10 Books About Dyslexia That I Read Again and Again

 

Top Books on Dyslexia

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If you’ve been around Abundant Life for any time, you know that most of my kids learn differently because of something called dyslexia.  I have had a love/hate relationship with coming to understand this style of learning.   On the one hand, dyslexia causes reading, writing and spelling to be so painfully difficult.  On the other hand, dyslexia blesses those who are diagnosed with it to have many amazing strengths as well!  The following list of books are all books that, not only do I own, but that I read and reread in my quest to really understand dyslexia and to help as I teach my kids to the best of my ability.

Right Brained Children in a Left Brained World by Jeffery Freed and Laurie Parsons

Written by a former teacher and educational therapist, this book explains the unique differences that predominantly right-brained thinkers possess.  Contains a checklist to determine whether you and your child are right-brained thinkers and a simple step-by-step program to help these kids learn and excel utilizing their unique strengths.

 

Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz

When this book came out in 2005, it turned the world of understanding dyslexia upside down.  Written by neuroscientist Dr. Sally Shaywitz of Yale University, it chronicles the ground-breaking research using the results from Functional MRIs to trace the cause of dyslexia to a weakness in the language system at the phonological level.  Don’t let the terminology scare you.  This book is written for the lay person and is a treasure of information well-grounded in science.  Includes exercises and techniques for working effectively with your dyslexic child.

 

Homeschooling the Challenging Child by Christine Field

Written by a former lawyer turned homeschool mother.  Chapters address how to deal with issues stemming from various learning disabilities, attention disorders, personality clashes, learning styles, discipline problems, managing stress and discouragement, how to plan a program, and the importance of keeping in mind the tenets of God’s love and forgiveness. Hands-on tips for managing a successful home education program, as well as how to find professional help from support groups.

 

Unicorns Are Real:  A Right-Brained Approach to Learning by Barbara Meister Vitale

Don’t let the title of this book put you off.  ”Unicorns are real” was a statement made by a young student of the author that was the catalyst for leading her to begin to better understand the differences between her right-brained students and left-brained students.  Written in an easy to understand style and full of real life practical strategies for teaching the predominantly right-brained learner.  The book begins with an easily understood, yet surprisingly in-depth description of brain structure and function as it pertains to learning.  The book also contains simple, do-at-home procedures for testing your child for brain dominance.

 

Your Child’s Growing Mind by Dr. Jane Healy

Considered the classic guide to understanding children’s mental development.  She explains the building blocks of reading, writing, spelling, and mathematics and shows how to help kids of all ages develop motivation, attention, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.  She also looks at learning issues, ADHD, and the influences of electronic media – all through the lens of the science of childhood development.

 

Brain-Integration Therapy Manual by Dianne Craft

Brain Integration Therapy is a method to enhance brain function are by performing simple physical movements that cross the midline.  It has been found to profoundly improve ADD/ADHD/Dyslexic conditions as well as other learning struggles.  In a few minutes a day, you can vastly improve your child’s focus, reduce stress and improve school performance.  Yes, this works!

 

Parenting the Struggling Reader by Susan Hall and Dr. Louis Moats

A very comprehensive, practical guide for recognizing, diagnosing and overcoming any childhood reading difficulty.  Written by a mother of a struggling reader (who is also on the board of directors of the International Dyslexia Association) and an educational researcher, this book contains both the clinical information a parent needs but also the practical, everyday solutions and tips needed to successfully help your struggling reader.

Contains an extensive explanation of our role as advocate for our children.  Sections are as follows:

Identify

Testing

Accurate diagnosis

Determining what instructional approach will be most effective for your child

 

The Dyslexic Advantage  by Brock Eide and Fernette Eide

With inspiring testimonials, this paradigm-shifting book proves that dyslexia doesn’t have to be a detriment, but can often become an asset for success.  The struggles as parents of struggling readers are often immense as we work to advocate for them in a society that, more often than not, discards a dyslexic intellect as inferior and unlikely to succeed in life. This wonderful book explains through example after example how the complete opposite is the case. Dyslexic minds may have troubles with conventional ways of “doing things” but it is for that reason that they have been the pivotal forces behind discoveries and innovations that have led our culture forward for centuries.  Includes extensive coverage of accommodations (like speech-to-text software and digital books).

