Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dyslexia Info

Today's class discussion and lecture, which featured information about how the brain processes language, sparked many questions about reading and language difficulties, particularly dyslexia.

For those interested in additional information about dyslexia research, the APA website has a number of links to information about the disorder.

For example, this article by Beth Azar describes two areas of difficulty that seem to accompany dyslexia: deficits in phoneme awareness (an inability to distinguish between different basic sounds in language) and slowed processing speed, which may be a more general problem for some (i.e. not limited to just language tasks).

Interestingly, researchers have developed ways for children to overcome some of these processing difficulties using video games. The games systematically train children to distinguish between similar sounding phonemes (e.g. "ba" and "pa"), a task essential for learning reading and writing. This may offer an alternative to costly and time-consuming speech therapy that was previously the popular treatment choice. fMRI scans have revealed changes in brain function following these video treatments.

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) may also be a good source of information for those with further questions.

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