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Dyslexia and Visuospatial Processing Strengths: New Research Sheds Light (January 2014)

Dyslexia and Visuospatial Processing Strengths: New Research Sheds Light (January 2014) | Dyslexia DiaBlogue®-IDA Examiner | Scoop.it

By Carolyn D. Cowen


"Do people with dyslexia have superior 'visuospatial processing' abilities compared to those without dyslexia?


It is an intriguing question. Anecdotal reports and clinical observations dating back to the earliest days of dyslexia’s discovery1 support the popular belief that dyslexia has upsides, particularly in visuospatial domains. Now, science is providing tantalizing new hints that might move us closer to answering this question with support from a body of empirical work. ..."


(Click headline to read full article.)

Carolyn D Cowen's insight:

For more discussion about "dyslexia as a gift" and the need to rethink priorities, see Lou Salza's Nov. 2012 blog post: Rethinking Dyselxia; Rethinking Priorities: Let's read the writing on the wall and teach our children to read." (http://lawrenceschool.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/rethinking-dyslexia/)


NOTE: The paper mentioned in this article/Q&A has been published in NeuroImage:


Diehl, J. J., Frost, S. J., Sherman, G. F., Mencl, W. E., Kurian, A., Molfese, P., Landi, N., Preston, J., Soldan, A., Fulbright, R. K., Rueckl, J. G., Seidenberg, M. S., Hoeft, F., & Pugh, K. R. (November 2014). Neural correlates of language and non-language visuospatial processing in adolescents with reading disability. NeuroImage,101, 653–666.DOI.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.07.029


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053811914006120

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Lou Salza's curator insight, January 28, 2014 1:51 PM
Carolyn D Cowen posted this update on research ongoing at Haskins. She generously included a link to my blog about dyslexia and my reveiw of the movie: The Big Picture. Thanks Carolyn!

 

Excerpt:

"For more discussion about "dyslexia as a gift" and the need to rethink priorities, see Lou Salza's Nov. 2012 blog post: Rethinking Dyselxia; Rethinking Priorities: Let's read the writing on the wall and teach our children to read." (http://lawrenceschool.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/rethinking-dyslexia/)

Betty Skeet's curator insight, January 29, 2014 7:26 AM

New research on: Dyslexia and Visual-spatial Processing Strengths

Dyslexia DiaBlogue®-IDA Examiner
My articles for IDA Examiner—all in one place! (For more about The Examiner: http://www.interdys.org/examiner.htm. Find me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cdcowen)
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Why Study Visual-Spatial Thinking in Dyslexia? (October 2014)

Why Study Visual-Spatial Thinking in Dyslexia? (October 2014) | Dyslexia DiaBlogue®-IDA Examiner | Scoop.it

By: Carolyn D. Cowen


Jeffrey Gilger, Ph.D., has been busy. Dr. Gilger is a developmental psychologist at the University of California-Merced (UC Merced) and a former International Dyslexia Association (IDA) board member. He and his team have been conducting brain-imaging studies on the neurobiological processes in adults with dyslexia and in a subgroup who also are gifted in nonverbal-spatial abilities. Within the last year and a half, Gilger and his colleagues have published three studies.


Dyslexia-Talent Debates


Long-standing speculations and questions about a possible dyslexia-talent relationship, particularly in nonverbal-spatial domains, have piqued interest for decades. The questions have remained largely unanswered, at least scientifically, ever since dyslexia was described in early medical literature (e.g., Morgan’s 1896 case study on "Percy F"). The possibility of such a paradoxical relationship is intriguing, but remains an open question since only a small body of empirical research has been conducted on this topic thus far. (See Examiner articles "Dyslexia and Visuospatial Processing Strengths: New Research Sheds Light" and "Upside of Dyslexia? Science Scant, but Intriguing." Also see "The Surprising Upside of a Dyslexic Brain," by Annie Murphy Paul.)


The dyslexia community is divided on the question of a dyslexia-talent relationship and its possible etiologies and implications.


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Visual System Differences in Dyslexia Do Not Cause Reading Problems (July 2013)

Visual System Differences in Dyslexia Do Not Cause Reading Problems (July 2013) | Dyslexia DiaBlogue®-IDA Examiner | Scoop.it

By Carolyn D. Cowen


"The jury is in on yet another long-standing debate about dyslexia. The verdict is important and nuanced.


