Sally E. Shaywitz, M.D.

Audrey G. Ratner Professor in Learning Development at Yale University and Co-Director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity ,

Sally E. Shaywitz, M.D.

Audrey G. Ratner Professor in Learning Development at Yale University and Co-Director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity

A physician-scientist, Dr. Shaywitz’ research provides the basic framework for the 21st century scientific understanding of dyslexia. Her ongoing studies have shown that dyslexia is highly prevalent, affecting one in five and have provided the long-sought empiric evidence for the unexpected nature of dyslexia – slow readers can also be fast thinkers. In a recent paper she found that the “Achievement Gap in Reading is Present as Early as First Grade and Persists Through Adolescence.” The finding that the effects of dyslexia on reading achievement occur so early in school led her to develop a new instrument, the Shaywitz DyslexiaScreenTM (SDS, Pearson) for use by teachers to efficiently and reliably screen kindergarteners and first graders for dyslexia. Most recently she has developed a parallel measure to screen for dyslexia in adults. Dr. Shaywitz is the author of over 250 scientific articles and chapters, as well as the award-winning book, Overcoming Dyslexia (Alfred Knopf, 2003, Vintage, 2005), which details the scientific basis of dyslexia and how to translate this scientific knowledge into policy and clinical practice. The book has been translated into numerous languages including Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and Mandarin. In addition to critical acclaim, Overcoming Dyslexia has been the top selling trade book on dyslexia since its publication. Dr. Shaywitz is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine within the National Academies (of Science, Engineering and Medicine). She is annually selected as one of the Best Doctors in America. Her awards include, among others, an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Williams College; the Townsend Harris Medal of the City College of New York; the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Along with Dr. Bennett Shaywitz, she has spoken about dyslexia at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In 2016 Dr. Shaywitz testified before the U.S. Senate HELP Committee on “Dyslexia: An Explanation and Potential Solution to the Reading Crisis in Education” and in 2015 before the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology on the “Science of Dyslexia.” In her testimonies, Dr. Shaywitz points out that while we are always seeking new knowledge, in the case of dyslexia, we have sufficient knowledge to do more. Rather than a knowledge gap, in dyslexia there is an action gap. We must take action to implement the deep knowledge we have of dyslexia and ensure that this knowledge is translated into policy and practice.

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