Do you have a child with a language based learning disability that struggles with reading and writing? Does your child have a diagnosed reading disability such as Dyslexia? If so, Tom’s Special Talent by Kate Gaynor at Special Stories can be an excellent book to have in your personal library. This book is also excellent for typical readers because it can increase awareness of Dyslexia. The author is from Ireland so note that some of the spellings of the specific words are different (e.g. the word “practice” is spelled like “practise”).
Tom’s Special Talent is about a young boy named Tom who has Dyslexia. He struggles with reading and writing and gets worried when it is his turn to read from a book or board because he doesn’t want to get the word wrong. Miss. Jolly, his teacher reassures him that all boys and girls have different ways of learning and some people find learning harder to do than others. She tells Tom that all of his friends have both talents and weaknesses. For example, Tom’s friend John who is not good at writing but is great at football, Sadie who finds math hard but is great at reading, etc.
One day, the principal of his school, Mrs. Berry announces there will be a big competition where all of the boys and girls will use their talents to create something they think celebrates their school. Each child can either choose to write a poem, story or create a picture. Tom decides to paint a picture, which he considers to be his special talent. He works hard on his poster and paints each child in his class with their special talent. Tom leaves a space blank and states that he doesn’t feel like he has a talent. What is Tom’s talent? Tom realizes that he does have special talents, such as being an artist and that all children have talents and weaknesses. These talents and weaknesses is what makes each of us special.
Tom’s Special Talent has a special activity in the back of the book which will help you facilitate some thoughts about your child’s special talents. Photocopy this page and have your child draw a picture, write a poem, etc. Discuss the picture and talk about your how your child’s talents make them special 🙂
To learn more about Dyslexia and its symptoms, myths and links to research, click here.