The phonological basis for dyslexia’s hallmark difficulties in learning to read has been established for decades as the predominant explanation of dyslexia. Nevertheless, another explanation—a weakness in processing visual stimuli—has persisted and remains a subject of debate. Now, a new study provides strong evidence about the role of the brain’s visual system in dyslexia.


This study, published on line June 6 in the journal, Neuron, found that while a specific difference can be seen in the brain’s visual system in subjects with dyslexia, this difference is not the culprit behind the reading difficulties. More likely, this difference is the consequence of less reading experience. And, to paraphrase Shakespeare, saying that children with dyslexia have less reading experience than their peers is like saying that night follows day.  ..."


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Year In Review Through IDA's Examiner Lens (January 2013)

Year In Review Through IDA's Examiner Lens (January 2013) | Dyslexia DiaBlogue®-IDA Examiner | Scoop.it

By Carolyn D. Cowen, Karen E. Dakin and Kristen L. Penczek


"The start of a new year often inspires reflectionalong with the resolutions and goal setting. As a new year begins, we tend to look back at highlights and lessons of the previous year, hoping to profit from the past as we plan for the future.


At The Examiner, we, too, looked back as we planned forward. It turned out to be an interesting exercise. Viewed through the lens of Examiner back issues, 2012 was quite a year. ..."


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Neuroscience Meets Twitter (September 2012)

Neuroscience Meets Twitter (September 2012) | Dyslexia DiaBlogue®-IDA Examiner | Scoop.it

By Carolyn D. Cowen and Gordon F. Sherman


"How fitting that the International Dyslexia Association’s first “conference tweet chat” is taking place at one of our most forward-thinking sessions, “Neuroscience in the 21st Century: Where are we going?.” 


This symposium, chaired and organized by Dr. Gordon Sherman, convenes October 24, 2012 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) at our 63rd annual conference in Baltimore, MD.


Here is the plan: During the symposium (and before), we will monitor (but not project) a Twitter feed, from which we will pull questions for our distinguished panel of speakers—Drs. Gordon Sherman, Jeffrey Gilger, John Gabrielli, Albert Galaburda, Brock and Fernette Eide, and Guinevere Eden. This is a unique opportunity to pose questions to our speakers and to discuss (via Twitter) topics and issues addressed in the symposium. ..."


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DSM-5 Proposed Revisions Remove the Term Dyslexia (May 2012)

DSM-5 Proposed Revisions Remove the Term Dyslexia (May 2012) | Dyslexia DiaBlogue®-IDA Examiner | Scoop.it

By Carolyn D. Cowen and Karen Dakin


"Every so often, an issue merits stopping whatever you are doing, paying attention, and, if you are concerned, taking action.


This is one of those issues: The proposed revisions for the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA)Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) no longer include dyslexia. ..."


(Click headline to read full article.)

Carolyn D Cowen's insight:


http://www.interdys.org/dsm5update.htm

See the URL above (IDA Examiner January 2014) for an update. 

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Brain Activity Associated with Dyslexia Predates Difficulty Learning to Read (February 2012)

Brain Activity Associated with Dyslexia Predates Difficulty Learning to Read (February 2012) | Dyslexia DiaBlogue®-IDA Examiner | Scoop.it

By Carolyn D. Cowen, Ed.M. and Karen E. Dakin, M.Ed.


"We may have an answer to a persistent which-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg question about dyslexia.


New imaging research in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (January 23, 2012) suggests that brain activity associated with dyslexia occurs even before undertaking the task of learning to read. Previously, it was unclear whether this activity difference results from the struggle to learn to read or predates the difficulty.


The finding that this brain-activity difference exists in pre-reading children underscores the critical importance of early identification of those at risk and the vital need for early intervention, a position long held by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA).


“This research emphasizes the need to start intervention at an early age,” said Guinevere Eden, IDA’s immediate past president and Director of the Center for the Study of Learning and Professor of Pediatrics at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC.


Nadine Gaab, the study’s co-author and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Neuroscience Program at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital said, “Our research shows that brain differences in children with familial risk for dyslexia exist prior to the onset of a reading difficulty. These differences are not a result of compensating or struggling with dyslexia for years.”


