Seeing Dyslexia on an MRI Scanner

SEEING DYSLEXIA ON AN MRI SCANNER

This video focuses on seeing dyslexia on an MRI Scanner. It’s based on a Yale research which looked at whether there was a visible difference in the brains of dyslexics on an MRI scan.

THE DYSLEXIA RESEARCHERS

Drs Bennet and Sally Shaywitz and a team of researchers at Yale scanned 144 children’s brains while the children were reading and took MRI photographs of their brain activity. Half of these children were dyslexic and half non-dyslexic. Their aim was to discover if there was a noticeable difference in brain activity between the two groups and their results were published in the Journal of the Society of Biological Psychiatry in 2002 (the link to the original research is below). They concluded that there was a clear disruption in the neural systems of the dyslexic group.

I’m going to look a bit more at their images and results but please remember that I’m an enthusiastic parent and not a professional or expert in this field. This is a basic overview but I think it’s a valuable insight.

THE MRI TEST

For the study, the researchers selected children who were 10-13 years of age with an average I.Q. and an equal mix of boys and girls. The two groups were as standardised as possible with the only significant difference being that one group was dyslexic.

The children were asked to read whilst inside an MRI scanner and they were asked to read normally, to read new words within a context and then to read made up words. It was this last ‘pseudo word’ test that was most revealing.

The children were given words that feel like real words but they will never have come across before. To be able to read them they need to break down the word to pronounce it (for example ‘tetralemma’ or ‘huggle’).

In scoring their reading results, the dyslexics got an 85 point average whereas the non-dyslexics had a 120 point average. The non-dyslexics performed 40% better when because both groups were I.Q. matched they should have been the same.

MRI SCANS COMAPRISON: DYSLEXIC vs NON-DYSLEXIC

There were significant differences is the scanner images as well.

The scans of the non-dyslexic group showed specific areas of the brain lighting up during this task which indicates brain activity in those areas. The dyslexic brains also showed activity in these areas but their scans did not light up as brightly. This demonstrated a reduction in the amount of brain activity for this particular task in the dyslexic brain.

This was the first quantitative evidence that dyslexic brains work differently to their non-dyslexic counterparts.

This was also apparent in other scan results. In another exercise the dyslexic brains again lit up to a lesser degree than the non-dyslexic brains but the interesting observation here was that the dyslexic brains lit up in others areas that the non-dyslexic brains didn’t, showing the extra effort required for the tasks, and that the dyslexic brains were compensating

THE CONCLUSION

So what were the researchers’ conclusions? They concluded that in the dyslexic brains there was a deficit in the lower level language systems in phonology where they access sounds and structures of words.

They noticed that the dyslexics did have a reduced activity in the left posterior function, a failure in them to some degree and they noticed that the older dyslexic children when reading real, new words in context used additional ancillary functions in the brain in the frontal inferior gyrus as compensation.

The researchers also observed that the reading results were equally as accurate for the many of the older dyslexics than for the non-dyslexics in standard reading but not as automatic so it took more effort. This was seen in the extra areas that lit up in the dyslexic’s brain which again demonstrated that they were compensating.

Hopefully, that all made sense and helped to show that there are real, quantitative differences in the ways that dyslexic brains. Knowing this helps us devise strategies for learning that are better suited to a dyslexic processing system.

Thank you! Goodbye 🙂

You have just watched the 9th video for the Hitchhiker's Guide to Dyslexia series. Watch out for the next video to be uploaded in this series.

Here’s the full mind map:

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resources available

Mind Map: JPEG | PDF | Video

Want more videos like this? Click here.

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Dyslexia Explored This podcast will interview people with a dyslexia story from all stages and walks of life. The goal is to encourage parents of teenage dyslexics through the High School years. Darius interviews people who have a Dyslexia story. They may be describing their child’s story or their own. With particular focus on how

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Pete Buchan #39

A Multi-awarded Dentist who was reluctant to take the dyslexia assessment test shares his pre and post-test experience. Dyslexia Explored #39 Facebook Youtube Instagram Pete the dentist Listen to the talk while on the go from your favorite podcast app or click here to listen to this episode from iTunes. Don’t forget to leave reviews while your

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Dyslexia: 130 Years Ago

DYSLEXIA: 130 YEARS AGO

Hello! Today we’re going to look at when dyslexia was first mentioned 130 years ago.

DR. RUDOLF BERLIN AND THE EYE TEST

It was opthamologist and doctor, Rudolf Berlin, who first used the word dyslexia in 1887. He noticed that people were coming to him for eye tests because they couldn’t read very well. He observed that that there was no problem with their eyesight but agreed that they had challenges with their reading. He termed this dyslexia.

