Learning Disability Books

Author interviews and book reviews of my recommendations for useful books for a variety of learning disorders.

My son struggled with reading until we had a wonderful teacher who believed he could do it. He basically taught himself to sight read. In his case, phonics is very difficult because he can not hear all the sounds, nor memorize them. However, reading became one of his biggest joys and strengths in the long run. My advice is patience, practice and encouragement. For math, we found that concrete uses like telling time by TV shows and actually having to manage money were most useful, plus we did a number of activities with physical therapy toys. Here are a few books that might help your child with learning difficulties.

Teaching Kids to Read for Dummies
by Tracey Wood

Any teacher, tutor or parent who wishes to teach children how to read will find a large selection of practical techniques, exercises and lessons in this book. A useful book despite the unfortunate series title. A step by step guide to teaching reading skills through a combination of phonics and memorizing sight words. Detailed instructions are provided to teach the sounds and uses of letters and letter combinations through a variety of exercises, games and activities. Guidance on reading aloud, writing, choosing books, and when to get help is provided, as well. Fun ways to teach reading skills are interspersed with rules and practice exercises.
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Thank You, Mr. Falker
by Patricia Polacco

A children's book set in 1950's is the true, heart touching story of a child's struggle with dyslexia... As my son also learned to read in 4th grade, after years of ardent desire and struggles, I found this an exceptionally touching book. Highly recommended for elementary students (and their parents, teachers and classmates). This inspirational book is used in many elementary teaching programs.
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Thinking Differently Thinking Differently: An Inspiring Guide for Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities
By David Flink

The author has both ADHD and dyslexia and has started a large mentoring program to encourage college students with similar issues. Part autobiography and part guidance, this book provides an encouraging view on achieving success. Describing these issues as learning differences, rather than disorders, he provides guidance on how to determine strengths and develop a plan of success. An encouraging book.
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Learning Disabilities Learning Disabilities A to Z
By Corinne Smith and Lisa Strick

Learning Disabilities: A to Z (A Parent's Complete Guide to Learning Disabilities From Preschool to Adulthood), provides one of the most comprehensive discussions of learning disabilities in children available today. Parents will find this book almost essential for all around understanding and education of their child who has learning disabilities.
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Dyslexia Dyslexia: A Complete Guide for Parents and Those Who Help Them
By Gavin Reid

Dyxlexia provides a good overview of living with learning disabilities. The best part is the discussion on the problems and solutions for math and writing. The discussions are clear and the ideas are very practicable. There are many good suggestions for parents working with their children on these issues. It also demonstrates ways they can interfere with other school subjects. Although written for a British audience (thus slightly different terminology) and slightly dated, this helpful book remains quite useful to any parent who has a child with learning disabilities.
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Learning Disabilities Handbook The Complete Learning Disabilities Handbook: Ready-to-Use Strategies and Activities for Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities
By Joan M. Harwell and Rebecca Williams Jackson

Specifically designed for teachers, this book provides a myriad of suggestions and strategies to help younger children with learning disabilities succeed in the classroom, both educationally and behaviorally. Its clock full of ideas to implement in the classroom for many different situations.
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Gift of Dyslexia The Gift of Dyslexia, Revised and Expanded: Why Some of the Smartest People Can't Read...and How They Can Learn
By Ronald D. Davis and Eldon M. Braun

This large print book attempts to show the positive side of dyslexia, and how one can overcome it. The author believes that it is caused by a disturbance in balance in the body and proscribes eye and balance exercises to rectify it. There is not enough information to put together a program for your child yourself. However, he does provide various strategies and an overarching theory of helping a child with visual perception problems which impact them at school, which has worked for some children.
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