In other words, “this research suggests that the brains of people with dyslexia may be developing differently from the start,” said Gordon Sherman, current board member and past national president of IDA. ..." 


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Norman Geschwind: A Man Out of Time (with comment on Cerebrodiversity).pdf

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Dyslexia and Visuospatial Processing Strengths: New Research Sheds Light (January 2014)

Dyslexia and Visuospatial Processing Strengths: New Research Sheds Light (January 2014) | Dyslexia DiaBlogue®-IDA Examiner | Scoop.it

By Carolyn D. Cowen


"Do people with dyslexia have superior 'visuospatial processing' abilities compared to those without dyslexia?


It is an intriguing question. Anecdotal reports and clinical observations dating back to the earliest days of dyslexia’s discovery1 support the popular belief that dyslexia has upsides, particularly in visuospatial domains. Now, science is providing tantalizing new hints that might move us closer to answering this question with support from a body of empirical work. ..."


(Click headline to read full article.)

Carolyn D Cowen's insight:

For more discussion about "dyslexia as a gift" and the need to rethink priorities, see Lou Salza's Nov. 2012 blog post: Rethinking Dyselxia; Rethinking Priorities: Let's read the writing on the wall and teach our children to read." (http://lawrenceschool.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/rethinking-dyslexia/)


NOTE: The paper mentioned in this article/Q&A has been published in NeuroImage:


Diehl, J. J., Frost, S. J., Sherman, G. F., Mencl, W. E., Kurian, A., Molfese, P., Landi, N., Preston, J., Soldan, A., Fulbright, R. K., Rueckl, J. G., Seidenberg, M. S., Hoeft, F., & Pugh, K. R. (November 2014). Neural correlates of language and non-language visuospatial processing in adolescents with reading disability. NeuroImage,101, 653–666.DOI.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.07.029


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053811914006120

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Lou Salza's curator insight, January 28, 2014 1:51 PM
Carolyn D Cowen posted this update on research ongoing at Haskins. She generously included a link to my blog about dyslexia and my reveiw of the movie: The Big Picture. Thanks Carolyn!

 

Excerpt:

"For more discussion about "dyslexia as a gift" and the need to rethink priorities, see Lou Salza's Nov. 2012 blog post: Rethinking Dyselxia; Rethinking Priorities: Let's read the writing on the wall and teach our children to read." (http://lawrenceschool.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/rethinking-dyslexia/)

Betty Skeet's curator insight, January 29, 2014 7:26 AM

New research on: Dyslexia and Visual-spatial Processing Strengths

Scooped by Carolyn D Cowen
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Meet Alice Thomas: Recipient of IDA Presidential Award (September 2013)

Meet Alice Thomas: Recipient of IDA Presidential Award (September 2013) | Dyslexia DiaBlogue®-IDA Examiner | Scoop.it

By Carolyn D. Cowen


"Alice Thomas is a fierce champion for 'children at risk' and a passionate standard bearer in the campaign to ensure thatall teachers are well prepared to teach all children how to read.


That became very clear during our interview—a delightful conversation that ranged over the landscape of her career and underscored her belief that nearly all children can learn to read and achieve school success. ..."


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Nation Weeps for Lost Children of Newtown (December 2012)

Nation Weeps for Lost Children of Newtown (December 2012) | Dyslexia DiaBlogue®-IDA Examiner | Scoop.it

By Carolyn D. Cowen, Karen E. Dakin and Kristen L. Penczek


"As The IDA Examiner was going to press on Friday, shattering events were unfolding at Sandy Hook Elementary School and breaking hearts across the nation, indeed around the world.


As we watched unspeakable acts of violence mingle with acts of courage and sacrifice and as tragedies intertwined with miracles, we, like the rest of the world simply stopped what we were doing. We could not continue.


Now, however, we must. Our work and yours focus on empowering schools, educators, and families to open doors of opportunity for all our nation’s children. Juxtaposed against the events at Newtown, Connecticut, our work may seem almost trivial at first. In truth, though, our work focuses on the heart of what was stolen at Sandy Hook— the opportunity to live fulfilling, healthy, happy lives, rich in love and promise. This is our wish for all children and this is the very work in which those heroic educators were engaged Friday morning. In that spirit, we go to press today with our December issue of The Examiner. ..."


