Tag Archives: IDA

Applying for Accommodations on College Entrance Tests

IDA FACT SHEET  (International Dyslexia Association)

The application process for individuals planning to enter college can be a daunting experience. For individuals with disabilities who are requesting testing accommodations, this can be even more challenging, as it often requires assembling necessary documentation, completing additional paperwork, and anticipating deadlines. This IDA Fact Sheet gives a broad overview of the process in order to assist individuals who are requesting test accommodations on high stakes tests such as the SAT and ACT. It provides guidance about what forms to submit, how to provide sufficient disability documentation, and how to gather supplemental information if needed to support accommodation requests. Keep in mind that each testing agency sets its own requirements for requesting accommodations.

The Application Process

  • Test takers should read the test information on the program’s website. Many tests are administered on computer and incorporate functions such as a built-in calculator, clock, etc. Additionally, most testing agencies provide supplemental information or a handbook for test takers with disabilities.
  • The testing agency website will give specific information about how to apply for accommodations. This should be read carefully to determine which accommodations are necessary (e.g., additional testing time, or breaks, separate room, a reader, etc.).
  • Special Services and/or counseling staff in the student’s high school or district may be able to assist in completing the application and acquiring the required documentation.
  • Early submission of applications is important, as it’s not unusual for testing agencies to request additional scores, updated testing, or clarification, which can cause delays. This is particularly true during peak application periods.
  • Once the agency receives an application for accommodations, it may be two months before the applicant is notified. If additional testing or an appeal is needed, all this must be accomplished and submitted at least 60 days in advance of the test date.
  • Since most testing agencies no longer “flag” scores obtained under non-standard conditions, it is important to request accommodations that are needed.

Documentation

  • Typically, all documentation should be sent in one complete packet. This pertains to supporting documentation (IEP, transcripts, letters re: past accommodations).
  • Testing agencies often require current documentation according to their individual “recency” criteria. For example, many testing agencies request documentation for learning disabilities to be dated within the last three to five years to reflect the test taker’s need for specific accommodations. Test takers should review the documentation guidelines posted on the website.
  • Often, a current, comprehensive evaluation is needed, as an adult version of some tests may be required. For example, most testing agencies will not accept a handwritten prescription-pad note from a doctor. Documentation should be complete, dated, signed, in English, and on official letterhead. Disability documentation should address all of the following:
    • The existence of an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, as compared to most people in the general population
    • A diagnosis of the disability and the current impact of impairment and how it limits the student’s ability to take the test under standard conditions
    • A rationale for why the requested accommodations are necessary and appropriate. For example, if extra time is requested, the evaluation must say how much extended time should be provided and on what basis.
    • The accommodations that are requested should generally match those provided in the past.
  • Some accommodations may not require prior approval, such as braces or crutches, eyeglasses, insulin pump, etc. Lockers that can be accessed during breaks are typically provided for storage of food, water, and/or medication, if applicable.
  • If sufficient disability documentation is unavailable or outdated, it may take up to nine months in advance to find a qualified professional with a qualified professional with experience and expertise in diagnosing and documenting the disability in question. That evaluator will need relevant historical information, including:
    • Letters documenting a history of accommodations in school, such as IEPs or 504 plans, or proof of accommodations on statewide assessments.
    • A description of tutoring or coaching services provided in the past.
    • A comprehensive evaluation report for diagnosis of the disability and accommodation determination.
  • Additionally, school records from elementary and high school as well as teacher comments will help support a history of a disability. High school transcripts may provide good evidence if they showed the impact of the disability on grades (e.g., dropped classes, withdrawals, incompletes, or failing grades). It is not always the case that accommodations in the past will automatically continue. An ongoing need for accommodations can be described in a personal statement.
  • Many colleges and universities with strong school psychology programs perform evaluations at a reduced fee if a private evaluation is not feasible.

Types of Decision Letters

There are three basic types of decision letters that the testing agency sends:

  1. Approval—This type of letter will list the accommodations that have been approved.
    • Once accommodations have been approved, directions on the approval letter regarding how to schedule the test and other pertinent information.
    • Be aware that extra time may be needed to schedule the test after approval for accommodations. For example, extra time may be needed to secure a reader or scribe.
  2. Request for Additional Information—This type of letter is not a denial of the request. It specifies that the agency needs more information to complete the review.
  3. Denial—If the testing agency finds the documentation insufficient to support the accommodation request, this letter will explain the decision and will include options for requesting further review.
    • Appeal Process: Each testing agency has established a procedure to allow an appeal of its decision. The information on how to appeal a decision is typically stated in the denial letter or on the agency’s website. When the requested information is submitted, the request will be reconsidered.

Preparing for the Test

Whether or not an accommodation request is approved, it is important for the student to become familiar with the upcoming test.

