Brain Training and Other “Cures” for Dyslexia

Controversial treatments for dyslexia are referenced here to help readers make an informed decision.

Dyslexia is a brain-based, neurobiological problem processing language – particularly written language, and cannot be “cured.”  However, the effects of dyslexia can be ameliorated with the appropriate intervention based on explicitly and systematically teaching the structure of language.  English is a language with a deep orthography due to its morpho-phonemic nature in which meaning is preserved through spelling and therefore does not have a one-to-one relationship between grapheme (letter(s)) and phoneme (sound(s)).  Spanish is a language considered to have a shallow orthography because of the more transparent, 1:1 relationship between grapheme and phoneme.

What is meant by teaching the structure of language?

  • Phonemic awareness:  the ability to perceive, identify, and manipulate the individual phonemes (speech sounds) in spoken words and is a required pre-reading skill
  • Orthography (the rules for how to write in a specific language, includes spelling, capitalization, punctuation, etc.) and
    • Morphology – the structure and sequencing of meaning (prefixes, bases, suffixes)
    • Etymology:  the history of words and how sense and meaning has evolved over time
    • Phonology:  units of speech that construct meaning (speech sounds)

 

When Educational Promises Are Too Good to Be True

When a child struggles to read, parents and educators want to do everything possible to help that child keep up with his or her peers and be successful in school. But as much as we want that to happen overnight, that is not how it usually works. It can take years of hard work, even with the best teachers and instruction. Unfortunately, some organizations or individuals may take advantage of parents when they are most vulnerable by making exaggerated claims or false guarantees based on “pseudo science.” This fact sheet provides guidance in learning to critically evaluate programs, avoid scams, and move forward toward providing instruction that will truly help the children who need it.>>>Read more<<<

 Pediatric Neuropsychology: A Guide for Parents

 

Brain Balancing

 

Brain Training

 

Vision

The American Academy of Pediatrics: Section on Ophthalmology and Council on Children with Disabilities, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, and American Association of Certified Orthoptists published a Joint Policy Statement in August, 2009:

Learning disabilities, including reading disabilities, are commonly diagnosed in children. Their etiologies are multifactorial, reflecting genetic influences and dysfunction of brain systems. Learning disabilities are complex problems that require complex solutions. Early recognition and referral to qualified educational professionals for evidence-based evaluations and treatments seem necessary to achieve the best possible outcome. Most experts believe that dyslexia is a language-based disorder. Vision problems can interfere with the process of learning; however, vision problems are not the cause of primary dyslexia or learning disabilities. Scientific evidence does not support the efficacy of eye exercises, behavioral vision therapy, or special tinted filters or lenses for improving the long-term educational performance in these complex pediatric neurocognitive conditions. Diagnostic and treatment approaches that lack scientific evidence of efficacy, including eye exercises, behavioral vision therapy, or special tinted filters or lenses, are not endorsed and should not be recommended.