You’re here again, searching the internet in a desperate attempt to finally find some useful information to help you find a solution to dyslexia. For parents it’s the pain in seeing your bright child struggle in school, despite demonstrating extreme effort, but with little to show for it.
For teachers you know that you have a bright, dyslexic student, but you simply do not know how to reach them, how to get on the same wavelength, to connect with them. You have tried everything you can think of, read countless books on dyslexia. However, despite all your efforts, all your training, you simply cannot seem to find a way to effectively teach your dyslexic students.
For dyslexic students, you are fed up, you’ve tried everything, worked several times harder than your classmates. Yet you have little to show for your efforts. Frankly put, your grades do not reflect your extreme effort and your high intelligence. You simply want an effective solution.
You have come to the right place! I’m going to recommend three books to you – must reads that will explain dyslexia to you and then take you through the process to take you from struggling to write the simplest sentences, to writing a university level research paper.
This article will merely address the book list. I will be writing additional articles to connect the dots between these three books.
In this book, Dr. Shaywitz discusses the hard science behind dyslexia. Without a doubt, this is the single most important book on dyslexia that has been published in the past 20 years. We cannot start discussing a viable solution to dyslexia without first understanding the science behind it.
There is a great disparity in the amount of brain activity between the dyslexic and non-impaired brain.
Instead of focusing on the underactive back part of the dyslexic brain dealing with word form and word analysis, my recommendation for the next two books focuses on what I believe deals with the overactive front part of the brain, articulation and word analysis.
This is an oversimplification of deeply complex neuroscience, but I need you to make a leap of faith in understanding at this point, so that we can address a simple, yet effective, solution to a dyslexic student’s academic concerns.
The back part of the brain deals with word form and then word analysis, and the front part of the brain deals with articulation and word analysis. The jump in understanding that I wish for you to have is that word form deals with simple, lower academic skills, while articulation deals with more advanced, general academic skills.
The epiphany that I hope you can understand is that if a dyslexic student focuses on more advanced academic skills, in their area of specialty, their area of extreme interest, that a dyslexic student can then, much more efficiently, overcome their reading and writing concerns.
In his book, Dr. Collins recommends three default writing strategies of copying, narrative and visualization.
Dr. Collins’ research shows that struggling writers tend to focus on these strategies as a default learning style and encourages teachers to embrace these instructional concepts.
He also discusses, at great length, how to work with struggling writers to come up with their own, unique writing strategies.
Once students master Dr. Collins concepts, the next step is to bring their writing level to that of their general education classmates, or well above their classmates’ research paper writing skills.
In The Craft of Research, the authors discuss the process of how to develop an idea for a research project, how to organize a student’s work, conduct the research, and strategies to write a well-crafted research paper.
During the past 20 years I have spoken to countless senior professors who work at world renowned research universities. Without exception, they all told me how disappointed they are in their undergraduate students’ ability to write competent research papers.
“The Craft of Research” should be read in the 7th grade, an initial attempt to write a research paper in 8th grade, with mastery by the end of a student’s high school career.
I cannot stress how important this is. College students entering the workforce today are expected to be productive on their first day of employment. Gone are the days of the extensive training periods of the past.
I strongly recommend that you purchase each of these three books and start utilizing the strategies with dyslexic students that you are working with.
Do not worry. In future articles, I will fill in the gaps and answer your questions as to how to combine these three books into a simple, yet powerful, process to help your dyslexic students improve their reading and writing skills to properly master The Craft of Research.