Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Different Look at Dyslexia

I wanted to blog today about dyslexia and the fact that when you're talking to someone about dyslexia it is almost necessary for each person to discuss what their concept of dyslexia is before you start. It is very easy when talking about dyslexia to assume that the person you're talking to has the same understanding about dyslexia as you do. This is often not the case.

This isn't meant to be a serious formal discussion about dyslexia but rather an acknowledgment that when you hear that somebody is dyslexic what that means depends a lot upon who says it.
There seems to be a general confusion about dyslexia and its cause. Partly the confusion is caused because of a lack of vocabulary that differentiates dyslexics by their symptoms and partly it is because dyslexia is often written about as if the latest finding applies to all dyslexics and all prior information about dyslexia is now null and void.

Cultural anthropologists and psychologists have both written about how cultures and individuals who lack words for a particular idea or concept act as if they do not exist. Cultures that lack the word for war never get large amounts of people together to fight other large amounts of people. Dyslexics have individual problems that need to be treated in an individualistic way. Thinking of dyslexia as a single condition with a single cause leads to a belief that a particular intervention should benefit all dyslexics. This does not seem to fit the available data.

In much the same way people of the Arctic have many words that differentiate types of snow and use that information for travel, hunting and other uses, dyslexia needs to be broken down into defined subgroups that lead to different effective interventions based on those subgroups.

A numerical scale for ranking the severity of impairment for each subgroup would also be useful as it appears the severity of dyslexic symptoms vary for any individual and may require a combination of interventions for that individual.

In an overly simplified analogy to fertilizers where 3 numbers indicate the amount of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus in order, such as 23-8-14 or 2-12-10, and the gardener knows which fertilizer ( intervention) to use for a particular plant problem I propose a similar system for dyslexics.

A 0-10 scale could be used where 0 indicates no effect on reading ability and 10 indicates the most severe effect on reading ability.

The order of the numbers would be:

1) processing problems ( treated perhaps by multi-sensory instruction) let us call this Brain Structure Induced Dyslexia.

2) auditory problems ( treated perhaps by phonics instruction) let us call this Hearing Induced Dyslexia

3) visual problems ( corrected by See Right Dyslexia Glasses ) let us call this Visual Dyslexia

In my analogy a dyslexic that was evaluated as 8-5-1 would likely benefit most from processing intervention followed by auditory intervention. This dyslexic would also be able to understand that 1 type of program very well might not be all he or she needs.

A dyslexic evaluated as 1-2-8 might only need visual correction.

I find the idea that there is one answer for all dyslexics to be hype and believe that all the evidence shows that there are many different types of dyslexia that respond to different interventions. I would argue that a primary step in dyslexia research is missing that doesn't evaluate a dyslexic's problems as they relate to different interventions.

Others might suggest that other categories or subcategories need to be included also. I have no problem with that. It does seem fair to include brain, eyes and ears as possible sources of dyslexia symptoms at the minimum based on information available today.

For those who take issue with giving a numerical value to impairments I would like to suggest that eventually those numbers would likely be able to be correlated to success with their associated interventions.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dyslexia and Poor Noise Filters

A new piece of information about dyslexia is taking a step from anecdotal evidence to the realm of being considered research-based. The media, as usual, is in the process making it a problem common to all dyslexics. Below is a quote from one of the better reporters who talked to the primary researcher.

"She stressed that not everyone with dyslexia, a learning disorder affecting 5 to 10 per cent of schoolchildren, also has trouble processing sound."

Several dyslexia researchers in the past have suggested that a major contributor to the problem of dyslexia is that dyslexics have problems filtering the audio information necessary for processing when noise is present. Anecdotal evidence has long suggested that many dyslexics have difficulty listening to a speaker when there are other conversations in the background or even a generalized background noise.

While there has been well documented brain structural differences in dyslexics compared to the non-dyslexic population, the resolution of imaging techniques or even autopsy results of dyslexics are unlikely to find the brains mechanism for filtering information anytime in the near future. That doesn't mean that it doesn't exist just that our understanding of how the brain works and what can be imaged is still limited.

The most recent dyslexia study to investigate this phenomena investigated people's ability to become aware of a predetermined background noise when their auditory attention was directed elsewhere. As suspected, dyslexics as a group had a much more difficult time with that task.

Some of the more obvious directions to go with this information is that many dyslexics would benefit from a learning environment without distracting background noise or unnecessary competing conversations. On a practical level that could mean better soundproofing for classrooms and for homework areas or simply seating the dyslexic students in the front of the class closer to the teacher. Another possibility would have the teachers voice relayed to the dyslexic student by headphones.

A harder experiment that is sure to follow is one where an evaluation of a dyslexic's ability to learn phonics when background noise is present to see if auditory noise is contraindicated under that condition. While I haven't seen any results for that experiment, anecdotal evidence suggests that will also be the case for many dyslexics.

I would like to point out that the concept of dyslexics having problems with background noise may help to explain the success and the need for phonological instruction for many dyslexics who appear to have normal hearing. The acquisition of language is not normally developed without background noise present and that is not a problem for the nondyslexic individual. On the other hand, it is fairly easy to understand how a child that does not process background noise well starts to develop phonemic awareness problems from an early age and may benefit from phonological instruction which often takes place on a one-to-one basis in a much less distracting atmosphere.

Unfortunately, probably the most optimum time for the dyslexic child with background noise issues to benefit from an environment without background noise is when they are first learning language and at that age he or she is unlikely to have been identified. Even without the research to prove the necessity, I would suggest that it would be prudent for perspective parents with a high genetic predisposition towards dyslexia to consider trying to maintain a low background noise environment while the children are learning language.

Sometimes I wonder if the apparent increase in the percentage of children with dyslexia with phonological problems is not related to some degree to the relatively new desire to have our lives filled with background noise. It seems that many caretakers of children need to have the background TV or radio always present. The quiet surroundings of the past may have helped lessen dyslexic phonological problems and the increase in background noise in modern society may also have increased the number of dyslexics with phonological problems.

