Books

Book Review of Ann Farris’ The Other Side of Dyslexia.

Recently Kathy Johnson author, speaker and educational consultant, ( kjohnson@pyramidofpotential.com,)  wrote this book review of my book, The Other Side of Dyslexia.  I feel her comments caught the spirit of this book. The review follows:

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Ann was a director of the opera-musical theater program at the National Endowment for the Arts when she discovered she had Dyslexia. She writes in this book about her journey of self-discovery to being able to read.

When I first opened the book, I was delighted by what I saw inside – unlike any other book, each page has colorful simple pictures with the words below. It conveys what she has in her mind: pictures and emotions; less words. My immediate thought was how authentic it is. To get into the mind of a person with learning disabilities, you must go beyond just words, as words have different meanings and understandings.  Although in the main part of the book, Ann does not specifically describe the trainings and therapies that she has used to help her, she references them in the end. Anyone who would like to follow a similar path can.

The journey included many therapies that I have used as well, including Brain Gym, Energy Medicine, eye exercises and watching diet. Yet for her, the emotional and spiritual journey helped unlock the physical stress that held her back.  Today she is able to use words much better for both her reading and writing.

This book was written primarily for dyslexics so that they can read about someone like them. She gives hints as to how to read it, and the print is big so that people can have an easier time with the words. It is also for the non-dyslexic to understand what can happen in the mind and body of another human. We are after all, unique. One thing I have learned is that we don’t know how other people see, hear or feel unless they tell us. Ann does an excellent job of that!

I highly recommend this book to people who have learning disabilities as well as those who teach, care for, and love people with LD. Enjoy!

Written by Kathy Johnson, [kjohnson@pyramidofpotential.com]

The Roadmap from Learning Disabilities to Success!

Kathy Johnson’s book The Roadmap from Learning Disabilities to Success is simple in form, short in length and long in information. 

Being challenged by both dyslexia and hpyerlexia I am not overly fond of reading.  I do it, I can do it, but you don’t often find me choosing it.  The format of Kathy’s book made reading the content easy.  It’s as though she chose to present it for learning challenged adults reading skills. Kathy’s book succinctly describes success stories and provides a checklist for parents to consider. 

I find it interesting that she has made the links that I made as I progressed through my process of overcoming the negatives of dyslexia and many years later hyperlexia.  At the outset she provides the order and importance of various approaches using a Pyramid of Potential.  The base of the pyramid is Mind and Body.  I too, through my own experimentation and with advice of others started my healing with these two topics.

I was particularly excited to see how effective her work is with patient’s reflexes – those that normally develop while the baby is in utero and the first three years of life.  I came across this technique shortly after I learned (six years ago) that I have hyperlexia.  I had already taken the Lindamood-Bell verbalizing and visualizing process but it wasn’t until after a year a half of correcting my many reflexes that were under-developed did I find much more peace around the hyperlexia.  I strongly support a parent having a child with learning challenges checked for the development of the child’s reflexes. 

Kathy’s Roadmap also gives good explanations of eye issues and has several useful suggestions on how to better eye problems.  I loved her description of the use of a Brain Gym technique – lazy eights – a technique I have frequently implemented.  

As you can see I relate to Kathy’s work because her tools are many of the ones I have been fortunate to come across.  The uniqueness of Kathy is that she has integrated them together and created a broad spectrum of skills to help her clients.  It is this approach that she describes in her book, The Roadmap from Learning Disabilities to Success. I would recommend this book to any parent whose child has learning challenges.  

To learn more go to:  www.PyramidofPotential.com, PO Box 103, Burnt Hills, NY 12027, telephone: 518 585 2007

Book Review: How to Detect Developmental Delay and What to Do Next

How to Detect Developmental Delay and What to Do Next  by Mary Mountstephen has been reviewed and highly recommended by Kathy Johnson: www.pyramidofpotential.com/blog     

Ms. Johnson comments:  I would suggest this book for anyone who is looking for answers as to why an individual struggles in school. Ms. Mountstephen uses her background as the leader of a large specialist support center at a major independent school and as an educational and neurodevelopmental delay specialist is private practice to put this book together. She also consults internationally to schools and organizations from her home in the UK, giving her the experience to understand all she writes in this book. 

The book has two parts: Child Development and Signs of Delay in Part 1 and Interventions for Home and School in Part 2. Part 1 includes factors affecting early development including pregnancy and child development, genetic and environmental factors, and the role of primitive and postural reflexes. The chapter on what to expect in the early years is helpful in determining if development was typical or delayed by reading through lists of milestones. Next Ms. Mounstephen writes about special education and specific diagnoses, including dyslexia, dyspraxia, and ADD/ADHD.  

Part 2 is all about the “What to do Next” in the title. She looks at movement, such as neurodevelopmental programs, balance, handwriting, and using a multi-sensory approach to classroom and home work. 

The chapter on Vision, Visual Processing and Learning includes information such as why vision issues are frequently not found, strategies for children with visual problems, vision therapy, a vision assessment checklist, and the link between primitive and postural reflexes and visual problems. Indeed this is a thorough and important chapter! 

Children receive informational input in school using two primary modes: vision and hearing. So another wonderful chapter is on Hearing, Auditory Processing and Learning. She discuses the importance of these skills, language development, causes and symptoms of auditory processing problems, dealing with these issues in the classroom, speech and language therapy, and finally listening therapy programs. 

The final chapter is on how a psychologist can help, written by Elvie Brown, and educational psychologist. In it she about her role, why see an educational psychologist, and information about a psychological assessment. Sample assessments help a parent know what to expect. 

Finally, the Appendices include forms to aid a parent as they help their child, a brochure about Central Auditory Processing Disorder, and many resources.

 I recommend this book highly for parents and professionals alike, as they seek to change children’s lives from struggling to learn to being successful in school. I was able to purchase it off Amazon.com.