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Q&A with Daniel Pink (September 2012)

Q&A with Daniel Pink (September 2012) | Dyslexia DiaBlogue®-IDA Examiner | Scoop.it

By Carolyn D. Cowen


"Daniel Pink, best-selling author and a keynote speaker at our upcoming 63rd Annual Conference in Baltimore, chatted with us by phone recently about his keynote, “A Whole New Mind,” and about his very popular book of the same title.


Our conversation ranged over a host of topics, particularly Pink’s premise: The future belongs to those with a different kind of mind—“designers, inventors, teachers, storytellers—creative and empathic ‘right-brained’ thinkers.” Pink says three forces—abundance, Asia, and automation—drive this shift away from the “narrowly reductive and deeply analytical” form of thinking that has dominated American society for a century. Here is a slice of our conversation. Pink answers seven questions; many are of special interest to those concerned with dyslexia. ..."


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Upside of Dyslexia? Science Scant, but Intriguing (March 2012)

Upside of Dyslexia? Science Scant, but Intriguing (March 2012) | Dyslexia DiaBlogue®-IDA Examiner | Scoop.it

By Carolyn D. Cowen, Ed.M. and Gordon F. Sherman, Ph.D. 


Dyslexia is in the news. Topics range from landmark legislation and intriguing neuroimaging research to the unique challenges and possible advantages of dyslexia. These news stories triggered dozens of follow-up articles and blogs, all of which are reverberating around the Internet.


Most of this media attention is welcome and helpful. For families touched by dyslexia and for those working on their behalf, seeing these promising legislative and research developments get headlines is exciting. It also is gratifying to see awareness of dyslexia heightened and important related information gain attention—such as the International Dyslexia Association’s Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading.


Sure, it is disappointing to watch oversimplifications and misconceptions weave through the coverage and bounce around the web. Dyslexia and its concomitant myths ebb and flow in the news with the quasi-periodic regularity of El Nino. Misconceptions pop up relentlessly, despite ongoing efforts by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and allied organizations to dispel dyslexia’s myths.


These misconceptions should not surprise us. Dyslexia is a complex, nuanced, and challenging topic. Our knowledge about dyslexia as well as its definitions continue to evolve. As they must. In an Annals of Dyslexia article introducing dyslexia’s current definition, Lyon, Shaywitz, and Shaywitz (2003) made the same point: “Our understanding of dyslexia is a work in progress and will continue to be just that” (p.10).


Dyslexia & Talent: Media Coverage


With that context, we turn to one of the topics making recent headlines, the possibility that dyslexia has advantages.


The science supporting this hypothesis is intriguing but scant. Nevertheless, the topic tends to capture media attention—most recently in a New York Times Sunday Review article, “The Upside of Dyslexia,” and on National Public Radio (NPR) The Diane Rehm Show about “The Dyslexic Brain" and its special challenges and possible advantages.


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Leverage Social Media: Drive Change (December 2011)

Leverage Social Media: Drive Change (December 2011) | Dyslexia DiaBlogue®-IDA Examiner | Scoop.it


By Carolyn D. Cowen

 

Full Disclosure: A little less than twelve months ago, I knew almost zilch about social media. In fact, I am tech-phobic. Really. Ask anyone who knows me. The largess of my husband and children along with occasional panicky interactions with “tech support” enable me to stumble along in the digital era with a modicum of competence.


As social media began emerging as a game changer, I was dismissive (“That’s for college kids”). Despite being married to a new-media expert and early-adopter guy, I was slow to recognize the power of social media, even as it began invading our household—long before “friend” became a verb.


Over time, I did succumb to environmental pressure. I acquired a Facebook page, joined LinkedIn, and started a Twitter account. I would trot out these social-media credentials when feeling the need to demonstrate that I was not some hopeless digital illiterate. Truth be told, I wasn’t very active on any of these platforms. For the most part, I was:


  • MystifiedWhy is every news anchor on the planet suddenly talking about hashtags?
  • CynicalHow can anyone say anything significant in 140 characters?
  • FearfulGod knows what evil lurks beneath the benign-looking social-media surface? (Stories about hackers and phishing scams seemed reason enough not to venture into those dangerous waters.)


Then, about a year ago, my husband gave me a Christmas present—a box of books on social media. Imagine my enthusiasm ..."


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