The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity
Dyslexia in the News

"Other States Also Implementing Early Screening For Dyslexia"
KJZZ, The Show
with Lauren Gilger
April 28, 2017

Arizona joined the ranks of a dozen other states that have signed dyslexia laws to define dyslexia, outline ways to identify students with dyslexia, and better work with them to improve reading. Lauren Gilger turned to Sally Shaywitz, M.D., co-director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity and author of Overcoming Dyslexia, for more information about dyslexia and why laws that define dyslexia and allow for identification are necessary. "It would be wonderful if (these laws) weren't necessary," Dr. Shaywitz said, "But the situation is that such laws are very necessary. I don't think very many people realize how common dyslexia is—affecting 1 in 5 and probably the most common disorder people see in schools."

Listen here...

Blog Talk Radio/Education Talk Radio
with Larry Jacobs
September 19, 2016

Education Talk Radio host Larry Jacobs interviewed Sally Shaywitz, M.D., co-director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity and author of Overcoming Dyslexia, about the importance of early identification and intervention for young people with dyslexia. It starts with screening children for dyslexia in schools in kindergarten and first grade. Shaywitz, along with Center Co-Director Bennett Shaywitz, M.D., developed a quick, evidence-based screening tool that identifies students who are at risk for dyslexia. The duo teamed up with Pearson to distribute Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen™ to educators.

“We have a reading crisis in this country,” says Dr. Shaywitz. “If you look at the data, as Dr. Bennett Shaywitz and I do, you see that for the poorest readers, it's getting worse and all the evidence points to dyslexia as the explanation and potential solution. But the problem is that dyslexia is not being identified in schools. Dyslexia is incredibly common and affects boys and girls of all backgrounds and locations....In our 30-plus year Connecticut Longitudinal Study, we found that the gap between typical readers and dyslexic readers was already present in first grade and it didn't go away. We have to identify children early.”

Listen here:

"Dyslexic Designers Just Think Differently—Maybe Even Better"
article by Margaret Rhodes
August 29, 2016

An exhibit entitled "Dyslexic Design," is showcasing and celebrating the creativity of artists with dyslexia. Curated by London-based industrial designer Jim Rokos, who himself has dyslexia, the exhibit seeks to highlight the strengths and abilities that come with dyslexia, as opposed to the challenges it brings. WIRED spoke with Sally Shaywitz, M.D., co-director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity and author of Overcoming Dyslexia, for insight. “People who are dyslexic seem to have an abundance of creative thought,” Shaywitz says. “But when you try to pin it down you have to remember that creativity is a very big area.”

Rhodes writes further, “Artists, writers, and musicians tend to get tagged as ‘creative,’ when creativity really just means seeing things differently. Shaywitz often invokes Charles Schwab, a billionaire businessman and dyslexic, as an example. ‘I remember him saying, I can see the end zone, while others are thinking very serially, step by step.’ Put that way, dyslexic thinking sounds like big-picture thinking—a frame of mind that certainly benefits designers.”

Read more by clicking here.

Beyond the Headlines with Cheryl Jennings
ABC News - San Francisco
reported by Cheryl Jennings

ABC 7's Cheryl Jennings interviewed YCDC co-director Sally Shaywitz, M.D., for her expert knowledge on dyslexia. Beyond the Headlines is preparing a half hour show on dyslexia which is due to air in late February on ABC7/KGO TV. More information on the special to come. For now, please enjoy these video clips from Cheryl Jennings' interview with Dr. Sally Shaywitz:

We continue our behind the scenes discussion with #DyslexiaGuru Dr. Sally Shaywitz Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity on stunning statistics about #dyslexia Decoding Dyslexia CA Sandler Neurosciences Building UCSF Medical Center Dyslexia Center We're preparing a half hour show on this issue which is due to air in late February on ABC7/KGO TV's Beyond the Headlines, Sunday's 4:30pm.I will keep you posted on the airdate. Please join our conversation and share this with others to help us raise awareness.Thanks so much!

Posted by Cheryl Jennings on Sunday, January 17, 2016

Just because a child can't read.......Dr. Sally Shaywitz talks about intelligent kids who can't read...She says: get them the help they need now!Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity UCSF Dyslexia Center Decoding Dyslexia CA

Posted by Cheryl Jennings on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

More clips from Cheryl Jennings' dyslexia interviews can be found by clicking here.