DR. W PRINGLE MORGAN AND THE BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL

In 1896, a case study of dyslexia appeared in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in an article written Dr. W Pringle Morgan. This was the first mention of dyslexia in such an esteemed publication.

PERCY

Dr Morgan wrote about one of his patients, Percy, and documented his learning challenges. He described Percy as a very intelligent boy, who was in no way inferior to other boys his age but he was unable to learn how to read.

Percy’s teacher said that he ‘would be the smartest lad in the class’ if instructions were given entirely verbally. This has remained a familiar pattern for dyslexics ever since.

TREATMENT

At the time, the prescribed treatment was eye training and this regime persisted until the the 1920s. Fortunately treatment options have changed significantly since then.

SOURCES

  • Dr. Kevin Blake
  • Dr. Sally Shaywitz
  • British Dyslexia Association
  • Rudolf Berlin Center.
You have just watched the 9th video for the Hitchhiker's Guide to Dyslexia series. Watch out for the next video to be uploaded in this series.

I hope you enjoyed this video and watch many more.

Thank you! Goodbye 🙂

Here’s the full mind map:

Feel free to Pin it or download it.

resources available

Mind Map: JPEG | PDF | Video

Want more videos like this? Click here.

Related Articles:

dyslexia explored podcast

Dyslexia Explored This podcast will interview people with a dyslexia story from all stages and walks of life. The goal is to encourage parents of teenage dyslexics through the High School years. Darius interviews people who have a Dyslexia story. They may be describing their child’s story or their own. With particular focus on how

Read More »

Pete Buchan #39

A Multi-awarded Dentist who was reluctant to take the dyslexia assessment test shares his pre and post-test experience. Dyslexia Explored #39 Facebook Youtube Instagram Pete the dentist Listen to the talk while on the go from your favorite podcast app or click here to listen to this episode from iTunes. Don’t forget to leave reviews while your

Read More »

Caron Trout #38

How parents new to dyslexia deal with information overwhelm and the shock of discovering under resourced teachers Dyslexia Explored #38 Facebook Youtube Instagram Caron trout Listen to the talk while on the go from your favorite podcast app or click here to listen to this episode from iTunes. Don’t forget to leave reviews while your at it.

Read More »
 

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Branson Net Profit

RICHARD BRANSON'S STORY:

PROFIT + DYSLEXIA

Richard Branson is a very well known dyslexic and this is one of my favourite stories about him. You can find the original story as part of a TED Talk and at Friends of Quinn’s YouTube channel. It tells of how Richard Branson learnt about net profit when he was 50 years old and already head of a huge group of companies in Europe.

BRANSON’S STORY

The story is full of insights into Branson, into dyslexia, into entrepreneurship itself and how to connect with dyslexics and teach them. I’m going try and unpack some of this here and share how I would apply this to working with dyslexic teenagers.

NET PROFIT vs GROSS PROFIT

Branson talks about sitting in a board meeting for the Virgin brand, aged 50, and someone passes him some figures for one of the companies. He turns round and asks, “Is this good news or bad news?”

After the meeting, one of the directors approached him and said, “Look, Richard, you don’t know the difference between Gross profit and Net profit, do you?

At this point he admitted he didn’t so the director used an illustration to help Branson understand. He pulled out paper and crayons and drew the sea, a net with fish in and some fish around it in the sea. He explained that the sea represented the turnover, the fish just swimming around were the gross profit and the fish caught in the net were the net profit.

Branson commented that this was important to know but he had built a great company anyway because what was even more important to him was building a great business that gave better service and became a better company to his customer.

INSIGHTS TO DYSLEXIA

This story gives us some great insights into dyslexia.

  1. 40% of entrepreneurs are dyslexic compared to 10% in the general population. They are drawn to service industries, problem solving, joined up thinking and developing systems and often these end up as businesses because they add value and create profit.
  2. Branson had been compensating intuitively and drawing on the strengths of others. Delegation and being part of a team that can help compensate for a dyslexic’s challenges gives them space to play to their strengths and succeed. For example, Jackie Stewart is a famous race driver in Scotland and a businessman. He’s dyslexic and can’t read but he runs very successful companies because he has a great team.
  3. We can see that if dyslexics are in an environment where they feel they are thriving then they are often open learners. Branson had gathered around him people who were similar but also different in way that complemented his strengths and he was willing to learn from them. It would be fascinating to speak to the director who devised the illustration and to learn how he intuitively knew to use this illustration. It shows the dynamics of a great team.
  4. There is the use of the word ‘like’ which took an abstract process and connected it to something real like a net. The process of analogy and drawing anchored the concept in the real world.

APPLICATION

So how do we apply this to our dyslexic teenagers?

