The Ultimate List of Dyslexia Resources

by | Jul 19, 2014 | Resources | 28 comments

Are you looking for dyslexia resources for your family? We have the ultimate guide! Check out this extensive list of resources for dyslexic families.

According to the NIH, 17% of our nation’s children have trouble learning to read.  More than 2.9 million school-age children in the United States – approximately five percent of the student population – are diagnosed with learning disabilities.  When we first realized that our otherwise bright oldest child was not learning to read as he should, we began looking for answers.  That was 15 years ago.  He learned to read, graduated from high school with honors {not necessarily academic} and has gone on to do amazing things with his life.  Our journey to discover what held him back in reading and how to help him had a steep learning curve.  Since then, we have 7 more children – 6 who have struggled in some way to learn to read.

Best Books on Dyslexia

There are many well-written books on the subject of learning differences.  The books I have listed here are books that I own and have read and reread.  (All images link to Amazon and are affiliate links meaning I make a very small percentage of the purchase price if you buy the book through my site.  It does not affect your cost.)

Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World by Jeffery Freed and Laurie Parsons

Written by a former teacher and educational therapist, this book explains the unique differences that predominantly right-brained thinkers possess.  Contains a checklist to determine whether you and your child are right-brained thinkers and a simple step-by-step program to help these kids learn and excel utilizing their unique strengths.

Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz

When this book came out in 2005, it turned the world of understanding dyslexia upside down.  Written by neuroscientist Dr. Sally Shaywitz of Yale University, it chronicles the ground-breaking research using the results from Functional MRIs to trace the cause of dyslexia to a weakness in the language system at the phonological level.  Don’t let the terminology scare you.  This book is written for the lay person and is a treasure of information well-grounded in science.  Includes exercises and techniques for working effectively with your dyslexic child.

 

 

The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan by Ben Foss

After years of battling with a school system that did not understand his dyslexia and the shame that accompanied it, renowned activist and entrepreneur Ben Foss is not only open about his dyslexia, he is proud of it. In The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan he shares his personal triumphs and failures so that you can learn from his experiences, and provides a three-step approach to success:

• Identify your child’s profile: By mapping your child’s strengths and weaknesses and assisting her to better understand who she is, you can help your child move away from shame and feelings of inadequacy and move toward creating a powerful program for learning.
• Help your child help himself: Coach your child to become his own best advocate by developing resiliency, confidence, and self-awareness, and focusing on achievable goals in areas that matter most to him.
• Create community: Dyslexic children are not broken, but too often the system designed to educate them is. Dare to change your school so that your child has the resources to thrive. Understanding your rights and finding allies will make you and your child feel connected and no longer alone.

Packed with practical ideas and strategies dyslexic children need for excelling in school and in life.

 

Homeschooling the Challenging Child by Christine Field

Written by a former lawyer turned homeschool mother.  Chapters address how to deal with issues stemming from various learning disabilities, attention disorders, personality clashes, learning styles, discipline problems, managing stress and discouragement, how to plan a program, and the importance of keeping in mind the tenets of God’s love and forgiveness. Hands-on tips for managing a successful home education program, as well as how to find professional help from support groups.

Unicorns Are Real:  A Right-Brained Approach to Learning  by Barbara Meister Vitale

 

Don’t let the title of this book put you off.  “Unicorns are real” was a statement made by a young student of the author that was the catalyst for leading her to begin to better understand the differences between her right-brained students and left-brained students.

Written in an easy to understand style and full of real-life practical strategies for teaching the predominantly right-brained learner.  The book begins with an easily understood, yet surprisingly in-depth description of brain structure and function as it pertains to learning.  The book also contains simple, do-at-home procedures for testing your child for brain dominance.

Your Child’s Growing Mind by Dr. Jane Healy

Considered the classic guide to understanding children’s mental development.  She explains the building blocks of reading, writing, spelling, and mathematics and shows how to help kids of all ages develop motivation, attention, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.  She also looks at learning issues, ADHD, and the influences of electronic media – all through the lens of the science of childhood development.