Kids With Dyslexia To Get More Educational Support
Capitol Public Radio
reported by Katie Orr
Thursday, November 19, 2015 | Sacramento, CA

YCDC co-director Sally Shaywitz, M.D., was quoted in the local NPR piece about a new California state law that requires schools to take phonological processing ability into account when evaluating a child for special education. Supporters hope that this law will help identify children with dyslexia earlier and more easily. "Dr. Sally Shaywitz thinks the law is a step in the right direction. She co-directs the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity. Shaywitz says early intervention is critical to treating dyslexia. So is overcoming the idea that people who have dyslexia aren’t smart. 'Part of the definition of dyslexia is that it is an unexpected difficulty in readying,' she says. 'Unexpected meaning it occurs in people who are quite intelligent.'"

Listen here.

Today Show's Matt Lauer Delivers Good News
to a Rhode Island Principal Teaching a Lesson in Generosity.

Today News
article by Lisa Flam
June 17, 2015

A Rhode Island elementary school lent Matt Lauer a helping hand during his bike ride to raise money for children living in poverty. Hope Valley Elementary School Principal Joe Gencarelli reached out to his school's community to raise money for the program, even though his own school needed funds for a new playground, among other things. His lesson in generosity brought Lauer back to visit and deliver the good news that Home Depot would fund a new playground, and to tell Mr. G's story. The beloved principal started his career early, when he set out to be the first in his family to graduate from college and make a difference in the lives of children. Diagnosed with dyslexia, young Joe knew what it was like to struggle in school and what a difference having someone who supports a young person can make.

See more here.

Dr. Sally Shaywitz Quoted in Award-Winning Parenting Magazine
Scholastic Parent and Child
article by Holly Pevzner
February/March 2015

In an article, “When Reading isn’t Easy” in the February/March 2015 issue of Scholastic Parent & Child, YCDC Co-Director Dr. Sally Shaywitz is quoted describing the high prevalence of dyslexia (1 out of 5 students) in a typical classroom, noting how dyslexia accounts for the vast percentage of students with learning disabilities, and the importance of selecting evidence-based reading interventions, so that “parents must demand ‘Show me the evidence’ before allowing their child to be taught by a (reading) program.”

We are proud to share that the article’s Resources for Parents notes that “The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity ( is packed with the latest information about the condition; you can also pick up Dr. Shaywitz’s book ‘Overcoming Dyslexia’ which has become a top resource for parents and teachers.”

Read the entire article here.

Wesleyan Makes Tests Optional in Admissions
News @ Wesleyan
by Kate Carlisle
May 7, 2014

In May 2014, Wesleyan University joined the small, but growing, number of institutions of higher education that have made submitting SAT and ACT tests scores optional. A few hundred institutions, including many of Wesleyan's peer colleges, have already made the tests optional.

“We’re skeptical about the value of the SAT in predicting college success,” Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth said. “Scores don’t necessarily add much to student applications; what’s more, we believe they can skew the advantage toward students from privileged backgrounds, or those who can afford test prep.”


Portrait of a dyslexic artist, who transforms neurons into ‘butterflies’
PBS Newshour
Ellen Rolfes
April 16, 2014

Drs. Sally & Bennett Shaywitz were interviewed for this PBS NewsHour article about a dyslexic artist whose sculptures capture the beauty and delicacy of the brain. While the artist does struggle daily with her dyslexia, she has learned how to turn dyslexia from a liability to an asset, as she explains to article author Ellen Rolfes: “I embraced the fact that what appears as a learning obstacle seems to have contributed a great deal to how I navigate and experience the world."

Dr. Sally Shaywitz cautioned that while many dyslexics are finding ways to overcome and excel, now is the time to focus on identifying dyslexia in students, and getting them the proper evidence-based support needed to overcome it: “It is not being diagnosed in schools,” she said. “The kids who have [dyslexia] aren’t receiving the evidence-based interventions and accommodations that will allow them to show their strengths … and reflect [their] ability rather than their disability.”

Read more here...

College Applicants Sweat the SATs. Perhaps They Shouldn't
Eric Westervelt
February 18, 2014

William Hiss, Ph.D, a presenter at many of our conferences for teachers and college deans, has completed a new study that we hope every college dean and high school principal will read and consider. While the study doesn't specifically address dyslexia, dyslexics are a subset within the larger group of students studied. We are encouraged by this study, and expect that it will help open access to higher education for dyslexics, and many other individuals, who for a variety of reasons struggle to score well on standardized tests. The study validates the idea that hard work, effort, and good grades are as much a predictor of success as good test scores.

