"Reading isn't the most challenging part of dyslexia. It's the executive function..." Executive function consists of different sets of processes in the brain that act like executives in business. Executives supervise all the activities and resources - organizing and...
When researchers compared high IQ and average test subjects in a learning paradigm, the results were surprising. In some areas high IQ individuals work less, as might be expected by the idea that higher IQ people have more efficient brains for learning tasks, but in other areas, high IQ brains were working harder. When were high IQ brains working harder? Not prior or during the task, it seems, but when feedback was given and individuals were learning from their mistakes. From Graham et al. : “the Average IQ group failed to produce as much activation during feedback evaluation as did the High IQ group. These group differences are inconsistent with the neural efficiency hypothesis and instead suggest that the High IQ individuals were engaged in […]
An important paper was published this month from the University of Washington, entitled “Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Assessment for Dyslexia in Adolescents and Young Adults.” The paper is especially important guiding testing professionals who assess teens and adults for dyslexia or see gifted or twice-exceptional students. This paper also takes a more systematic look at the roles of individual factors like working memory and executive function on dyslexia and reading and spelling performance. The data will be helpful in targeting educational interventions and can also guide requests for testing accommodations. There are interesting observations too in that paper that will help with characterizing the strengths that occur among adolescent and adult dyslexics, with implications for twice-exceptional or gifted students with dyslexia. In several areas, adolescent / adult […]
“My mind doesn’t work like a train track. It’s more like a web page with lots of hyperlinks.” – dyslexic honors college student. It’s refreshing to see that more researchers take an interest on dyslexia beyond reading. In this recent paper from Belgium and Missouri, the challenges of remembering sequential information for dyslexics and non-dyslexics was reviewed. Both working memory and sequencing were examined. Working memory is a type of short-term memory necessary for keeping information ‘in mind.’ Sequencing is remembering the order that things are said. It’s activities such as this that that can make something like following classroom instructions or remembering computer passwords easy or hard. Several interesting observations were made from their review of the research literature: – Dyslexic children and adults tend […]
It’s a question that arises commonly – does spellchecking for students help or hinder when it comes to students and spelling? The concern is that allowing students to use spellcheck on a regular basis in the long run may prevent them learning correct spellings. Should age matter or the presence of dyslexia? What about working memory overload or ADD/ ADHD? The issue is not a trivial one especially because of recent efforts to The issue is not a trivial one especially because of recent efforts to put laptops away in college during lectures based on computer-based vs. traditional note-taking by hand (N.B. this study did not specifically assess dyslexic students – see the NPR story also below). A recent paper by Hiscox and colleagues (see below) […]
On one level, Dyslexia and ADD / ADHD would seem quite different, but in reality, we are only at the beginning of our understanding of how the two might overlap and be different. Both Dyslexia and ADD / ADHD were initially characterized by their negatives – Dyslexia by difficulty learning to read, and ADD / ADHD by difficulty paying attention. Today we know that for both, positive qualities like higher levels of creativity and ability can be associated as well as negatives, and researchers are only now beginning to take a more careful look at what these two designations imply. For those who don’t know, as a group, children with ADD / ADHD score lower on many tests of phonology and reading comprehension, theoretically because of their […]
In a controversial paper, Dr. Sally Shaywitz and colleagues at the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity and the Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Company have authored a paper that examines the effect of the norephinephrine uptake inhibitor Atomoxetine (Strattera) on...
QUESTION: Is it Possible to Have Both Dyslexia and Autism? The short answer is yes, but it’s likely not very common and in general many of the features of dyslexia and autism are opposite. By strict criteria, low IQ and autism are excluded from the diagnosis of dyslexia. However, it is not difficult to speculate that a child with family dyslexia could also have autism either through inheritance or through some environmental factor. The main thing to consider is that it may be much more common that a child with dyslexia has social factors unrelated to autism or a child with autism has reading and writing problems unrelated to dyslexia. In fact, typically dyslexic and autistic children have different cognitive, memory, and perceptual patterns although they […]
In breaking news, the US Department of Education and Office for Civil Rights have released their a letter from Asst Secretary Catherine Lhamon and its Students with ADHD and Section 504 Resource Guide HERE. For your convenience, we also include them below -...
It’s long been known that Dyslexia and ADD / ADHD have high rates of overlaps or “co-morbidities”. Dyslexia and ADHD co-occur 30-50% of the time (Germano, 2010) and only 40% of children with dyslexia and 20% of children with ADD/ADHD have it in isolation (Wilcutt and Pennington, 2000). Science has progressed on many fronts over the past 5 years, and both attention and dyslexia are now known to be much more complex than originally suspected. It has long been known that dyslexia is associated with attention and working memory differences, and that reading, writing, and spelling difficulties are higher among children identified as having ADHD. Both Dyslexia and ADD / ADHD are associated with slower processing speeds and both seem to be connected with the […]