Working Miracles and Transforming Lives
Diana Hanbury King was one of the most influential Orton-Gillingham practitioners in history. In the course of her 54 years as a teacher, she transformed the lives of countless young people with dyslexia, and even received training under Anna Gillingham.
Her vision created cutting edge education for students with dyslexia, and she developed a program for training teachers at Kildonan that has become a model program. - The International Dyslexia Association
Diana was born in London. She was a lover of language (knew in some degree Italian, German, French, Spanish, and Russian, and taught Latin), who fell in love with teaching as well. On a trip to South Africa, she met an uncle with dyslexia.
When few people knew or understood what dyslexia was, she started a camp for children with learning difficulties in Pennsylvania.
She worked children with dyslexia almost longer than anyone else in the field. She tutored students one-on-one since the early 1950's and trained hundreds of teachers.
She was the founder of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, (AOGPE) which certifies Practitioners and Educators who use the Orton-Gillingham Approach.
“When a child is not learning, the teacher is not teaching.”
In Memory of Diana King
The Legendary Diana Hanbury King - International Dyslexia Association
Diana King, a Leading Teacher in Overcoming Dyslexia, Dies at 90 (The New York Times - 06/22/18)
Life well lived: Diana King, who changed the perception of dyslexia (Today Show Special - 07/01/18)
One By One: The Teachings of Diana King
The daily Orton Gillingham tutoring is the most effective way of enabling students to gain the skills they need in order to reach their potential. The results of these one-to-one tutorials are often nothing short of miraculous.
—Diana Hanbury King, Founder of The Kildonan School
In 2014, Emmy Award winning filmmaker Harvey Hubell V’s produced and directed the documentary, “One By One: The Teachings of Diana King" chronicling Diana and her groundbreaking work.
Watch the trailer - as "Diana shares a lifetime of knowledge as she effortlessly instructs 3 students, ages 5-15, at her charming country home in Connecticut, highlighting the importance of early intervention, motor memory and teacher engagement."
In the film, Harvey showcases Diana’s personality, wisdom and approach to teaching as she shares and demonstrates concrete tools, techniques and best practices for early intervention and working with students– particularly those with dyslexia and learning differences.
The film is a cutting-edge tour de force in the world of learning differences, presenting content never before captured or presented on film and designed to be accessible and especially relevant to individuals, families, and professionals in the field.
Diana was the featured speaker at Reading in the Rockies 2017 in October 2017, sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. During this event, attendees viewed the film One By One: The Teachings of Diana King.
In 2013, Diana visited Pete and Pam Wright at their home in Deltaville, VA and spoke about the traits of dyslexia that make the dyslexic adult so successful. She is considered to be one of the top "Guru's" in the field of dyslexia.
Diana Hanbury King was a master teacher with over half a century of experience.
In late 2016, Diana was nominated for a "Teacher of the Year" award from the National Teachers Hall of Fame (NTHF). Pete Wright, in his capacity as a former "Student" was asked to write a one page letter in support of the nomination. Instead of awarding her a "Teacher of the Year" award, she was awarded their Lifetime Achievement Award, only the second one in their 25 year history!
They asked Pete Wright to present the Award. Why? Because in the early 1950's, for two years, every day, after school, an hour a day, using the Orton-Gillingham Approach, she taught Pete how to read!
At the NTHF ceremony, the attendees began calling her the Einstein of Education!
Started Camp Dunnabeck in Farmingham, PA, a camp for children with learning difficulties. Diana ran Camp Dunnabeck for 28 summers. The Camp continues today at Kildonan School.
Opened a school, beginning with seven students, in Buck’s County, PA.
Relocated the school to Amenia, NY. Diana named the new school Kildonan, after her uncle's farm in South Africa. The Kildonan School is exclusively for students with dyslexia and language-based learning disabilities.
International Dyslexia Association’s New York Branch Annual Award.
Samuel T. Orton Award, the highest award of the International Dyslexia Association, in recognition of her gifted teaching that has enhanced beyond measure the quality of life for a myriad of dyslexic students and their families.
Founding Fellow of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.
Recognized as an IDA Pioneer for the enormous contributions to the understanding and treatment of dyslexia world–wide, impacting the fields of education, speech and language and medicine.
Margaret Byrd Lawson Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her compassion, leadership, commitment to excellence, advocacy for people with dyslexia, and work nationally recognized as furthering the mission of IDA.
Retired from teaching at age 85.
Lifetime Achievement Award from The National Teachers Hall of Fame. (Only the second time in 25 years that the NTHF presented this award.)
Books by Diana Hanbury King
A Guide for Helping Your Child at Home; Developing Foundational Skills in Reading and Writing
Writing Skills I
Writing Skills II
Writing Skills III
Writing Skills for the Adolescent
English Isn’t Crazy: The Elements of Our Language and How to Teach Them
One By One: Working With Dyslexia
Cursive Writing Skills
In 2017, We Celebrated a Milestone
Happy 90th Birthday, Diana! Diana Hanbury King, a Founding Fellow of the Academy, turned 90 on September 2, 2017!
Wrightslaw invited you to help celebrate by sending Diana a birthday or thank you card. Emailed birthday wishes, or thank you notes were sent to the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators and hand delivered to Diana on her birthday.
So many of you let Diana know what her life's work meant to you, included a funny story, a training tale, or simply wished her a Happy Birthday.
Thanks for participating in this birthday surprise.
Read More about Diana King
Three Generations of Dyslexia at the U.S. Supreme Court
Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators
Tribute to IDA Pioneers: Diana Hanbury King
IDA - Moving Forward While Looking Back - IDA’s Pioneers recognized at 62nd Annual Conference.
Diana Hanbury King receives Lifetime Achievement Award from National Teachers Hall of Fame
Diana King Retires from Teaching
The Kildonan School
On May 12, 2012, Kildonan held a Founder's Day presentation and Pete talked about Diana's life and her impact on him.