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Dyslexia for blog version 2

The Science of Reading: How Evidence-Based Interventions, Not Just Routines, Can Rewire Dyslexic Brains

by Dr. Brenda S. Miles, Clinical Paediatric Neuropsychologist

Are you concerned about your child’s reading? Have you noticed a lack of progress, no matter what you’ve tried? As a Clinical Paediatric Neuropsychologist I’m all for reading routines. I encourage library visits and borrowing books. I encourage bedtime routines that include picture book reading, or reading chapters from longer novels with parents. I encourage children to read on their own, too—at a level they feel confident—to help build reading accuracy and speed.

Routines can help build foundational skills in reading. But guess what? For students who really struggle to sound out words, these DIY routines aren’t going to be enough.

You’ve probably heard the term “Dyslexia.” You’ve probably heard a lot of myths about Dyslexia, too. Dyslexia is not about seeing or printing words backwards. At its core, Dyslexia is difficulty sounding out words. This sounding out skill is called decoding. Yes, for every student, learning to sound out words is hard at first. But typical readers catch on relatively quickly while students with Dyslexia continue to struggle. These difficulties stem from a neurological difference that affects the way the brain processes written information. Establishing a reading routine can help to some extent, but it doesn’t necessarily target the core issue.

What if I told you that a difference in brain wiring doesn’t have to mean that reading struggles will last a lifetime? What I I told you that we could go beyond just managing dyslexia and actually change the way the dyslexic brain functions?

Science shows that change is possible with the right treatment at the right time. Scientifically-supported interventions that target the core deficit in Dyslexia exist. These interventions are not simply routines or practice. They are targeted, appropriately scaled and repetitive, and designed to alter brain circuits involved in reading. Yes, brain circuits can be changed, and reading dramatically improved, in most struggling readers.

At Possibilities, we offer evidence-based interventions for reading challenges through our Rewire 4 Reading program. As we work with students over time, we’ve seen significant improvements in reading consistent with evidence-based programming that leverages the brain’s neuroplasticity, or its ability to change with effective treatment.

Want to learn more about the science of reading?

On September 7, 2023, 7:00 pm EST I’ll be offering a free virtual talk with Dr. Doron Almagor, a Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist about Dyslexia and ADHD. Learning Disabilities like Dyslexia rarely occur alone, so it’s important to consider other comorbidities, like ADHD, too. We’ll cover myths, science, and interventions that work for ADHD and Dyslexia. We’ll talk about integrated treatments, too, since coordinated interventions are going to be most successful in supporting meaningful change.

I hope to see you at the talk!

You may register for the upcoming lecture, We Need to Talk About ADHD and Dyslexia: Myths, Science, and Interventions that Work here. Attendance is capped at 350 attendees, so please register early to avoid missing out! If you would like to learn more about our Rewire for Reading interventions for kids, teens, and adults please contact us at 1-833-482-5558 or email us at info@possibilitiesclinic.com.

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