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Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level Hardcover – April 15, 2003


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Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level + Reading Research in Action: A Teacher's Guide for Student Success + Speech to Print: Language Essentials for Teachers, Second Edition
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf; 1st edition (April 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375400125
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375400124
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Dyslexia explained and treated by the codirector of the Yale Center for the Study of Learning.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

This is a very informative book, written in an easy to read style.
forever student
This book explains what dyslexia is, how to spot it in yourself and you children, and ways to help a child who has it.
Stephen Rives
I highly recommend this book for anyone who may suspect that your child has a reading disability.
Jennifer G. Payne

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

267 of 278 people found the following review helpful By Steve on April 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an adult and scientist with dyslexia, I always wanted to understand the physical mechanism behind the disability. I could never understand why I scored average to low in multiple-choice tests but scored high in reading comprehension. Why I excelled in physical science and math yet was constantly taking remedial writing and English? Dr. Shaywitz's book is excellent in answering these questions. The first step in treatment is understanding the mechanism. A miswiring of the phonologic module explains so much and suggests likely remedies. Her book is written in layman's terms and is easy to read and understand. I wish I could give a copy of this book to all my friends and family it explains so much. Dr. Shaywitz knows her audience and writes with compassion and personal touch. The best part was learning that dyslexia can now be seen to have a physical manifestation by fMRI. Dyslexia is no longer a mysterious disability but has actual biological roots. Most disturbing to read was that in her estimates, 1 in 5 children have some form of dyslexia. As a child that almost slipped through the cracks, I failed kindergarten because I didn't know my ABC's, this is distressing to learn. How many intelligent and potentially successful adults were allowed to fail due to dyslexia? It was only through the diligence of my mother that I ever learned to read. Thirty years ago little was understood about "word blindness" but my mother did the primary research and tried every goofy theory on teaching including writing letters on my back with her finger and asking me to name the letter. Now Dr. Shaywitz gives good advice as well as current research and resources so parents have it all in one book. If you had only one book on dyslexia this would be it. I can't recommend this book highly enough. I give it many more stars then I'm allowed.
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243 of 258 people found the following review helpful By Abigail Marshall on January 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This would be a wonderful book - worth 5 stars - were it not for the title. This book is not about "Overcoming Dyslexia" so much as it is about "Coping with Dyslexia". There is no "New" Program for Reading Problems but rather a detailed description of a strong phonics and language-based curriculum that has been around for years -- and is geared to the needs of ordinary students, not dyslexics.

This book does give a good overview of the process of learning to read in ordinary children, as well an explanation of some of the differences in the way dyslexic children learn and read, and an excellent overview of good curriculum materials available and in use in many schools today. It also give a wonderful and very readable summary of Dr. Shaywitz's own research into reading and dyslexia -- but Shaywitz's theories are not universally accepted, and the book does not analyze or compare the research done by the dozens of other prominant researchers in the field of dyslexia.

As another review noted, the book also suffers from a sort of split personality -- in the first section it outlines the many aspects of the dyslexic learning style that are different from typical children, and then the section on reading instruction recommends many of the very same techniques that the first part said were inappropriate for dyslexics. For example, in one part the author points out the difficulty of rote learning for dyslexics; in the next part she recommends using flash cards for drill and memorization of common sight words.
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407 of 446 people found the following review helpful By Daniel F. Styer on January 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book contains large amounts of interesting and important information about dyslexia, much of which is not readily available elsewhere. It will be of interest to dyslexics, the friends and family of dyslexics, teachers, education administrators, and indeed to anyone who wonders about how people learn and how people think.
One particularly attractive feature of the book is that it covers many areas of concern: not just the science of dyslexia, but also the techniques of testing for dyslexia and teaching to dyslexics, the social and personal implications of dyslexia, policy and administrative implications of dyslexia, effective advocacy for a dyslexic child, misconceptions about dyslexia, and so forth. A special treat is the epilogue, which provides the life stories of seven dyslexics who have been extraordinarily successful as authors, physicians, businesspersons, or politicians. I particularly note that many of these successful people regard dyslexia not as a burden to overcome, but as a gift that forces them to think where others rely on rote memorization.
I bought this book because my son is dyslexic. After reading it, I am also nearly convinced that I am dyslexic. (Before you read too much into genetics, let me tell you that my son is adopted.) Other apparent dyslexics I know are my father (a self-made multimillionaire who has difficulty spelling words of four or five letters) and my Ph.D. thesis advisor (a highly creative theoretical physicist, winner of the Wolf Prize and the Boltzmann Metal, who told me not to fret overly about my poor spelling, because "the ability to spell anticorrelates with intelligence").
The book does not deserve five stars, however, because it is seriously schizophrenic.
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