Title: The facts: Dyslexia and other Learning Difficulties
Author: Mark Selikowitz
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Reviewer: Paul Watson, teacher of secondary mathematics and PSHE coordinator.
What was it like?
I found this to be a well-presented book, which addresses problems many intelligent children face. It demonstrates that while having normal IQ levels many children still struggle to learn in the classroom setting. The book details how these children could suffer with short attention span, restlessness, an inability to write clearly, and reading comprehension well below age level. Selikowitz demonstrates through this book that there are indicators of learning disabilities, and offers a clear and sympathetic guide to the difficulties that parents and teachers face when working with a child with these sorts of obstacles to learning.
What were the highlights?
As I move from nursing into a full time teaching position, I am pleased to be able to have a book such as this at my disposal. I am pleased to say it deals with difficulties in traditional academic areas such as reading, spelling and arithmetic, but also looks into lesser known conditions like clumsiness, social unease and hyperactivity. It is nice to see that Selikowitz views the whole child and in so doing is able to provide practical advice to parents to help understand their children’s difficulties. In turn this is able to help them overcome problems and improve their self-esteem, dyslexia and other learning difficulties.
Strengths & weaknesses:
I found this book to be an authoritative and compassionate guide to the full range of common learning difficulties, while also offering a number of suggestions for managing difficult behaviour. It is comprehensive in its approach to the associated problems often faced by those with learning difficulties, both children and adults, drawing on the most recent research on learning difficulties and some associated disorders and their treatments. It also provides information about electronic and computer aids that are now available to help individuals with learning difficulties. This encouraging approach and easy-to-read style will appeal to parents as well as to professionals who work with children with learning disabilities.
I particularly liked the diagrams within the text showing different types of hand writing or pencil grip, for example, all of which I am sure I will now be looking for in my new job.
Who should read it?
I believe that this book would be a useful resource for many people with an interest in the subject of dyslexia. With this in mind I feel that “The facts: Dyslexia and other Learning Difficulties” would be a useful tool for parents of children with learning disabilities, in particular dyslexia, speech disorders or ADD and especially professionals such as teachers, psychologists and speech therapists.