Brain Scans Show Dyslexics Read Better with Alternative Strategies

The author is:
Marshall, Abigail. ©  (updated 2015/2017). “Brain Scans Show Dyslexics Read Better with Alternative Strategies.” Davis Dyslexia Association International,
Please read the original article at
Scientists studying the brain have found that dyslexic adults who become capable readers use different neural pathways than nondyslexics. This research shows that there are at least two independent systems for reading: one that is typical for the majority of readers, and another that is more effective for the dyslexic thinker.
The impact of these findings on educating dyslexics to read is crucial for both parents and teachers:
  • teaching methods that may work well for a large majority of schoolchildren may be counterproductive when used with dyslexic children.
  • Teaching methods based on intensive or systematic drill in phonemic awareness or phonetic decoding strategies may actually be harmful to dyslexic children;
  • Such teaching might simply emphasize reliance on mental strategies that are as likely to diminish the reading ability for dyslexic children as they are to improve it, increasing both the frustration and impairment level of dyslexic students.
Researchers using brain imaging studies to compare dyslexic and non-dyslexic adult readers have found that there is a definite relationship between reading ability and cerebral blood flow patterns:
• For non-dyslexic readers, stronger activation of left hemispheric reading systems corresponded to better reading skill;
• For dyslexic readers, the opposite was true: the stronger the left-hemispheric pattern, the poorer the reader;
• In the right brain area, the dyslexic adults had higher activation levels than non-dyslexic readers in word reading tasks, which correlated positively with improved reading ability.
• For the nondyslexic control group, such activation pattern was negatively correlated to reading ability.
For rhyming identification and meaning based tasks, it was found that inter alia :
• Ordinary readers use the left temporal area for sounding out words;
• Poor readers do not use the left temporal area to find the sounds of words;
• Capable dyslexic readers show a greater reliance on right brain areas;
• Dyslexics who are capable readers do not activate the left temporal region;
The advantages of the Davis Learning Strategies and Dyslexia Correction methods:
• Children (and adults) use clay to model the concepts that are associated with word meanings at the same time as modelling the letters of each word in clay.
• At the primary level, these methods provide a route to learning to read that seems easier for students with dyslexia tendencies than traditional instruction.
• Among older dyslexic children and adults, these methods routinely lead to very rapid progress in reading ability.
• Modelling words in clay may help build the mental pathways that brain scan evidence shows to be crucial for reading development among dyslexic students.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Free Dyslexia Screening Test

The first step in determining whether you or your child are experiencing learning difficulties due to dyslexia, is to do this preliminary free and confidential screening assessment in order to get a profile of learning strengths and weaknesses, including a measure of severity of symptoms.

Your answers to the 41 questions are confidential and stay with you. Your results will be shown on screen as soon as you finish answering the questions. You will have an opportunity to print out your results at the end of the assessment.

Free Davis Dyslexia Screening Test

The second step is a basic interview by phone/skype where you can ask as many question as needed. Contact:

Jan Viljoen At Dyslexia Solutions South Africa

Phone : +27 83 413 1428 or Email: After this initial exercise the formal process will start.