Tag Archives: Decoding

Strengthening this Area of the Brain Improves Reading


learning to read

What if we knew exactly what part of the brain is used when we learn to read? In August 2016, scientists at MIT were able to do just that! Using MRI scans in children at age 5 and then at age 8, the MIT researchers were able to isolate the area in the occipito-temporal region that is often referred to as the Visual Word Form Area, VWFA. These scientists are now working on using the same brain imaging techniques to be able to predict a child’s functional development. In other words, experts would be able to identify children who are at risk of developing dyslexia or other learning difficulties connected with issues in that area of the brain.

What is the VWFA?

The VWFA, Visual Word Form Area is a novel brain network  located in the left occipito –temporal (LOT) region of the brain. This system is responsible for the rapid, automatic, fluent identification of words. In other words, the connections in this system work together to rapidly decode strings of letters into words. Individuals with dyslexia have a disruption in this system explaining why reading becomes a big challenge.

How will this information help my child and me?

Dyslexia can be frustrating for both parents and children. Fortunately, as we have seen, researchers have been able to narrow in on the disrupted neural pathways that cause dyslexia. This information combined with the brain’s ability to change and heal itself (plasticity) gives hope to individuals and their families. The fact that dyslexia has a cognitive basis, means that to overcome the problem, you need a focused, cognitive-based solution.

Brainjogging can help!

Brainjogging is a cognitive-based, multi-sensory program designed to strengthen weak connections in the brain. The key issue with dyslexia, or any other reading challenge, is a disconnect between what an individual sees and what the brain processes. When Brainjoggers, see, say, and spell words during each exercise, they are combining proven methods for enhancing reading, with research-backed techniques for improving cognition and processing.

To learn how Brainjogging can be customized to suit your child’s needs, call 855-468-3824.  You can also email our program coordinator, Karishma, at karishma@brainjogging.com or click the button below:


Shaywitz, S., Mody, M., and Shaywitz, B., “Neural Mechanisms in Dyslexia”, Current Directions in Psychological Science. 2006



learning disabilities

The Different Educational Needs of Siblings with Learning Disabilities

If you are a parent with two or more children, it is natural for you to compare your children. Similarly, it is common for parents with multiple kids with learning disabilities to compare them side-by-side. However, while the same learning disability may display similar patterns in both children, it is important to treat each child as an individual when it comes to their educational needs. The planning and strategies that worked for an older sibling may not necessarily work for the younger one.

Take two brothers with dyslexia for example, both have patterns of challenges with reading and spelling, but both brothers might not have issues with the same specific learning challenges. Where one has a problem decoding (remembering sounds that correspond with letters), the other might be ok sounding out individual letters but has challenges with entire words. In this situation both children have dyslexia but both would need different learning approaches to help them overcome their unique challenges.

Uneven Progress Learning

We learned above that two brothers with the same learning disabilities have different educational needs based on their unique challenges. This presents challenges to parents as well because the common train of thought is that we judge the severity of a learning disability by how well a child responds to professional or parental involvement. A sibling who had an easier time learning is said to have lesser of an issue and those who require more support to achieve the same results are said to have more of an issue.

The important takeaway here is that siblings with the same learning disability will almost certainly have uneven progress with learning. No doubt, this is confusing to parents who lump a learning disability – and the experiences they’ve had with it – into the routine for the next child. A sibling with a learning disability can begin to have more struggles later in life or have an easier time.

Regardless of the stage your children are in, it is important to provide them both with the help they need to cope with education.

Useful Tools for Multiple Kids with LD

When a child has a learning disability it means that the cognitive processes they use to receive, process and express information are out of sync. These processes interfere with their ability to learn, behave and retain focus and are the root issues behind their inability to progress academically and socially. Rather than turning to medication as a solution, many parents are finding Brainjogging, a web-based learning program that uses neuroscience to stimulate the brain’s weakness, provides substantial improvement.

The programs within Brainjogging are catered to your child’s specific disability so whether you have two children with the same learning disability or two children with different disabilities, Brainjogging can help!

Brainjogging is used by parents who have children with a number of learning disabilities, including:

The program is also utilized by teachers, schools, learning centers, pediatricians, PTs, OTs, Speech therapists, youth organizations and more.  Learn more about Brainjogging today or click one of the above links to learn how it works for specific learning disabilities.

Reading Comprehension

Skills Necessary for Reading Comprehension

Children who suffer from learning comprehension disabilities can fall behind in school if they aren’t making the appropriate connections between words and their context. By the time a child reaches third or fourth grade they will be expected to perform a variety of reading tasks that involve comprehension of characters, ideas and context. As many school districts and states require children to be tested on these skills before they move onto the next grade, it is important to make sure your child is prepared for the various reading comprehension scenarios that they are expected to master.


Phonics is the relationship between letters and sounds in a language. For example, the sound made from the letter “b” and the connection that “tion” sounds like /shun/ is learning phonics. Phonics is imperative to helping children read and spell and is generally taught from kindergarten through second grade.

Parents can help their child at home with phonics by listening to them read and looking at their writing. Phonics is one of the most common reading problems among early readers; if you suspect that your child may be struggling with phonics it may be wise to look into individualized phonics instruction to help them catch up.

Sounding out Words (Decoding)

Decoding is known as the process of sounding out words. In many ways it complements phonics and helps your child to sound out words individually. When the process of decoding improves a child can begin to better understand what they are reading.

Word Recognition

A step up from decoding, word recognition is the ability to read words without sounding them out. Children with dyslexia often have a tough time with word recognition as challenges with reading words without sounding them out will delay a child’s ability to understand a passage of text.

Fluent Reading

A child who can recognize words by sight and decode unfamiliar words eventually becomes what is called a ‘fluent’ reader. Reading fluently means your child can read at a smooth pace and use good expression in their voice when they read aloud. Fluency is the last step before solid reading comprehension skills are developed.

Reading Comprehension

By the third and fourth grade children are expected to be able to read text fluently, remember what they have read, summarize passages and answer questions about them. The child has built upon their ability to understand the relationship between sounds and letters, sounding out words, recognizing words, and reading fluently.

Children with dyslexia may struggle with many of these skills; particularly the ones that involve decoding and remembering what they have read. These struggles can make it hard to complete the process of comprehending and applying the knowledge of the readings they have been assigned.

To get help with reading comprehension or learning disabilities that are related to dyslexia, learn more about our computer-based learning program Brainjogging. Brainjogging was designed for children with learning disabilities or signs of learning challenges which can be seen in academic, social, and behavioral patterns. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your child.