The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity
Dyslexia in the News

College Applicants Sweat The SATs. Perhaps They Shouldn't
NPR
Eric Westervelt
February 18, 2014

William Hiss, Ph.D, a presenter at many of our conferences for teachers and college deans, has completed a new study that we hope every college dean and high school principal will read and consider. While the study doesn't specifically address dyslexia, dyslexics are a subset within the larger group of students studied. We are encouraged by this study, and expect that it will help open access to higher education for dyslexics, and many other individuals, who for a variety of reasons struggle to score well on standardized tests. The study validates the idea that hard work, effort, and good grades are as much a predictor of success as good test scores.

For the one-page summary of the study, click here.

For the story on NPR, click here.



The Three Keys to Survival and Entrepreneurship From Genocide Survivor and Educator Emad Rahim
Huffington Post
Steve Mariotti
January 27, 2014
link to article

Get a double dose of inspiration from two amazing dyslexics featured in this article—one the subject, and interviewee, Emad Rahim, and the other, the author and interviewer, Steve Mariotti.

Steve Mariotti is a leading expert in youth entrepreneurship education, and founder of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Read more about him by clicking here.

He interviewed Emad Rahim about his journey from a child in a Cambodian concentration camp to an award-winning entrepreneur and educator.

In spite of struggling with dyslexia and street violence as a youth, Rahim found a way to embrace education. He tells Mariotti, “At SUNY Empire State College I received guided mentorship and support in my education, and three years later, graduated. I realized that I was not 'disabled', but was fully capable, given the right learning environment, support and guidance from the faculty.”

Read more in the full article on the Huffington Post.



"Cousin Jeff" Johnson Talks About Dyslexia Detection In Children
On the Radio
97.9FM Houston--The Box
Madd Hatta Morning Show
October 31, 2013

Award-winning journalist Jeff Johnson (a.k.a. “Cousin Jeff”) talked about dyslexia detection and Drs. Sally & Bennett Shaywitz’ visit to Houston on the Madd Hatta Morning Show on Houston’s 97.9 The Box. Johnson, who is also a partner in The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity’s Multicultural Dyslexia Awareness Initiative, shared a little bit about his own experience with his son’s dyslexia diagnosis, some common signs of dyslexia, and why a diagnosis is so important. Listen here:



"Dyslexia in Texas schools termed a 'disgrace'"
Houston Chronicle
By Jennifer Radcliffe
Published: August 6, 2013

Since 1985, the state of Texas has had legislation in place requiring all college campuses to actively identify and provide treatment to students with dyslexia. Compliance with this law has been been very weak, and is clearly divided along lines of race, color, language and economic status.

Jennifer Radcliffe of the Chronicle interviewed YCDC codirector Dr. Sally Shaywitz, who provided information about the nature of dyslexia and the barriers commonly encountered in attempting to assess and treat the disorder.

Dr. Shaywitz also discussed YCDC's Multicultural Dyslexia Awareness Initiative (MDAI), and the MDAI conference to be held in Houston later this year to promote advocacy for the diagnosis and treatment of minority students with dyslexia. According to Dr. Shaywitz, the current state of affairs is "a national disgrace. We're on a mission to educate people about dyslexia. People are just clueless."

To read the article in its entirety, click here



"Defining My Dyslexia"
New York Times, Op-Ed Section
By Blake Charlton
Published: May 22, 2013

From the Desk of The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity Co-Director
Sally Shaywitz, M.D.:

The Yale Center applauds the recent publication by The New York Times of a passionate and accurate Op-Ed, "Defining My Dyslexia," by Blake Charlton, MD, whom I have known and admired since his days as a Yale undergraduate and who is profiled on this website (click here to read/listen to it). Dr. Charlton shines the light on and disputes the oft mis-stated belief that somehow dyslexics all have a special talent. The potentially harmful consequence of such a view is well articulated in a letter by Kalman Hettleman also published by the Times in response to Dr. Charlton.