Dyslexia is always difficult subject to write about. Even my post here has not yet mentioned how dyslexia can vary from mild to severe and how phonological problems and background noise are just one small slice in understanding the dyslexia pie.

I would like to encourage the readers of this post to consider a hypothetical situation to demonstrate how people in general vary in their ability to isolate relevant information in a noisy environment. Imagine you are in a large crowded and noisy bar with seven other friends. One more late friend arrives and sees you across the crowded room. Wanting to get the tables attention he starts calling out names from your group one at a time. The chances are that each member of your group will become aware of the new arrival at different times. Some of the group will respond because they will recognize his voice, some will respond because they recognize that each name called out is present at the table, and then others will respond when they hear their own name. Some variations might be depended upon the level of attention the individuals have to other activities or even whether or not the new arrival was expected.

If only one individual at the table was dyslexics he wouldn't necessarily be the last person to respond to the new visitor. It certainly would simplify things if in the above example the dyslexic of the table would always be the last to identify the new arrival. Dyslexia and dyslexia research is just not that simple. It has just not been possible to date to develop a scale with any particular dyslexia symptom and say that anyone falls below this number is a dyslexic.

So while it is true that phonological problems are very common in dyslexics and the idea of dyslexics having difficulties with background noise helps refine the understanding of phonological problems and dyslexia it is still not enough to identify dyslexics because dyslexics are not defined by phonological problems.

It is also true that similar type experiments have found that dyslexics have similar problems with visual noise. It also seems to be a filtering problem of extraneous information. The experiments were done on a computer screen with what some might call varying amounts of TV snow. Dyslexics as a group had problems processing visual information with lower levels of visual noise than the non-dyslexic group. On a conceptual level, the idea of visual noise being a problem for dyslexics is similar to the background audio noise being a problem for dyslexics.

The difference between audio and visual noise problems is that audio problems are most often expressed in verbal language and communication problems while visual problems are expressed in difficulty seeing text. While even nondyslexics can easily relate to background noise as interfering with the ability to develop phonemic and phonological understanding, the concept of visual noise as being a source of reading difficulties is not as familiar.

The visual problems seeing text caused by visual noise are considered visual dyslexia. Because these problems are not as prevalent as the auditory problems they are often discounted. Even the idea of visual noise needs some explanation because most people don't experience visual noise. The closest common experience of visual noise is probably seeing snow on the TV which makes seeing the television picture harder to visualize.

One of the most common visual problems that makes reading difficult for dyslexics is reported to be seeing the text vibrate or in motion. To understand the difficulty of reading text in motion, consider the difficulty of reading while sitting in the backseat of a car driving down a washboard road. Difficulty keeping your eyes on the same line and the task of identifying the individual letters in a word now becomes a problem and reading becomes a chore rather than the easy pleasure it is when reading in a stable condition.

Another common symptom of visual problems when reading is that parts of words or parts of letters are overwritten by visual noise.To understand this type of problem imagine someone vandalizing a freeway sign by overwriting parts of letters or parts of words. The more severe your visual dyslexia is the more the letters and words are overwritten. Reading the sign then becomes more of a guessing game resulting in slower reading and an increased chance of reading errors. The question arises about what is the cause of this visual noise. My opinion is that it is caused by auto fluorescence.

Auto fluorescence is well-documented in the parts of the eye by proteins and many different wavelengths of light. The concept is easy to understand if you consider the path of a single photon which is originally carrying visual information from the object observed. After absorbing the photon by the auto fluorescent protein it is then emitted on a path no longer related to the object observed. The result is that one packet of visual information is removed and changed into a packet of visual noise that is no longer related to the image.

As the visual noise is related to specific auto fluorescent proteins that each are activated by individual wavelengths of light as possible to filter out those wavelengths of light to remove the visual news.

As the cause of the visual noise for visual dyslexia are specific auto fluorescent proteins that are activated by specific wavelengths of light ,it is possible to develop a filter for those wavelengths which effectively removes all of the visual noise. With the removal of all the visual noise the visual problems associated with visual dyslexia are extinguished. I call the universal visual dyslexia filters designed to remove the visual noise caused by auto fluorescence, See Right Dyslexia Glasses. They are available at The Visual Dyslexia Solution.

Dyslexia is of course much more complex than just having problems with auditory and/or visual noise.Individual dyslexics usually have specific coexisting problems that are not limited to only auditory and visual noise. Discussions of the other issues will have to wait another day.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Flawed Joint Statement about learning Disabilities And Vision.

Here we go again. A new Joint statement from pediatricians and eye doctors who admit they can't diagnose any learning disabilities want to make a blanket statement that learning disabilities and vision aren't related. Here is the PDF file link.

After reading the statement , my thought is that that they are throwing out the baby with the bath water. It is easy to understand their position and why they felt the statement was needed. It would also be easy to correct their statement with the addition of a few facts. Fact # 1 , there are a minority of dyslexics , properly called visual dyslexics , whose reading problems are caused by visual problems .
Fact #2 , the minority of visual dyslexics is about 10% of the dyslexic population or about 1-1.5% of the general population.

I designed and sell See Right Dyslexia Glasses which act as a universal visual dyslexia filter to remove the visual problems associated with visual dyslexia. I make no claims that the glasses help learning disabilities in general. They do not help dyslexics in general. The small minority of dyslexics with visual dyslexia that can describe visual problems that make reading difficult will have the visual problems removed with the See Right Dyslexia Glasses.

Visual dyslexics are known to have a higher rate of poor depth perception than the general population. Eye doctors that would like to see evidence of the affect of See Right Dyslexia Glasses might consider the fact that they will correct poor depth perception instantly and the poor depth perception will return when the glasses are removed. I mention that because I do not believe that eye doctors have anyway of correcting poor depth perception of visual dyslexics.