Brain-Integration Therapy Manual by Dianne Craft

Brain Integration Therapy is a method to enhance brain function are by performing simple physical movements that cross the midline.  It has been found to profoundly improve ADD/ADHD/Dyslexic conditions as well as other learning struggles.  In a few minutes a day, you can vastly improve your child’s focus, reduce stress and improve school performance.  Yes, this works!

Parenting the Struggling Reader by Susan Hall and Dr. Louis Moats

A very comprehensive, practical guide for recognizing, diagnosing and overcoming any childhood reading difficulty.  Written by a mother of a struggling reader (who is also on the board of directors of the International Dyslexia Association) and an educational researcher, this book contains both the clinical information a parent needs but also the practical, everyday solutions and tips needed to successfully help your struggling reader.

Contains an extensive explanation of our role as advocate for our children.  Sections are as follows:

  • Identify
  • Testing
  • Accurate diagnosis
  • Determining what instructional approach will be most effective for your child

The Dyslexic Advantage  by Brock Eide and Fernette Eide

With inspiring testimonials, this paradigm-shifting book proves that dyslexia doesn’t have to be a detriment, but can often become an asset for success.  The struggles as parents of struggling readers are often immense as we work to advocate for them in a society that, more often than not, discards a dyslexic intellect as inferior and unlikely to succeed in life. This wonderful book explains through example after example how the complete opposite is the case. Dyslexic minds may have troubles with conventional ways of “doing things” but it is for that reason that they have been the pivotal forces behind discoveries and innovations that have led our culture forward for centuries.  Includes extensive coverage of accommodations (like speech-to-text software and digital books).

Best Web Sites for Dyslexia: For Parents

Get Ready to Read  A wealth of information and tools to educate parents on how younger kids (ages 3-5) learn, the stages of reading readiness and tips, webinars and links to more excellent resources than I can name here.  Includes a free online screening tool that you can do with your emergent reader right at home to asses the skills of your child.  The screening results let a parent know whether or not to take specific actions such as introducing new skills, offer additional instruction, practice or support or if further assessment is needed.

LD Online One of the best informational sites on learning disabilities and ADHD.  The site features hundreds of helpful articles, multimedia, a comprehensive resource guide, discussion forums, and a referral directory of professionals, schools, and products.   Also offers information and resources for the transition from high school to college and from college to the workplace for adults with learning disabilities.

Dyslexic Advantage  From the writers of the book of the same name.  This site is full of information, current research and forums to start and contribute to discussions of issues important to you. 

The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity  Concise site full of information for parents, educators, and policy-makers. 

Bright Solutions for Dyslexia  Susan Barton is the developer of the Barton Reading & Spelling System.  This is a science-based program that you can easily do from home.  Be sure to have your child tested before beginning any treatment program to know for sure what your child’s specific areas of weakness are.  Her site is full of information on everything from defining dyslexia to finding a tester or tutor in your area.

 

Best Learn-to-Read Web Sites: For Children

Starfall  A free public service to teach kids to read with phonics.  Starfall combines phonemic awareness practice with a systematic phonics instruction and highly engaging visuals.  My kids love this program.  Check out the Starfall iPad app too.  

Reading Eggs  For children from 4-7 who are learning to read.  Focuses on a core reading curriculum of phonics and sight words using skills and strategies essential for sustained reading success.  Free 14-day trial and then costs about $10/month.  

Best Computerized Reading Instruction For the Older Struggling Reader

Older struggling readers have the same problems as younger readers and need to learn and master the same skills.  The good news is that all kids {and adults} can learn to read.  The key is to find a program that is not ‘babyish’ and that systematically teaches at an intense enough pace to keep progress steady thus motivating the student.  Reading Horizons is all of these things.  Click here for more information, my review and purchase options.

 

Best Blogs on Dyslexia

Dyslexic Advantage  From the writers of The Dyslexic Advantage book, their blog is full of news and current topics about dyslexia.  Focus on successful dyslexics and how they ‘made it’.

