Monday, August 1, 2011

Auditory Differentiation

I have always known that I have more trouble differentiating sounds than other people. As I mention in my book, as a child, I kept thinking my teacher was calling me when she was in fact calling my classmate Patrick. It is not that I did not hear well, in fact I have had my hearing tested and it is in the superior range, it is just that I cannot differentiate some sounds from other sounds. Although there has been some research in the area of auditory discrimination and dyslexia, there is a new study that finds that dyslexics have a harder time recognizing voices than a control group.

Click this link to read more about it from an article by the Associated Press

Click here for a more in-depth article from the NYTimes

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Typeface Dyslexie

I have often noticed that letters of the western alphabet look similar and are the same shape if rotated or slightly altered. Christian Boer, a graphic artist from Studio Studio created a new typeface in 2008 meant to make the individual letters more distinct and easy for dyslexic individuals to read. The University of Twente did studies and found that dyslexics reading using the dyslexie typeface actually made fewer errors. I wish I could have used the typeface for my book!

If you are interested in seeing what the typeface looks like, check out this video:You Tube Video on the Typeface Dyslexie

Saturday, June 4, 2011

One of Britain's Wealthiest Cannot Read

As I was reading through some articles on dyslexia today, I came upon this one by the that is about Andreas Panayioutou, who is one of Britain's wealthiest real estate and hotel moguls, but who is unable to read proficiently. How amazing to have gotten so far with such a roadblock. What struck me is that he must really know himself very well and understand his strengths and weaknesses to have been able to craft a working environment where he could be so successful.

Link to article

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Trudie Styler Speaks about Her Dyslexia and ADHD

I was really lucky to have the opportunity (through the ninth annual Adam Jeffrey Katz Memorial Lecture hosted by the Child Mind Institute) to hear Trudie Styler, an actress, humanitarian and activist, speak about her struggles with dyslexia and ADHD. She is an amazing accomplished woman who exuded confidence, grace and a solid understanding of herself and her strengths. She spoke candidly about her struggles and what she did when nothing seemed to be working. And like many dyslexics, she attributed a lot of her successes to luck as opposed to the hard work that she obviously did to get to where she is today.

Article about the Trudie Styler lecture: This article by Dr. Koplewicz is a more detailed account of the lecture and some of the insights Ms. Styler shared.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Henry Winkler's Book Series

If you know of a 7-12 year old who has experienced learning difficulties, the Hank Zipzer books are a great series of books that they might enjoy. Written by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, the books follow a boy, Hank (based on Winkler), who has learning challenges, but is resourceful and always finds a way to figure things out. I really like the tone of the books as well as the main character. I also like that, as a teacher, these books are just as appealing to students who do not have learning challenges and that it can teach typically developing students about how everyone learns differently and sometimes people need a little extra support.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dyslexic "Jokes"

Last night, while my professor was handing out our exams, he said something to the effect of "Write legibly. Don't be all dyslexic and write all over the page so I can't read it." A number of students chuckled.

Now I don't want to be one of those over-sensitive people who are always noticing when someone could possibly be slighting them. Many times I just let the dyslexic jokes go by, realizing that most people don't actually understand the disorder and that it is more than just writing letters backwards or jumbling up letters. But I have to wonder whether I should be speaking up more and correcting people so that they know that their jokes are hurtful and more to the point, incorrect. Sure some dyslexics write backwards when they are learning to read and write. In fact, I am excellent at writing in mirror image. However, that is not the crux of the disorder-- the disorder is about manipulating units of language and breaking down words into component parts. Sure there are other characteristics that a dyslexic may or may not exhibit, but it is not a disorder of writing words backwards or jumbling words on a page-- it is deeper than that and I am starting to wonder whether we need to have a campaign to finally set the record straight and stop these stupid and pointless "jokes."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Joe Wright, Talented Director, Reflects on How His Dyslexia Helped Him Achieve

This is a great article about the very successful director, Joe Wright, whose new film "Hanna" has just come out. He believes that his dyslexia actually helped him to be a more creative thinker and how film was a great medium for his creativity.