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The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child's Confidence and Love of Learning Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

4.6 out of 5 stars 148 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In a passionate and well-articulated guide that puts to rest the idea that dyslexic people are unintelligent, disabilities advocate Foss (himself dyslexic and the creator of Intel Reader, a text-to-speech device) describes dyslexia as a characteristic and a disability that should be accommodated in the same way as blindness or mobility issues. Foss reframes the use of film, audiobooks, and material read aloud as ear-reading, in contrast to the eye-reading that is the educational standard. Though, as Foss notes, eye-reading is a useful skill that can be improved by teaching methods like Orton-Gillingham, by mid-elementary school, dyslexic students should be accommodated with auditory materials. He hopes that parents can learn to explain their child's needs in a way that will win them essential support, and that they can help their child build self-esteem. Foss describes the current state of assistive technology and highlights the availability of material from resources like Learning Ally; he also discusses how to navigate good accommodations in the school environment and determine if a school is inappropriate for your child's welfare. This extremely practical and motivational book will be welcomed by parents of dyslexic children. Agent: Carol Mann, Carol Mann Agency. (Aug.) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


“A passionate and well-articulated guide . . . This extremely practical and motivational book will be welcomed by parents of dyslexic children.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Accessible and reassuring.”Library Journal
“A great new resource for parents.”—Kelli Sandman-Hurley, Ed.D., certified special education advocate, The San Diego Learning Center of the Dyslexia Training Institute

“I study dyslexia in the lab and am a parent of a wonderful daughter who fits this profile. Ben Foss’s book should be considered essential to any collection on the subject. It was extremely useful, especially for a mom. Thank you!”—Maria Luisa Gorno Tempini, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology, UCSF, Memory and Aging Center
“Foss has used his journey to provide readers with a unique and insightful view of the strengths and challenges that come with being dyslexic. The talent and creativity with which Ben has written this book make it stand out as a guide to navigating the remarkable world of dyslexia.”—Claudia Koockek, head of school, Charles Armstrong School, Belmont, CA
“As someone with a learning profile that made school tough, and as a parent, I know kids need the right support. Ben Foss knows how to get access to education because he’s been through it. I was thrilled to read this book. It offers a wise collection of insights that are both practical and touching. Buy it today if you want a get a plan for your child.”—James Gandolfini, actor, The Sopranos
“As an educator with forty-two years of experience, with half of of that time supporting dyslexic learners, I cannot think of a more valuable and insightful resource for parents and teachers to empower dyslexic kids. As a dyslexic adult myself, and the head of an independent school for dyslexics, I know Ben Foss’s wisdom is dead-on and I recommend this book to any parent.”—Muir Meredith, head of school, Westmark School, Encino, California
“This is the book we have been waiting for, synthesizing the head and the heart issues in dyslexia. Our organization supports millions of parents looking for information on dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities; Foss’s step-by-step guide will become a go-to resource for them.”—James H. Wendorf, executive director, National Center for Learning Disabilities

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (August 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804120528
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804120524
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.1 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #439,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Benjamin N. Powers on August 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've worked in the field of learning disabilities education for fourteen years, and this is the first book I've read on dyslexia that provides a roadmap for parents to help empower their children. It is the book I wish I had copies to give to every parent who walks through my door, who has recently learned that their child is dyslexic or that their school is failing them. While components like research, science, and stories of success are woven throughout the book, Foss' main objective is to help parents build a plan for their child, which includes identifying strengths, navigating the school system and legal rights, how to integrate accommodations, including assistive technologies, and, perhaps most importantly, how to talk with their child about their dyslexia. Why is this so meaningful? Most texts on dyslexia provide background; this book provides a path. It's the "What to Expect When You're Expecting" for the parent of a dyslexic child, and it's accurate, meaningful, and sincere because Foss himself was identified with dyslexia at age eight.

Dyslexia is a hidden disability, not just because it can't be seen, but also because many dyslexics, including the author for many years of his life, try to hide it. Embarrassment, shame, guilt, and stigma are all components of why people hide their learning disability. Foss provides great stories, analogies, and actionable steps that steer people away from looking at dyslexia as a disease. As Foss says, "there is no cure because there is no disease." Tools, like the strength profiles map, allow parents, and dyslexics themselves, to begin building a plan for how to leverage their strengths and create an environment in which they will be succesful.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I liked a lot of what Ben Foss had to say in this book. He had a number of good ideas and it is always good to see individual's perspectives on their own experience. I like that the author spoke about the parent advocating for the needs of the child, but as I read through the book I was also struck by some of his limited perspective on many aspects of what is available today for dyslexic children.

I will disclose my own bias - I am a dyslexic and have 3 dyslexic children. As a result, I have read far and wide on the topic and it appeared that at times when the author should have been mentioning more up-to-date research or ideas, he didn't. I think what was holding me back from loving this book is that the goal is a bit more narrow that what the title mentions. This isn't so much a blueprint for fostering an overall love of learning in dyslexic children, but navigating the school system for parents of dyslexic children. Now, this will be the route for the vast majority of parents of dyslexic children, so it will meet their needs quite well. However, if you are a parent who takes a much more hands on approach to your child's education - this won't quite meet your needs.

One example, that has been pointed out by other reviewers, is Mr. Foss' view of homeschooling. Mr. Foss states quite boldly that homeschooling isn't appropriate for dyslexic children. Mr. Foss makes startling statements such as "Being able to socialize with other students and to learn from them is a big part of the adaptive techniques that many students who are dyslexic will use later in life." His assumption seems to be that home schooled students have no opportunity to "socialize with other students" which is completely contrary to what research into homeschooling has shown over time.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is going to revolutionize how we talk about, and deal with, dyslexia.

There have only been a few books that excited Susan Barton so much that she stayed up all night to read them. This is one of those very rare books.

Ben Foss, a successful adult with severe dyslexia, shares facts, advice, and strategies along with stories from his own life - and those of more than 400 other adults with dyslexia he has interviewed in the past few years - to create a blueprint for parents.

His theme is a child with dyslexia is not broken.

Parents must take a very active role in helping their child accept, understand, and embrace their dyslexia - so their child does not end up suffering from severe shame caused by feeling defective.

How? He starts by forcing parents to face and deal with their own fears and myths.

Then he shows them how to empower their child to dream big, deal with the school system, balance tutoring with accommodations and technology tools, become part of the dyslexia community - and so much more.

Susan Barton, Founder
Bright Solutions for Dyslexia
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a long time educator, I have marveled at the way that people are often categorized and shuffled around in attempts to address their *problems*, but so seldom are these problems ever truly remedied or even helped much.

One of the topics that I have been doing a lot of research on the last few years has been dyslexia. There are a lot of books out there for the technical data that someone has compiled. There are also quite a few books that have snap happy solutions to this *problem*. Sometimes books are written by someone who HAS dyslexia, but often they are inconclusive or really don't seem to help in the long run to change anything in the lives of those who struggle with limitations that make them feel *different* than the rest of society.

This book has a different approach that I find refreshing. The author does indeed know very well what it is like to grow up feeling *different* than everyone else. He also knows what it is like to struggle with the shame and heavy burden that one feels when faced with the way their brain is wired. Numbers that switch can lead to bounced checks or transactions, reading difficulties can cause a person to miss out on a lot of things that are expected that they will learn. In short, a life is spent feeling left out or ripped off when someone has dyslexia and is not accommodated to learn the way their brain works best.

The thrust of this book is that a person with dyslexia is not BROKEN and in need of being fixed. They just have a brain that is wired a little differently than the mainstream *accepted* way that educational system is set up to meet the needs of students. The idea is not to FIX the dyslexic person, but to teach them how to function at the highest level possible THE WAY THEIR BRAIN IS WIRED.
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