Solutions for Struggling Readers  Written by educational therapist Carleen Paul, this blog is full of practical, do-it-yourself activities to help your struggling reader.

Help for Struggling Readers  Parent and educator, Joan Brennan, has lots of ideas for parents and teachers of struggling readers.

 

Best iPad Apps for Dyslexia

Web Reader HD   Text-to-speech app that can read web page content.  Super easy to use and mostly effective.

Dragon Go! (FREE)  Allows you to speak what you are searching for on the web so Google, Wikipedia and YouTube are defaults.

Dragon Dictation (FREE)  This is a voice recognition app that allows the user to see the text generated through speaking instead of typing.  Can be used with some popular social networking sites.

Soundnote ($4.99) A note-taking app that basically turns your iPad into a Livescribe pen.  (See above under Compensation Tech)  Records lectures and then syncs the audio to what you type or scribble in.  The audio recording is time-locked to your typing and drawing.  You may want to use a keyboard or stylus for this app to be more functional.

PaperDesk ($2.99)  Another note-taking app like Soundnote but that has more options like inserting photos, importing pdfs, organizing pages into notebooks, and an option to export.  More complicated to use than Soundnote.

Speller (FREE) Allows you to type in a word phonetically (based on how it sounds) and it will come up with the actual spelling of the word.  It also provides definitions to help you understand the meaning of the word.

Reading Trainer  ($1.99)  Helps improve reading speed with fun exercises.

Read Say  ($1.99)  Teaches grade appropriate Dolch sight words (the 220 words that appear most frequently in reading) by showing each word, speaking it aloud and tracking your progress.  We LOVE flashcard apps!

Sound Literacy ($24.99)  Open-ended design for teaching phonemic awareness, phonological processing, and more sound awareness activities  – all weaknesses in struggling readers. The app features phoneme tiles for hands-on manipulating.  See their web site to see if this is a good fit for your family www.soundliteracy.com

Idea Sketch (FREE)  lets you draw a diagram (mind map, concept map, or flow chart) convert it to a text outline and vice versa/  It can be used to brainstorm ideas, illustrate concepts, make lists and outlines, and more.  Great for visual thinkers.

Best Compensation Technology for Dyslexics

(Click images for more information or to purchase – contains affiliate links)

Livescribe Smartpen

An amazing device, this is a pen that captures everything you hear and write while linking your audio recordings to your notes.  Great for a student sitting in a lecture hall.  Later, playback the recording or tap your notes with the pen to go back to just one particular area.  Our daughter used this in her first college classes and loved it.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking

This is a speech-recognition program that can be used to, among other things, dictates everything from answers to schoolwork, to a five-paragraph essay.  You can even dictate emails, surf the web with voice commands or dictate on your smartphone.

Best Sources for Audiobooks

Books Should Be Free  Free public domain audio books and ebooks for use with iPhone, Kindle, and mp3 players.

Spreadsong  Free audiobooks from iTunes

Bookshare  An online library of digital books for people with print disabilities.  It operates under the exception to US Copyright law which allows copyrighted digital books (not just public domain) to be made available to people with qualifying disabilities.  To become a member you must prove that you have a need for their service by completing a proof of disability form (available on their web site).

Best Nation-wide Dyslexia Treatment Program

National Institute for Learning Development  Many treatment/tutoring services for the struggling reader is focused on teaching systematic phonics instruction.  There is nothing necessarily wrong with this approach.  However, a program that enhances and strengthens the struggling reader’s weak auditory and visual memory and other specific weaknesses (determined by accurate testing) improve their reading ability much faster.  Check out the NILD web site for more information and to find a tutor near you.

Best Reading Curriculum

All About Reading, We began using the All About Reading curriculum this year with our dyslexic kindergartner.  Now, this is a fun program!  While Reading Horizons is intense phonics instruction and practice geared for the older struggling reader, All About Reading is hands-on, simultaneously multisensory introduction into the written word.  Every lesson comes with an engaging phonemic awareness activity that is so fun, my son doesn’t know he is learning one of the most foundational skills of reading success.  Lessons are completely scripted so there is little prep time for mom.  The customer service at All About Learning Press is top notch.  Specifically designed for the homeschooled student that struggles with reading.  This program has all of the elements of a research-based reading program.  For more information, click the image below.