The idea presented in the statement that missing letters and moving words leading to reading problems are the result of anything other than visual problems is FALSE. It is really a stretch to say that it is a proven fact. I would suggest that the failure to being able to identify dyslexic individuals is partly because of a poor understanding that some dyslexic problems are visual.

Products that associate learning disabilities in general with visual interventions are likely to fail the majority of people with learning disabilities and at best help a small minority. The Irlen method has had some real success but does a poor job of identification of who will be helped leading to many failures. I have yet found any indication that vision therapy is an effective therapy for learning disabilities. I would describe vision therapy as bait and switch. People want educational help and vision therapy promises to help all with learning disabilities. The eye training provided has never been shown to help anyone.

Reading the joint statement about dyslexia and vision by every type of doctor that can NOT diagnose dyslexia was interesting. In many ways I do agree with their results for the mentioned vision therapies and how they have not been proven as beneficial for learning disabilities and so shouldn't recommended.

I believe that their basic agenda is a result of feeling that promoters of the mentioned vision therapies in the statement do not take a professional approach to the business of selling their products. It is actually hard to argue with the position that the mentioned promoters are not acting professionally.

All doctors are expected to act in a professional and ethical manner.Whether or not those promoters are being ethical depends on if they are knowingly over promoting the products or just incompetent or unaware.One requirement of being a professional doctor is to prescribe treatment to those that need treatment and to not prescribe treatment to those that do not need to be treated. The majority of years of education a doctors receives are slanted towards being able to diagnose who is to be treated for what and how.

I suspect that the joint statement was prepared because The Irlen Method and Vision Therapy are seen as overselling their respective products as being the necessary treatment for learning disabilities. Their sin is at least that learning disabilities is too broad a subject ( or condition) to only have a single treatment and to suggest either as a general treatment.

The joint statement basically says that Vision Therapy has never shown any educational benefit and that Irlen tinted lenses studies have shown mixed results at best. It implies that you can conclude results from flawed studies. By any reasonable standard you can't conclude results from flawed studies.

There is no reason that visual problems should be related to learning disabilities in general. If there is a visual aspect to some learning disabilities it would be a subset of reading problems or dyslexia. This has never been tested in a proper manner and so has not been shown to exist. It is no surprise that something that has never been shown to exist does not have a recommended treatment.

Visual dyslexia is not likely to be proven any time soon by a scientific study.

Dyslexia testing is prohibitively expensive and best case today is what is called dyslexia risk identification followed by some intervention for kindergarten children.This is often called dyslexia testing but has low standards.

By its very nature a generalized dyslexia testing program is going to test all children in an area. The people to give the tests and record results must have some generalized skills with testing and children ( think money ) and testing all the children will take time ( think money). Identification of children at risk ( the bottom half) and intervention ( more money). After intervention you find that 70% have come up to standard and that 30% didn't. They are the children most likely to be dyslexic and can now be tested for dyslexia.

It is also very likely that because of the assumptions on language abilities tested to determine dyslexia risks that visual dyslexics will not be included in the final group as their language skills are often very good.

To conclude , I suggest that See Right Dyslexia Glasses that claim to remove described visual problems , have a money back guarantee , and are easily evaluated in a matter of minutes to at most hours indicate that at least some people with learning disabilities have visual problems where removal of those problems leads to faster more accurate reading with better comprehension.

More information about See Right Dyslexia Glasses and visual dyslexia can be found at The Visual Dyslexia Solution web site

Monday, August 31, 2009

Correction for earlier post yesterday

I checked the publication date for the book in my earlier post yesterday and it predated my starting the web site. It appears that the comment was added by the blog author and not included in the book. My mistake. I will console myself with the thought that the only person that never makes a mistake is the person who never does anything.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Visual Perception Reading Problems

I have my own views on what causes visual dyslexia reading problems and how to correct them and that is how I developed See Right Dyslexia Glasses. I have always limited my claims to helping those dyslexics that can actually describe their visual problems that make reading difficult and mention that those visual dyslexics are a small minority of dyslexics in general. The Irlen Method has been around a lot longer than my glasses and is much better known.

Irlen convinced people that visual dyslexics needed to be evaluated to determine particular color lenses for particular dyslexics to get help and that works for some visual dyslexics. Irlen doesn't guarantee any positive results and in my opinion oversells her product. Between her claims of correcting the reading problems of visual dyslexics along with helping good readers, autistic and ADHD problems it seems her glasses help everyone with any educational difficulties.

Now ADHD and dyslexia do co-exist in many people so it is likely that there are some people with ADHD that do have visual dyslexia causing reading problems. I just suspect that removing visual dyslexia problems from someone with ADHD doesn't actually do anything for their ADHD and so I personally only market See Right Dyslexia Glasses for visual problems that make reading difficult. My success rate at removing described visual problems that make reading difficult is close to 100% so I can offer a money-back guarantee.

I also eliminated the need for a personal evaluation by designing the See Right Dyslexia Glasses as a universal visual dyslexia filter that is effective for all visual dyslexics.

I read almost everything that is published on the web that concerns dyslexia by having Google alerts for dyslexia, visual dyslexia ,dyslexia research and several more. Today I was reading a blog about visual perception that had a book reference that discussed the Irlen method and at the end mentions See Right Dyslexia Glasses as a more promising approach to the problem of visual dyslexia and here it is below the line.
Visual Perception

The following is excerpted from A User’s Guide To The Brain, by John J. Ratey, M.D.

I met a psychotherapist from the West Coast named Rolf at a conference in Aspen, Colorado. It was autumn, cool and overcast, yet Rolf was wearing yellow-tinted sunglasses. I just thought, Oh, it’s the California thing. But Rolf, age sixty-eight, had discovered only two years earlier that he had a visual-processing problem. He had begun to work with dyslexics when he retired from active practice, and in studying all he could, he learned about a technique called the Irlen method for helping a small subset of dyslexics.

