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Learning to read should be fun. It opens the world of Harry Potter and fantasy. But for children with dyslexia, reading is work.
Dr. Sally Shaywitz/ Pediatrician: "THEY CAN READ A WORD, WITH DIFFICULTY, BUT THEY CANT READ IT QUICKLY. IT REMAINS EFFORTFUL. IT ALWAYS INVOLVES WORK AND IT'S TIRING, AND IT TAKES A LONG TIME. THEY'RE SLOW READERS."
Pediatrician and neuroscientist, Dr. Sally Shaywitz is an expert on dyslexia.
She says new technology has opened up the field, letting doctors see inside the brain.
"WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO IMAGE CHILDREN AND ADULTS, GOOD READERS AND POOR READERS AS THEY TRY TO READ OR RHYME WORDS AND WHAT WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO IDENTIFY ARE AREAS ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE BRAIN, THREE CRITICAL AREAS FOR READING."
Poor readers don't activate the areas in the back of the brain... but activate an area in the front of the brain even more.
Dyslexia is common.... one in five children are affected.
She says family history often plays a role... but not entirely so. Teaching and experience matter.
That spotting a problem early is key... the earlier the help...the better the outcome.
"SO THAT'S BEEN A VERY VERY EXCITING DEVELOPMENT. IN A RECENT STUDY THAT WE'VE COMPLETED WE CAN ACTUALLY SEE THAT CHILDREN WHO STRUGGLE TO READ AND RECEIVE A HIGHLY EFFECTIVE READING PROGRAM, WE CAN ACTUALLY SEE CHANGES IN THAT CHILD'S BRAIN, THAT AT THE END THAT CHILD'S BRAIN RESEMBLES THAT OF A CHILD WHO'S NOT HAD A PROBLEM READING."
Helping children read for a lifetime.