Honour their ability to solve problems and add value to a situation through their creative thinking and create spaces for them to do that more.

Watch out for their compensation strategies and help them develop more. Feedback is great too. Dyslexics need to know if something is good or if it is not working.

Find ways to teach and illustrate a point using real life analogies and illustrations wherever possible. This can be quick ‘back of the envelope’ sketches. It appeals to the dyslexic brain and helps to make sense of more complex concepts.

I found this story really insightful and helpful and I hope that in sharing it it might benefit you too.

You have just watched the 8th video for the Hitchhiker's Guide to Dyslexia series. Watch out for the next video to be uploaded in this series.

Here’s the full mind map:

Feel free to Pin it or download it.

resources available

Mind Map: JPEG | PDF | Video

Want more videos like this? Click here.

Related Articles:

dyslexia explored podcast

Dyslexia Explored This podcast will interview people with a dyslexia story from all stages and walks of life. The goal is to encourage parents of teenage dyslexics through the High School years. Darius interviews people who have a Dyslexia story. They may be describing their child’s story or their own. With particular focus on how

Read More »

Pete Buchan #39

A Multi-awarded Dentist who was reluctant to take the dyslexia assessment test shares his pre and post-test experience. Dyslexia Explored #39 Facebook Youtube Instagram Pete the dentist Listen to the talk while on the go from your favorite podcast app or click here to listen to this episode from iTunes. Don’t forget to leave reviews while your

Read More »

Caron Trout #38

How parents new to dyslexia deal with information overwhelm and the shock of discovering under resourced teachers Dyslexia Explored #38 Facebook Youtube Instagram Caron trout Listen to the talk while on the go from your favorite podcast app or click here to listen to this episode from iTunes. Don’t forget to leave reviews while your at it.

Read More »
 

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Is it Worth Understanding?

DYSLEXIA:

Is it worth understanding?

Today we’re talking about whether it is worth understanding teenage dyslexia. There are lots of teachers and professionals in your teenager’s life so it can seem easier to leave it to them to actually understand what’s going on and we can just be the support act.

IS IT? OF COURSE, YES!

My answer is: YES! Its really worth understanding teenage dyslexia and there are a variety of reasons why I think this.

Once your teenager reaches High School they are expected to become much more independent learners and subjects are taught with this is mind. The other change in High School is the diversity of subjects and the volume of information and the irony is that faced with this your teeandger can actually become a more dependent learner. This can lead to a tension where they need more support to learn and are in an environment where they are supposed to be developing more independently.

I think if you can understand your teenager’s dyslexia then in this key time you can help them learn strategies and insights that will equip them to become the independent learner they are striving to be. That means freedom for your teen to learn well and freedom for you as a parent.

UNDER THE HOOD

Here’s an analogy. If your car battery goes flat you know that you need to find another car and use jump leads to restart your battery. You only know how to do that if you know what’s under the hood and where to attach the jump leads.

Now let’s say your dyslexic teenager’s battery goes flat and they need a jumpstart. You know how to do that! But, what if you find yourself repeatedly having to jumpstart their battery and it never seems sustained? Its probably time to take a good look under the bonnet and speak to an expert to learn a bit more about what might be going on and what the underlying cause is for the battery to keep going flat.

FINDING SOLUTIONS

There are lots of reasons why your dyslexic teenager’s battery might keep going flat, why they seem to hit the same challenges in school, and there are lots of things we can do to help sort the situation and increase their capacity. Firstly though, we need to understand more about what is going on before we can do anything about it.

That’s why I think this journey is so valuable. An increased understanding of teenage dyslexia means that you can discover key things that will help your son or daughter. These insights can often be quite small things but they end up having a massive impact and empower your teen to learn independently.

FREEDOM

For you as parents, the value of these insights is that they bring your own freedom. Freedom from the worry that your dyslexic teenager isn’t thriving at school and freedom for having to compensate for an academic  learning style which doesn’t always help them. It gives you a way to support your dyslexic teenager into independent learning.

TRANSITION

There is a transition from dependence to independence as there is all aspects of teenage life and so this can take time. There are lots of tools and resources that your teenager can access to assist their independence but finding the right ones only comes from understanding what is really going on and what will be the most help.

You have just watched the 6th video for the Hitchhiker's Guide to Dyslexia series. Click the button below to watch the next video.

Hopefully, this Hitchiker’s Guide to Dyslexia series will equip and encourage you along the way.

Here’s the full mind map:

Feel free to Pin it or download it.

resources available

Mind Map: JPEG | PDF | Video

Want more videos like this? Click here.