Certain dyslexics have difficulty reading because as they move their eyes from left to right across a line of type, the letters seem to shimmer… they move. The affected individual can’t keep track of the words, and so has to struggle mightily to read. The Irlen idea was that if such a person looked at written material or any fine details through a certain type of filtering lens, the shimmering would stop.

Rolf had been tormented all his life with the idea that he was not as smart as he thought he was. It had taken him much longer than other students to study. He was smart enough to get by, and got his medical degree by forcing himself to listen well and ask lots of questions. Indeed, his first love was neurology, but that required much more detailed reading than psychology, which relied more on talking and listening, so he ended up becoming a psychiatrist. He had always loved literature, but just never read it because it was too much of an ordeal.

Upon discovering that different-colored Irlen lenses helped certain dyslexics, Rolf drove to his neighborhood pharmacy, picked up a magazine, and began trying on different-colored sunglasses. He tried blue, then brown. Nothing happened. But then he put on a $5 pair of yellow tinted lenses, and began to read the magazine. The words stood still! He read it more easily than anything he had ever tried to read before in his life. He was elated.

Rolf was already wearing glasses for common farsightedness. He hurried to his ophthalmologist to explain his discovery, and together they ordered a pair of Irlen lenses. Today Rolf is a voracious reader.

It’s important to note that Irlen lenses help only a small fraction of people who suffer from dyslexia, which can be caused by many different perceptual or brain processing problems. The shimmering of letters is not a problem that can be diagnosed with routine eye exams. Rolf happens to be in the small group of dyslexics who can be helped by Irlen lenses, was aware enough to apply what he was learning about dyslexia to himself, and was clever enough to find some ready evidence for a possible cure at his local pharmacy.

Rolf needlessly spent much of his adult life with a poor image of himself. Despite his outwardly successful career, he had been in analysis for years trying to understand why he thought of himself as inadequate and lazy, why he had to study so hard to achieve what others did routinely, why he didn’t read the journals as his fellow psychiatrists did or keep track of the news in the papers. His struggle had nothing to do with an intellectual deficit or a motivational problem. It was pure perception.

Just for a moment, look up and examine the scene around you. Be it a sterile office, cozy bedroom or den, allow yourself to sit back and really see the world that surrounds you. In the amount of time that you averted your gaze from this page, your eyes meticulously dissected the image cast upon your retina into approximately 126 million pieces, sent signals for every one of these tiny elements to a transfer station in the thalamus, which then fired neuronal networks to and within the visual cortex, then sent the information to the frontal cortex, and somehow you put the pieces back together into a seamless pattern perceived by you as a sterile office, cozy bedroom, or den.

To add to this complexity, recent physiological findings suggest that all this processing takes place along several independent, parallel pathways. One system processes information about shape, one about color, and one about movement, location, and spatial organization. If you look up and see a clock, the image of its face and the action of its sweeping second hand are being processed independently, despite how unified the image appears. It may seem bizarre to think of vision as functionally subdivided. But how otherwise could a person who has perfect focus and tracking of moving objects be color blind? Some so called blind people who cannot see colors or objects can still see movement.

As humans, our highly convoluted cortex enables us to combine visual messages with other sensory messages and past experiences to give unique meaning to particular visual situations. The sight of a fresh bouquet of red roses will probably have a different effect on me than on the florist who works with roses every day. Most other species do not have cortical convolutions, so the greater part of their visual processing occurs as pure sight. Humans have evolved to process most visual information in the visual cortex.

Since the introduction of the Irlen lenses, a more promising approach has been developed with the See Right Dyslexia Glasses. These glasses, which require no evaluation and are backed by a money-back guarantee, are an affordable risk free option to correct the problems associated with visual dyslexia. For more information, visit the web site at

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Eye M.D. association's inaccurate statement about Dyslexia and Vision

I guess it is too much to expect M.D. Ophthalmologists to actually be able to think their way out of a scientific bag. I expect to be slapped around for my comments here but I actually think that just because people have a biased opinion about a subject they shouldn't expose themselves by acting as if they can make a scientific sounding policy about dyslexia and vision unless they actually understand dyslexia as well as vision and the fact that a minority of dyslexics can describe individually specific visual problems that make reading difficult.

Here is the link to the new policy saying that vision has nothing to do with dyslexia

I see Sally Shaywitz and her husband's fingerprints all over the policy statement. I have always said that phonological problems are indeed the most common dyslexia problem ( regardless of the fact that there are a non trivial amount on non responders to phonological interventions)and that if you want to blindly choose an individual selected in a random manner from a group of dyslexics that phonological intervention has the greatest statistical chance of being helped. That method fails for a non trivial amount of dyslexics sometimes because of visual problems seeing text.

That Shaywitz uses fMRI information to prove the phonological problem relationship to dyslexia in her certain manner while not being able to identify if an individual is dyslexic or not by that method suggests to me that she is reading a little more certainty into the data than is there. I am not trying to criticize her, her star is at its height right now and the AAO believes her as if it is written in stone.

This is going to be a long post so I am going to go out on a limb and say that in all of history that there has never been any single way that Doctors have treated a large group of kids (or people in general) so that the results have been positive for every kid. I am not saying that groups haven't been helped just that a certain amount of collateral damage is acceptable. I guess that is why it is OK to promote drugs that may cause death in a few people as a side effect and OK to promote a single phonological intervention for dyslexics that will have some non responders to the intervention.

