This weekend, I finished reading The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan by Ben Foss.
|The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan, by Ben
Foss. (I love the library.)
Overall, I really liked the book, though I found it pretty dry in parts. That probably has more to do with personal taste than anything else.
The few style issues aside, the book had a lot of fantastic information, and was lain out in a way that makes specific information easy to find.
Some of what I liked the most is how he acknowledged that no one method of alternative teaching helps all dyslexics and his common sense ways of figuring out how to work towards your child’s (or your) strengths. He did a fantastic job of using his own experiences to illustrate how to do certain exercises.
The two “star” exercises in particular struck me as ingenious. One measured 8 different areas of strengths, and the other measured various aspects of how you deal with your LD.
They work through asking a series of questions based on natural inclinations and having you score each of them from a score of 1 to 5, one being least descriptive of you or your child and five being most descriptive. Then, you add up the scores, and rank them on a circular chart, like the one I shared below.
Since I don’t have kids, I just did them both for myself.
|My “strengths” star. My top two strengths are Narrative and Visual, with Verbal, Social, Spacial and Math/Science tied for third. I was rather surprised at the results.|
It helped me realize quite a bit about myself that I hadn’t before. The book is worth checking out of the library for this exercise alone.
He also touched upon how profound the emotional impact of growing up with an LD and constantly being misunderstood can be, as well as how important it is to learn about the history of disabilities in this country. At the end of the book, he provided a list of books, movies and web sites to use for more information.
Other useful sections were about legal courses you can take if getting accommodations for your child gets to that point, as well as step by step tips about how to get those accommodations.
The only things I didn’t particularly care for were parts of the writing style and how much he stressed audio-based reading. I don’t have anything against ear reading, but I do know that it’s not for everyone. He does acknowledge that in several points in the book, but the emphasis was still a little too heavy.
Those two minor problems aside, I’d suggest this book to anyone with kids who have any sort of learning disability and for those who are still on their journey to fully accepting and living with theirs.
In fact, if I end up having a child with dyslexia or a related neurological makeup, this book is on my list to buy as reference material.