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Overcoming Dyslexia

A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level


Sally Shaywitz, M.D. (View Bio)
Hardcover: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003; Paperback: Vintage, 2005.

Overcoming Dyslexia

The deceptively simple task of reading is the most sophisticated and uniquely human of brain functions. Reading is at the apex of the human thinking process. But 20% to 30% of humans worldwide suffer an impairment of the process, known as dyslexia. Nor are users of logographic languages such as Japanese and Chinese exempt. Rather than simply a lag in development that children will outgrow, reading disability represents a pernicious, enduring deficit that stays with the child from the beginning of school through high school and beyond. Yet complex cognitive and reading skills are crucial as never before in human history, so much so that today, reading ability is generally presumed to function as a proxy for intelligence. Dyslexics challenge this assumption: many are extremely intelligent, highly motivated, can see and hear well, and work very hard, but still somehow experience great difficulty in learning to read. There are CEO's of major corporations, renowned writers, accomplished physicians, respected political leaders, scientists and even journalists who struggle daily with dyslexia. Such individuals often believe that they are alone, and that their story of disability and silence is the exception. The Shaywitzes conducted the only longitudinal study of reading disability; they run the NIH-funded Center for the Study of Learning and Attention at Yale University, the leading laboratory of neuroscience investigating learning disability; and they are at the forefront of an ongoing revolution in science that holds new hope of a cure. Technological advances like the fMRI allow researchers now actually to see the mechanisms of human cognition in action. This important book will engage any reader who enjoys tales of scientific discovery, is interested in brain organization and function, or who wants to combat his or her or a loved one's own dyslexia.

A San Francisco Chronicle Best Seller
Winner of the 2003 Margot Marek Book Award from the New York International Dyslexia Association
Winner of the 2004 Ken Book Award by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

"Yale neuroscientist Shaywitz demystifies the roots of dyslexia (a neurologically based reading difficulty affecting one in five children) and offers parents and educators hope that children with reading problems can be helped. Shaywitz delves deeply into how dyslexia occurs.... The good news, Shaywitz claims, is that with the use of effective training programs, the brain can be rewired and dyslexic children can learn to read. She walks parents through ways to help children develop phonemic awareness, become fluent readers, and exercise the area of the brain essential for reading success.... Shaywitz's groundbreaking work builds an important bridge from the laboratory to the home and classroom." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Shaywitz, a neuroscientist and Yale pediatrics professor, offers scientific and human perspectives on a reading problem that troubles one in every five American children. Drawing on sceintific research and her own case histories, Shaywitz explains what causes dyslexia, how to identify it, and how to help children and adults overcome it. In highly accessible language, Shaywitz explains recent technology and research that pinpoint areas of the brain that control the ability to read.... A tremendously helpful resource." — Booklist

"Sally Shaywitz's book is the bible for the dyslexic world. It's one part brainpower, two parts motivation, and three parts common sense. It all adds up to empowerment, which enables me, as a mother, to change my son's life." — Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group and author of USE WHAT YOU'VE GOT AND OTHER BUSINESS LESSONS I LEARNED FROM MY MOM

"Sally Shaywitz, one of America's premier pediatricians and experts on reading, has written the definitive book on dyslexia. It is informative, user-friendly and scientifically sound. Every family who has a child with a reading problem should have OVERCOMING DYSLEXIA." — Harold S. Koplewicz, M.D., Director, New York University Child Study Center

"Remarkable...Shaywitz provides a state-of-the-art tool kit for the parents and teachers of dyslexic children. No one understands dyslexia better, or explains it more clearly.... A must-read for any parent or teacher of a struggling reader." — Stephen J. Cannell, author of HOLLYWOOD TOUGH

"One of Sally Shaywitz's great gifts is her ability to present complex information clearly and simply for a lay audience.... In OVERCOMING DYSLEXIA Dr. Shaywitz has made another important contribution by presenting the science of dyslexia so that it can be understood by those most affected." — Nina Goodman and John Uhry, Professors, School of Education, Fordham University

"In this gem of a book, Dr. Sally Shaywitz uses her voice, her images, her brain — and yes, her heart — to shine a piercing and clarifying light on what we so inadequately call 'dyslexia.' What is more, she shows how almost everyone can overcome it." — Daniel D. Federman, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

"Dr. Sally Shaywitz is one of a group of scientists who have made tremendous progress in understanding the disorder." — Boston Globe Sunday Magazine

"An important book.... For the first time, scientists are understanding how the brain works...in the act of reading. Front and center now is Sally Shaywitz." — Baltimore Sun

"Among teachers, school administrators, and parents who struggle to help children with dyslexia to become successful readers, Sally Shaywitz is something of a household name.... In OVERCOMING DYSLEXIA, she provides a comprehensive soucre of information and guidance...enlivened with personal stories from her work." — Cerebrum, the quarterly journal of the Dana Foundation

"A wonderful combination of science and humanism. I initially consulted Dr. Shaywitz's book with some research questions, but continued reading out of sheer fascination." — Curtis Hanson, director of In Her Shoes and LA Confidential

"A superb book." — Family Circle

"A fine, nontechnical, practical resource for parents, educators, and others who confront dyslexia.... If dyslexia is a negative part of your life, get Shaywitz's book and follow her positive advice." — Brain Connection

"A fascinating new book.... Shaywitz has illuminated the inner workings of dyslexic minds." — Time

"A book parents and teachers will turn to for answers, for understanding, and for help. Many parents will recognize their children or themselves in this book and know that they are not alone, that they have enormous capabilities, and that there is real hope for improving their lives. OVERCOMING DYSLEXIA is the book we have all been waiting for." — Charles R. Schwab

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