Tag Archives: Children

Developmental Dyslexia: Differences in the Pre-Reading Brain

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by Bill Jenkins, Ph.D

Dyslexia is thought to affect a high percentage of people. The condition can be caused by biological changes during brain development (known as developmental dyslexia) or by environmental effects such as illness or injury (known as acquired dyslexia). In their recent article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nora Maria Raschle, Jennifer Zuk and Nadine Gaab cite estimates that developmental dyslexia affects between 5 and 17% of all children. (2012) They further outline how it can have detrimental effects on a child’s life both inside the classroom as well as beyond. Continue reading

3 Tips for Encouraging Verbal Communication in Young Learners

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by Carrie Gajowski

“It is now well accepted that the chief cause of the achievement gap between socioeconomic groups is a language gap.” – E.D. Hirsch, 2003

Research shows that children from rich language environments start off their academic career with a definite advantage over their peers. In one study with 280 1stgrade students, results indicated a strong connection between language skills and later academic performance.[i] Another study found that “children who are provided a wide variety of experiences and opportunities to talk, tell stories, read storybooks, draw, and write are generally successful in learning to read and write.”[ii] Continue reading

Mirror Neurons

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by Martha Burns, Ph.D

What is a parent to do to get a child’s brain started out on the right path – to be able to concentrate on one task for extended periods, be able to handle rapidly changing information, and be flexible enough to switch tasks easily?

Well, it turns out the human brain seems to have a strategy: by developing two core capacities during the first few years of life, interactive play and language, the brain seems to become uniquely equipped to build a range of cognitive capacities. Recent research suggests that a specific area in the frontal lobe – ‘the doing part of the brain’ – begins to wire itself very early in development through imitation of the movements and sounds made by others. This area, the so-called mirror neuron region, allows an infant to watch or listen to other people and respond with imitative or complementary movements or sounds. Continue reading

Improving auditory processing disorder in children on the Autism Spectrum

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by Barbara Calhoun, Ph.D

A recent study by Nicole Russo of Northwestern University and her colleagues, published in Behavioral and Brain Functions in 2010, evaluates whether auditory training programs such as Fast ForWord® can alleviate the auditory processing deficits so frequently seen in ASD children.
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