Monday, October 3rd, 2011
There’s been a recent study released that should lead to more kids getting more resources and services and hope. Unfortunately there are some headlines that insinuate the opposite, that dyslexia isn’t real.
Here’s the reality. In a recent study from Stanford University, scientists have zeroed in on the brain activation patterns of poor readers. They have found that such brain activation maps are similar in those with higher and lower IQs.
In other words, dyslexia doesn’t mean your dumb. On the other hand, it doesn’t mean that just because you’re dyslexic, you’re automatically brilliant. The article’s title is even,”Brain imaging study shows physiological basis of dyslexia.”
According to Stanford’s School of Medicine, “…in the wake of recent behavioral studies showing that phonological deficits â€” that is, difficulties in processing the sound system of language, which often leads to difficulties in connecting the sounds of language to letters â€” are similar in poor readers regardless of IQ.”
This is further evidence that, as Sally Shaywitz has argued previously, IQ and reading skills are not as coupled as many previously thought. While on the one hand this means that if you struggle with reading and spelling due to core phonological deficits in decoding and recoding of phonemics, it doesn’t reflect your capacity to be smart and successful, it also means that people who test out in the below average range of IQ can also be dyslexic. As some responsible folks have noted (including those from MIT and Stanford), these findings should lead to the opening up of resources for a broader range of students.
Instead, and here’s where I get angry, there are articles with the following headlines, “Doubts raised over dyslexia diagnoses” with the subheading: “Dyslexia could be just a label, according to scientists, after a study of brain scans found there is little difference between the way children with the condition think while trying to read and those who simply have a low IQ.”
Again, direct from Stanford (who did the study):
“Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have used an imaging technique to show that the brain activation patterns in children with poor reading skills and a low IQ are similar to those in poor readers with a typical IQ. The work provides more definitive evidence about poor readers having similar kinds of difficulties regardless of their general cognitive ability.”
Is it just me, or does this upset anyone else?