Talk about perfect timing! One of my coworkers emailed me an article today I found really encouraging and I think you will too. It’s a post from the “Motherlode” blog on the New York Times titled, “Reading Experience May Change the Brains of Dyslexic Students.”
The Encouraging News
What I found so encouraging was that recent research suggests that some of the differences seen in the brains of those with dyslexia compared to the brains of normal readers can be changed by “the right experience.” According to leading researchers, “the right experience” is “intensive orthographic and phonological tutoring” and “more reading time.”
That is exactly what we teach at RLAC and provide with our tutoring services. We are building better brains…literally!
This research is encouraging on another level too, especially for parents and teachers of students with dyslexia. Research done by Guinevere Eden, director of the Center for the Study of Learning at Georgetown University and leading researcher in the field of reading, indicates that the differences observed in the brains of those with dyslexia may be the result of less reading experience; they are not necessarily determined by genetics. For example, visual deficits are often observed in the brain of those with dyslexia. These deficits may not be genetic; people with dyslexia often read less because it is a struggle and therefore their brains don’t have as much experience to strengthen and develop visual skills as normal readers.
Once again, “the right experience” could help the brains of dyslexics look and function more like normal readers.
What changes and improvements have you noticed in your students or children with dyslexia once they started getting “the right experience”?
What are the challenges of trying to increase the time spent reading in students or children with dyslexia? How did you work through them?
The post ends by stating, “Experience makes a big difference, for ill or for good.” To me, this means we need to work on identifying and supporting our struggling readers, especially those with dyslexia, as early as possible. If “the right experience” can change the brains of our students with dyslexia, then we owe it to them to start right away.
Did you find yesterday’s Questions and Answers post helpful?
What question would you like answered next?
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