Sometimes it is informative to actually read the references that are used to evaluate them for quality and make sure they are inclusive of the information to date. GF Eden did one of the first fMRI studies on dyslexia and vision and found about the same differences that are seen in other areas of the brain : you can see differences between groups of dyslexics and non dyslexics. That study was big news at the time I would think the everyone belonging to the Eye MD association would be familiar with the study. G. Eden went on and studied other areas of the brain related to reading and found the same differences as with vision. The eye MD's included one of Eden's studies just not the one on vision. I always liked the comment from a young girl in her study who said she could read if the words would just stop walking. I have a vested interest in this discussion because I sell glasses that would stop those letters from walking so that girl could read normally.

I can understand the eye MDs being upset with the low quality studies done on vision therapy and colored lenses but just as poor studies don't prove anything positive they also don't prove anything negative. It is not proper to conclude that because a study is very flawed that it proves that something doesn't work, it just still needs to be properly studied.

I have no idea about how effective vision therapy is. Personally, I believe there is no way that claims of 80% of learning problems are vision related can possibly be true so there has to be huge failure rates and since it can take months and thousands of dollars and is never guaranteed I would advise against it until a target group can be identified so that the success rate can be raised to the point that a guarantee could be offered. I just don't see that vision therapy is a viable product at this time.

I don't like the lack of a guarantee and the overselling of colored lenses either. Again the studies done with colored lenses have been poorly designed but are suggestive that a better selected at risk population could increase the success rate. The eye MDs just can't claim that poorly designed studies prove a negative when they don't prove anything.

Just because the eye MDs are embarrassed that anyone would invade their turf with big claims little proof and no guarantees doesn't give them the right to speak from the mount and spew poorly researched and selected articles to get rid of the invaders.

Since I sell and financially guarantee that See Right Dyslexia Glasses remove described visual problems that make reading difficult for a minority of dyslexics I have a dog in this (fight) discussion.

Statistically, dyslexics in general and visual dyslexics in particular have a higher rate of poor depth perception. My glasses restore normal depth perception for that group. It seems that eye MDs can't restore normal depth perception yet but they can measure depth perception. Feel free to challenge my glasses ability to do that if you find a dyslexic with poor depth perception. I run across them occasionally myself.

I think using the FAQ's on a dyslexia site as a reference indicates a sloppy gathering of information to develop a national policy on dyslexia and vision not being related. Also since Eden's study on dyslexia and vision indicating dyslexia and vision are related was of the same excellence as the one you used as a reference
I wonder if the eye MDs did more than read the abstracts. Eden often mentions the non universality of her results as pertains to dyslexics.

Put the policy back on the agenda and do a better job next time. Here is some info on visual dyslexia.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dyslexia Theories

Bookmark and Share

Another way of looking at the theories of what causes dyslexia is to understand that all are partial explanations of the large condition that is dyslexia.
Together they form a fairly good understanding of what dyslexia is where they all fail when considered individually.

Granted, each theory has believers that claim " This is dyslexia ". If the goal is to understand a particular dyslexic and get help for that particular dyslexic, then the reality is that it needs to be determined which theory applies to that dyslexic so that a focused intervention can be developed.

There seems to be a disconnect between what dyslexia researchers are trying to do ,which is finding the single cause of dyslexia and what is wanted by most dyslexics which is what intervention will help him or her.

I offer as proof the different studies using fMRI to study dyslexia that study
specific areas of the brain ( generally each of which is related to a particular theory of what dyslexia is ). All the studies find the same result of being able to see the difference between groups of dyslexics and non dyslexics but with data overlap between the groups that makes identifying individual dyslexics impossible.

If you have only read the media reports of those studies and have already picked one that you firmly believe is the right result and that what causes dyslexia has been found , I suggest you find and read the researchers conclusions. Not one researcher can claim to evaluate a person by fMRI and determine if he or she is dyslexic.

When different dyslexics have different problems , which is what is observed, how can one theory of one cause be correct. On the plus side you can conclude that indeed these theories are each and every one of them are supported by fMRI

I personally have developed filter glasses for the minority of dyslexics that fit the criteria of being able to describe a visual problem that makes reading difficult. While that criteria covers a broad range of visual problems that make reading difficult it is narrow enough so that an individual can determine if he or she is in the group.

My point is that while no one theory covers all dyslexics, together they do form a list of problems from which any particular dyslexic is likely to be able to find the cause of his or her dyslexia problems. What is still needed is for the different interventions to determine criteria that will identify which intervention will help which dyslexic.

Until that happens, dyslexia interventions developed for a particular theory will continue to have failure rates due to the simple fact that some dyslexics have problems in other areas that are not addressed.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dyslexia Interventions

Dyslexia interventions and reality. " Holly Shapiro Ph.D. said... I must advise this blog’s readers that dyslexia is not a visual problem ( " and is using Sally Shaywitz, popular author and fundraiser , as her source of information.

A minority of dyslexics have visual problems as a primary source of their reading problems. I have never said that dyslexia is a visual problem but if an intervention ignores the visual problems that some dyslexics have it will fail for those dyslexics.

Well since Dr & DR Shaywitz seem to come to their conclusions from fMRI data and are also promoting sort of the same phonics and phonemic interventions as being the only valid and effective dyslexia interventions and useful for all dyslexics, I say open your eyes and look and the data again.

FMRI data does not support any universal problems for all dyslexics. If the data supported that position then you could identify a person as dyslexic or not by fMRI.

As for dyslexia and vision not being related if you are using fMRI studies to show the phonics relationship the fMRI vision studies should be as valid. This dyslexia and vision fMRI study shows similar results to all the dyslexia and language areas of the brain studies .
The human brain consists of a patchwork of regions that carry out different activities. At least 32 regions (labeled with a "V") are thought to participate in vision. Region V5, for example, seems to be crucial for tracking moving objects; V1 and V2 recognize colors and patterns. A number of studies in recent years have targeted a visual pathway that includes V5 as a trouble zone in people with dyslexia.

