<i>The D Word: Understanding Dyslexia</i> skillfully explores the complex and often challenging world faced by those who have this disability. The film focuses on high-school senior Dylan as he shares his early struggles in school and prepares to begin studies at the college of his choice. Interviews with other young dyslexics, as well as highly accomplished businesspeople diagnosed with the learning disability, including Richard Branson, Charles Schwab, and California’s Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, are seamlessly incorporated into the story. Two prominent doctors, Bennett and Sally Shaywitz at the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity, help demystify and mitigate the stigma surrounding this syndrome.
Focusing on the positive aspects of dyslexia and incorporating creative animation sequences, James Redford’s film emphasizes specific areas where dyslexics excel and suggests thoughtful strategies for their academic success in our often-rigid educational system.
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