Dyslexia & Creativity: New Research & Implications

yaleLast Tuesday, thanks to the efforts of my friend and colleague Candy (our middle school learning specialist), I had the good fortune to attend the opening day of two days of the first ever Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity conference – Dyslexia & Creativity: New Research & Implications. The conference schedule provides a complete overview of what both days encompassed. Yale’s pastoral environment added to the aura of my day, especially as I managed to be outdoors when the sun was shining.

My day at the conference was eye-opening, stimulating and invigorating, informative, and hope-producing. The people responsible for this conference went out of their way to make all participants feel welcome and a part of a process. Further, people like Karen Kruger, the Deputy Director of YCDC, were busy walking around, taking one person by the hand to meet someone else with a related interest, with the single goal of helping folks further their networks of support and information.

Laurie and CandyThe highlight for me was hearing Dr. Sally Shaywitz and Dr. Bennett Shaywitz each talk with passion, knowledge, and determination, yet in soothing voices, about dyslexia. They are the experts, and this conference is their first face-to-face effort to get their knowledge out to educators, where it can do even more good. Staying within their time frame, they each demystified and explained, informed and advised.

I will share more of the conference content in a future post. Meantime, here is a wonderful twenty-one minute Charlie Rose interview with Dr. Sally Shaywitz, Sir Charles Bronson, and Charles Schwab, the latter two who are successful businessmen and dyslexics.

(That’s Candy on the right and me on the left, taking a break and being photographed by one of Yale’s professional photographers using my camera. Not bad for an iPhone photo!)

The first day concluded with a book signing by two children’s authors, Helen Lester, author of a number of books including Tacky Goes to Camp and Author–A True Story, and Judy Spurr, author of Trapped, as well as Dr. Sally Shaywitz signing her book, Overcoming Dyslexia, which is also available in paperback. [8/12/09 UPDATE: Judy Spurr explains “Why I Wrote Trapped” in this article on the YCDC site.]

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2 thoughts on “Dyslexia & Creativity: New Research & Implications

  1. synapsesensations Post author

    Hi Ann,

    I think Helen Lester, along with Judy Spur (http://www.gloucestertimes.com/pulife/local_story_331094036), was there partially for the creativity portion of the conference, but also because of the dyslexia portion. For the purposes of this conference, the two characteristics are linked – the two sides of a coin. The books Helen was signing – Tacky Goes to Camp and Author A True Story – highlight what is it like to be different, and what it is like to pursue your passion despite obstacles.

    With that said, Author A True Story (http://www.amazon.com/Author-True-Story-Helen-Lester/dp/0618260102) is about Helen’s path to becoming an author. And yes, she did have some obstacles, such as growing up as a “mirror writer” and stringing story lines together.

    ~Laurie

  2. Ann

    Sounds inspiring! I have heard them speak before and have always been impressed with their passion and the depth of their knowledge. I am interested to learn more about the creativity aspect.

    Does Helen Lester have dyslexia? or were some people there just for the “creativity” portion?

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