More than thirty million people in the United States are dyslexic—a brain-based genetic trait, often labeled as a “learning disability” or “learning difference,” that makes interpreting text and reading difficult. Yet even though children with dyslexia may have trouble reading, they don’t have any problems learning; dyslexia has nothing to do with a lack of intellect.
Dyslexics’ skills, which may include verbal, social, spatial, kinesthetic, visual, mathematical, or musical abilities, are their unique key to acquiring knowledge. Figuring out where their individual strengths lie, and then harnessing these skills, offers an entrée into learning and excelling. And by keeping the focus on learning, not on standard reading the same way everyone else does, a dyslexic can develop the self-confidence to flourish in the classroom and beyond.
Ben Foss integrated his dyslexia and digested the shame he experienced in school, earning a JD/MBA at Stanford and making technology for people with disabilities at Intel. He now shares his personal triumphs and failures so that educators can learn from his experiences, and provides a three-step approach to support dyslexics:
• Identify the profile: By mapping a dyslexic learner's strengths and weaknesses and assisting her to better understand who she is, you can help move away from shame and feelings of inadequacy and move toward creating a powerful program for learning.
• Help a dyslexic learner help himself: Coach him to become his own best advocate by developing resiliency, confidence, and self-awareness, and focusing on achievable goals in areas that matter most to him.
• Create community: Dyslexic children and adults are not broken, but too often the system around them is. Dare to change the environment so that dyslexics have the resources to thrive.
Packed with practical ideas and strategies dyslexic learners need for excelling in school and in life, this empowering guide provides the framework for charting a future for students that is bright with hope and unlimited potential.
Praise for The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan
“I study dyslexia in the lab and am a parent of a wonderful daughter who fits this profile. Ben Foss’s book should be considered essential to any collection on the subject. It was extremely useful, especially for a mom. Thank you!”—Maria Luisa Gorno Tempini, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology, UCSF, Memory and Aging Center
"[A] passionate and well-articulated guide that puts to rest the idea that dyslexic people are unintelligent. . . . This extremely practical and motivational book will be welcomed by parents of dyslexic children." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Contact us about speaking engagements with Ben Foss
Ben Foss is a prominent entrepreneur and activist and the founder of Headstrong Nation, a not-for-profit organization serving the dyslexic community. Foss graduated from Wesleyan University and earned a JD/MBA from Stanford Law and Business Schools. He invented the Intel Reader, a mobile device that takes photos of text and recites it aloud on the spot. Ben is a co-founder of Integration Ventures, a venture capital firm that is looking to invest in dyslexic entrepreneurs. He has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business News, ABC, CNN, HBO, and the BBC. Represented by the Random House Speakers Bureau, he regularly speaks to Fortune 500 companies, public policy organizations, and colleges and universities across the country.