Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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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, explaining that magnetic resonance imaging has helped scientists trace the disability to a weakness in the language system at the phonological level. According to Shaywitz, science now has clear evidence that the brain of the dyslexic reader is activated in a different area than that of the nonimpaired reader. Interestingly, the dyslexic reader may be strong in reasoning, problem solving and critical thinking, but invariably lacks phonemic awareness-the ability to break words apart into distinct sounds-which is critical in order to crack the reading code. 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. Early diagnosis and effective treatment, the author claims, are of utmost importance, although even older readers can learn to read skillfully with proper intervention. Shaywitz's groundbreaking work builds an important bridge from the laboratory to the home and classroom. 34 line drawings and graphs (Apr.) Forecast: There are few books on this subject, but Shaywitz is a well-known expert in the field and this work has been highly anticipated. Knopf is prepared with a 75,000 first printing. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Dyslexia explained and treated by the codirector of the Yale Center for the Study of Learning. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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 scientific 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. In part 1, she explores the early history of diagnosing reading problems, biases that have crept into the evaluations of reading disabilities, and how dyslexic children are treated in schools. Part 2 explores new theories on identifying and treating dyslexia. Part 3 offers practical advice and exercises to help children become better readers year by year, and part 4 focuses on overcoming the disability. The epilogue includes commentary from dyslexic readers who've become quite successful, including John Irving, Charles Schwab, and Wendy Wasserstein. Parents and teachers will appreciate this tremendously helpful resource. --Vanessa Bush


Choice
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

The primary audience for Shaywitz's book is parents concerned about dyslexia, and her book provides a wealth of information without overwhelming or insulting the reader. Presented in an informative and easy-to-read style, this volume offers a solid background on reading and problems associated with dyslexia. Shaywitz summarizes the historical base of dyslexia as well as some of the most current research (including brain imaging studies). She attempts to answer common questions people have about dyslexia in a clear, concise manner. Shaywitz does not give a mere list of symptoms and treatments, but presents clues to help suspecting parents identify whether their child displays characteristics that place him/her at risk and is a candidate for testing. A significant portion of the book explores ways parents can meaningfully help their children become better readers. Logical suggestions will help parents become empowered members of their child's educational support system and teaching team. Finally, the volume talks about the importance of considering the whole child and building bridges for success. This information should prove meaningful to teachers as they help parents understand the impact of this exceptionality on learners. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All levels. R. Ludy Buena Vista University