  • Most testing agencies have a wide range of practice materials at no or low cost available to test takers.
  • Areas of particular focus are the test format, the types of questions used, and the test directions for each type of question. This can reduce the amount of time spent familiarizing oneself with instructions on the test day. Alternate-format practice materials can be requested if this is one of the desired accommodations.
  • The sample test questions can be practiced with and without the requested accommodations. The goal is to increase the number of questions correctly completed within the time limit. As you practice, try to increase the number of questions you can complete correctly within the time limit.
  • Test sites differ, so it is a good idea to check out the location in advance.

Resources


The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) thanks Loring Brinkerhoff, Ph.D., Nancy Cushen White, Ed.D., BCET, CALT-QI, and Diana Sauter, Ph.D., for their assistance in the preparation of this fact sheet.


© Copyright The International Dyslexia Association (IDA). For copyright information, please click here.  IDA site: https://dyslexiaida.org 

Reading / writing tutoring in Columbus OH: Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

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+ From IDA: “Dr. Dave’s” Assistive Tech Advice

By: David Winters

[O-G Tutoring in Columbus OH: see below]

Shh! We don’t want anyone to hear us. Why don’t you come a bit closer into my AT Lab so I can let you in on a big secret about assistive technology (AT)? Can you hear me? Ok, here it is— assistive technology is all around us! I wouldn’t be surprised at all if you’ve used AT yourself today.

You don’t think so? Well, did you turn on the closed-captioning on your TV while you watched your favorite program or movie? Or did you spend time listening to a book while exercising? Maybe you got a text version of a phone message emailed to you or used a calculator to figure out how much to tip your server at lunch. Many kinds of AT are available to us throughout the day.

Assistive technology can be anything that helps us do something that we normally would find difficult or even impossible. While we often think of AT as being sophisticated, expensive, and involving computers, AT includes low-tech solutions such as pencil grips, raised-line paper, and sticky notes. Low-tech AT usually is inexpensive, fairly simple, focuses on a single task, and does not involve electricity (no batteries or cords). Mid-tech AT (e.g., calculators, spell-checkers, and audio book players)costs more, is more complex, usually focuses on one type of task, and involves electricity (i.e., batteries or cords). High-tech AT (e.g., computers, tablets, and smartphones) usually is the most expensive, more complex, often helps with a variety of tasks, and needs electricity.

AT can play an important role in a person’s education. In fact, IDEA (2004) requires that IEP teams consider AT for EVERY student who is eligible for special education services (IDEA, 2004, Sec. 300.324(a)(2)(v)). While this requirement does not mean that every student will receive AT, the team must at least consider the need for both AT devices and services.

Unfortunately, some schools appear not to have understood this IDEA message, especially regarding students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia. A few semesters ago, one of my university students working as a paraeducator asked a teacher about appropriate AT for students with learning disabilities. The teacher’s response was that students with learning disabilities don’t need AT because only students with severe and profound disabilities benefit from AT. In my experience, students with learning disabilities are excellent candidates for AT. It can revolutionize their lives.

This leads us to Dr. Dave’s AT Lab Principle #1: Be sure to ask about AT devices and services at IEP meetings. While we don’t normally expect low-tech AT to be included in a student’s IEP, mid- and high-tech AT devices and services should be part of the written IEP. Keep in mind that the IEP may refer to use of a general type of device (i.e., a tablet) rather than a specific device (i.e., an iPad). Participating in trial use of one or more devices or services might be more appropriate than specifying a particular device or service in the IEP. In addition, a low- or mid-tech AT solution might be as or more helpful than an expensive, complicated high-tech one.

What if you encounter resistance to even talking about AT? The best approach may be to ask why AT would not be appropriate for this particular student, and to explain that AT can help people who have problems with reading, spelling, writing, taking notes, staying organized, and numerous other tasks. You might even share with the IEP team some AT examples and resources that you think might be particularly helpful for your student, including Examiner articles (Dr. Cheesman’s App Chat or Dr. Dave’s AT Lab columns) or the special technology issue of Perspectives (Fall 2013).

Deciding which AT to use for a specific task with a particular student can be challenging, which leads us to Dr. Dave’s AT Lab Principle #2: When considering AT, one “size” does not fit all. To be most effective, AT needs to be tailored to both the person using it and the tasks at hand. Selecting the most appropriate AT involves many factors (e.g., the device’s cost, portability, functionality, usability, and available training and other support). Other factors include the user’s physical, cognitive, and emotional strengths, challenges, and preferences. Sometimes a person’s support network and cultural perspectives may play a role in determining appropriate AT. When any of these factors are missing or ignored, the result may be a decision to avoid using AT and to continue an unnecessary struggle.

Involving the person who will be using the AT in the decision process can be especially important to AT success. Besides learning of the person’s preferences, this involvement provides a sense of ownership and self-determination in the process that can lead to a greater willingness to try something new. When suggesting AT to some of my university students, I often share two or three options for them to try. I have found greater success with this approach than telling them to use an AT device or app that I like or think would work well for them.

