Written by Dr. John Carosso
So, is there a “cure”?
There is not a “cure” for dyslexia. However, to better-understand the answer to this question, it’s best to review the nature of dyslexia and its underpinnings. In that respect, dyslexia is a neurological disorder in the sense that at least three particular areas of the brain, in charge of recognizing and processing written language, simply do not work so well. Consequently, a person with dyslexia struggles with reading (and usually also with writing). The condition can be treated, and skills can be improved, but often the underlying deficiency does not necessarily go away.
Like any other skill
We all have strengths and weakness. Some are good in math, or athletics, music, or art. Others, less so. Our strengths are based in our brain development and we’re each born with individual strengths, and weaknesses in that respect. Reading is no exception. As I mentioned, for people with dyslexia, there are a few parts of the brain that don’t work so well, but the rest of the person’s brain is fine!
Does treatment lead to being "cured”
Dyslexia can be treated very effectively. The determining factor of progress is severity-level. In that respect, just as with any condition, the less severe the dyslexia, the more progress in treatment, even to the point of improving to reading at grade-level. In some respect, it’s no different than working at any skill. If a child is playing baseball and is not good at hitting, but practices and practices hitting with a skilled coach, there’s a good chance the kiddo will get better. How much better? Well, that depends on how poor of a hitter they were in the first place, and the skill of the coach. The hitter will improve either way, but will likely advance further if the hitting only needs minor tweaks and the child may even ultimately hit better than their teammates.
What does the research suggest?
The research is somewhat sketchy and, surprisingly, there isn’t a lot of it. However, just as I explained, children with mild dyslexia (reading about one grade-level behind or less) tend to do well in treatment, and ultimately advance to read at grade-level. However, upwards of 60% of those with moderate to severe dyslexia show progress in treatment, but don’t advance to read at grade-level.
So where does that leave us?
The treatment approach is largely two-fold. We help the child to be the very best reader they can be, which is accomplished by intensive weekly treatment and regular practice of reading skills with a skilled teacher. We offer a very effective online support in that respect, at DyslexiaTreaters.com. Our reading specialist, Taylor Cole, is superb at turning kids with reading challenges into proficient readers.
At the same time, until the reading improves, we facilitate the child completing their classwork by promoting listening to assignments, i.e. we turn them into ear-readers. There are a number of programs that help in this respect including kindle, Audible, most school textbooks are online, and there is a wonderful app that quickly turns any text into audible; naturalreaders.com.
That about wraps it up for now. I hope that helps to clarify the treatment process and expectations for improvement.
Get help at DyslexiaTreaters.com
We are pleased to announce our online tutoring program through the Dyslexia Diagnostic and Treatment Center. Ms. Taylor Cole, our online Reading Specialist, knowledgeable in Orton-Gillingham approaches, is available for convenient online sessions. You can sign up for news, tips, and discount offers and arrange a 30 minute free introductory session with Ms. Cole at DyslexiaTreaters.com.