October is Dyslexia Awareness Month!
Dyslexia is the most common of learning disabilities, 1 in 5, yet the most misunderstood and most under-served.
Dyslexia varies in degree of severity. It is NOT a result of lack of intelligence or motivation, in fact most children who are struggling due to dyslexia have average or above average intelligence. It is often hereditary and is a life long status.
The most obvious sign of dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty in learning to read. Research tells us that the dyslexic brain inefficiently analyzes and processes letter sounds called phonemes. Dyslexics have trouble blending these phonemes into words. This is turn causes trouble with fluency and comprehension. Children with dyslexia may also have other difficulties related to language like trouble understanding rapid speech, following complex instructions and remembering things. Students with dyslexia may also have a hard time with spelling, writing, mathematics, and speaking.
Many children with dyslexia have multiple diagnoses such as auditory processing disorder, vision processing and tracking disorder, executive functioning disorder and ADD/ADHD. These additional struggles can make it even more difficult for them to learn to read.
Although none of these learning disabilities can be "cured" early intervention and remediation with a multi-sensory approach to reading is key in managing their difficulties and helping each child to reach his or her full potential.
Much research has been done to understand dyslexics and the struggles they have. One of the most significant studies uses a Functioning Magnetic Resonance Image. (FMRI) This FMRI takes pictures of the brain while the patient is looking at or listening to words and stories, or reading it themselves. The pictures show us that the dyslexic brain uses a less efficient area of the brain to process language and that less areas are "Lit Up". BUT, when they take these same pictures after a child has received remediation with a multi-sensory approach like Orton-Gillingham, researchers found more areas of the brain 'Lite Up" and areas that are meant for language processing are now being used.
This is the scientific proof we need to show that OG works and that scientific proof is what we need when we are trying to get help for our children with dyslexia. We cannot waste time trying things that do not work when we know what definitively does!