Children of the Code
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Among other issues I have had difficulty expressing because of my desire to be diplomatic is that one reason for the poor results of previous dyslexia glasses has been because of the mindset belonging to the people that are involved in educational research. By this I mean that, in my opinion, they are happy to stop when they either describe a problem or find that an intervention helps some. This is only a part of the scientific method. An excerpt from Dr. Sally Shaywitz's interview below says it well.
Dr. Sally Shaywitz: Because science has a real process. What's really been extraordinary, is in the last several years we've really had a cultural and a paradigm shift where the very basic tenets of science have entered into education. That's very hard, because it's not been part of the culture.
I've sat in meetings with educators in New York City, where there's the huge issue of how to teach children how to read. I sit and I listen, and I think, well, what is the problem here? These people are intelligent people. Then it struck me that the whole notion of science and what that implies and the process, and how you validate something is foreign to them. It's not the fault of these individuals, it's just not the way they were taught. People who've come through schools of education and wherever else they've trained, the scientific process has just not been part of the conversation.
It would not have been my responsibility to bring the See Right Dyslexia Glasses to market as the solution for visual dyslexia if others had followed the scientific process. There has always been the correct idea that some dyslexics had a visual component to their dyslexia. It is also probably true that individually selected colors helped some of the visual dyslexics. The conclusion that was drawn: We have described the fact that that there is a visual component for some dyslexics and we have found an intervention for some, so we are done.
That is only part of the scientific process and has been a fairly good reason to discredit the idea of tinted lenses as an intervention to help dyslexics by those who are used to scientific standards for solutions to problems. It has even tainted the idea that there is an intervention for visual dyslexics at all and why I am always being so specific as to my claim as to which dyslexic will be helped by the See Right Dyslexia Glasses.
David Boulton: The very edge of our reading difficulty is sounding out words we don't visually recognize. Good visual pattern recognition (whole word recognition) is built up by being able to sound out the words that we don’t already know.
While this quote is not directed at visual dyslexics and the cause of their reading difficulty, it is relevent that part of the visual dyslexic's problem is from a poor visual memory caused by the visual noise that he or she experiences.
Dr. Zvia Breznitz: Later on what we found out was that one of the reasons that the brain of the dyslexic doesn’t develop a total template of the word, of the phoneme grapheme correspondence, is because the reading basically relies on activity of the two modes: of the auditory or the auditory phonology and the visual orthography mode.
Now enter the integration between the two.
David Boulton: Yes, which is a lot more complex in different orthographies.
Dr. Zvia Breznitz: Absolutely. Basically, whether we are talking about Hebrew, Arabic or Semitic languages or any of the Romance languages, basically you have to see the symbols of the printed material and you have to make some kind of acoustic representation of them. So, it can be any language. The matching between the visual symbol and the acoustic phonological one does not only rely on the accuracy of the correspondence but also on the time it takes both modalities to process the information.
David Boulton: Right. And so it takes time even in a purely phonetic system to get the association between the visual and the auditory, and then in a non-phonetic system, where there is a greater context dependant variation in the sound value that accompanies a letter, there is more processing time involved to associate those two correctly.
Dr. Zvia Breznitz: Exactly.
For those visitors that are interested in where the science of learning to read is presently, I hope you will visit and bookmark the Children of the Code. I found it to be very informative.