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DYSLEXIA BREAKTHROUGH: Encoding of Sound May Be the Key

Researchers associated with Northwestern University have identified “biological” processes associated with the known reading disconnect experienced by students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia.  These same researchers attribute this disconnect to the way in which dyslexic brains “encode” information.

For years, primary theories regarding dyslexia have focused mostly on “decoding” of information.  The differences between encoding and decoding can be likened (in a very basic analogy) to similar computer functions.  “Encoding” involves the rearranging of information into another form or code that makes it useful in a different way or can be accessed later–therefore in very basic terms, it’s the creation of a coded file.  “Decoding” involves taking a file apart and restoring individual components to their original or basic state so it can be better understood.

This is especially exciting when you consider the researcher’s findings about sounds, brain waves, and word connections.  They found that turning sound (even “virtual hearing” when the brain attempts to read) into word connections (encoding) becomes problematic when dyslexic brains form brain waves related to trying to read.

Science and education have previously focused more on the process of taking words apart to create basic sounds (decoding) as an intervention.  Understanding the decoding process is still very, very important.  However, this new breakthrough study reveals that a better understanding of the encoding  process may be the virtual key to better understanding the dyslexic brain.   To read the full article or to learn more about the great work taking place at Northwestern click here:  http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/20/researchers-find-a-biological-marker-for-dyslexia-in-kids/

One comment on “DYSLEXIA BREAKTHROUGH: Encoding of Sound May Be the Key

  1. Chester, Not much was available 20+ years ago when Andrew was diagnosed with dyslexia in the first grade. We did much of the testing and remediation on our own. We found a private tutor who used the multi-sensory Slingerland method to teach Andrew for 2-3 years. The Slingerland method was used frequently in the West, but not readily available in TN.Have you heard much about infant/toddler development? We heard from many parents whose children, like Andrew, skipped crawling or were late walkers. Seems that the cross-lateral sequencing step developed during crawling allows/promotes the communication between both brain hemispheres. This step is essential to encoding/decoding of language especially reading.This topic is so fascinating. I taught 5th grade for 10 years at North Middle. I took this year off for some R & R and to complete some projects, and now I’m just not sure about going back. Students who had reached 5th grade with their reading problems unaddressed or unsolved, showed little hope for improvement. I’m so glad more research is being conducted. Keep up the good work and good luck in your doctorate studies. I’m unsure of my next professional move. I don’t want to return to a full time-classroom. I’m looking at some more possibilities in education, though.Tell Joy “hello” and keep writing about your family on FB! Ha!


    Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2013 18:48:01 +0000 To: howsew@live.com

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