Dr. Charlton who is dyslexic well understands and aptly captures the paradox that is dyslexia: a weakness surrounded by a sea of strengths. Yes, many who are dyslexic are often out-of-the box, big picture thinkers but at the same time, these same individuals often are not particularly great artists, spatial thinkers or the like and it would be wrong, and indeed, harmful to suggest that such 'talents' are an integral part of being dyslexic. And this is precisely what both Dr. Charlton and Mr. Hettleman want to bring to our attention. Dr. Charlton notes the desire among some to paint dyslexia as an advantage. Yet, for most children with dyslexia, particularly during their school years, their slow reading and poor spelling present significant disadvantages. Following a recent lecture, a parent shared her child's distressed reaction to being told that dyslexia is a gift, "If it's a gift, how can I give it back." Far too often, especially for disadvantaged and poor children and for children of color or Latino ethnicity, "their problems in learning to read are either diagnosed too late and treated too little, or not diagnosed or treated at all." The Yale Center is quite concerned about this and has taken an important step to bring attention to, and hopefully, redress this unacceptable harm coming to so many children by launching a new initiative, the Multicultural Dyslexia Awareness Initiative (MDAI).

Often and quite accurately, we bemoan the 'knowledge gap', that is, the gap between existing knowledge and the knowledge necessary to bring about improvements in health or education. In the case of dyslexia, (while there is always the desire for more), there is currently sufficient knowledge to do a far better job in identifying, intervening in and accommodating dyslexia. There is an unacceptable and harmful wide gap between the robust existing science of dyslexia and how this knowledge is implemented, typically not implemented, by schools. In dyslexia, there is not a knowledge gap but rather an action gap. As a consequence dyslexic children frequently go un-identified, un-remediated and un-accommodated with great harm to the children, to their families and to society. Educators must act to translate this body of converging science into policy and practice. Our children's lives and futures (human capital) is too precious to waste.




"Perhaps I've succeeded not despite, but because of, my disability."

Physician and author Blake Charlton writes:

"Not a disability? My years of functional illiteracy suggest otherwise. Today's educational environment exacerbates dyslexic weaknesses. Schools misidentify poor spelling and slow reading as a lack of intelligence; typically diagnose the condition only after students have fallen behind; and too often fail to provide dyslexic students with the audio and video materials that would help them learn. Until these disadvantages are removed, "disability" most accurately describes what young dyslexics confront."

Read the Op-Ed in its entirety--click here.




"Dyslexia Workarounds: Creativity Without a Lot of Reading"
The Wall Street Journal, Health Journal
by Melinda Beck
Published: April 1, 2013
link to article

Citing successful dyslexics like Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, Cleveland Clinic CEO and Thoracic surgeon Dr. Toby Cosgrove, and actor and children's book author Henry Winkler, WSJ journalist Melinda Beck brings the positive side of dyslexia to light—and also the necessary accommodations for overcoming dyslexia. "I frankly think that dyslexia is a gift," Dr. Cosgrove tells Beck. "If you are supported in school and your ego remains intact, then you emerge with a strong work ethic and a different view of the world."

Beck consulted YCDC Co-Director Dr. Sally E. Shaywitz for the article, who offered her scientific knowledge on the subject of dyslexia, as well as her insights into what dyslexics encounter while reading and working through their disability.

An excerpt from the article:

As many as one in five Americans has some degree of dyslexia, according to Yale research, although only about 5% of children have been formally diagnosed...Imaging studies show that the best readers have the most brain activity in the rear, instant-word-forming area when they read. Dyslexics have much less activity there and more in two slower areas. "Think of the word 'bat,'" says Dr. Shaywitz. "If you are dyslexic, you have to retrieve the B and the A and the T separately each time. It's exhausting."

Read the article in its entirety on The Wall Street Journal website. Click here.

 


"Education First aims to bridge barriers with exchange"
The Boston Globe, Business
by Katie Johnston
Published: February 03, 2013
link to article

Dyslexic Bertil Hult, founder of EF (Education First), saw first-hand how travel could change the way young people learn and has created a global company doing just that. From The Boston Globe: "Struggling with dyslexia while growing up in Sweden, Bertil Hult quit school after junior high and eventually went to work making coffee and running errands for a ship broker in London. Six months later, without ever stepping foot in a classroom, Hult could speak English."

 




"Approaching Illness as a Team"
New York Times, Editorial
Published: December 25, 2012
link to article

YCDC Note: While dyslexia is not explicity stated in this editorial, we wanted to highlight that the Cleveland Clinic, lauded as a national model for health care, is led by Dr. Toby Cosgrove, an out-of-box thinking dyslexic physician.

As noted in a recent New York Times editorial, The Cleveland Clinic is indeed a national model for innovation in medicine. Lacking, however, was providing the source the individual who has driven this remarkable innovation and was willing to take personal risks to bring progress, change and a brighter future not only to the Cleveland Clinic, but to all of medicine. That individual is Dr. Delos (Toby) Cosgrove, renowned cardiac surgeon and since 2004, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Cleveland Clinic.