 

Homeschooling Children with Special Needs – Turning Challenges into Opportunities by Sharon Hensley

Another excellent guide to the realities and methods, including lots of curriculum suggestions, for homeschooling any child with special needs.

 

Learning Outside the Lines by Jonathan Mooney and David Cole

Written by two young men who both learn differently and who were able to break the pattern of failure in their lives, eventually graduating with honors from Ivy League schools.  This book provides incredible insight into the life of someone with dyslexia.  Jonathan eloquently provokes us to reconsider what normal is and to appreciate people who learn differently.

 

Linking up to the iHomeschool Network’s 10 in 10 Blog Hop:

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Marianne Sunderland

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Comments

  1. Colleen says:

    I remember after reading The Dyslexic Advantage my feelings of despair, and worry changed to hope. I think it was a comfort reading about the success of people who struggled with the same issues as my son. I realized I needed to let go of the negative feelings I had about dyslexia and focus on the positive. In doing so I freed my son of the stress I unintentionally put on him. I look forward to reading some of the other books you’ve suggested!

    • Marianne says:

      Also, I think we are so blessed to be able to homeschool our dyslexic kids. It is not easy but it really is the best environment for them. I heard Jonathan Mooney speak at the International Dyslexia Association. He is the author of Learning Outside the Lines. He had quite a time in the public schools. He said that the environment either enables or disables the dyslexic students. Even on our worst days, we are still enabling them to learn at their own pace without fear of ridicule or judgement.

  2. Susan R. says:

    Thanks for this great list! I have 3 of the books you mentioned (Overcoming Dyslexia, Unicorns are Real, and the Dyslexic Advantage) and I am hoping to read them this summer to educate myself a little more deeply about this learning style. I feel like I am just scratching the surface at this point.

    • Marianne says:

      The 3 books that you mentioned are a well-rounded mix. A bit of education, a bit of insight into what it is really like for a dyslexic and a bit of encouragement. Yes, reading and praying for wisdom!

  3. Hi Marianne,
    I hope I meet you in person at the CHEA Convention coming up.
    My adult son loved Ron Davis’ book, The Gift of Dyslexia. He felt like for the first time there was someone who ‘got it’. He also for the first time ‘saw’ he is quite gifted. I had not realized he struggled with that. I know Davis’ book is controversial. Have you read it? I have used some of his ideas for tutoring, like modeling clay letters and words, and using tension to help focus. Any thoughts?
    Thanks, Debbie

    • Marianne says:

      Hi Debbie. I hope we can meet as well! I did read The Gift of Dyslexia, several times, and bought the materials to work with my kids at home. I never ‘got it’ though. I should dust it off and read it with my (dyslexic) husband and see what he thinks. I know the dyslexic mind perceives things differently. Since I am not dyslexic, it is hard for me to understand what Ron Davis is saying. I have had several people write to me and say that they benefitted from the book.

      • Thanks for your reply. I am looking forward to reading The Dyslexic Advantage.

      • I too am an unintentional homeschool mom of a dyslexic student. I’ve read Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz and The Gift of Dyslexia. My take on The Gift is that it can work for some but not everyone. I would like to suggest a resource for homeschooling a dyslexic and that is the Dyslexia Training Institute. It provides online classes to parents (and educators) on the Orton-Gillingham method of tutoring, which is the way to teach dyslexic children to read. It is a wonderful class, especially for the homeschooling parent who may not have access to information. Thanks. I love your website!

        • Marianne says:

          Karen,
          Thanks so much for the resource. I had not heard of that before. Going to check it out now! Blessings to you!
          Marianne

  4. As usual thanks for the hope, encouragement, and resources. I really enjoyed The Dyslexic Advantage by the Eides. The Eides also have another book called The Mislabled Child that I found very helpful.

  5. Thanks for a great list, I have read several and a few others that are not on the list like Ben Foss’ The Empowerment Plan. I am going to order these through the library. Love all of your first hand knowledge it is so helpful for us with young children that have just been diagnosed . Thanks so much!

    • Marianne Sunderland says:

      Thanks for mentioning Ben Foss’s book, Melissa. I should add that! Any other good ones that I missed?

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