Is Dyslexia Hard-Wired? New Research Explores How Reading Affects the Brains of Dyslexic Students

Dyslexia is a common problem for children today. With more than ten percent of the population affected by the condition, dyslexia is one of the most commonly diagnosed learning disabilities in the country. While the symptoms may be easy to spot — difficulty in reading, word recognition, decoding, fluency, and comprehension — the exact causes of dyslexia aren’t as clear.

New research from Georgetown University, however, finds that the issue may not be entirely brain-based. In an article in The New York Times, author Annie Murphy Paul breaks down the findings of the study:

“An important implication of this research is that normal and dyslexic brains may not be as inherently different as scientists once believed. Differences they once attributed to genetics may be a product of experience.

For example, researchers have known for some time that the brains of dyslexics have less gray matter than the brains of normal readers, a difference that was often assumed to be genetic in origin.

But Ms. Eden’s research indicates that this disparity in gray matter, like dyslexics’ visual deficits, is caused by less experience with reading. When the right experience (intensive tutoring and more reading time) is introduced, the amount of gray matter in dyslexics’ brains comes to resemble that of normal readers.”

Head on over to The New York Times for the full article and be sure to check out our Dyslexia resources for more information.

Related Article: Online Activities for Helping Kids with Dyslexia

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