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'I’m Not Stupid, Just Dyslexic.' How Brain Science Can Help

WBUR (Boston, MA)
Sixth-grader Josh Thibeau has been struggling to read for as long as he can remember. He has yet to complete a single Harry Potter book, his personal goal. Josh and his three biological siblings all have dyslexia to varying degrees. Pretty much every day he confronts the reality that his brain works differently than his peers’. He’s even shared scans of his brain with classmates to try to show those differences. On average, one or two kids in every U.S. classroom has dyslexia, a brain-based learning disability that often runs in families and makes reading difficult, sometimes painfully so. Compared to other neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD or autism, research into dyslexia has advanced further, experts say. That’s partly because dyslexia presents itself around a specific behavior: reading — which, as they say, is fundamental. Now, new research shows it’s possible to pick up some of the signs of dyslexia in the brain even before kids learn to read. And this earlier identification may start to substantially influence how parents, educators and clinicians tackle the disorder.

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"A book is a gift you can open again and again." — Garrison Keillor