A concerned mom writes: “My son has just been diagnosed with dyslexia. It runs in our family – my husband has the same, and so did his father. Because my husband has experienced first-hand the anxiety, low self-esteem and academic mayhem this reading disorder can cause, we want the best help for our son. How can Edublox assist?”
There is no doubt that some causes of dyslexia have a genetic origin. Studies confirm that about half of kids with dyslexia also have parents with dyslexia. Fortunately, winning the game of life has less to do with the cards you were dealt at birth, and more to do with how you play the game. Genetic constraints can be minimized by developing specific brain regions and by appropriate education.
Let’s take a look at the latest research on dyslexia, to see what we can learn. Cognitive psychology has now linked many brain-based skills to dyslexia: verbal fluency; attention and executive functions; phonological and phonemic awareness; visuo-spatial abilities; processing speed and rapid naming; short-term memory; visual short-term memory and visual long-term memory for details; and auditory working memory. These cognitive functions can be developed and improved with practice.
Research also shows that a network of brain regions are involved in learning to read, one specifically in sounding out words, and another in seeing words as pictures. The picture area is the visual word form area or visual dictionary, and allows for fast and efficient word recognition.
Considering that teaching reading is ultimately an educational matter, we should not overlook that there are certain learning principles involved. It’s not just the WHAT of teaching that matters, it’s also the HOW.
So, the best way to deal with dyslexia is to develop and practice the cognitive skills that are linked to this learning deficit, to teach reading in a way that includes both the sounding out and picture brain areas, while simultaneously adhering to fundamental learning principles. And that, in a nutshell, is what Edublox is about: we develop cognitive skills, address both brain areas with our reading method, while following specific learning principles.
A case study that might resonate to you is that of Le Roux, who was diagnosed with ADHD in preschool and with dyslexia in second grade. Like you, his parents had tried many avenues to assist him, but nothing seemed to work. When he started at Edublox in the beginning of fifth grade he could barely read third grade material, and was failing subjects including math. By the end of his Edublox journey his reading was on par, and he scored 87% for math, up from the low 40’s.
Dear Mom, you are right not to give up on Sam. We need to always remember that a few wrong turns won’t dictate a child’s life. Good luck to you and Sam!