Less well known, but perhaps a contributing factor to his ability to think-of-the box, is that Dr. Cosgrove is dyslexic, and because of this he did not excel on the Medical College Admissions Test (without accommodations) and was rejected by 10 of 11 medical schools. Dyslexia is often described as a sea of strengths in creativity and out-of the box thinking in a person who does not read rapidly and may not retrieve spoken words quickly. Fortunately, one medical school, University of Virginia Medical School recognized his creative thinking and valued it more than the ability to read rapidly. All of medicine is fortunate for that wise decision.

 


"Dealing with Dyslexia"
Morning Joe, MSNBC
Aired: October 25, 2012

Director Jamie Redford talks with Morning Joe host, Joe Scarborough about his film "The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia." Redford is joined by attorney and dyslexic, David Boies, who appears in the film, alongside other dyslexics who share their experiences with disability.


Dyslexia in the News & on the Football Field
A Compilation of Various Publications
Published: summer 2012

Football abounds with tackles on the field, but recent news has highlighted that dyslexia is a challenge that some NFL players and coaches tackle as well.

Read more here.


New York Times
The Reality of Dyslexia: Millions Struggle
Letters to the Editor
Published: February 12, 2012

In a February 4, 2012 New York Times Opinion piece, Annie Murphy Paul wrote about dyslexia. The following weekend, the New York Times published responses to that piece. We especially would like to draw your attention to one letter to the editor.

The letter's author, Mary Beth Crosby Carroll, a New York City reading specialist, writes:

"It makes you wonder how many scientists, lawyers, doctors, engineers and writers we have lost because they failed early on in school and no one knew how to tap into their talents and teach them how to read."

Click here to read the letter in its entirety.


US News & World Reports
Meeting the Dyslexia Challenge: Talented students with a common disability get a fresh look.
By Meryl Davids Landau
Published: September 2011

U.S. News & World Reports publishes its 2012 College Guidebook, wherein they address the unique challenges dyslexics face in the application process (pg 64).

"The main stumbling block for even the most accomplished college applicants with dyslexia is the standardized entrance exam. Though there is no single model to guide dyslexic students applying to college, experts and those who have made it through the admissions process offer some useful tips." Read more.


New York Times
Study Says Dyslexia May Have Auditory Tie
By Pam Belluck
Published: August 1, 2011

YCDC Directors' Note: This small but important study reaffirms the centrality of difficulties with the sounds of spoken language in dyslexia. We already know that dyslexia impacts output--word retrieval in spoken language--now, this new study shows that the faulty phonological representations in dyslexia also impact input - recognition of the incoming spoken language (voice). In both input and output difficulties it is the stored fuzzy phonemes that are the culprit.

This study also cleaves perception of spoken language from meaning, showing that it is the sounds of the spoken language that are impaired and not the meaning that is problematic for dyslexics.

From the New York Times:

Scientists have come to believe that the reading difficulties of dyslexia are part of a larger puzzle: a problem with how the brain processes speech and puts together words from smaller units of sound. Read More


New York Times
Connecticut Governor, Tackling Budget, Criticizes Christie's Approach
By David M. Halbfinger
Published: February 15, 2011

YCDC Editor's Note: We call this article to your attention not because of the political arguments cited within, but for what Gov. Malloy says about keeping funds for those who need it most; and why he feels strongly about doing so has to do with his dyslexia. Read More


U.S. News & World Reports
8 Steps for Learning Disabled Students Who Want to Go to College
Diligence, creativity, and resilience can help LD students succeed in college.
By Kim Clark
Posted: December 2, 2010

"Most of the 3 percent or so of teens who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities struggle so much in their high school classes that they give up on hopes of college, setting back their job and career prospects, according to statistics compiled by the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

"But there are new reasons for hope for anyone with attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, or other common learning challenges. A growing number of colleges, services, and technologies are helping students earn admission to, and diplomas from, college, counselors say...." Read More


New York Times
Odds Defied? Malloy Knows the Territory
By Raymond Hernandez
Published: August 11, 2010

Dannel P. Malloy, the surprise winner in the Democratic primary for governor in Connecticut, overcame dyslexia. Read More


New York Times
A Conversation With Carol W. Greider
On Winning a Nobel Prize in Science
By CLAUDIA DREIFUS
Published: October 13, 2009

Carol W. Greider was one of three women who won a science Nobel last week, which puts her in some rare company. Editor's Note: Dr. Greider, who is dyslexic, was rejected from 8 out of 10 graduate schools that she applied to because her test scores were considered too low. Read More