Because of the obstacles that are often associated with some of the greatest blessings in our lives, we often mistake these advantages as curses. Such is the case for those with dyslexia. As researchers have studied dyslexia, many experts have come to see the condition as a gift, rather than a disability. However, I will never forget the response of a mother with a dyslexic son in response to an article reveling in the “gift” of dyslexia. It is not hard to see how she struggled to find her son’s dyslexia to be a gift, when his difficulties with reading lowered his self-esteem, his grades, and led him to be mocked by his peers and even his teachers at times.
Because of the obstacles that poor reading skills present for dyslexic students, it is not surprising that one of the top search terms in regards to dyslexia, is “dyslexia treatments.”
So… can dyslexia be treated? Recent research by Dr. Papanicolau from the University of Texas has found that although dyslexia cannot be treated, the dyslexic brain can be rewired to improve reading through proper reading instruction. The following video highlights and summarizes his research:
The reason why dyslexics struggle with reading is because they use the dominant area of their brain to complete reading tasks – the right side. However, reading tasks are easier and more natural when students engage the left side of the brain for these tasks. Dr. Papanicolau compared this tendency to “an artist trying to paint with their toes.” The good news: according to Dr. Papanicolau, dyslexics have the right equipment to become strong readers, their brains just aren’t wired to use the right parts - but their brains can be rewired to reverse this tendency.
How? Explicit and multi-sensory instruction in foundational reading skills: phonemic awareness, phonics, blends, etc…
To learn more about multi-sensory instruction for your students, sign up for our online reading workshop today!
By helping dyslexic students learn the basics of the English language in a way that is clear and systematic and pairing instruction with multi-sensory activities – these students learn the basics while making new connections in their brain, building the brain networks needed for successful reading. This allows students to enjoy the “gifts” of dyslexia, without the obstacles of reading.
Here are some articles highlighting a few of the many strengths of dyslexic students:
Free Dyslexia Webinar:
“Dyslexia: From Symptoms to Solutions,” presented by Reading Horizons Dyslexia Specialist, Shantell Berrett.