Reading can be a frustrating process for children with learning disabilities. Reading is a code that if you can’t decipher, is completely unintelligible. But reading’s importance can not be underestimated, as new studies show.
Research indicates that a targeted reading program can alter a child’s brain activity, increasing the parts of the left hemisphere used for reading. This change to cognitive function is encouraging for parents of children with learning disabilities, since these disabilities affect schooling and carry over into adulthood. In these studies, children’s brain activity increased in areas they had previously not been using, after they had specific and prolonged reading instruction.
Children with dyslexia show different levels of functioning in parts of the brain as well as a decreased connectivity between the left and right hemispheres. But after completing a year’s worth of targeted reading instruction, they showed an increase in brain cells and brain volume. Even more encouraging, children that responded favorably to these instructions, showed continual growth in these areas a year afterwards.
Speed reading has also been linked to assisting children with dyslexia and ADHD. In the book, Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World, Jeffrey Freed asserts that children with dyslexia or ADHD are right brained and that speed reading can help them since it occurs in the right hemisphere as opposed to the left hemisphere where normal reading happens.
So, like our teachers told us, reading does make us smarter, but now we have scientific evidence of the changes and connections reading makes in our brains, and the long term changes it initiates. For more information on speed reading instruction and its benefits contact us.