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Why Can’t My Daughter Read? begins with an overview of the reading process. In Chapter 2 The Risks of Waiting- you are asked to wrap your head around the outcomes of failing to diagnose dyslexia in girls. Throughout the chapter, I provide insights into the true stories of how undiagnosed dyslexic girls negotiated school with undeveloped literacy skills. The processes girls use to disquise their reading difficulties are deconstructed in Chapter 3- Shame and Passing as Literate. Goffman (1959) asserts that people select fronts that are considered socially acceptable and represents aspects of an ideal identity. Goffman refers to “passing” and “management” activities as the means by which fronts are maintained. Individuals attempt to pass as having a particular identity. This task requires expert management of the contexts around them. Through the construction of elaborate scenes they provide support to the front identity. One problem for the undiagnosed dyslexic reader is that maintaining the front of literacy expert may take up so much energy that there is little opportunity or energy left to learn to read.
Chapter 4- Dyslexia vs. Dysteachia- discusses the disturbing fact that the professionals from whom you seek help for your struggling daughter may not have the skills or knowledge to provide the help you so desperately need. Faced with this realization you must arm yourself with the information to both teach and advocate for your daughter.
In Chapter 5-Taking Action Before Dyslexia and Identity Collide- we will explore how girls figure out the parts of their world they will enter temporarily or peripherally and those they will enter with positions of power and prestige. For some, positions are predetermined culturally and socially. This is especially true in the schools of the United States. Girls who have difficulty with literacy skills are positioned as “struggling” (Ash, 2002), “remedial” (Wilhelm, 1997), “reluctant” (Wilhelm, 1997), and “marginalized” (Moje, Young, Readence, & Moore, 2000). Thus, undiagnosed dyslexic girls, through the marginalizing labels we place upon them, are often set up to become resistant to reading. As Alvermann (2001) so aptly states, “Culture constructs disability, as well as ability” (p. 677). This leads you to Chapter 6 – What Parents Can Do At Home to Increase Reading Abilities. Here you will find the nuts and bolts of reading intervention for all aspects of the reading process. In addition, suggestions for the use of technology is provided.

The last chapter is your guide to advocacy. I hope that you are in a situation in which you are working as a partner with your school.If that is not the case, Chaper 7 will give you an overview of your legal rights as well as links to more indepth legal expertise. As you read the last chapter I hope you feel inspired and informed. I know how difficult your journey is. I applaud all you have already done to help your daughter and all that you will do in the future.

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