For the one-page summary of the study, click here.

For the story on NPR, click here.

The Three Keys to Survival and Entrepreneurship From Genocide Survivor and Educator Emad Rahim
Huffington Post
Steve Mariotti
January 27, 2014
link to article

Get a double dose of inspiration from two amazing dyslexics featured in this article—one the subject, and interviewee, Emad Rahim, and the other, the author and interviewer, Steve Mariotti.

Steve Mariotti is a leading expert in youth entrepreneurship education, and founder of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Read more about him by clicking here.

He interviewed Emad Rahim about his journey from a child in a Cambodian concentration camp to an award-winning entrepreneur and educator.

In spite of struggling with dyslexia and street violence as a youth, Rahim found a way to embrace education. He tells Mariotti, “At SUNY Empire State College I received guided mentorship and support in my education and, three years later, graduated. I realized that I was not 'disabled,' but was fully capable, given the right learning environment, support and guidance from the faculty.”

Read more in the full article on the Huffington Post.

"Cousin Jeff" Johnson Talks About Dyslexia Detection In Children
On the Radio
97.9FM Houston--The Box
Madd Hatta Morning Show
October 31, 2013

Award-winning journalist Jeff Johnson (a.k.a. “Cousin Jeff”) talked about dyslexia detection and Drs. Sally & Bennett Shaywitz's visit to Houston on the Madd Hatta Morning Show on Houston’s 97.9 The Box. Johnson, who is also a partner in the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity’s Multicultural Dyslexia Awareness Initiative, shared a little bit about his own experience with his son’s dyslexia diagnosis, some common signs of dyslexia, and why a diagnosis is so important. Listen here:

"Dyslexia in Texas schools termed a 'disgrace'"
Houston Chronicle
By Jennifer Radcliffe
Published: August 6, 2013

Since 1985, the state of Texas has had legislation in place requiring all college campuses to actively identify and provide treatment to students with dyslexia. Compliance with this law has been been very weak, and is clearly divided along lines of race, color, language and economic status.

Jennifer Radcliffe of the Chronicle interviewed YCDC Co-Director Dr. Sally Shaywitz, who provided information about the nature of dyslexia and the barriers commonly encountered in attempting to assess and treat the disorder.

Dr. Shaywitz also discussed YCDC's Multicultural Dyslexia Awareness Initiative (MDAI), and the MDAI conference to be held in Houston later this year to promote advocacy for the diagnosis and treatment of minority students with dyslexia. According to Dr. Shaywitz, the current state of affairs is "a national disgrace. We're on a mission to educate people about dyslexia. People are just clueless."

To read the article in its entirety, click here

"Defining My Dyslexia"
New York Times, Op-Ed Section
By Blake Charlton
Published: May 22, 2013

From the Desk of the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity Co-Director
Sally Shaywitz, M.D.:

The Yale Center applauds the recent publication by The New York Times of a passionate and accurate Op-Ed, "Defining My Dyslexia," by Blake Charlton, MD, whom I have known and admired since his days as a Yale undergraduate and who is profiled on this website (click here to read/listen to it). Dr. Charlton shines the light on and disputes the oft misstated belief that somehow dyslexics all have a special talent. The potentially harmful consequence of such a view is well articulated in a letter by Kalman Hettleman also published by the Times in response to Dr. Charlton.

Dr. Charlton, who is dyslexic, well understands and aptly captures the paradox that is dyslexia: a weakness surrounded by a sea of strengths. Yes, many who are dyslexic are often out-of-the box, big picture thinkers but at the same time, these same individuals often are not particularly great artists, spatial thinkers or the like and it would be wrong, and indeed, harmful to suggest that such "talents" are an integral part of being dyslexic. And this is precisely what both Dr. Charlton and Mr. Hettleman want to bring to our attention. Dr. Charlton notes the desire among some to paint dyslexia as an advantage. Yet, for most children with dyslexia, particularly during their school years, their slow reading and poor spelling present significant disadvantages. Following a recent lecture, a parent shared her child's distressed reaction to being told that dyslexia is a gift, "If it's a gift, how can I give it back." Far too often, especially for disadvantaged and poor children and for children of color or Latino ethnicity, "their problems in learning to read are either diagnosed too late and treated too little, or not diagnosed or treated at all." The Yale Center is quite concerned about this and has taken an important step to bring attention to, and hopefully, redress this unacceptable harm coming to so many children by launching a new initiative, the Multicultural Dyslexia Awareness Initiative (MDAI).

