a great believer in multi-sensory teaching, I thought about how I could make the multiplication tables more fun for these kids as they readily "shut down" at the mention of times tables. I scouted around and got myself a tape of "Sing the times tables" from a local resource shop. When the students came to class next I gave them a copy of the words to the "Times Tables" songs and we spent the lesson learning the words and singing along to the tape. The kids thoroughly enjoyed this, as it was a break away from pencil and paper for a change.
Boy filling in the multiplication tables. Now every time they come to class I have the tape playing in the background and I have developed some worksheets to go along with the tape as they sing along they fill in the missing blanks, i.e. the words of the song: "2 little caterpillars crawling on the floor, they were joined by 2 more then there were four". So the sheet says 2 x 2 = ? Caterpillars, and so on. Pictures of cheeky caterpillars on the worksheet also add to the enjoyment. The students are responding well to this exercise and although it is early days with them (they are a young group!), I feel that verbalizing (singing) the times tables is going to have a huge impact on their learning when it come to solving harder problems." (P.P., North Queensland, Australia)