The Dyslexia Checklist: A Practical Reference for Parents and Teachers

The Dyslexia Checklist: A Practical Reference for Parents and Teachers

By: Sandra F. Rief and Judith Stern
Publisher: Jossey-Bass 
Publication Date: January 2010 
ISBN: 978-0470429815 
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler 
Review Date: February 15, 2010

Many years ago parents and teachers were at odds on how to help children and students cope with what was once considered a serious disability. I recall many, many years ago when dyslexic children were pawned off on guidance counselors only to be pawned off once again on young tutors who had no idea how to help a student. With many years of research and all too often heartbreak, there are now clearly defined ways to help these students. According to the authors, these young students "need the encouragement of parents and teachers along with interventions that will enable them to achieve academic success." We as parents and educators now have solutions at our beck and call, but they are not easy and collectively we have to work hard to ensure the success of each and every dyslexic child.

Dyslexia is a learning disability that will qualify your child for special education classes or at least additional help in or out of the classroom within the guidelines of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). If you are reading this chances are you are a parent who already has a diagnosis in hand or a teacher who currently has, has had or will have dyslexic students in your classroom. This book will define for you exactly what dyslexia is: important facts, causes, risk factors, broad-based signs and symptoms to look for, what research has uncovered, problems children encounter, coexisting diagnoses, physical and emotional issues, strengths many children possess, how dyslexia is diagnosed (specific tests), different methods or strategies used to help, the needs of the young dyslexic, the evaluation process, and the gifted exceptional student.

The above mentioned initial section is very important for both the educator and parent to understand and work together on before proceeding to the actual work of helping the student. The second section specifically works with "strategies for helping with reading, language, and writing." After a basic introduction varying strategies are set forth for perusal. For example, one is phonics-based instruction. You are introduced to it, you will learn what research tells us, you'll learn which strategies are used, the sequence, the assessment tools, and reinforcement activities. The next three sections include checklists for parents, teachers and sections whereby teachers and parents can join together working for the success of the student.

This is an excellent reference that both the parent and teacher can use to assist the dyslexic student. Keep in mind I said reference here. The strategies suggested are not totally outlined in the book. They are excellent, but not all inclusive. The tests aren't in here either, but you will learn which ones are available and will learn which ones are appropriate. Would I recommend it? Definitely.

Quill says: All teachers, special ed or no, should have a copy of this book and any parent whose child has been diagnosed as dyslexic will surely want one. It's a small price to pay for peace of mind and hope!

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