The Gift of Dyslexia: Why Some of the Brightest People Can’t Read and How They Can Learn

Social Care and Neurodisability

ISSN: 2042-0919

Article publication date: 15 August 2011



(2011), "The Gift of Dyslexia: Why Some of the Brightest People Can’t Read and How They Can Learn", Social Care and Neurodisability, Vol. 2 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

The Gift of Dyslexia: Why Some of the Brightest People Can’t Read and How They Can Learn

Article Type: Resource reviews From: Social Care and Neurodisability, Volume 2, Issue 3

Ronald D. Davis with Seldon M. BraunNew York Souvenir Press2010$14.95 (Paperback)ISBN 9780285638730

This is an informative and accessible book which deconstructs dyslexia as a learning problem, instead seeing it as a gift to be celebrated. Dyslexia is seen as a functional problem helped through particular techniques to help those experiencing it process information. The author usefully illustrates how dyslexia may be experienced at different developmental stages and how associated processes of assimilation and adaptation may be misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Hence, this book will be of particular benefit to educationalists and social workers as it provides a wealth of information, explanations and pointers for behaviour that may mistakenly be perceived as problematic, for example, attention deficit disorder; instead, indicating that this may be the result of someone with dyslexia attempting to understand the world and process relevant information. The second part of the book provides lots of techniques to help people with dyslexia and these are accompanied by useful diagrams and pictures. What I found interesting about this book is that on one of the author’s website he states that he grew up “retarded” (what he today would call autistic) until his early teens. Even though he failed miserably in the school system, he later took technical courses and became a successful engineer, businessman and artist. He was functionally illiterate until age 38 when he discovered how to mentally orient his perceptions. Since then, he has dedicated his life to helping people with the gift of dyslexia achieve literacy and self-esteem. This book holds up as a good example in light of this knowledge and adds to knowledge in terms of our understanding dyslexia, and provides specific strategies for managing and working with this gift.

Reviewed by Dr Jean DillonMiddlesex University, Department of Mental Health and Social Work

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