I’m just starting to learn about dyslexia. It may surprise some people that know I was employed as a Speech-Language Pathologist in elementary schools for several years working with many children with learning disabilities that I’m only now learning about it. But dyslexia was not really a label used by the schools in which I worked. If you are a writer or in the business of recommending books to kids I think it’s worth learning something about dyslexia. Here are a few links I’ve found that taught me a lot.
1. This is a great audio interview with poet Phil Shultz who has written a memoir called My Dyslexia that I am dying to get my hands on. He was undiagnosed until he was an adult and suffered a lot of bullying as a kid because he couldn’t read until he was 11. Now he is a Pulitzer-prize winning poet. His inspiring story is really worth hearing. Warning: the poem he recites at the end of the interview may make you cry.
2. From the National Center for Learning Disabilities, here is some basic info about dyslexia. What is Dyslexia. I had no idea it could affect a person’s ability to communicate orally; I thought it just made reading and writing difficult.
3. Does everyone already know about Grammar Girl’s wonderful website? It’s my favorite source for grammar tips. Her Writing for Dyslexic Readers gives some fascinating tips about how to make a piece you write easier to understand for someone with dyslexia. For example, she notes that italicized words are harder to read than words in bold. I was relieved she didn’t say that dyslexic people have a hard time with sentence fragments as I am overly fond of using these in my writing. Can’t live without ’em.
4. Christian Boer who is a graphic designer and dyslexic, invented a font that supposedly is easier to read for Dyslexic people, as described in this article by SmartPlanet. Dyslexie font designed to help dyslexics read, write. It hasn’t been extensively tested yet but early results look promising. I hope if it actually does work it becomes widely available.
Readers, if you know anything about dyslexia, does the information linked to in this post seem accurate?