• Dr. Weston Johnson

The Reading Brain (Part 4): Overcoming Dyslexia

Because of brain plasticity, deliberate and intense instruction can strengthen the appropriate neural pathways for reading or create bypasses around problem areas (Cunningham & Rose; Eden, 2016; Krafnick et al., 2011; Simos et al., 2002).

Simos et al. (2002) showed that after a sufficiently intensive intervention, functional brain deficits underlying dyslexia can be reversed. Other studies have shown that this brain “normalization” occurs when intervention is early, intensive, and effectively designed (Blachman et al., 2004; Simos et al., 2007). These studies propose that reading difficulties are but a variation from normal development that can be alternated by intensive intervention (Simos et al., 2002). Any students that do not respond will likely be eligible for special education services and in need of intensive, ongoing support to overcome a severe reading disability. Lastly, while it is debatable that dyslexia can be truly “cured,” the only way to overcome the deficits associated with dyslexia is to teach students how to read.

To overcome dyslexia, learning to read will require significantly more effort and support, but, nonetheless, they can learn to read.

Text from aLEARNcoach LLC (www.alearncoach.com).

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