Advances in Dyslexia

Dyslexia is defined as difficulty learning to read. A commonly held myth is that it’s just the confusion of different letters. Now researchers say it’s more than that, and that information is leading to better treatments.

To watch Sandra set up her antique booth, you might never guess she struggled through much of her life. “I could read a sentence, and I wouldn’t even see two of the words in the sentence,” she says.

Sandra was diagnosed with dyslexia in her 20s. Tests showed she was not improving, despite special reading classes.

Sandra says, “I remember the first time I left that place. I said, ‘I don’t ever want to do that again.'”

Doctors may now know why the classes didn’t help — they focused only on the visual aspect of reading.

A neuropsychologist explains, “Which letters make which sounds and which sounds go with which letters — that seems to be really where the problem is.”

Scans of brain activity can help researchers better understand dyslexia. On the left is a normal brain and on the right the brain of a dyslexic. The patch of activation on one side of the normal brain is missing on the dyslexic brain.”

Dr. says, “[Dyslexia] can be overcome in almost every case.”

Sandra attended a program that focused on sounds. “For the first time I feel like you. I know what that other part of me should have felt like growing up,” she says, and she’s determined to stay that way. Sandra plans to split her time between running her business and enjoying her antiques at home.

Dr. says dyslexia is caused by at least three different mutated genes. Researchers are now trying to determine which genes those are and from there will be able to change the way they treat dyslexia.

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