Reading Problems & Dyslexia
Despite what you might have heard about reversed
letters, dyslexia simply means “poor with words or
trouble with reading”. The word is nothing more
than a way to identify a reading problem. Dyslexia is a neurobiological condition that is genetic in origin. It specially affects the performance of the neurological system, specifically the parts of the brain responsible for learning to read.
Reading is the process of understanding language
by interpreting written symbols for speech sounds.
Poor readers are often labeled as “dyslexic,” which
simply means “poor with words” or “poor reading
Parents and/or teachers are usually the first to
notice reading problems in children. A more
substantial and comprehensive evaluation—a
professional cognitive skills test—can pinpoint the exact cause of learning problems. In people with dyslexia or reading difficulties, the cognitive skills that are usually weak are phonemic awareness and auditory processing, although other areas may be weak as well.
At IQRx, while we do not provide diagnoses, the fact is that many of our students come to us with previous diagnoses, including Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Auditory Processing Disorder, and Learning Disabilities amongst others. We help children and adults with these issues because we address the cognitive deficits that are commonly linked to these problems. In fact, our brain training programs strengthen auditory processing and other cognitive skills critical to reading and writing, which is why children and adults with these diagnoses who go through our program experience such significant improvements in school, work, and life.
Family history of reading problems
Predominant in males (2:1, male: female)
Average/above average IQ
Math proficiency not uncommon
No enjoyment of leisure reading
Auditory language difficulties in word finding, fluency, meaning, or sequence
Struggles pronouncing new words
Weak at letter sound discrimination (pin, pen)
Poor at distinguishing similarities/differences in words (no, on)
Difficulty transferring what is heard to what is seen and vice versa
Low reading comprehension
Evaluations: Professional eye exams can first rule out or correct any vision problems and the same is true for an auditory exam.
Reading to a child or assisting them with reading can increase the skills necessary for them to excel on their own later. Tools such as www.readtheory.org are helpful to practice reading comprehension once reading mechanics are set. At IQRx center, our ReadRx program not only works on cognitive skills essential for reading but also on phonetics, reading fluency, and mechanics.
Brain Training: Cognitive skills training attacks the root causes of reading struggles and dyslexia by strengthening weak cognitive skills - especially phonemic awareness and auditory processing. In fact, a Carnegie Mellon University brain imaging study found that the brains of dyslexic students and other poor readers were permanently rewired to overcome reading deficits after just 100 hours of intensive remedial instruction. (7 August 2008, Science Daily)
Unlike tutoring, which focuses on specific academic subjects (like history), cognitive skills training treats the causes of learning struggles to help children, teens, and adults excel in school, sports, the workplace, and extracurricular activities (like sports, music, art, and dance).
IQRx Cognitive Training Programs Include:
Targeted Tutoring after Training: Once the student has improved and efficient cognitive skills, IQRx can close the gap of knowledge content through targeted tutoring. These sessions will only be temporary until the student reaches the appropriate level of content.
Studying Techniques: IQRx can also provide studying skills necessary for success through individual sessions or group workshop of our Studying Habits and Memorization Techniques (TEM: Técnicas de Estudio y Memoria). This program should be completed once the student has improved learning skills through brain training in order to obtain the greatest benefit and ensure that the student can in fact apply everything learned. Once learning is maximized, IQRx can teach the student how to organize, plan, manage time, prepare for tests, take notes, prepare reviews, and different memorization techniques to support their studying process. TEM can be acquired through individualized one on one sessions, a group workshop, or a group workshop paired with individualized coaching.
Nutrition: You might also want to consider improving nutrition by limiting the intake of foods containing non-organic dyes. Controlling sugar consumption can also be helpful as well as supplementing with Omegas. Including plenty of varied fruits and vegetables as well as non-processed foods is key to brain health. Ensuring appropriate hydration is also essential for brain function and overall health. IQRx works with our Juice Plus partners in improving nutrition and a healthy lifestyle (mdevarona.juiceplus.com). IQRx counts with support of a licensed nutritionist for additional consultations when needed.
Exercise: Physical exercise is also effective to manage some symptoms and overall brain health. Exercise has been found to reduce brain cell loss, reduce risk of depression and anxiety, and help you sleep better. Exercising regularly increases blood flow therefore achieving better brain oxygenation. Children should exercise 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous exercise including bone and muscle training at least 3 days a week. Adults should exercise at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise (or 75 of vigorous exercise) and muscle strengthening twice a week.
Sleep Habits: Getting the proper amount of sleep is known to optimize mental functioning. While sleeping, the brain is regenerating neurons and consolidating memory. There are tables to offer guidance as to how much sleep is needed per age. In general, preschoolers (3 - 5 years old) require 10 - 13 hours a day including naps. Elementary students (6 - 12 years old) need 9 - 12 hours a day. Teenagers (13 - 18) need 8 - 10 hours a day and adults (> 18 years old) require at least 7 hours a day. There are natural ways to ensure proper sleep health such as using aromatherapy, essential oils, specific teas, white noise, ensuring no electronics are emitting light, removing mobile phones and other electronics from the room or not keeping them nearby, using melatonin.
Protecting the Brain: Wear helmets when riding bicycles, motorcycles, mopeds, horses, etc., and when playing contact sports like football or rugby. Protect the brain from chemical contaminants in the environment as well as in food or by avoiding drugs, cigarette, and alcohol consumption.
The International Dyslexia Association
National Center for Learning Disabilities
Learning Disabilities Association of America
All Kinds of Minds
The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds
BrainRx training was beneficial to understand who I am, my areas of strength and weakness. It was good to work with others on the exercises. It was worth the commitment. I feel it has helped me focus on areas of weakness that I can continue to work on, to improve and have a more fulfilled life.
- Caroline S.