New York Post reviews Overcoming Dyslexia

The following review of Overcoming Dyslexia, 2nd Edition, recently ran in the New York Post as a “Buzzbook”:

By Mackenzie Dawson

As far as learning disabilities go, dyslexia is the most common — one out of 5 people are thought to have it, regardless of age or gender. But despite its prevalence, it is still not commonly understood.

Sally Shaywitz, a neuroscientist and co-founder and co-director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity, spells out some of the more common misconceptions.

“A lot of people don’t understand that [dyslexia] is a real entity,” she says. “Or that people can have it and be very smart. And a third misconception is that the achievement gap is already present in first grade.”

Shaywitz literally wrote the book on dyslexia along with her son, board-certified psychiatrist Jonathan Shaywitz. Their book “Overcoming Dyslexia” was first published in 2003 and has become one of the leading resources on the subject. The book has been newly revised and updated, with a 2nd edition now available from Knopf.

“We now have cutting-edge evidence and science [as it relates to dyslexia],” Sally explains. “What hasn’t changed is that most educators aren’t aware of it. There’s not a knowledge gap, there’s an action gap.”

But this might change with the introduction of a new Shaywitz Dyslexia-Screen, developed out of the Yale Center, and which is currently being piloted at two Brooklyn elementary schools, PS 107 in Park Slope and PS 130 in Windsor Terrace. The total cost to the city: $2,000. The process takes 10 minutes and the student does not have to be present.

This could make a big difference in terms of how students are screened and getting them help at an early age.

The 2nd edition of the book includes a new section on diagnosing dyslexia at any age; a guide to choosing schools and colleges; updated information on how to help both dyslexic children and dyslexic adults; stories of incredibly successful dyslexics who went on to shine in different fields; and more.

“I think it’s so important for parents to get kids identified early,” Sally says. “It makes all the difference in the world. And to know that they can have bright futures. It’s so amazing how many accomplished people are dyslexic — working on this has given me a world of bright friends.”

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