<span class=fMRI images of people with (bottom) and without (top) dyslexia, taken while looking at stationary patterns (left) or moving patterns (right) of dots" height="165" width="200">
fMRI images of people with (bottom) and without (top) dyslexia, taken while looking at stationary patterns (left) or moving patterns (right) of dots

In 1996, Eden and her coworkers at the National Institue of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Md., (where she worked at the time) confirmed this association "

Pay attention readers, the reason that different dyslexia interventions are being promoted is that not one is effective for all dyslexics. Several government studies have found that systematic phonics instruction from a professional is the best reading help for children struggling to read. I do not and can not understand how that Best can be perverted into a conclusion that phonics instruction is effective for all dyslexics.

When there is found a reading instruction method that is Effective for all dyslexics there will be singing from the roof tops. Holly
Shapiro says all her students learn from her phonics program and I assume she is talking about reading. I do not believe it. She either has a very low standard of success or is being misleading.

I am not saying that her particular program is good bad or indifferent. I am not saying that she is doing anything different than many other people selling dyslexia interventions. The reason I am not saying anything is because it is almost impossible to find what the results of these interventions are.

How would an effective intervention be defined? At the low end of effective I would at least require that the dyslexics would not be falling further behind . At the higher end an effective intervention would yield people who read at a level that would be expected from their intelligence.

Quack Quack Quack . Who was that . "
Readers should also be made aware that Mr. John A. Hayes is an Internet marketing quack, who might be practicing optometry without a license."
says Holly Shapiro. Internet Marketing QUACK. Hummmmmm It seems that what started me off on this subject was all the PAID articles with PAID links showing up on my google alerts and wasting my time that were made to seem to be articles by different people.

Personally I don't use paid links or write articles as if I was a third party with no interest but the truth. That is considered Black Hat SEO techniques and frowned upon by google. Let's see sleazy black hat Internet Marketing techniques by Holly saying all her stuents learn ( I assume reading) no dyslexia testing needed, no guarantee Quack Quack. That is misleading . I did notice that you kept changing a few words here and there in that bogus article touting your place with links saying you are better than everyone else. Oh that's right, if you didn't change a few words now and then google would notice they were duplicate content and they would never see the light of day.

If I was trying to generate really good success stories for a dyslexia intervention, I might suggest that any poor reader in trouble not be tested for dyslexia but just start paying for the intervention. That way if I was lucky, I could get paid thousands for what could have been achieved with a few hours of after school instruction and when the non-dyslexics started reading as well as they should I could claim a very effective dyslexia intervention. Oh, I am sorry, that's not my technique that is what Holly Shapiro does. Quack Quack!

But if I did that I couldn't sleep at night. I would feel I was over promoting and misleading dyslexics to think my intervention could help all of them. Isn't that the definition of being a QUACK . I bet if I was going to be that unethical I sure couldn't offer any guarantee or for that matter give any kind of indication of what results my intervention might have. Paid links ,Paid articles as ads, fake claims of helping every dyslexic, duplicate content and I am the internet marketing quack.

It might be argued that because dyslexics differ in their specific problems and severity of those problems it is difficult to predict what the individual results would be. I suggest that if the people charging for the intervention can not evaluate an individual and come to a conclusion as to how well the individual will do at least in a general way then, they don't understand the relationship of the individual's problems to the intervention.

I on the other hand, having become familiar with the I have the answer for all dyslexics interventions, represent my visual dyslexia intervention to those for which it is 100% successful only and I identify who will or will not be helped by them. Rather than quacking up customers who will not benefit from my product I am the anti-salesman shooing them away.

To Holly who would say I may be practicing optometry without a license I say put that joint down and get your facts straight. The glasses I sell are usually without prescription and the prescription glasses I sell have the prescription provided by the customer.
Nothing I do requires a license.

Holly you are welcome on my blog any day to voice your opinions. I am sorry but it is you that seems to have all the internet marketing hype and a narrow and incomplete understanding of dyslexia. You charge more for 2 hours of instruction that I do for my glasses and I refund the price and shipping if my customers ship them back. Who is the Quack??????????????

People like you and Shaywitz with your concept that dyslexia is a single condition and can be fixed with a single intervention are wrong . I am not even saying that your program isn't a good one for many or even most dyslexics. Teaching phonics is very important for the majority of dyslexics but it is not the whole answer for every dyslexic as you imply.

I have people calling me up and telling me how they have spent thousands for dyslexia interventions that didn't help much. Thinking about it now I have never had a pair of glasses returned by someone with whom I have discussed their vision.

You can not tell me that when you were working with children yourself that you didn't sometime have thoughts after the first interview that that child wasn't going to do well with your intervention.

My problem is with people who oversell their dyslexia interventions and drain out all the available money from non-responders so they end up stopping their hopes of finding an intervention that works for them because they go broke. Offer a guarantee and I won't be as harsh.

The worse possible financial situation someone buying my glasses could be in from trying my glasses is that they would be out the cost of return shipping . Trying your intervention for 3 months would cost $2500 with no guarantee of any help. Take the money and run is your business philosophy right ?

By the way ,your ignoring fluency and comprehension and assuming that they will develop on their own after the dyslexic learns phonics IMO is missing the point that the faster a dyslexic is helped the better off he or she is. Your program could be better .

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Adult Dyslexia as a money making machine

Bookmark and Share

I might just be having a bad week but everywhere I look I see products and services out to rip off adult dyslexics. If you are an adult with reading difficulties and suspect you are dyslexic , let me save you some money by giving you the results of any on line dyslexia test. The results will show you are dyslexic. The reason I say that is by the definition of not being a dyslexic , having normal or expected reading skills, the person who is not dyslexic is not going to be taking the dyslexia test.

It doesn't even matter if you are dyslexic or not and dyslexia is not the only reason for poor reading skills. Having English as a second language 20 or more years ago or missing a lot of school because you were ill come to mind as common reasons the educational system might have failed for an individual. Simplistic adult dyslexia tests are just going to identify poor readers as being dyslexic.

