Dyslexia Treatment for Children at Home

Target the causes of dyslexia, not the symptoms

Dyslexia, a difficulty with reading despite normal intelligence, is primarily caused by cognitive skill delays. And just as you can train physical skills, cognitive skills will respond to exercise.

This is how our online dyslexia treatment at home works.

Reading is a language skill, and so dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. Good readers develop the cognitive skills needed for reading —  language processing in particular —  through daily language interactions, listening, in the first 6-7 years of life. Their language fundamentals, including phonemic awareness, improve naturally and consequently their reading improves, naturally.

However, daily listening is not enough language processing stimulation for dyslexic children. They need more practice.

Dyslexic children need more language processing practice

Our dyslexia treatment for children and adults meets this need. Each software exercise targets a cognitive skill (including language processing) or reading skill, with hundreds of trials in a ladder of tiny increments with escalating speed and complexity that pulls students up.

We address the same underlying deficits as Orton-Gillingham approaches, but so in a global way, working on the processing itself, not the sounds one by one. Our goal is a step-change improvement in reading in a few months.

Gemm Learning provides supports this powerful software at home with remote personalized care and attention:

  • Individualized protocols
  • Daily monitoring, weekly reporting
  • Regular coaching and interaction with remote professionals

Reading Software for Dyslexia

Our protocol always starts with Fast ForWord software, which interacts with the language centers of the brain. It addresses the language processing difficulties at the heart of a dyslexia diagnosis.

dyslexia treatment at home2+ million students helped worldwide

#1 ranked dyslexia treatmentBacked by 240+ studies worldwide

individualized treatment for dyslexiaImpact on brain consistently picked up in pre- and post-fMRI imaging

The Window To New Learning Is Always Open

For many years it was thought the brain was hardwired and therefore there was no way to resolve a learning disability like dyslexia.

However, in the late 1970s several scientists (Hubel, Weisel, Merzenich) discovered neuroplasticity. This is the capacity of the brain to change its structure and function through experience and training. The invention of the fMRI in the 1990s confirmed neuroplasticity by making changes in brain activity visible in pre- and post-imaging. Therefore, far from being hard-wired and fixed, we now know that the brain can change and self-improve with appropriate stimulation and guidance (Merzenich, 2004).

fMRI results of dyslexia treatment at homeTapping Into Neuroplasticity To Help Reading

In the case of dyslexia, if your child has limited phonemic awareness — if the brain cannot process phonemes — then reading growth will stall. This shows up on an fMRI as scattered activity, indicating a reading style using a range of methods such as guessing and memorization when decoding of words sound by sound by itself is not working.

This is how to treat dyslexia, to use neuroplasticity exercises for dyslexia that activate language regions of the brain. Specifically, more accurate processing makes the phonemes clearer and easier to process, which leads the brain away towards a phonological-based reading method. The post-treatment fMRI confirms these changes. It looks directionally more like the reading scan of a good reader per the Stamford and Harvard studies.

Furthermore, post-treatment many students continue to improve. With reading practice, the brain relies more and more on its language centers and less on guessing. Consequently, the added inclination to practice is self-reinforcing.  Reading becomes easier and more enjoyable each and every day.

Learning outcomes in early life are not final. Therefore, the window for improvement remains open throughout life. Our online dyslexia treatment at home, using Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant, taps into this profound opportunity.

Like most of the best programs for dyslexia, our treatment takes effort and persistence over a few months — no pain, no gain.  That is even with the remote oversight of our caring professionals. However, in most cases, the rewards make the effort worthwhile.

Dyslexia Treatment Steps

The language processing delays that cause dyslexia impair listening skills. Notably, Karen Foli compares it to listening to sound through water, It impedes development of phonological and phonemic awareness. With weak phonemic awareness, reading has almost no chance of becoming automatic or easy.

Strategies like word lists and phonics training do help phonemic awareness. However, they take a long time to make a difference and they are boring to do.  Furthermore, this is not how to treat dyslexia — these strategies do not address the underlying impediments. Furthermore, dyslexia responses such as tutoring, tinted dyslexia glasses, IEP’s or accommodations at school, etc., are also coping mechanisms. Our dyslexia treatment for children is very different. Rather than a band-aid, our target is the underlying difficulty.

Our approach has three steps:
Pyramid showing dyslexia treatment in steps

  1. Target The Underlying Causes
    We start by strengthening the cognitive skill gaps that cause dyslexia – processing speed, working memory, attention and sequencing.
  2. Make Reading Easier & More Fluent
    Once cognitive skills are improved, we add in exercises to build language dexterity — grammar, vocabulary, word analysis and spelling skills.
  3. Accelerate Reading Comprehension
    The latter stages of our dyslexia treatment programs focus on improving reading comprehension with critical and inferential thinking.

The adaptive software adds speed and complexity at the student’s pace, tapping into neuroplasticity. It gradually pulls the brain up to ever higher ability levels.

Disclaimer & Cautionary Note

There are many forms or labels for dyslexia. Phonological dyslexia is the most common. In addition, there is surface dyslexia, semantic dyslexia (focused on word retrieval) and deep dyslexia (or alexia, caused by traumatic brain injury).  While these are all a little different, the common theme is language processing difficulty, the main thrust of our dyslexia intervention.

Gemm Learning is an educational program, not a medical intervention. Because every child is unique we are not able to help in every case. A lot depends on the circumstances of the student and the effort put into our exercise regimen. Being a home-based dyslexia treatment for children adds risk also — compliance at home is sometimes challenging, which can impact outcomes. However, in most cases we can improve reading as measured by our testing. The variability in results is one reason we insist on a consultation before starting so that we can properly set expectations.

To find out if your child is a candidate for our online dyslexia treatment at home, watch a video here.  Or call a Gemm Learning specialist for a free consult.

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