Low-, mid-, and high-tech AT options are available for many tasks. I recommend trying low-tech options first. The cost is usually minimal, and the AT user does not need to worry about replacing batteries or finding a place to plug in a device or keeping it charged. If the low-tech option does not meet the user’s need, then try a mid- or high-tech option.

Speaking of cost, remember that cost considerations for high-tech devices need to include repair, maintenance, insurance, future upgrades, and replacement. Some high-tech devices, such as computers, require a significant initial investment for the hardware and then ongoing investment in software and apps. However, because many of these high-tech devices help the user accomplish multiple tasks, the cost might be reasonable.

So, yes, AT is all around us, and we don’t have to have a disability to take advantage of it. In future visits to my AT Lab, we’ll cover specific areas and tasks in which AT can make a positive impact, such as reading, spelling, and writing. I’ll talk to you in a few months when you visit my AT Lab again.

David C. Winters, Ph.D., Fellow/AOGPE, is an associate professor in the Department of Special Education at Eastern Michigan University. He has been a classroom teacher, tutor, diagnostician, administrator, and tutor/teacher trainer for over 30 years and is a member of the International Dyslexia Association Orton Oaks. He currently teaches courses introducing preservice teachers to special education as well as instructional and assistive technology, writing,and assessment in special education for preservice special educators and speech language pathologists.

This, and more, at www.eida.org.  The “columns” referred to are David Winters’s columns in the IDA magazine The Examiner.

Orton-Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH: Adrienne Edwards, 614-579-6021 or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com.

+ Dyslexia and the Brain: IDA Fact Sheet

[this “fact sheet” is from the International Dyslexia Association:]

[O-G Tutoring in Columbus OH: see below]

Researchers are continually conducting studies to learn more about the causes of dyslexia, early identification of dyslexia, and the most effective treatments for dyslexia.

Developmental dyslexia is associated with difficulty in processing the orthography (the written form) and phonology (the sound structure) of language. As a way to understand the origin of these problems, neuroimaging studies have examined brain anatomy and function of people with and without dyslexia. These studies are also contributing to our understanding of the role of the brain in dyslexia, which can provide useful information for developing successful reading interventions and pinpointing certain genes that may also be involved.

What is brain imaging?

A number of techniques are available to visualize brain anatomy and function. A commonly used tool is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which creates images that can reveal information about brain anatomy (e.g., the amount of gray and white matter, the integrity of white matter), brain metabolites (chemicals used in the brain for communication between brain cells), and brain function (where large pools of neurons are active). Functional MRI (fMRI) is based on the physiological principle that activity in the brain (where neurons are “firing”) is associated with an increase of blood flow to that specific part of the brain. The MRI signal bears indirect information about increases in blood flow. From this signal, researchers infer the location and amount of activity that is associated with a task, such as reading single words, that the research participants are performing in the scanner. Data from these studies are typically collected on groups of people rather than individuals for research purposes only—not to diagnose individuals with dyslexia.

Which brain areas are involved in reading?

Since reading is a cultural invention that arose after the evolution of modern humans, no single location within the brain serves as a reading center. Instead, brain regions that sub serve other functions, such as spoken language and object recognition, are redirected (rather than innately specified) for the purpose of reading (Dehaene & Cohen, 2007). Reading involves multiple cognitive processes, two of which have been of particular interest to researchers: 1) grapheme-phoneme mapping in which combinations of letters (graphemes) are mapped onto their corresponding sounds (phonemes) and the words are thus “decoded,” and 2) visual word form recognition for mapping of familiar words onto their mental representations. Together, these processes allow us to pronounce words and gain access to meaning. In accordance with these cognitive processes, studies in adults and children have demonstrated that reading is supported by a network of regions in the left hemisphere (Price, 2012), including the occipito-temporal, temporo-parietal, and inferior frontal cortices. The occipito-temporal cortex holds the “visual word form area.” Both the temporo-parietal and inferior frontal cortices play a role in phonological and semantic processing of words, with inferior frontal cortex also involved in the formation of speech sounds. These areas have been shown to change as we age (Turkeltaub, et al., 2003) and are altered in people with dyslexia (Richlan et al., 2011).

What have brain images revealed about brain structure in dyslexia?

Evidence of a connection between dyslexia and the structure of the brain was first discovered by examining the anatomy of brains of deceased adults who had dyslexia during their lifetimes. The left-greater-than-right asymmetry typically seen in the left hemisphere temporal lobe (planum temporale) was not found in these brains (Galaburda & Kemper, 1979), and ectopias (a displacement of brain tissue to the surface of the brain) were noted (Galaburda, et al., 1985). Then investigators began to use MRI to search for structural images in the brains of research volunteers with and without dyslexia. Current imaging techniques have revealed less gray and white matter volume and altered white matter integrity in left hemisphere occipito-temporal and temporo-parietal areas. Researchers are still investigating how these findings are influenced by a person’s language and writing systems.