Often and quite accurately, we bemoan the "knowledge gap," that is, the gap between existing knowledge and the knowledge necessary to bring about improvements in health or education. In the case of dyslexia, (while there is always the desire for more), there is currently sufficient knowledge to do a far better job in identifying, intervening in and accommodating dyslexia. There is an unacceptable and harmful wide gap between the robust existing science of dyslexia and how this knowledge is implemented, typically not implemented, by schools. In dyslexia, there is not a knowledge gap but rather an action gap. As a consequence dyslexic children frequently go unidentified, unremediated and unaccommodated with great harm to the children, to their families and to society. Educators must act to translate this body of converging science into policy and practice. Our children's lives and futures (human capital) are too precious to waste.

"Perhaps I've succeeded not despite, but because of, my disability."

Physician and author Blake Charlton writes:

"Not a disability? My years of functional illiteracy suggest otherwise. Today's educational environment exacerbates dyslexic weaknesses. Schools misidentify poor spelling and slow reading as a lack of intelligence; typically diagnose the condition only after students have fallen behind; and too often fail to provide dyslexic students with the audio and video materials that would help them learn. Until these disadvantages are removed, "disability" most accurately describes what young dyslexics confront."

Read the Op-Ed in its entirety--click here.

"Dyslexia Workarounds: Creativity Without a Lot of Reading"
The Wall Street Journal, Health Journal
by Melinda Beck
Published: April 1, 2013
link to article

Citing successful dyslexics like Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, Cleveland Clinic CEO and thoracic surgeon Dr. Toby Cosgrove, and actor and children's book author Henry Winkler, WSJ journalist Melinda Beck brings the positive side of dyslexia to light—and also the necessary accommodations for overcoming dyslexia. "I frankly think that dyslexia is a gift," Dr. Cosgrove tells Beck. "If you are supported in school and your ego remains intact, then you emerge with a strong work ethic and a different view of the world."

Beck consulted YCDC Co-Director Dr. Sally E. Shaywitz for the article, who offered her scientific knowledge on the subject of dyslexia, as well as her insights into what dyslexics encounter while reading and working through their disability.

An excerpt from the article:

As many as one in five Americans has some degree of dyslexia, according to Yale research, although only about 5% of children have been formally diagnosed.... Imaging studies show that the best readers have the most brain activity in the rear, instant-word-forming area when they read. Dyslexics have much less activity there and more in two slower areas. "Think of the word 'bat,'" says Dr. Shaywitz. "If you are dyslexic, you have to retrieve the B and the A and the T separately each time. It's exhausting."

Read the article in its entirety on The Wall Street Journal website. Click here.


"Education First aims to bridge barriers with exchange"
The Boston Globe, Business
by Katie Johnston
Published: February 03, 2013
link to article

Dyslexic Bertil Hult, founder of EF (Education First), saw first-hand how travel could change the way young people learn and has created a global company doing just that. From The Boston Globe: "Struggling with dyslexia while growing up in Sweden, Bertil Hult quit school after junior high and eventually went to work making coffee and running errands for a ship broker in London. Six months later, without ever stepping foot in a classroom, Hult could speak English."


"Approaching Illness as a Team"
New York Times, Editorial
Published: December 25, 2012
link to article

YCDC Note: While dyslexia is not explicity stated in this editorial, we wanted to highlight that the Cleveland Clinic, lauded as a national model for health care, is led by Dr. Toby Cosgrove, an out-of-the-box thinking dyslexic physician.

As noted in a recent New York Times editorial, the Cleveland Clinic is indeed a national model for innovation in medicine. Lacking, however, was providing the source the individual who has driven this remarkable innovation and was willing to take personal risks to bring progress, change and a brighter future not only to the Cleveland Clinic, but to all of medicine. That individual is Dr. Delos (Toby) Cosgrove, renowned cardiac surgeon and since 2004, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Cleveland Clinic.

