Sally Shaywitz, M.D.,

Sally E. Shaywitz, M.D. is the Audrey G. Ratner Professor in Learning Development at the Yale University School of Medicine and, together with Bennett A. Shaywitz, M.D., the Charles and Helen Schwab Professor in Dyslexia and Learning Development and the co-founder and Co-Director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity. A physician-scientist, Dr. Shaywitz carries out brain imaging, cognitive and longitudinal studies of reading and dyslexia. She consults on children and adults who are dyslexic and with schools and educators on issues relating to diagnosis, interventions and accommodations for students who are dyslexic. She is passionately dedicated to ensuring that scientific progress is translated into policy and practice. Dr. Shaywitz is the author of over 250 scientific articles and the highly acclaimed “Overcoming Dyslexia” (Knopf, 2003).  Dr. Shaywitz, an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academies, is annually selected as one of the “Best Doctors” in America. In September, 2014, Dr. Shaywitz was invited to, and did, testify before the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the US House of Representatives on, “The Science of Dyslexia,” and most recently, in June, 2016, to the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) on “Understanding Dyslexia: The Intersection of Scientific Research and Education.” Dr. Shaywitz was also invited to provide congressional testimony on behalf of AAAS in 2015 and was the keynote speaker at the first ever conference on dyslexia in September, 2017.


Dr. Shaywitz originated and championed the Sea of Strengths model of dyslexia, which emphasizes a sea of strengths of higher critical thinking and creativity surrounding the encapsulated weakness found in children and adults who are dyslexic. Her recent work provides the long-awaited empiric evidence for the unexpected nature of dyslexia, which is that dyslexia can occur in very bright people who have unexpected low reading. In November, 2015, Dr. Shaywitz’ group published data demonstrating that the achievement gap in reading between dyslexic and typical readers is already present in first grade. These new data strongly urge the early identification of children who are dyslexic. Dr. Shaywitz has also developed the Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen (SDS) that enables the child’s kindergarten teacher and first grade teacher to efficiently and reliably screen their students for being at-risk for dyslexia; the (SDS) is available from Pearson Publishers.


Dr. Shaywitz’ awards include an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Williams College; the Townsend Harris Medal of the City College of New York; the Annie Glenn Award for Leadership from the Ohio State University; and the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She has served on the National Board of the Institute for Educational Sciences of the US Department of Education. Dr. Shaywitz served on the National Reading Panel and the Committee to Prevent Reading Difficulties in Young Children of the National Research Council. Most recently, Dr. Shaywitz co-chaired the National Research Council Committee on Gender Differences in the Careers of Science, Engineering and Mathematics Faculty.