What have brain images revealed about brain function in dyslexia?

Early functional studies were limited to adults because they employed invasive techniques that require radioactive materials. The field of human brain mapping greatly benefited from the invention of fMRI. fMRI does not require the use of radioactive tracers, so it is safe for children and adults and can be used repeatedly which facilitates longitudinal studies of development and intervention. First used to study dyslexia in 1996 (Eden et al., 1996), fMRI has since been widely used to study the brain’s role in reading and its components (phonology, orthography, and semantics). Studies from different countries have converged in findings of altered left-hemisphere areas (Richlan et al., 2011), including ventral occipito-temporal, temporo-parietal, and inferior frontal cortices (and their connections). Results of these studies confirm the universality of dyslexia across different world languages.

What about genes, brain chemistry, and brain function?

Several genetic variants are associated with dyslexia, and their impact on the brain has been investigated in people and mice. Using animals that have been bred to have genes associated with dyslexia, researchers are investigating how these genes might affect development of and communication among brain regions (Che, et. al., 2014; Galaburda, et al., 2006). These investigations dove-tail with studies in humans. Differences in brain anatomy (Darki, et al., 2012; Meda et al., 2008) and brain function (Cope et al., 2012; Pinel et al., 2012) have been observed in people who carry dyslexia-associated genes, even those people who have good reading skills. In addition to these investigations at the anatomical, physiological, and molecular levels, researchers are trying to pinpoint the chemical connection to dyslexia. For example, brain metabolites that play a role in allowing neurons to communicate can be visualized using another MRI-based technique called spectroscopy. Several metabolites (for example, choline) are thought to be different in people with dyslexia (Pugh et al., 2014). Researchers continue to explore the connections between these findings and are hopeful that what they learn will help to determine the causes of dyslexia. This is a difficult aspect of research because differences in the brains of people with dyslexia are not necessarily the cause of their reading difficulties (for example, it could also be a consequence of reading less).

Changes in Reading, Changes in the Brain

Brain imaging research has revealed anatomical and functional changes in typically developing readers as they learn to read (e.g. Turkeltaub et al., 2003), and in children and adults with dyslexia following effective reading instruction (Krafnick, et al., 2011; Eden et al., 2004). Such studies also shed light onto the brain-based differences of those children with dyslexia who benefit from reading instruction compared to those who fail to make gains (Davis et al., 2011; Odegard, et al., 2008). Neuroimaging data have also been used to predict long-term reading success for children with and without dyslexia (Hoeft et al., 2011).

Cause versus Consequence

An important aspect of research on the brain and reading is to determine whether the findings are the cause or the consequence of dyslexia. Some of the brain regions known to be involved in dyslexia are also altered by learning to read, as demonstrated by comparisons of adults who were illiterate but then learned to read (Carreiras et al., 2009). Longitudinal studies in typical readers reveal anatomical changes with age, some of which are related to development (Giedd et al., 1999) and others to the firming up of language skills (Sowell et al., 2004) in correlation with improvements in phonological skills (Lu et al., 2007). As such, researchers are teasing apart the brain-based differences that can be observed before children begin to learn to read from differences that may occur as a consequence of less reading by people with dyslexia. For example, researchers have found altered brain anatomy (Raschle, et al., 2011) and function (Raschle, et al., 2012) in pre-reading children with a family history of dyslexia. Future studies using longitudinal designs (i.e., long term), will inform the timeline of these changes and clarify cause and consequences of anatomical and functional differences in dyslexia.

Summary

The role of the brain in developmental dyslexia has been studied in the context of brain anatomy, brain chemistry, and brain function—and in combination with interventions to improve reading and information about genetic influences. Together with results of behavioral studies, this information will help researchers to identify the causes of dyslexia, continue to explore early identification of dyslexia, and determine the best avenues for its treatment.

https://eida.org/dyslexia-and-the-brain-fact-sheet/

References

Carreiras, M., Seghier, M. L., Baquero, S., Estévez, A., Lozano, A., Devlin, J. T., & Price, C. J. (2009). An anatomical signature for literacy. Nature, 461(7266), 983–986. doi:10.1038/nature08461

Che, A., Girgenti, M. J., & Loturco, J. (2014). The Dyslexia-Associated Gene Dcdc2 is required for spike-timing precision in mouse neocortex. Biological Psychiatry, in press. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.08.018

Cope, N., Eicher, J. D., Meng, H., Gibson, C. J., Hager, K., Lacadie, C., … Gruen, J. R. (2012). Variants in the DYX2 locus are associated with altered brain activation in reading-related brain regions in subjects with reading disability. NeuroImage, 63(1), 148–156. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.06.037

Darki, F., Peyrard-Janvid, M., Matsson, H., Kere, J., & Klingberg, T. (2012). Three Dyslexia Susceptibility Genes, DYX1C1, DCDC2, and KIAA0319, affect temporo-parietal white matter structure. Biological Psychiatry, 72(8), 671–676. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.05.008

Dehaene, S., & Cohen, L. (2007). Cultural recycling of cortical maps. Neuron, 56(2), 384–398. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2007.10.004

Eden, G. F., Jones, K. M., Cappell, K., Gareau, L., Wood, F. B., Zeffiro, T. A., … Flowers, D. L. (2004). Neural changes following remediation in adult developmental dyslexia. Neuron, 44(3), 411–422.

