This book combines moving accounts of the lived experience of dyslexic adults with tips and strategies for surmounting the challenges you or a loved one or family member may face.
Drawing on in-depth interviews, Kelli Sandman-Hurley explores common themes such as school experiences; the impact of dyslexia on mental wellbeing; literacy skills; and being a dyslexic parent, perhaps to a child who is also dyslexic. Interviewees share what helped them (or didn't), the strategies they use daily to tackle literacy-based tasks, anxiety and low self-esteem, the advice they would give to the parent of a dyslexic child who is struggling, and reflect on how their experience has impacted their own parenting style.
Whether you're dyslexic yourself or supporting someone who is, this book sheds light on an underrepresented topic, providing much-needed guidance and insight around what life is really like for an adult with dyslexia.
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First, some background. I have been a correctional adult education instructor for six years. For fifteen years prior to that, I taught high school and college English literature and language. During these six years, I've become more and more aware of adults with dyslexia in my classroom. They struggle with reading and writing, and I struggle to help them. I picked this book to read, thinking it would be about methods of teaching adults. Instead, I discovered painful memories told through the tearful voices of adults who have dyslexia. I couldn't stop reading. I was less than halfway through the book when I started telling my colleagues about it. I couldn't stop taking about it. Even my non-education colleagues were interested. As we move toward recognizing how dyslexia shapes adults and their learning, this book is an essential tool for gaining empathy. I learned the absolute necessity of sitting and listening to my students, rather than trying to tell them what they need. We teachers like to think we're the experts. This book reminds us that our students are the experts. I will be recommending this book to my director and the other state directors. It should be required reading for all adult educators, especially those of us in corrections.
In this book Kelli Sandman-Hurley provides an enormously helpful insight into how adults are remembering their childhood growing up with dyslexia (diagnosed or not), all based on her interviews with dyslexics from all walks of life. My take-away is that it’s crucial that schools and parents do not hold off screening for dyslexia if the signs are there; once it’s suspected, ensure proper action is taken immediately. Ensure that the child understands that they are not stupid, and make sure that they are provided with the right intervention and accommodations for their particular situation. “It is not the child that needs to change, it is the intervention” As a society have much to learn and improve on, in how we identify and help dyslexics of all ages. It isn’t acceptable that children and adults do not speak up due to fear of being marginalised (e.g. when applying for school places or job promotions). Thank you for writing this necessary and eye-opening book about living with dyslexia!