All these dyslexia tests for adults suggest once you know you are confirmed dyslexic it is easy to find a program to help your dyslexia, easy to complete the program and then blue skies forever. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it is just not so. There may be the rare adult program available maybe even free but generally free programs if available are for children.

This is where I should be putting the answer to all your dyslexia problems for $29.99, get it today, limited offer and all the other hype for a product that isn't going to help anybody. I don't have such a product.

That hasn't stopped others from claiming to have the answer. To be fair I haven't reviewed this book but when the normal selling price is over $1 a page I think that it is going to be over priced. Here is the reason for my rant today. This is not new information !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Notice that almost every topic is covered in 1 page. Some pages cover 2 topics. I know that being concise and to the point is a virtue in writing but you can't cover much in a 2-3 page chapter. Chapters 4, 5,6,7,11,12 ,13,15 are all of 1 page long.

Look at their P.S. P.P.S. and P.P.P.S . and what they claim you will get from this book. I don't believe it!

how to cure dyslexia

table of contents

P.S. Remember when I told you about those tips above? You could be enjoying the freedom from worry right now! Act Today!

P.P.S You could be enjoying the freedom and happiness that comes with controlling your dyslexia symptoms....Don't wait another minute! Join the hundreds of others that are completely impressed with the product!

P.P.P.S. After this special pre-launch offer, I will be raising the price tag back up to the original $34.00 price. Advertising online can get very expensive, and I'm not even sure if I can keep this offer up much longer!


I assembled these useful links as a resource for dyslexics without visual dyslexia.

These links were chosen because they either offer free services or information about dyslexia that is presented in an objective manner.

useful links

If you are the type of person that thinks something only has value if it costs money you can send me the $29.99 LOL .

Monday, April 20, 2009

Garbage Dyslexia Spam Ravina Reading Center Chicago

I get annoyed sometimes when dyslexia spam fills my mailbox because I have google alerts for dyslexia. The latest is being put out by Ravinia Reading Center in Chicago and is an article that bashes everyone so that people looking for dyslexia will turn to this source of dyslexia wisdom. I have seen this garbage dyslexia article in about 20 alerts so far. That is about what I usually see on a real new dyslexia topic.

The title is Reputable Dyslexia Clinics Teach Dyslexic Kids and Adults More Effectively than Unspecialized Instructors.

Here is their deal . They charge about $100/hour and suggest 2 hours a week all year long . That's $10,000 a year . They are so good at what they do that you can expect the program to last 1,3 or 5 years or until you run out of money.

They mention Orton Gillingham as a method but say about the center's head" Dr. Shapiro has elected not to pursue recertification as a Fellow of the Academy."

All instructors are Speech Language Pathologist .

Here is a real gem of useful information." A pediatrician is often the 1st diagnostician to explore the nature of the problem. The doctor should figure out if the origin of the difficulty in reading by taking a standard physical examination and interviewing a thorough health history."

So what should the pediatrician do ???? If indicated, the patient could be referred for {a neurological examination I can only guess that when you take your child for a physical exam to determine why he or she has reading problems he or she can be evaluated for severe head trauma as a cause.

Well what to do if the pediatrician and the neurologist have not found the cause of the reading problem????????????????? "If dyslexia is instead suspected, the doctor should refer the struggling reader for intervention by a speech-language pathologist or needed testing with a specialized tester in learning disabilities."

Well what advice can I get from the website about testing ?????????????????????" No dyslexia test or evidence is necessary to confirm a reading difficulty, other than observed difficulty reading. It’s really that simple."

So let me recap . How should parents find help in Chicago for poor reading children suspected of dyslexia.????????????????? Between the article and the website the answer is to just sign up for the $10,000 a year program no testing needed.

I assume that the people expect that having dozens of random blogs ( I suspect paid) post an article with a link back to Ravinia Reading Center in Chicago is enough to get high ranking in the search engines.

What is funny in my opinion is that local search engine results are easy to get. This post will probably end up next to their search engine results.

What does the article say about finding dyslexia interventions ?????????????????????????????
"Despite the fact that it’spossible to locate good dyslexia help in most big cities, exercise caution. Ignorant, uneducated practitioners are marketing lies. Some solutions are out there as dyslexia treatments like colored overlays for “dyslexia reading glasses”. If dyslexia tools like these help with any disability or problem, it is surely not dyslexia, and could be nothing more than quack science."

Since I have developed See Right Dyslexia Glasses and market those glasses with a money back guarantee I would usually just comment on the blog posts of articles like this one to set the record straight. Every blog with this article on it has had their comments closed.

Visitors to my blog never find closed comments. My blog tries to weed out bad dyslexia information and the article and dyslexia help business in Chicago is as bad as any I have sen in a long time. BTW all the spelling errors are from my copying and pasting from the article or website.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dyslexia Misunderstood and Why

I have been reading some blogs that try to explain dyslexia in a few paragraphs and it is just impossible. By pointing out some common short cuts that are taken when writing about dyslexia I hope to promote a more careful reading of the material about dyslexia.

Dyslexia is very difficult to write about because having individualistic symptoms everything needs to be qualified. I thought I would make a couple of comments about what I have read lately. One recent study is being promoted as" Dyslexia Unraveled ". It repeates some generalized meaningless statements.

"In fact, most people who have this disability have average to above average intelligence." This is a nice feel good statement that everyone makes but is often taken to mean that people with below average intelligence never have dyslexia.

Here is the truth. Because dyslexia is easier to detect in people with higher IQ's , diagnosed dyslexics generally have a average or higher IQ.