Eden, G. F., VanMeter, J. W., Rumsey, J. M., Maisog, J. M., Woods, R. P., & Zeffiro, T. A. (1996). Abnormal processing of visual motion in dyslexia revealed by functional brain imaging. Nature, 382(6586), 66–69. doi:10.1038/382066a0

Flowers, D. L., Wood, F. B., & Naylor, C. E. (1991). Regional cerebral blood flow correlates of language processes in reading disability. Archives of Neurology, 48(6), 637–643.

Galaburda, A. M., & Kemper, T. L. (1979). Cytoarchitectonic abnormalities in developmental dyslexia: a case study. Annals of Neurology, 6(2), 94–100. doi:10.1002/ana.410060203

Galaburda, A. M., Sherman, G. F., Rosen, G. D., Aboitiz, F., & Geschwind, N. (1985). Developmental dyslexia: four consecutive patients with cortical anomalies. Annals of Neurology, 18(2), 222–233. doi:10.1002/ana.410180210

Galaburda, A. M., LoTurco, J., Ramus, F., Fitch, R. H., & Rosen, G. D. (2006). From genes to behavior in developmental dyslexia. Nature Neuroscience, 9(10), 1213–1217. doi:10.1038/nn1772

Giedd, J. N., Blumenthal, J., Jeffries, N. O., Castellanos, F. X., Liu, H., Zijdenbos, A., … Rapoport, J. L. (1999). Brain development during childhood and adolescence: A longitudinal MRI study. Nature Neuroscience, 2(10), 861–863. doi:10.1038/13158

Gross-Glenn, K., Duara, R., Barker, W. W., Loewenstein, D., Chang, J. Y., Yoshii, F., … Sevush, S. (1991). Positron emission tomographic studies during serial word-reading by normal and dyslexic adults. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 13(4), 531–544. doi:10.1080/01688639108401069

Hoeft, F., McCandliss, B. D., Black, J. M., Gantman, A., Zakerani, N., Hulme, C., … Gabrieli, J. D. E. (2011). Neural systems predicting long-term outcome in dyslexia. PNAS, 108(1), 361–6. doi:10.1073/pnas.1008950108

Krafnick, A. J., Flowers, D. L., Napoliello, E. M., & Eden, G. F. (2011). Gray matter volume changes following reading intervention in dyslexic children. NeuroImage, 57(3), 733–741. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.10.062

Lu, L. H., Leonard, C. M., Thompson, P. M., Kan, E., Jolley, J., Welcome, S. E., … Sowell, E. R. (2007). Normal developmental changes in inferior frontal gray matter are associated with improvement in phonological processing: a longitudinal MRI analysis. Cerebral Cortex, 17(5), 1092–9. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhl019

Meda, S. A., Gelernter, J., Gruen, J. R., Calhoun, V. D., Meng, H., Cope, N. A., & Pearlson, G. D. (2008). Polymorphism of DCDC2 reveals differences in cortical morphology of healthy individuals—A preliminary voxel based morphometry study. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 2(1), 21–26. doi:10.1007/s11682-007-9012-1

Pinel, P., Fauchereau, F., Moreno, A., Barbot, A., Lathrop, M., Zelenika, D., … Dehaene, S. (2012). Genetic variants of FOXP2 and KIAA0319/TTRAP/THEM2 locus are associated with altered brain activation in distinct language-related regions. The Journal of Neuroscience: The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 32(3), 817–825. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5996-10.2012

Price, C. J. (2012). A review and synthesis of the first 20years of PET and fMRI studies of heard speech, spoken language and reading. Neuroimage, 62(2), 816–847.

Pugh, K. R., Frost, S. J., Rothman, D. L., Hoeft, F., Tufo, S. N. D., Mason, G. F., … Fulbright, R. K. (2014). Glutamate and choline levels predict individual differences in reading ability in emergent readers. The Journal of Neuroscience, 34(11), 4082–4089. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3907-13.2014

Raschle, N. M., Chang, M., & Gaab, N. (2011). Structural brain alterations associated with dyslexia predate reading onset. Neuroimage, 57(3), 742–749.

