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Founder, Improve-Education.org

Putting the order back in things

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All phonics experts say that learning phonics helps erase dyslexia.

Also, an article in the paper today about cursive handwriting reminds me that most phonics experts think that cursive is important for learning to read. Conversely, if a person with so-called dyslexia is encouraged to learn cursive writing, they will work their way out of this dyslexia. In both cases, you have what I think the experts call patterning, the best kind of patterning. Cursive forces you to see the letters one by one, to move from left to right, to realize there is a baseline.

Education Student

I do not know a whole lot

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I do not know a whole lot about dyslexia, but I am learning and this article gave me more knowledge and I though it was very insightful. I did not know how creative people with dyslexia are and it made me think about how great it is. Along with all people who have any disabilities, if they have trouble in one area, they usually excel in a different area. I think it is great that people with dyslexia can look at people such as Albert Einstein and know that they overcame it and so can they. I also really liked your portion on using models to help the students. I think that this is very important for any child with a disability because it helps their memory and helps them to be more successful when using these mnemonic devices.

I really enjoyed this article and I hope to continue to learn more about dyslexia. I am going to be an intervention specialist, therefore, I am learning as much as I can while still in college.

Do you know of any other ways to help train the brain with its synthesizing other than "Talk to Write?'

Founder, Improve-Education.org

Sight-words are a blight on education.

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Phonics experts agree that most dyslexia is caused by sight-words. The best policy is to eliminate sight-words entirely from public schools.

Dyslexia is neurological; it is not rare

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Mr. Price, what causes dyslexia is a scientifically proved neurological condition (see "Overcoming Dyslexia," by Dr. Sally Shaywitz of Yale University). It is not the result of "sight words" or anything other than a brain difference. It is not a rare condition. Please visit my comments re: this article posted last fall...
"Students with dyslexia account for 15-20% of our classroom population, so it is imperative that teachers understand what it is and how to ensure that their teaching is effective. There is excellent information online at the International Dyslexia Association, www.interdys.org (see “Just the Facts”) and Reading Rockets, www.readingrockets.org (see “All Dyslexia Articles” and “Findings of the National Reading Panel”)." Understanding dyslexia is vitally important to the future of 1/5 of your classroom population.

Founder, Improve-Education.org

How do you know?

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All the phonics people say that dyslexia is very rare, and most cases are caused by sight-words.

So I wonder, when I see such a discussion, how does anyone know for sure whether a so-called dyslexic child was taught some sight-words at the age of five, and became a whole word learner, and then a dyslexic? The child won't remember. The parents may not know.

Kindergarten teacher

This is a great article. I

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This is a great article. I was just discussing brain research and memory recall with a colleague yesterday and she challenged my readings with the topic of dyslexia and how it changes the minds ability to recall. I am excited to share this with her and discuss it soon. I have little personal experience with this "condition" and I believe it's often overlooked at young ages. Catching it and understanding it early, we can offer assistance and strategies to turn this into an asset instead of a hindrance. This can prevent a lot of frustration for students.

Solving THE PROBLEM

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why is it the majority of these posts ask for a fix, a diagnoses, a solution to a problem. Dyslexia is not a problem for you (as educators) to solve, it is a gift to be explored. We have lost the plot with this idea that School is about an outcome, about college acceptance. It is about a process, a development of learning AND FAILING in a safe, structured environment. If we would just give up the notion that success is determined by a prescribed outcome and looked more for the exception, the growth, the opportunity to try and fail and then try something else. I believe we might actually change the world and not just hand out a new piece of technology and pretend we are adapting to the 21st century.

Neuroplasticity and

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Neuroplasticity and accommodation are almost synonymous. NP refers to creating new pathways to make up for old ones that are not functional. It does not mean fixing the dysfunctional ones. One type of this accommodation can be seen in those who have lost speech due to damage of Broca's area. The accommodation is to take advantage of the right hemisphere area homologous to Broca. The person is taught to speak by chanting and to develop speech using the right hemisphere. An accommodation using NP.

Roughly 85% of dyslexics have a problem in the left angular gyrus, the brain area responsible for phonetic decoding. NP might be used to train different areas to decode, unfortunately treatment seems to focus on fixing the broken system rather than NP training. NP would be one type of accommodation and another would be to avoid phonetic decoding all together.

Dyslexia (and other labels) are a symptom, not a cause

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As someone who has worked as a neurodevelopmentalist, and having seen many children with labels get rid of those labels over time, I find it extremely frustrating that the general approach in the educational world is accommodation and differentiated learning for struggling learners, as opposed to finding solutions to the underlying causes.

Neuroplasticity is a well-established aspect of the human brain, and we CAN change the brain to resolve dyslexia and a host of other learning disabilities. In the case of some people with dyslexia, there is sometimes an underlying vision issue (not acuity, but things like tracking), which can also be resolved.

So, why don't we look for and apply solutions, instead of band aids?

co-founder I am Bullyproof Music

My two cents

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Our oldest boy taught himself to read by the age of five. He was a GATE kid, went to Berkeley and wizzed through all that. He's the obvious kind of bright.

Our youngest boy is very dyslexic. It took him until the age of twelve to actually read at all. But he's bright too. He wasn't about to let his brother take all the honors, God bless him--he went to college, got great grades, and is now, out of our two boys, the one with his act the most together. I'm guessing because he had more to deal with at a younger age, he grew muscles!

Lesson learned here; Never EVER underestimate a quirky kid with challenges :-)

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