Less well known, but perhaps a contributing factor to his ability to think-out-of-the box, is that Dr. Cosgrove is dyslexic, and because of this he did not excel on the Medical College Admissions Test (without accommodations) and was rejected by 10 of 11 medical schools. Dyslexia is often described as a sea of strengths in creativity and out-of the box thinking in a person who does not read rapidly and may not retrieve spoken words quickly. Fortunately, one medical school, University of Virginia Medical School, recognized his creative thinking and valued it more than the ability to read rapidly. All of medicine is fortunate for that wise decision.


"Dealing with Dyslexia"
Morning Joe, MSNBC
Aired: October 25, 2012

Director Jamie Redford talks with Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough about his film "The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia." Redford is joined by attorney and dyslexic David Boies, who appears in the film, alongside other dyslexics who share their experiences with disability.

Dyslexia in the News & on the Football Field
A Compilation of Various Publications
Published: summer 2012

Football abounds with tackles on the field, but recent news has highlighted that dyslexia is a challenge that some NFL players and coaches tackle as well.

Read more here.

New York Times
The Reality of Dyslexia: Millions Struggle
Letters to the Editor
Published: February 12, 2012

In a February 4, 2012, New York Times Opinion piece, Annie Murphy Paul wrote about dyslexia. The following weekend, the New York Times published responses to that piece. We especially would like to draw your attention to one letter to the editor.

The letter's author, Mary Beth Crosby Carroll, a New York City reading specialist, writes:

"It makes you wonder how many scientists, lawyers, doctors, engineers and writers we have lost because they failed early on in school and no one knew how to tap into their talents and teach them how to read."

Click here to read the letter in its entirety.

US News & World Reports
Meeting the Dyslexia Challenge: Talented students with a common disability get a fresh look.
By Meryl Davids Landau
Published: September 2011

U.S. News & World Reports publishes its 2012 College Guidebook, wherein they address the unique challenges dyslexics face in the application process (p. 64).

"The main stumbling block for even the most accomplished college applicants with dyslexia is the standardized entrance exam. Though there is no single model to guide dyslexic students applying to college, experts and those who have made it through the admissions process offer some useful tips." Read more.

New York Times
Study Says Dyslexia May Have Auditory Tie
By Pam Belluck
Published: August 1, 2011

YCDC Directors' Note: This small but important study reaffirms the centrality of difficulties with the sounds of spoken language in dyslexia. We already know that dyslexia impacts output — word retrieval in spoken language; now, this new study shows that the faulty phonological representations in dyslexia also impact input — recognition of the incoming spoken language (voice). In both input and output difficulties it is the stored fuzzy phonemes that are the culprit.

This study also cleaves perception of spoken language from meaning, showing that it is the sounds of the spoken language that are impaired and not the meaning that is problematic for dyslexics.

From the New York Times:

Scientists have come to believe that the reading difficulties of dyslexia are part of a larger puzzle: a problem with how the brain processes speech and puts together words from smaller units of sound. Read More

New York Times
Connecticut Governor, Tackling Budget, Criticizes Christie's Approach
By David M. Halbfinger
Published: February 15, 2011

YCDC Editor's Note: We call this article to your attention not because of the political arguments cited within, but for what Gov. Malloy says about keeping funds for those who need it most; and why he feels strongly about doing so has to do with his dyslexia. Read More

U.S. News & World Reports
8 Steps for Learning Disabled Students Who Want to Go to College
Diligence, creativity, and resilience can help LD students succeed in college.
By Kim Clark
Posted: December 2, 2010

"Most of the 3 percent or so of teens who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities struggle so much in their high school classes that they give up on hopes of college, setting back their job and career prospects, according to statistics compiled by the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

"But there are new reasons for hope for anyone with attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, or other common learning challenges. A growing number of colleges, services, and technologies are helping students earn admission to, and diplomas from, college, counselors say...." Read More

New York Times
Odds Defied? Malloy Knows the Territory
By Raymond Hernandez
Published: August 11, 2010

Dannel P. Malloy, the surprise winner in the Democratic primary for governor in Connecticut, overcame dyslexia. Read More

New York Times
A Conversation With Carol W. Greider
On Winning a Nobel Prize in Science
Published: October 13, 2009

Carol W. Greider was one of three women who won a science Nobel last week, which puts her in some rare company. Editor's Note: Dr. Greider, who is dyslexic, was rejected from 8 out of 10 graduate schools that she applied to because her test scores were considered too low. Read More