Raschle, N. M., Zuk, J., & Gaab, N. (2012). Functional characteristics of developmental dyslexia in left-hemispheric posterior brain regions predate reading onset. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(6), 2156–2161. doi:10.1073/pnas.1107721109

Richlan, F., Kronbichler, M., & Wimmer, H. (2011). Meta-analyzing brain dysfunctions in dyslexic children and adults. Neuroimage, 56(3), 1735–1742. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.02.040
p style=”text-indent: -0.5in; margin-left: 0.5in;”>Richlan, F., Kronbichler, M., & Wimmer, H. (2013). Structural abnormalities in the dyslexic brain: A meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies. Human Brain Mapping, 34(11), 3055–3065. doi:10.1002/hbm.22127

Rumsey, J. M., Andreason, P., Zametkin, A. J., Aquino, T., King, A. C., Hamburger, S. D., … Cohen, R. M. (1992). Failure to activate the left temporoparietal cortex in dyslexia. An oxygen 15 positron emission tomographic study. Archives of Neurology, 49, 527–534.

Sowell, E. R., Thompson, P. M., Leonard, C. M., Welcome, S. E., Kan, E., & Toga, A. W. (2004). Longitudinal mapping of cortical thickness and brain growth in normal children. The Journal of Neuroscience, 24(38), 8223–8231. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1798-04.2004

Turkeltaub, P. E., Gareau, L., Flowers, D. L., Zeffiro, T. A., & Eden, G. F. (2003). Development of neural mechanisms for reading. Nature Neuroscience, 6(7), 767–773. doi:10.1038/nn1065

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) thanks Guinevere F. Eden, Ph.D., for her assistance in the preparation of this fact sheet.

Orton-Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH: Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

+ Dyslexia and the Brain: IDA Fact Sheet

from the IDA Website:

Summary
The role of the brain in developmental dyslexia has been studied in the context of brain anatomy, brain chemistry, and brain function—and in combination with interventions to improve reading and information about genetic influences. Together with results of behavioral studies, this information will help researchers to identify the causes of dyslexia, continue to explore early identification of dyslexia, and determine the best avenues for its treatment.

Researchers are continually conducting studies to learn more about the causes of dyslexia, early identification of dyslexia, and the most effective treatments for dyslexia.

Developmental dyslexia is associated with difficulty in processing the orthography (the written form) and phonology (the sound structure) of language. As a way to understand the origin of these problems, neuroimaging studies have examined brain anatomy and function of people with and without dyslexia. These studies are also contributing to our understanding of the role of the brain in dyslexia, which can provide useful information for developing successful reading interventions and pinpointing certain genes that may also be involved.

What is brain imaging?

A number of techniques are available to visualize brain anatomy and function. A commonly used tool is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which creates images that can reveal information about brain anatomy (e.g., the amount of gray and white matter, the integrity of white matter), brain metabolites (chemicals used in the brain for communication between brain cells), and brain function (where large pools of neurons are active). Functional MRI (fMRI) is based on the physiological principle that activity in the brain (where neurons are “firing”) is associated with an increase of blood flow to that specific part of the brain. The MRI signal bears indirect information about increases in blood flow. From this signal, researchers infer the location and amount of activity that is associated with a task, such as reading single words, that the research participants are performing in the scanner. Data from these studies are typically collected on groups of people rather than individuals for research purposes only—not to diagnose individuals with dyslexia.

Which brain areas are involved in reading?

Since reading is a cultural invention that arose after the evolution of modern humans, no single location within the brain serves as a reading center. Instead, brain regions that sub serve other functions, such as spoken language and object recognition, are redirected (rather than innately specified) for the purpose of reading (Dehaene & Cohen, 2007). Reading involves multiple cognitive processes, two of which have been of particular interest to researchers:                   1) grapheme-phoneme mapping in which combinations of letters (graphemes) are mapped onto their corresponding sounds (phonemes) and the words are thus “decoded,” and 2) visual word form recognition for mapping of familiar words onto their mental representations. Together, these processes allow us to pronounce words and gain access to meaning. In accordance with these cognitive processes, studies in adults and children have demonstrated that reading is supported by a network of regions in the left hemisphere (Price, 2012), including the occipito-temporal, temporo-parietal, and inferior frontal cortices. The occipito-temporal cortex holds the “visual word form area.” Both the temporo-parietal and inferior frontal cortices play a role in phonological and semantic processing of words, with inferior frontal cortex also involved in the formation of speech sounds. These areas have been shown to change as we age (Turkeltaub, et al., 2003) and are altered in people with dyslexia (Richlan et al., 2011).

What have brain images revealed about brain structure in dyslexia?

Evidence of a connection between dyslexia and the structure of the brain was first discovered by examining the anatomy of brains of deceased adults who had dyslexia during their lifetimes.

The left-greater-than-right asymmetry typically seen in the left hemisphere temporal lobe (planum temporale) was not found in these brains (Galaburda & Kemper, 1979), and ectopias (a displacement of brain tissue to the surface of the brain) were noted (Galaburda, et al., 1985). Then investigators began to use MRI to search for structural images in the brains of research volunteers with and without dyslexia. Current imaging techniques have revealed less gray and white matter volume and altered white matter integrity in left hemisphere occipito-temporal and temporo-parietal areas. Researchers are still investigating how these findings are influenced by a person’s language and writing systems.

