COVID-19   Law    Advocacy    Topics A-Z     Training    Wrights' Blog   Wrightslaw Store    Yellow Pages for Kids 

 Home > Topics > Diana Hanbury King

The Special Ed Advocate newsletter
It's Unique ... and Free!

Enter your email address below:

Training Programs

June 5-8 - San Antonio, TX

Aug. 22 - TRT-CLE

Sept. 24 - MD via ZOOM

Full Schedule


Topics from A-Z
Free Newsletter
Seminars & Training
Yellow Pages for Kids
Press Room

Books & Training

Wrightslaw Storesecure store lock
  Advocate's Store
  Student Bookstore
  Exam Copies
Training Center
Mail & Fax Orders

Advocacy Library

Cool Tools
Doing Your Homework
Ask the Advocate
Newsletter Archives
Short Course Series
Success Stories

Law Library

Fed Court Complaints
IDEA 2004
McKinney-Vento Homeless
Section 504


American Indian
Assistive Technology
Autism Spectrum
Behavior & Discipline
College/Continuing Ed
Due Process
Early Intervention
  (Part C)

Episodic, such as
   Allergies, Asthma,
   Diabetes, Epilepsy, etc

Future Planning
High-Stakes Tests
Homeless Children
IDEA 2004
Identification & Child Find
Juvenile Justice
Law School & Clinics
Letters & Paper Trails
LRE / Inclusion
Military / DOD
Parental Protections
PE and Adapted PE
Privacy & Records
Procedural Safeguards
Progress Monitoring
Related Services
Research Based

Response to Intervention

Restraints / Seclusion
   and Abuse

School Report Cards
Section 504
Teachers & Principals
Twice Exceptional (2e)
VA Special Education

Resources & Directories

Advocate's Bookstore
Advocacy Resources
  Disability Groups
  State DOEs
  State PTIs
Free Flyers
Free Pubs
Free Newsletters
Legal & Advocacy
   Legal Terms
   Assessment Terms
Best School Websites


Print this page

Diana Hanbury King, Educational Pioneer
The "Einstein of Education"

September 2, 1927 - June 15, 2018

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.

videoWatch 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.

videoDyslexia: The most important trait is...

Listen as Diana describes the importance of innate and instinctive personal charm, and of thinking outside the box.

Diana Hanbury King was a master teacher with over half a century of experience.

In late 2015, 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

Keyboarding Skills

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

videoTribute 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.

Created: 08/25/17
Revised: 07/02/18

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon The Special Ed Advocate: It's Free!

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 3rd Edition by Pete and Pam Wright
About the Book

To Order

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
About the Book

To Order

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

To Order

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
About the DVD Video

To Order


Copyright © 1998-2024, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved.

Contact Us | Press Mission l Our Awards l Privacy Policy l Disclaimer l Site Map

Print Book & PDF Combos!

Order Wrightslaw Product
s Today!

Check Out
The Advocate's Store!

Wrightslaw on FacebookWrightslaw on TwitterWrightslaw YouTube Channel 

Wrightslaw Books
Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 3rd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

Wrightslaw: Special Education Legal Developments and Cases 2019
About the Book

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
About the DVD Video

The Advocate's Store

Understanding Your Child's
Test Scores (1.5 hrs)

Wrightslaw Special: $14.95