Sally E. Shaywitz, M.D.

Sally E. Shaywitz, M.D. is The Audrey G. Ratner Professor in Learning Development at Yale University and Co-Director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity. A physician-scientist (Developmental Pediatrician), Dr. Shaywitz’ studies provide the basic framework and details for the 21st century scientific understanding of dyslexia. Her ongoing longitudinal epidemiological studies continue to track a population-based cohort from kindergarten entry to mature adulthood and have provided contemporary knowledge of the prevalence, gender composition, universality and precursors, persistence and long-term outcome of dyslexia. Dyslexia is highly prevalent, affecting 17.5% - 21% of the population and represents over 80% of all learning disabilities.

Her more recent studies have provided the long-sought empiric evidence for the unexpected nature of dyslexia. Dr. Shaywitz is currently studying reading and dyslexia in a disadvantaged population attending a charter school system and in disadvantaged students attending a public charter school specialized for dyslexia. Her most recent paper is published in the November, 2015 issue of Journal of Pediatrics: “Achievement Gap in Reading is Present as Early as First Grade and Persists Through Adolescence.” Studies in progress include both the economic and personal impact of dyslexia on adults and the development of vocabulary in children and adults. She is finalizing a new instrument, the Dyslexia Screening Measure (DSM) for use by teachers to screen kindergarteners and first graders for dyslexia.

Dr. Shaywitz is the author of over 250 scientific articles and chapters, as well as her award-winning, “Overcoming Dyslexia” (Alfred Knopf, 2003) which details fundamental scientific findings on dyslexia and how to translate this scientific knowledge into policy and clinical practice. Overcoming Dyslexia has received critical acclaim and has been the top selling book on dyslexia since its publication.

An elected member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Shaywitz is annually selected as one of the Best Doctors in America and America’s Top Doctors. Her awards include, among others, an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Williams College; the Townsend Harris Medal of the City College of New York; the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the Achievement Award in Women’s Health from the Society for the Advancement of Women’s Health Research, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s Sidney Berman Award.

Dr. Shaywitz 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 Bush, President Obama) on the National Board of the Institute for Education Sciences of the US Department of Education. Most recently she testified in Congress on “The Science of Dyslexia” before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, September 2014; presented a Congressional briefing sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) September 2015 and to US Senate field hearings on October 13, 2015. She also co-chaired the National Research Council Committee on Gender Differences in the Careers of Science, Engineering and Mathematics Faculty; served on the WISC V advisory panel; is a Trustee of the Park Century School and serves on the Advisory Board of the Korchak Center of USC, the Laurel School and the Westmark School. She has also served on the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NINDS), the National Research Council Committee on Women in Science and Engineering and as Chair, Steering Committee for AXXS Workshop; Committee on Women in Science and Engineering Policy and Global Affairs Division, National Research Council; and the Scientific Advisory Board of the March of Dimes.