Tag Archives: reading challenges

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:

Resources:

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

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160808144906.htm

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/how-a-curious-condition-solved-a-neuroscientific-mystery/

dyslexia reading skills

7 Ways to Improve Reading Skills of a Child with Dyslexia

Parents and teachers are often presented with a laundry list of challenges helping students with Dyslexia improve their reading. While reading and comprehension can be difficult for any child, children with Dyslexia are especially apt to become frustrated or lack confidence in their intellectual abilities.

Because Brainjogging is all about “Preparing the mind to learn,” here are seven ways to instill confidence in your student and help your struggling reader become better than ever.

  1. Start with smaller, attainable goals

The end goal for most parents or teachers is to help a student with Dyslexia become a great reader or at least get them on par with other kids their age. While this is a worthwhile goal and is obtainable, it will not happen overnight. For this reason it is important to set short-term goals with your student so that you can celebrate the small wins frequently and keep them motivated. These types of goals can include:

  • Practicing reading everyday
  • Finishing a chapter or book
  • Moving up a single reading level
  • Learning new words
  1. Make it a point to mention strengths

Sometimes parents are so consumed by their children’s weaknesses that they forget to praise them for the things they’re good at. While this type of reinforcement may be unintentional, it lowers the students’ self-esteem and hinders the education process. Instead of dwelling on the challenges of Dyslexia, make it a point to mention your child’s strengths and especially those that are related to an educational capacity as to draw parallels in their ability to learn.

  1. Inform them that everyone has difficulties

Sometimes children with Dyslexia are under the impression that they are the only ones who struggle at school (as so much of their education is based on reading and writing). Share with your child (or student) things that you might not be so good at, relaying to them that you understand why they wouldn’t want to work on something that is so difficult! Sometimes hard work is not fun and takes time to pay off; if you can relate this fact to them through personal stories they are more likely to push on the same ways you do.

  1. Involve your child in their education

When a child sees their parents working together to find solutions that help them, they feel supported. Similarly, it helps to bring your kid in on your academic plan for them and be candid with them about how they compare to other students their age, the specific problems areas they need to concentrate on, and what you will be doing – as a team – to help them learn.

  1. Teach your kid how to ask for help

If you can instill in your child the ability to ask for help when they need it you will be doing them a tremendous favor. By teaching a child how to advocate for themselves they’ll learn about the resources available to them, how to quickly problem solve challenges they may be stuck on, and how to come to terms with the fact that everyone needs help from time-to-time.

  1. Read aloud with your child

In addition to creating a bond with the Dyslexic student, reading aloud together has a lot of positives. Parents should strive to read aloud to their children everyday while having them follow along with the book. This will help them to decode text, overcome longer, more challenging books, better understand the context of certain stories, and have the opportunity to focus on the true meaning of words. After reading aloud with your child it is also recommended that you go over the characters of the story, what they were doing and why, and what your child thinks will happen next.

  1. Use Brainjogging!

Dyslexia stems from cognitive processing disorders, not a lack of intelligence. Still, students with the learning disorder often feel they are not as smart as their peers. The science behind Brainjogging is that it understands these pains and addresses them by helping your child work on their memory, processing speed, auditory processing, recall and retrieval components at the same time. The result is a change in the way the brain learns that rapidly improves the child’s capacity for learning. Learn more about Brainjogging for Dyslexia and how it can help your child.

 

reading difficulty

Detecting Reading Difficulty Early

A parent who notices their child is having difficulty reading early on can help to address these challenges before they get more problematic down the road. During the preschool or kindergarten years parents may notice their child having difficulty rhyming, manipulating words, struggling with word games or recognizing similar sounding words. These are just a few signs of reading struggles at a young age and those of your child may be unique.

However, parents who notice that their child does not display the same reading and comprehension levels as compared to peers should consider the likelihood of a reading difficulty disability. A screening might find that your child has speech or hearing problems and these can be hindrances on reading comprehension as well. Regardless of the causes of child’s reading difficulties parents should take early detection seriously as these problems can often carry on past the preschool years and throughout life.

Common First Grader Reading Difficulty Signs

In addition to problems rhyming, manipulating sounds or recognizing similar sounding words, preschool children who have reading difficulties may display the following warning signs as they enter first grade:

  • The inability to make associations between sounds and letters
  • Challenges pronouncing new words and remembering them
  • Difficulty sounding out different parts of words
  • Blending two or more sounds to make words
  • Forgetting the names and sounds of letters
  • Ignoring punctuation
  • Lacking concentration during reading

Children who display reading difficulties at this age will often avoid reading out loud because of the challenges involved. Similarly, these children will have poor phonological skills and guess at confusing words because they don’t know the sounds associated with the words or simply can’t remember the words well enough to sound them out. Sounding out words and blending them together is an important skill children need to acquire in order to move towards more advanced text.

Proactive Parents are the Best Solution

Parents are usually the first ones to detect signs of reading difficulty in children. It is not uncommon for parents to hesitate to seek help as many parents firmly believe the reading challenges are something their child “will grow out of.” Other parents feel that if they seek professional help it will make their child feel as if there is something wrong with them. It is possible that children can overcome reading difficulties but early detection is key to helping children develop the skills necessary to overcome these disabilities.

If you feel that your child has trouble reading or is lacking the reading skills of kids their age, contact Brainjogging today to learn more about our programs that are designed to help children, and parents, solve their challenges.