Just recently I’ve had the honour of reading and subsequently reviewing this book. As the title suggests it isn’t aimed at teachers and teaching assistants, however, that said it would be a very useful addition to any academic bookshelf. This book is different in that it is aimed at parents who wish to help their children (whatever their age)at home. The three authors are all highly qualified to write on the subject and between them they have had careers as a psychologist, classroom teacher, author, university literacy supervisor and MSLE instructor and also a co-creator of a mindfulness programme. There can be no doubt about their credentials for writing this book.
The book has a structured feel to it and is split into handy sections. The first section gives the reader information on what dyslexia is. I think this is an obvious beginning to the book as there are so many misconceptions about dyslexia.
The next three sections are devoted to reading, writing and spelling. There are several fun activities to encourage the child or young person to work at home with their parents. The activities are structured so that they can be adapted for any age and they have a brand new feel to them. I particularly like the names of some of the exercises as they are appealing for teenagers who might not necessarily want to engage in such sessions at home. Names such as ‘Spelling Sleuths’ and ‘You Rock’ will attract most youngsters to be inquisitive about the content of the session. Possibly my favourite part is where there is an activity relating to social media. Without giving too much away the children are asked to create a social media profile. This is a great hook for all children and teens as they all have or will have a social media presence eventually.
The following section is all centred around social and emotional aspects of learning. The authors make the reader aware that children with dyslexia need to be ready emotionally for learning if they are to be successful. In this section there are activities to help the child become as stress proof as possible. Activities are provided for relaxation and mental preparation for learning. Mindfulness is also rated highly and there are tips for helping with mindfulness.
Another useful component of this book is seen in the way it addresses what the authors call executive functioning. This is an important aspect of learning and is often overlooked for those with dyslexia. This section deals with organising tasks, prioritising work, staying focussed and maintaining attention. There is also useful information on working and long term memory as these are often affected for children and young people with dyslexia.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to those who have a dyslexic child or teen in their family. The activities are engaging and can last as long as you like and this in itself makes the book very usable.