What have brain images revealed about brain function in dyslexia?

Early functional studies were limited to adults because they employed invasive techniques that require radioactive materials. The field of human brain mapping greatly benefited from the invention of fMRI. fMRI does not require the use of radioactive tracers, so it is safe for children and adults and can be used repeatedly which facilitates longitudinal studies of development and intervention. First used to study dyslexia in 1996 (Eden et al., 1996), fMRI has since been widely used to study the brain’s role in reading and its components (phonology, orthography, and semantics). Studies from different countries have converged in findings of altered left-hemisphere areas (Richlan et al., 2011), including ventral occipito-temporal, temporo-parietal, and inferior frontal cortices (and their connections). Results of these studies confirm the universality of dyslexia across different world languages.

What about genes, brain chemistry, and brain function?

Several genetic variants are associated with dyslexia, and their impact on the brain has been investigated in people and mice. Using animals that have been bred to have genes associated with dyslexia, researchers are investigating how these genes might affect development of and communication among brain regions (Che, et. al., 2014; Galaburda, et al., 2006).

These investigations dove-tail with studies in humans. Differences in brain anatomy (Darki, et al., 2012; Meda et al., 2008) and brain function (Cope et al., 2012; Pinel et al., 2012) have been observed in people who carry dyslexia-associated genes, even those people who have good reading skills. In addition to these investigations at the anatomical, physiological, and molecular levels, researchers are trying to pinpoint the chemical connection to dyslexia. For example, brain metabolites that play a role in allowing neurons to communicate can be visualized using another MRI-based technique called spectroscopy.

Several metabolites (for example, choline) are thought to be different in people with dyslexia (Pugh et al., 2014). Researchers continue to explore the connections between these findings and are hopeful that what they learn will help to determine the causes of dyslexia. This is a difficult aspect of research because differences in the brains of people with dyslexia are not necessarily the cause of their reading difficulties (for example, it could also be a consequence of reading less).

Changes in Reading, Changes in the Brain

Brain imaging research has revealed anatomical and functional changes in typically developing readers as they learn to read (e.g. Turkeltaub et al., 2003), and in children and adults with dyslexia following effective reading instruction (Krafnick, et al., 2011; Eden et al., 2004). Such studies also shed light onto the brain-based differences of those children with dyslexia who benefit from reading instruction compared to those who fail to make gains (Davis et al., 2011; Odegard, et al., 2008). Neuroimaging data have also been used to predict long-term reading success for children with and without dyslexia (Hoeft et al., 2011).

Cause versus Consequence

An important aspect of research on the brain and reading is to determine whether the findings are the cause or the consequence of dyslexia. Some of the brain regions known to be involved in dyslexia are also altered by learning to read, as demonstrated by comparisons of adults who were illiterate but then learned to read (Carreiras et al., 2009). Longitudinal studies in typical readers reveal anatomical changes with age, some of which are related to development (Giedd et al., 1999) and others to the firming up of language skills (Sowell et al., 2004) in correlation with improvements in phonological skills (Lu et al., 2007). As such, researchers are teasing apart the brain-based differences that can be observed before children begin to learn to read from differences that may occur as a consequence of less reading by people with dyslexia. For example, researchers have found altered brain anatomy (Raschle, et al., 2011) and function (Raschle, et al., 2012) in pre-reading children with a family history of dyslexia. Future studies using longitudinal designs (i.e., long term), will inform the timeline of these changes and clarify cause and consequences of anatomical and functional differences in dyslexia.

References

Carreiras, M., Seghier, M. L., Baquero, S., Estévez, A., Lozano, A., Devlin, J. T., & Price, C. J. (2009). An anatomical signature for literacy. Nature, 461(7266), 983–986. doi:10.1038/nature08461

Che, A., Girgenti, M. J., & Loturco, J. (2014). The Dyslexia-Associated Gene Dcdc2 is required for spike-timing precision in mouse neocortex. Biological Psychiatry, in press. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.08.018

Cope, N., Eicher, J. D., Meng, H., Gibson, C. J., Hager, K., Lacadie, C., … Gruen, J. R. (2012). Variants in the DYX2 locus are associated with altered brain activation in reading-related brain regions in subjects with reading disability. NeuroImage, 63(1), 148–156. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.06.037

Darki, F., Peyrard-Janvid, M., Matsson, H., Kere, J., & Klingberg, T. (2012). Three Dyslexia Susceptibility Genes, DYX1C1, DCDC2, and KIAA0319, affect temporo-parietal white matter structure. Biological Psychiatry, 72(8), 671–676. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.05.008 

Dehaene, S., & Cohen, L. (2007). Cultural recycling of cortical maps. Neuron, 56(2), 384–398. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2007.10.004

Eden, G. F., Jones, K. M., Cappell, K., Gareau, L., Wood, F. B., Zeffiro, T. A., … Flowers,D. L. (2004). Neural changes following remediation in adult developmental dyslexia. Neuron, 44(3), 411–422.

