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Sally Shaywitz, MD

Audrey G. Ratner Professor of Pediatrics (Neurology); Co-Director, Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity



Sally E. Shaywitz, M.D. is the Audrey G. Ratner Professor in Learning Development at Yale University and Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity. She is a world renowned scientist and dedicated, compassionate physician who is devoted to bringing ground-breaking scientific advances to benefit dyslexic children and adults.

In addition to over 350 scientific articles and chapters, Dr. Shaywitz is the author of the award-winning, best-selling book Overcoming Dyslexia which has just been released as a completely revised and updated second edition (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2020). The first edition of Overcoming Dyslexia has sold over 400,000 copies. On March 24, 2020 the second edition was published to great excitement and anticipation, including unusually high praise from Bob Dylan on the back cover. Overcoming Dyslexia has helped tens of thousands understand their dyslexia and know they can be dyslexic and very smart. This new second edition of Overcoming Dyslexia is filled with compassion and empathy while sharing with the reader the latest cutting edge 21st century scientific advances in dyslexia and providing very practical approaches and specific interventions for parents and educators. Topics include: ground-breaking screening for and diagnosing dyslexia; turning struggling readers into proficient readers; choosing a school; details about the treatments for common comorbid, highly impactful conditions (anxiety and ADHD); a cutting edge legal chapter, providing the incredibly positive and surprising updates on new laws and the very most up-to-date regulations protecting dyslexic individuals. The final inspiring chapter highlights successful dyslexics in careers ranging from the law, business/ economics, entertainment, medicine, science and literature and, importantly, how they did it.

Dr. Shaywitz’ honors include: an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine within the National Academies; the Liberty Science Center 2019 Genius Award “in recognition of your inspiring accomplishments and your pioneering work in advancing our understanding of dyslexia;” a 2018 profile in the Scientists at Work section of the New York Times. She has been a featured speaker at the GoogleX conference on the Future of Reading, as well as the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. She has served on the Congressionally-mandated National Reading Panel and the Committee to Prevent Reading Difficulties in Young Children of the National Research Council and, by Presidential appointment (President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama) on the National Board of the Institute for Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education and on the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke (NINDS).

Dr. Shaywitz testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on Dyslexia: An Explanation and Potential Solution to the Reading Crisis in Education and before the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology on the Science of Dyslexia. She presented at a Congressional briefing sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and to U.S. Senate field hearings. She most recently testified on how best to improve the identification and treatment of dyslexic children to: New York City Schools Chancellor Carranza; to the Rockefeller Institute of Government and members of the New York State legislature in Albany, NY; and before the Georgia State Senate Committee on 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 to benefit dyslexic children and adults.

September 24, 2020

Education & Training

  • Fellow
    Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY (1970)
  • Resident
    Bronx Municipal Hospital Center, Bronx, NY (1968)
  • MD
    Albert Einstein College of Medicine (1966)


  • Board Certification
    AB of Pediatrics, Pediatrics (1971)

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Committee on Women in Science and Engineering,Policy and Global Affairs Division, National Research Council2020
Chair, Steering Committee for AXXS 2002 Workshop; Committee on Women in Science and Engineering Policy and Global Affairs Division,National Research Council2020
National Academy of Medicine within the National Academies.2018
Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Williams College2018
Townsend Harris Medal of the City College of New York2018
National Reading Panel2018
Committee to Prevent Reading Difficulties in Young Children of the National Research Council2018
National Board of Directors of the Institute for Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education2018
Advisory Council of the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke (NINDS)2018
National Research Council Committee on Women in Science and Engineering2018
Rita G. Rudel/Lucy G. Moses LectureDept. of Neurology, Columbia University
National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Book Award
Margo Marek Book AwardNew York Branch, International Dyslexia Association
Institute of MedicineNational Academies of Science
Distinguished Alumnus AwardAlbert Einstein College of Medicine
Achievement Award in Women’s HealthSociety for the Advancement of Women’s Health Research
Sidney Berman Award for the Study and Treatment of Learning DisabilitiesAmerican Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Departments & Organizations