Dyslexia, in its simplest terms, is a language processing (right brain) disorder that hinders reading, writing, spelling and math skills, and sometimes even speaking.
It is important to understand that Dyslexia is not a sign of poor intelligence or laziness, or as the result of impaired vision. Children and adults with dyslexia simply have a neurological disorder that causes their brains to process and interpret information differently.
Dyslexic patients actually have physical brain characteristic differences that cause an aberrancy in the way that pathways function. What we see is that there are different sub-types of dyslexia.
- Sometimes it’s a problem in the way the child is hearing their own voice and comprehending what they are saying, which is a phonologic processing delay.
- Other problems with dyslexia are phonetic in nature, how they say each phoneme(1), which is each part of the word.
- Research indicates that children with phonetical processing delays may have had early ear infections or inner ear fluids at a critical time in which their brain learned to process phonems, i.e. how “sh” sound sounds like sha.
- These children have phonetical delays where they can’t process the sounds of the phonems because at a critical time their brain did not assimilate neuronal connections that properly understand phonetical speech.
- Vowel sounds very commonly fall into this category, so a child may mispronounce vowel sounds.
- Other types are visual, where they are have a problem controlling their saccades(2), which can cause:
- Eyes to jump through different words, or move at a faster or slower speed than normal.
- Words appear jumbled in the way patients visually see them.
Treatment for Dyslexia
What we try to do is identify the sub-type and then rehabilitate appropriately based on the symptoms displayed. For example:
- Phonetical processing delays respond favorably to Auditory Integration Training (AIT) techniques under trade names Samonas Sound Therapy (SST).
- SST is essentially music recorded at certain frequencies and band lengths that affect the temporal relationship of the cortex where phonetical processing is processed.
- It is shown to increase the stimulation to specific lobes of the temporal cortex that would be responsible for phonetical processing.
- Samonas has a specific protocol to use, so a child would do Samonas for a prescribed period of time each day, for example, for a 12 week program.
- Interactive Metronome (IM) therapy has applications for dyslexiaas well as ADD / ADHD / Autism. IM therapy uses hand clapping to maintain a beat. IM is an audiology-based program for motor timing and sequencing.
- IM uses visual, auditory and motor cues to get the brain in time and rhythm by having the clap to a specific metronome beat.
- IM helps to train motor sequencing by increasing the ability of the motor system to sequence.
- Catching a ball, for example, would be sequencing because each side of your brain has to get your hands to the midline at the same point in time that the visual is seeing the ball arrive.
- Another example is when parents describe their children as clumsy; falling, tripping, bumping into things.
To learn more about dyslexia and available treatments, Contact Us.
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(1) Phoneme: a member of the set of the smallest units of speech that serve to distinguish one utterance from another. In the English language the “b” of bat and the “f” of fat are two different phonemes.
(2) Saccade: a small rapid jerky movement of the eye especially as it jumps from fixation on one point to another (as in reading).
(3) Somatosensory: sensory activity having its origin elsewhere than in the special sense organs (as eyes and ears) and conveying information about the state of the body proper and its immediate environment.
(4) Idiot savant: a person affected with a mental disability (as autism or mental retardation) who exhibits exceptional skill or brilliance in some limited field (as mathematics or music) — also called savant