Episode 2: What are dyslexia and dysgraphia?

In this episode, Michael and Bill do their very best to arm parents and educators with information about dyslexia and dysgraphia so they can better spot a good intervention and avoid precious time and money on unproven and disproved treatments.

Watch episode 2 on YouTube

Show notes

Dyslexia and dysgraphia – huge enough on their own and often live together in one brain making life doubly hard for people. There’s just so much misleading information out there about these Specific Learning Difficulties. It was just the other day Bill gave some advice to a very grateful tradesperson about not paying a nutritionist who had claimed that a change in his son’s diet could help his dyslexia! Until you understand the core difficulty of any SLD, you are vulnerable to all sorts of snake oil and quackery. What a minefield for parents. 

Links from episode

Dr. Mark Seidenberg – Talks about phonemic awareness as a fiction. This is does NOT mean it’s not important – it is critical. Check out:


Dr. David Kilpatrick – is mentioned when Bill talks about the creation of the Phoenician Alphabet. Check out:


Dr. Linnea Ehri – Orthographic Mapping Theory – Stephen Parker explains orthographic mapping nicely but DO NOT stop here. Understanding this mental process and the skills that underpin it is critical to knowing how to teach reading.


Bill’s BIG Spelling Rules Mural (infographic) – quickly mentioned as Michael explains how the letter ‘y’ was almost used for the θ sound, and is where “Ye Olde Shoppe” came from. Check out:


Dyslexia and Dysgraphia Comorbidity – Hmmm not that simple to find but here’s some reading:


Playberry Multisensory Language Program – Mentioned by Michael in the context of handwriting. Both Bill and Michael use Playberry in their private practices and are both TSD graduates where folks learn to use Playberry. Check out:


Lyn Stone – Bill mentions Lyn when talking with Michael about handwriting


Research comparing note-taking with handwriting vs typing and the effect on recall and comprehension (mentioned by Bill):


Sir Jackie Stewart – Not a Cruel Fiction. Bill mentions Formula 1 World champion and how he says that unless you have Dyslexia you’ll NEVER really understand how it feels. Check Out:




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