The Word Gobblers

A Handbook for Parents Working With Children Struggling to Read

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The Word Gobblers
Square One Publishers


7.5 X 9.0 in
96 pg

EDUCATION / Special Education / Learning Disabilities

$15.95 Paperback (Trade paperback (US))
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By:  Catherine Matthias
Joan Gilbert (Illustrated by)


Millions of children and adults around the world cope with reading, writing, or depth perception problems, such as dyslexia. For one in every six, this problem is a result of a condition called Irlen Syndrome--the inability of the brain to process certain light waves or colors. Symptoms can include headaches and stomachaches when reading, sensitivity to light, poor sports performance, inability to focus, clumsiness, and low self-esteem.

The Word Gobblers is a handbook for parents who witness their child struggling to read and write. The book begins by explaining what the signs of Irlen Syndrome are. It then provides a questionnaire designed to alert you to what behaviors to watch for in your child. This is followed by exercises to help you determine if you should take the next step--having your child evaluated by a Certified Iren Syndrome Screener. The Word Gobblers will also show you a few modifications you can make immediately to ease your child’s symptoms and discomfort.

Children who are poor readers or poor in sports are often teased, resulting in feelings of shame and low self-worth. The Word Gobblers offers a medically-based reason why children—and even adults—struggle to read. It shows them that they are not at fault, and their difficulties can be lessened or overcome. By identifying and relieving the symptoms of the problem, children can begin to enjoy and succeed at reading and math and sports, and all other endeavors that were once difficult due to Irlen Syndrome.



"A helpful volume for parents, caregivers, and teachers of children who struggle with reading."Library Journal

"[The Word Gobblers] is about Irlen syndrome, a cause of reading difficulties . . .  It is caused by the brain having difficulty processing specific wavelengths of light. What is amazing is that the problem can often be solved by placing a specific colored filter over the material to be read. If the proper color is placed over the text, the problem goes away, and the person can read. The specific filter varies from person to person . . . this book is an explanation of the syndrome, the prevalence, how to test for it and how to determine which filter the person should use. Unlike so many other problems that arise with learning difficulties, the solution to Irlen syndrome is inexpensive and can be tested for by someone with minimal training. Therefore, all people in elementary schools that deal with learning difficulties should read this book."Charles Ashbacher, top reviewer

"Informative and valuable, this is a book that will benefit all parents whose children are encountering reading problems. Recommended!"Grady Harp, top book reviewer

Author Biography

Catherine Matthias is a Certified Irlen Syndrome Screener. She is also the published author of six early reader picture books, four fiction, and two nonfiction. Her love of children’s books began when she worked in a preschool during her mid-twenties. The Word Gobblers is a natural extension of her Irlen Screening work, her picture book writing, and her desire to see all children enjoy reading. Catherine lives with her husband, Stewart Jones, in rural Joseph, Oregon.


Joan Gilbert is a renowned and accomplished illustrator.