For an updated list of dyslexia resources, please visit the Resources Page.

What are your favorite dyslexia resources?

Are you looking for dyslexia resources for your family? We have the ultimate guide! Check out this extensive list of resources for dyslexic families.

 

28 Comments

  1. Dawn Heiser

    Understanding Dyslexia and curriculum for dyslexia.

    Reply
  2. Megan

    Thank you so much for your wonderfully helpful blog! Considering your training and personal experience I would love your advice on two things: First, do you think a formal evaluation to determine dyslexia/dysgraphia is necessary? I am quite certain my son struggles with both, and online screenings have confirmed that, but have never had him formally evaluated. Second, we live abroad and thus I do not have access to OG training but have been looking seriously into the Barton and Wilson programs, do you have any opinion/ advice regarding these programs? Thanks

    Reply
    • marianne

      Hi Megan. No need to test him if you are not in need of support, and thus proof of his learning issues. Both Barton and Wilson are solid Orton-Gillingham programs. Wilson is less expensive but is not as user-friendly as Barton. Barton is easier to use but more expensive. SO great that you are on the right path!!

      Reply
      • Megan

        Thanks Marianne! Appreciate the reply:)

        Reply
  3. Glen Wagner

    Marianne – your blog is very helpful for those trying to “organize the pieces” around dyslexia resources. I will promote it on our Facebook page. I also recommend Ben Foss’ Dyslexia Empowerment Plan. Ben is an ex-colleague of mine from Intel Corp and his book is truly a story of his life and what lessons he learned (and how to apply them). For those who wish a more scientific (but still a plain English read) I would check out “Proust and the Squid” by Maryanne Wolf. At Open LORE (www.open-lore.com) our Windows based PC reader is compatible with all Bookshare books and is a very inexpensive, fun way to read books. Bookshare is really an amazing resource for those who qualify. They have well over 300,000 titles now.

    Reply
  4. Tammy

    Another resource I didn’t see listed that we absolutely love is Learning ally. There is a yearly fee that is well worth it. It is an online community that not only has thousands of audio books but, also, webinars on dyslexia. The site will read the book out loud while it also highlights the text it is reading.

    Reply
  5. Haya

    Learning Ally for audio boos

    Reply
  6. Jennifer Hoffman

    I’m a dyslexia specialist, and I highly recommend the Barton Reading & Spelling System. I have 8 students currently, and 6 of them use the program with great success. Also, Learning Ally is a wonderful resource for audio books.

    Reply
    • SHerring

      I looked into Barton and found it looked a lot like All About Spelling and All About Reading. Can you compare the two?

      Reply
      • Marianne

        Barton and AAR are both based on the Orton Gillingham approach. They are both systematic, multi-sensory and explicit in their teaching. I’d love to hear from others who have used both programs. We had a Barton tutor for 3 years but progress was very slow for my profoundly dyslexic son. (We switched to NILD.org and he excelled there.) I couldn’t do an accurate comparison of the two programs in much detail.

        Reply
      • Cherie

        I have used and still use both Barton and All About Reading and All about spelling. I like both programs. Barton starts with just using colored tiles, no letters on them. It’s listening, repeat nonsense word, slow,
        build word, using all learning modes. Next level using tiles with letters on them, using the same steps in each level. Barton uses nonsense words and real words for reading and spelling. ARR is excellent, also. lt does not use nonsense words. The stories and pictures in the reading books are wonderful and fun. Kids love them. Barton is not as kid friendly in the sentences and short stories to read stating at lev. 3. Need to skip some of them. They compliment each other. I also, use Explode the code books.

        Reply
  7. Joan M. Brennan

    Many thanks for gathering and providing these excellent dyslexia resources in one place! This collection will most certainly help many parents and teachers of children w/ dyslexia.