Related Articles:

dyslexia explored podcast

Dyslexia Explored This podcast will interview people with a dyslexia story from all stages and walks of life. The goal is to encourage parents of teenage dyslexics through the High School years. Darius interviews people who have a Dyslexia story. They may be describing their child’s story or their own. With particular focus on how

Read More »

Pete Buchan #39

A Multi-awarded Dentist who was reluctant to take the dyslexia assessment test shares his pre and post-test experience. Dyslexia Explored #39 Facebook Youtube Instagram Pete the dentist Listen to the talk while on the go from your favorite podcast app or click here to listen to this episode from iTunes. Don’t forget to leave reviews while your

Read More »

Caron Trout #38

How parents new to dyslexia deal with information overwhelm and the shock of discovering under resourced teachers Dyslexia Explored #38 Facebook Youtube Instagram Caron trout Listen to the talk while on the go from your favorite podcast app or click here to listen to this episode from iTunes. Don’t forget to leave reviews while your at it.

Read More »
 

Welcome!

VIDEOS FOR PARENTS OF DYSLEXIC TEENAGERS

We’re sending 2 new videos weekly on dyslexia + mindmapping. Get email notifications here:

Meet Your Guide

MEET YOUR GUIDE

Today I’d like to introduce myself.  My name is Darius and I’m based in Edinburgh, I’m dyslexic and I’ll be your guide in these videos and I’ll be speaking to you parent to parent.

MY EXPERIENCE

My dyslexia was diagnosed when I was a child so I know about being a teenager with dyslexia. I passed my exams and came here, to Edinburgh, and got my law degree. I’ve gone on to run businesses and community projects and I’m now a parent to teenagers who have dyslexia and I’ve taught them the study skills that have helped me and they have thrived at school and passed their exams well.

AM I AN EXPERT?

I’ve become an expert in mind mapping as I’ve been mind mapping for over 20 years and have developed that skill extensively and teach it to others.

I’m an expert in my own dyslexia but not in the broader field of dyslexia and I really want to learn more. These videos are part of my journey to learning more and I’m hoping that as I share them you’ll pick up invaluable information and knowledge that will help with your own child.

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

I have the privilege of meeting really interesting and informed people on this journey to learning more as I develop my vision of teach mind mapping to teenage dyslexics as  part of my business. My goal is to share what I learn, my observations along the way and useful resources that I discover. My hope is that these videos will help to make sense of all of the information that is out there and that they’ll be a real help to you as a parent of a teenager with dyslexia. We’ll learn about how to help and encourage your teenager to be more productive in school and feel more positive about their learning.

This is very much a learning journey so if you’re an expert and you’d like to contribute then please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!

ONTO THE NEXT

In my experience, as I’ve been learning more about dyslexia and how my mind works it has helped me to see and understand some of the roadblocks I’ve encountered in life and I’ve been able to learn new ways round them and develop a few life hacks along the way.

One of the things that I’ve learnt more about is the idea of working memory. I’ll share more on that in a later video and I really recommend you watch that one as it is a massive insight into how to help with teenage dyslexia.

The innovative thinking of dyslexic is a real gift to the world and learning how to capitalise on our advantages and compensate for our disadvantages with the amazing tools and resources that are at our disposal will hopefully be something we learn more about as this course progresses.

I hope you’ll enjoy this Hitchhiker’s Guide to Teenage Dyslexia.

You have just watched the 5th video for the Hitchhiker's Guide to Dyslexia series. Click the button below to watch the next video.

Here’s the full mind map:

Feel free to Pin it or download it.

resources available

Mind Map: JPEG | PDF | Video

Want more videos like this? Click here.

Related Articles:

dyslexia explored podcast

Dyslexia Explored This podcast will interview people with a dyslexia story from all stages and walks of life. The goal is to encourage parents of teenage dyslexics through the High School years. Darius interviews people who have a Dyslexia story. They may be describing their child’s story or their own. With particular focus on how

Read More »

Pete Buchan #39

A Multi-awarded Dentist who was reluctant to take the dyslexia assessment test shares his pre and post-test experience. Dyslexia Explored #39 Facebook Youtube Instagram Pete the dentist Listen to the talk while on the go from your favorite podcast app or click here to listen to this episode from iTunes. Don’t forget to leave reviews while your

Read More »

Caron Trout #38

How parents new to dyslexia deal with information overwhelm and the shock of discovering under resourced teachers Dyslexia Explored #38 Facebook Youtube Instagram Caron trout Listen to the talk while on the go from your favorite podcast app or click here to listen to this episode from iTunes. Don’t forget to leave reviews while your at it.

Read More »
 

Welcome!

VIDEOS FOR PARENTS OF DYSLEXIC TEENAGERS

We’re sending 2 new videos weekly on dyslexia + mindmapping. Get email notifications here: