Written by a neuroscientist and pediatrician, this guide for dyslexics and their families aims to demystify the subject of reading difficulties. Drawing upon recent research, Shaywitz describes the mechanisms underlying dyslexia along with the range of effective treatments available for dyslexic people of all ages. Coverage includes such topics as diagnosing dyslexia in children and adults, choosing a school, and helping adults to become better readers. Annotation ©2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.