Among professionals who work with dyslexic students, there have long been recommendations to mind map ideas. In recent basic neuroscience research, there's been a growing understanding why. Neuroscientists have long studied how knowledge seems to work in the brain...
This webinar was rescheduled from a planned presentation at Cambridge University. Although dyslexia has traditionally been defined in negative and narrow terms, these definitions are poorly matched to the breadth of research on dyslexic children and adults. Here the Eides present their case that dyslexia should not be defined solely as a defect or deficiency, but rather as a cognitive specialization – that prioritizes episodic cognition.
“When we act on sensory inputs we call it ‘attention,’ but there’s a similar mechanism that can act on the thoughts we hold in mind.” — Timothy Buschman, Princeton University For the past 70 years, psychologists, researchers, teachers have focused intently on the implications of attention to learning, but working memory, a type of short-term memory that seems equally important — if not more significant — to general cognitive processes has received far less consideration. There are several implications for most dyslexic individuals because what many may attribute to attention or attention deficit may actually be due to activities involving working memory. IS IT INATTENTION OR WORKING MEMORY OVERLOAD? A student is struggling in math class. He is watching the teacher write on the board […]
Sequential memory is a challenge for many dyslexic people – and you may be surprised how many very accomplished dyslexics have trouble with it. SEQUENCING DIFFICULTIES PRESENT MANY WAYS Parents and students may first notice difficulties memorizing sequences when they get asked to recite the alphabet or numbers up to 10. Trouble appears learning the days of the week or months of the year (harder) but some are able to compensate with music or associated mnemonics. “You mean you don’t have to sing the ABC song in order to remember which letter is in front of the other? ” – Business Executive Sequencing errors contribute to problems in reading, spelling, writing, and math, but also specific subjects like history or literature. Students with sequencing […]
Many students and adults attribute difficulties in math to memory problems, but probing these difficulties further often leads to the realization that it’s not a simple matter of remembering or forgetting, but rather trouble defining, organizing, then retrieving what has been learned. PROBLEMS DEFINING AND UNDERSTANDING ‘WHY’ First of all, if a student is struggling with remembering new information, it’s best to check and see if the definitions, procedures, and the why of procedures are clear. In fact, it may be a flipside of a strength in long-term memory that contributes to dyslexic students’ confusion with ambiguous terms. A good example of this James Tanton’s blog post: When fractions are introduced as pieces of pie, 3/5 + 1/5 makes sense to equal 4/5, but what […]
For many of us, hearing about a new technology, app, or software can result in mixed feelings. We may have hope about better organizing and simplifying our lives, but also have reasonable worry about a difficult learning curve, a complicated interface, or any number of problems that can prevent us from reaping the benefits of whatever thing we are hoping might help. Enter – the simple list. If you have a weak short term or working memory, but great long-term memory and you don’t like reading lots of extra text, then lists may be the perfect productivity tool for you. Putting something down on a list can offload your working memory, but also have the benefits of reinforcing the big picture, while never losing sight […]
Getting Started: Dyslexic Cognition – Procrastination, Daydreaming, Working Memory Overload [Premium]
“What is the best way to start working if you’re dyslexic? It’s not always what you think. For parents supervising homework, the “starting to work” process for their students can look maddening. You may clear away distractions, put them at an empty dining table, make sure they have everything they need – then peek in an hour or even two later…and nothing has happened. They may be looking up at the ceiling, twiddling a pencil, or surfing on the internet. Is there a better way? Or maybe this is you as an adult. You know you have to do something, but you can’t seem to get started. Is it procrastination or something else? Without completely getting into the weeds of how the brain works, I […]
“When I was eight years old, a school psychologist gave me a bit of advice about my brain. He said I may have a form of brain damage, and he wanted to send me to a special class. I was a classic dyslexic: I wasn’t born with a good memory, and I couldn’t concentrate; reading and writing were always a challenge for me. Throughout my school career, I learned by having my mother and friends read the syllabus to me; I forced myself to memorize it and what I didn’t get, which was most of it, I just didn’t get. I had no future because I just couldn’t grasp what was being taught to me. In twelve years of school, I couldn’t read a book […]
Many dyslexic students are natural storytellers and may even have a passion for history and analyzing various aspects of society and social change. As a subject Social Studies can be difficult for dyslexic students, so the question is how to build on strengths, but bypass challenges due to extensive reading and writing demands, and rote memorization. Dyslexic Strengths in Social Studies: Strengths in Social Studies may reflect all 4 of the dyslexic MIND strengths: spatial strengths in geography or movement of people, Interconnected reasoning strengths may allow students to see complex events from multiple perspectives and through multiple lenses. Narrative intelligence may help them immerse themselves in stories of the past and analyze decisions of different people experiencing different events. Dynamic reasoning strengths […]
“There are certain half-dreaming moods of mind in which we naturally steal away from noise and glare, and seek some quiet haunt where we may indulge our reveries and build our air castles undisturbed.” – Washington Irving Daydreaming holds a curious position in the areas of science. On the one hand, daydreaming has been seen as a negative, associated with inattention and poor task persistence, but on the other, associated with creative behavior and personal inspiration. Neuroscientists have taken a renewed interest in daydreaming because daydream pathways activate the default mode network, a brain network that is now known to be important for reflecting on one’s self as well as others, remembering the past, and imagining the future. Studies of dyslexic and non-dyslexic people […]
When interviewing accomplished people of all sorts who are also dyslexic, there are some recurring themes – and one is, “I learned how to do the ‘dyslexic thing,’ you know, overprepare.” In some cases that means committing more hours to something – whether it was oral presentation or final project or job rotation. But often, it’s not just extra time spent; it’s also learning how to streamline certain repetitive features along the lines of “plan better” and not just “work more.” I was recently reminded of this when a social worker posted her work hacks for school and for work. One example is creating a template for her case notes: The template streamlines repetitive information that needs to be covered and reduces […]
Although many people may use the terms “concept map” and “mind map” interchangeably, mind maps tend to be simpler, relating information to a central topic, whereas concept maps seek to cover more complex subjects, relating different parts to each other. Concept maps can be used to simplify material because different information can be grouped together and in the making of the map it can be easier to see how new knowledge builds on old. The process of making a concept map also transforms learning into an active process and students who are strong personal and experiential learners may remember the process better than reading through notes again and again. For students who say that they get lost in class, doing a concept map can help […]