What can neuroscience tell us about dyslexia and other language-processing difficulties? How do differences in the brain’s wiring help explain the best approach to helping struggling readers, writers, and spellers? This article answers those questions and more.
Brain Wiring in Children with Language Processing Differences
Nearly 30% of children have differences in brain wiring associated with language-based learning disabilities. For example, studies show that, compared to average readers, children with dyslexia tend to have more activity on the right side of the brain when they are reading. This can mean inefficient, slower processing, and inefficient and slower reading and writing.*
Structured Literacy and Mind’s Eye
The methods used to treat dyslexia and specific language impairment are different so in the first session we use language processing assessments to identify the underlying problems and patterns. Once we understand the cause(s) of your child’s learning difficulties we customize treatment to meet their learning needs. Our clinical educators can also give recommendations for the accommodations and assistive technologies that are most appropriate for your child.
There are many published curricula that are based, to varying degrees, on structured literacy models, but a curriculum or “program” is of limited use without a practitioner who has the knowledge and skill to adjust it to the needs of individual children. Although schools are well-intentioned, they often invest more in boxed “programs” than on the professional development that has been shown to be essential for effective implementation. For that reason–and many others–we strongly recommend parents seek individualized, professional assistance from qualified practitioners, rather than “waiting and hoping” for a solution from schools.
If your child is a struggling reader, speller, or writer consider working with one of our literacy experts to get your child where he/she should be in just a few months. See this video for more information.
* Note: approximately 5% of the population experiences delays with reading caused by significant development delays caused by more global intellectual functioning delays, not dyslexia or language-based learning disabilities.
Sandie Barrie Blackley, MA/CCC and Lexercise Chief Knowledge Officer, also contributed to this article. Learn more about Sandie’s background here.
In 2004, Jennifer joined Teach for America as a special educator where she taught kindergarten through fifth grade. Her passion for reading instruction led her to be trained in a program based on the Orton-Gillingham method. After achieving significant results with her students, she began conducting trainings to help strengthen other teachers’ reading instruction. “My motivation as a teacher is to share my love of learning, and my gift has been working with struggling readers. There is no better feeling than to help someone become a strong reader and independent learner.” Jennifer earned a B.A. in Global studies University of California Santa Barbara and M.S. in Special Education from Lehman College.