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Recently I’ve been asked to review many books, so many in fact that I am able to pick and choose the ones I wish to read, the ones I feel will be most useful to the reader and the ones where there isn’t already an abundance of books on the subject. This book, published by Jessica Kingsley fits all of the above criteria so I’m more than happy to read and review it.

Published by Jessica Kingsley

A couple of weeks ago I made a brief announcement on Twitter of my intention to review this book and there was an immediate flurry of interest. So, if you are a parent of a child with a diagnosis of dyslexia this book will just what you’re looking for.

The first thing to say is that although parents are specifically referred to in the title they aren’t the only ones who will find this book useful. School staff including teachers and support staff will also benefit from reading this book. Indeed, there is something for everyone within the pages of this book no matter what level you are at.

When faced with a diagnosis of dyslexia for their child parents are understandably concerned. They may have little information and often the information they do have is made up of several popular myths. They may have no idea how to support their child and certainly no bank of strategies at their finger tips to help them.

This book has been edited by Gillian Ashley and a whole team of authors and contains all the essential information to ease the concerns of parents and provide them with the means to give vital support to their child. The book begins by giving an ‘easy to read’ overview of the brain’s job in terms of reading, writing and long term memory. It also explains the struggle to find a cause for dyslexia and how this has led to different definitions of it.

Chapter three is a very reassuring chapter and explores some of the ever evolving technology available to help the child with dyslexia. This chapter speaks from a personal perspective and shows how success can be achieved and challenges may be overcome with the correct support in place. This chapter also contains some top tips to help the parent to support the child.

Chapter four discusses the indicators of dyslexia and provides some practical checklists about the challenges your child may face. There are also figures shared relating to the number of children and adults with dyslexia which may surprise the reader. Further checklists will help to pinpoint signs of dyslexia at various ages and parents will find these useful when seeking a diagnosis. There are many strengths associated with dyslexia so the reader is alerted to the fact there are some positive aspects to this diagnosis.

Towards the end of the book there is a chapter that discusses the importance of the diagnosis and the impact of this in the classroom. The book explores other aspects of of dyslexia that are often not associated with the condition. This is a particularly useful chapter for parents who might not have answers as to why their child needs help with organising some aspects of their day.

Chapter eight goes on to discuss study skills. This is an interesting and important part of the book for parents. Top tips and strategies are offered which parents will find very helpful when supporting their child with their studies and homework.

The final chapter deals with self esteem. For a young person self esteem is important as it helps them to cope with mistakes they might make. It helps children to try again even in the face of initial failure. Having high self esteem helps children and young people to explore their full potential. As a parent the tips given in this chapter will help with maintaining that high self esteem.

Overall I found this book to be very useful. It’s clear and concise and easy to read. As a parent if you want some top tips, strategies and explanations relating to dyslexia this is the book for you. You won’t spend hours trying to work your way through a complex book full of medical and educational journal. This book is straight to the point which is necessary when faced with a new diagnosis. It’s a dip in and dip out book or you can read from beginning to end. Whichever way you choose to read it, I highly recommend this book.