    Because individual children and adults respond differently to various kinds of dyslexia methods and acommodations, I thought you and your readers might be interested in 2 more options to help persons with this specific language-based reading challenge.

    The low-tech Reading Focus Cards and their digital desktop app (Patents 7,565,759 & 8,360,779) comprise a comprehensive system of tools that can help many readers with dyslexia (and ADHD, too). To learn more about these inexpensive yet customizable tools for reading BOTH online AND offline media, please visit http://www.FocusandRead.com/.

    Thanks again for your very good article and dyslexia resource list here!

    Reply
  8. Kim

    I see that you recommend All About Reading. My question is do you recommend their spelling program, All About Spelling?

    If not, what spelling program would you use?

    I’ve recently (this week) found out that my 13 yo is dyslexic. I’m a little overwhelmed. So this page and information is quite helpful.

    Do you recommend the Homeschooling with Dyslexia training course for parents?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Kim

      Sorry forgot to hit email me follow-up comments 🙂

      Reply
    • Marianne

      I love All About Spelling. It is an excellent program. I especially recommend the parent dyslexia classes for parents like you that are just starting out and have older kids. The sooner you can get up to speed on what dyslexia is and how to teach kids with dyslexia, the better. At least try the first class Understanding Dyslexia. Then you can add classes that have the info that you need. Reading, Spelling etc…

      Reply
  9. Anja

    Hi Marianne,
    Thank you for making your hard earned expertise on dyslexia available on your great website.
    I was wondering if you could give me your opinion on the Barton program versus All About Spelling.
    Which of the two is more effective for a 9 yr old dyslexic child?
    Thank you, Anja

    Reply
  10. Christina

    Any one familiar with Linda Mood Bell or the Wilson Reading System? Would you recommend one over the other or neither? Any help would be appreciated.

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Hi Christina. The Wilson Reading System is a solid OG program. It is not very user friendly but many reading specialists use it. Lindamood Bell is not specifically Orton Gillingham but some people have success with it. Maybe someone with more experience with Lindamood Bell will offer some advice?

      Reply
  11. Amber

    Thank you for this resource. My son is 12 and is dysgraphic. Have you heard of Liz Weavers “Learning Success” program? I am thinking of trying it. It is an at home program that seems similar to NILD that you mentioned above. Here is her website. https://www.learningsuccessblog.com/course/buy

    I’d appreciate your thoughts, and if you know anyone who has used it.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  12. Jan Herwaldt

    Any opinions about Saxon Phonics. I found it very helpful for my daughter.

    Reply
    • Marianne

      I have heard a bit about the Saxon Phonics program but never used it. Thanks for mentioning it!

      Reply
  13. Tanya

    What is the computer program the child is using in your picture? I would love to be able to have something that my dyslexic kiddos can use to add to there letter and word recognition.

    Reply
  14. anamarie

    Maryanne:

    What a wonderful site this has been for me. My grandson is very behind in school (kindergartner) he teacher believes that he has Dyslexia. Our daughter has set up some testing for him. We want to get a handle on it asap. What is our first step?

    Reply
  15. Julie

    Hi,
    Recently found out my 10 yr old son has dyslexia. I’m reading some of the above mentioned books to educate myself. I’ve initiated a screening through the public school system. I have an OG tutor coming to my home next week to start some reading support. I plan on getting a membership to maybe Learning Ally online books. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed because I’m not sure if I’m doing enough. Maybe you could provide me with some direction.

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Hi Julie, It sounds like you have an excellent handle on things so far. Getting educated is super important. Getting help is also very important since your son is a bit older. Are you homeschooling him or does he go to school outside the home?

      Reply
  16. Sarah Wise

    Hi,
    My daughter (6, 1st grade) likely has dyslexia. She is in an O-G group at her school, the first that has been offered. Her teacher says reversals and backwards reading of numbers may be keeping her from progressing in math. All of the dyslexia interventions I have reviewed seem to focus on literacy. What resources are there to support her around reading numbers, and math?

    Thanks, Sarah

    Reply

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