Many definitions of dyslexia also have a cut off on the low end of the IQ scale where reading difficulties can't be attributed to dyslexia or low IQ because reading standards for low IQ individual don't exist. If you remove low IQ people from consideration as dyslexics of course the remaing dyslexics will tend to have average or higher IQ's

While the feel good statement is important to help dyslexics know that their reading problems are not generally caused by being stupid or slow it does direct the effort to identify dyslexics away from people with lower IQ's. Those unidentified lower IQ dyslexics would also benefit from help so the feel good statement also does quite a bit of harm also.

Consider that the following 2 statements are both true and add nothing of value to understanding of what a person is. Note: the reason both statements can be true is that average people are included and counted in both groups.

1) People generally have average or HIGHER than average IQ's.

2) People generally have average or LOWER than average IQ'.

Here is a statement that is true for both dyslexics and people .

Dyslexics , in common with people , may have lower,higher or average IQ's and as far as science has been able to determine dyslexics do not differ from people in respect to IQ.

I submit that the statement "In fact, most people who have this disability have average to above average intelligence." is true but also misleading and has the potential to divert attention away from dyslexics of lower IQ causing them to be under represented and ignored. This harm very well offsets the advantage of being a feel good statement.

My niche is visual dyslexia so I have to make another comment about another common statement used to define define as being "often exemplified by reversing letters and the order of letters in a word.". Another true statement but not really helpful in understanding dyslexia and reversing letters only adds confusion because so many people with and without dyslexia reverse letters when writing is first encountered and beginning to be mastered.

Early on in school people often reverse letters. This behavior in dyslexics continues longer than it does in people without dyslexia. Early on , because people without dyslexia outnumber those that do, indeed the group of those who reverse letters can have fewer dyslexics than non dyslexics.

There are standards of ranges of how many reversals are common at different ages with the behavior being extinguished in those without dyslexia usually by the second grade.

Without the qualification of age and rate of occurrence, reversing letters as a description of dyslexia is useless and I suspect causes many parents to worry that they have dyslexic children when they do not. Again a counter productive description of dyslexia because it is not qualified.

There are other visual problems , such as seeing vibrating text as an example, that are useful in identifying visual dyslexia because they are not common in the non dyslexic population. Adult visual dyslexics can usually describe their visual problems . Children will often be able to describe their visual problems if how they see the page is discussed. More information about visual dyslexia can be found at .

About 10% of dyslexics have visual dyslexia as a primary and sole cause of reading difficulties. Most dyslexics have no visual problems and a poorly defined % have both visual and language processing problems.

Which brings us to .
"Once a child is diagnosed, studies have shown that multi sensory learning techniques have helped children with dyslexia a great deal"

All dyslexia intervention techniques have non responders. Because multi sensory instruction does address the most common dyslexia problems it has been proven to be effective for a majority of dyslexics. If no specifics are known except that a person is dyslexic, then in a statistical way it can make sense to use multi sensory instruction. It would be better to try to identify a dyslexic's individual problems and focus the intervention on his or her specific problems.

Visual dyslexics are not going to be have their visual problems addressed by multi sensory instruction. There are also some additional dyslexia related problems that are not addressed that may require different techniques.

We have found the cause of dyslexia or not ! There are 2 major sources of the " cause of dyslexia found". There have been many fMRI studies that have imaged many different areas of the brain to compare dyslexics and non dyslexics. Most have been reported to have identified the cause of dyslexia from a single area of the brain. To date all the studies have had the same result of seeing differences between groups of dyslexics and non dyslexics but with enough overlap of results that individuals can not be identified as dyslexic or not.

If you take the time to read all the fMRI studies and treat them as a single study you would have a much clearer understanding of what the present fMRI research data is telling us.

The following statements seem to be true.

In general every dyslexic will not show positive results in every area of the brain studied.

Ever area of the brain studied will show that some of the dyslexics have problems related to that area.

Every area of the brain studied will show that some of the dyslexics do not have problems related to that area.

The conclusion that seems reasonable is

Different dyslexics have different problems and those problems are related to different areas of the brain. It seems likely that individual dyslexics can have an assortment of problems that are individualistic. It also seems likely that the severity of a dyslexic's reading difficulty will be reflected by differences in severity in the individual areas of the brain wher his or her problems exists.

Another common source of " the cause of dyslexia is found" is from personal accounts that basically say " I am dyslexic , this is my problem, so this is what dyslexia is. ". This personal account often results in an intervention based on that belief and you would expect that intervention to be successful for the % of dyslexics that do indeed have that particular problem and a failure for those dyslexics without that problem.

Ron Davis, "Dyslexia is a Gift" and believes dyslexia problems are caused by the fact that dyslexics think in pictures is one example. The Dore method that promotes a physical exercise program as a cure for dyslexia is another example. Both of these examples claim that their method will help all dyslexics.

Until techniques are developed to identify an individual dyslexic's weaknesses and also identify the best interventions matched to each of them so that the most effective individual plan can be developed, much time and money is going to be wasted .

As I said , my niche is helping visual dyslexics that can describe visual problems that make reading difficult. More information can be found at the visual dyslexia solution where I sell See Right Dyslexia Glasses.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Visual dyslexia videos

Without getting too technical, the visual noise that causes visual dyslexia is generated by a finite group of wavelengths of light . A particular dyslexic may be adversely affected by one or more wavelengths from that finite group. Different dyslexics may be affected by different wavelengths but they will all be from that finite group.

The good news is that by filtering out all the wavelengths of light from that group at the same time a universal visual dyslexia filter has been developed that can remove all the visual noise for all visual dyslexics . This filter is used for the lenses of See Right Dyslexia Glasses and is effective at removing all the visual problems for all visual dyslexics.

Visual dyslexia exists across a spectrum from mild to severe and it is impossible to depict the variations of severity or all the different manifestations of visual distortions that visual noise causes and how the individual brain responds to that visual noise.

I have collected a few visual dyslexia videos and posted them on my web site where they are easier to view than here. Together they give a fair picture or representation of the types of visual problems that cause difficulty reading for visual dyslexics.