The co-founder of Dyslexia Training Institute, Dr. Kelli Sandman-Hurley is well known to Learning Ally’s parent and teacher communities. Along with her DTI partner Tracy Block-Zaretsky, she has headlined some of our most popular public webinars and been a leading go-to resource for thousands of families. It was inevitable that Dr. Kelli would carve out time to craft a book that parents can tap for guidance, comprehensive information and lasting encouragement.
This is an important book for parents from one of the leading lights in the field. The subtitle says it all: “How to advocate for a child with dyslexia within the public education system.” And in her preface, Dr. Kelli makes it clear she’s also speaking to a wider audience of teachers, administrators, special education advocates and attorneys.
The book’s content sequence flows easily and intuitively, starting with chapters explaining what dyslexia actually is, basics of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), what to do when you suspect dyslexia, what to know and do before-during-after the IEP meeting, communicating with the school, and much more.
Dyslexia Advocate is a go-to manual for anyone striving to help children with dyslexia learn and succeed.
When I asked Dr. Kelli what drove her to write the book, she remarked: “I think it was because there is so much information out there that needs to be put in one place. And after my early experiences in IEPs I also found there is so much misinformation about dyslexia that gets thrown around. My space for this book is: What do parents need to get to the appropriate services for their kids? There’s nothing out there with everything they need in one place for them, and this is the only book out there that’s dyslexia-specific.”
Up front, she spells out an axiom for parents: “Advocating for a student with dyslexia requires you to raise awareness about dyslexia. You’ll be spending a significant amount of your time educating those involved in your student’s education about dyslexia and interventions for dyslexia. . . Your job will be to provide the awareness that is not provided in teacher education. . . but that is needed to give an appropriate education for students with dyslexia.”
At less than 200 pages, the book manages to cover tremendous practical ground while remaining reader-friendly. It will be fortifying for parents who feel tangled up and dismayed by the overwhelming threads of their interactions with educators. Dr. Kelli writes like she speaks — warmly, authoritatively, occasionally adding spice with some healthy sarcasm; and her confidence is infectious.
Best of all, a myriad of real-life examples are shared throughout. Parents and professionals will naturally relate to these stories, making this an incredibly valuable and accessible manual for anyone striving to help children with dyslexia learn and succeed.
Speaking of accessibility, Learning Ally’s production team is creating a human-narrated audio version of Dyslexia Advocate for our many readers who benefit from alternative ways of accessing the written word.
Learning Ally National Director of Communications
– Doug Sprei
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