Eden, G. F., VanMeter, J. W., Rumsey, J. M., Maisog, J. M., Woods, R. P., & Zeffiro, T. A. (1996). Abnormal processing of visual motion in dyslexia revealed by functional brain imaging. Nature, 382(6586), 66–69. doi:10.1038/382066a0

Flowers, D. L., Wood, F. B., & Naylor, C. E. (1991). Regional cerebral blood flow correlates of language processes in reading disability. Archives of Neurology, 48(6), 637–643.

Galaburda, A. M., & Kemper, T. L. (1979). Cytoarchitectonic abnormalities in developmental dyslexia: a case study. Annals of Neurology, 6(2), 94–100. doi:10.1002/ana.410060203

Galaburda, A. M., Sherman, G. F., Rosen, G. D., Aboitiz, F., & Geschwind, N. (1985). Developmental dyslexia: four consecutive patients with cortical anomalies. Annals of Neurology, 18(2), 222–233. doi:10.1002/ana.410180210

Galaburda, A. M., LoTurco, J., Ramus, F., Fitch, R. H., & Rosen, G. D. (2006). From genes to behavior in developmental dyslexia. Nature Neuroscience, 9(10), 1213–1217. doi:10.1038/nn1772

Giedd, J. N., Blumenthal, J., Jeffries, N. O., Castellanos, F. X., Liu, H., Zijdenbos, A., Rapoport, J. L. (1999). Brain development during childhood and adolescence: A longitudinal MRI study. Nature Neuroscience, 2(10), 861–863. doi:10.1038/13158

Gross-Glenn, K., Duara, R., Barker, W. W., Loewenstein, D., Chang, J. Y., Yoshii, F., Sevush, S. (1991). Positron emission tomographic studies during serial word-reading by normal and dyslexic adults.

Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 13(4), 531–544. doi:10.1080/01688639108401069

Hoeft, F., McCandliss, B. D., Black, J. M., Gantman, A., Zakerani, N., Hulme, C.,  
Gabrieli, J. D. E. (2011). Neural systems predicting long-term outcome in dyslexia. PNAS, 108(1), 361–6. doi:10.1073/pnas.1008950108

Krafnick, A. J., Flowers, D. L., Napoliello, E. M., & Eden, G. F. (2011). Gray matter volume changes following reading intervention in dyslexic children. NeuroImage, 57(3), 733–741. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.10.062

Lu, L. H., Leonard, C. M., Thompson, P. M., Kan, E., Jolley, J., Welcome, S. E.,  
Sowell, E. R. (2007). Normal developmental changes in inferior frontal gray matter are associated with improvement in phonological processing: a longitudinal MRI analysis. Cerebral Cortex, 17(5), 1092–9. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhl019

Meda, S. A., Gelernter, J., Gruen, J. R., Calhoun, V. D., Meng, H., Cope, N. A., & Pearlson, G. D. (2008). Polymorphism of DCDC2 reveals differences in cortical morphology of healthy individuals—A preliminary voxel based morphometry study.  Brain Imaging and Behavior, 2(1), 21–26. doi:10.1007/s11682-007-9012-1

Pinel, P., Fauchereau, F., Moreno, A., Barbot, A., Lathrop, M., Zelenika, D., … Dehaene, S. (2012). Genetic variants of FOXP2 and KIAA0319/TTRAP/THEM2 locus are associated with altered brain activation in distinct language-related regions. The Journal of Neuroscience: The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 32(3), 817–825. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5996-10.2012

Price, C. J. (2012). A review and synthesis of the first 20years of PET and fMRI studies of heard speech, spoken language and reading. Neuroimage, 62(2), 816–847.

Pugh, K. R., Frost, S. J., Rothman, D. L., Hoeft, F., Tufo, S. N. D., Mason, G. F.,  
Fulbright, R. K. (2014). Glutamate and choline levels predict individual differences in reading ability in emergent readers. The Journal of Neuroscience, 34(11), 4082–4089. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3907-13.2014

Raschle, N. M., Chang, M., & Gaab, N. (2011). Structural brain alterations associated with dyslexia predate reading onset. Neuroimage, 57(3), 742–749.

Raschle, N. M., Zuk, J., & Gaab, N. (2012). Functional characteristics of developmental dyslexia in left-hemispheric posterior brain regions predate reading onset. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(6), 2156–2161. doi:10.1073/pnas.1107721109

Richlan, F., Kronbichler, M., & Wimmer, H. (2011). Meta-analyzing brain dysfunctions in dyslexic children and adults. Neuroimage, 56(3), 1735–1742. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.02.040

Richlan, F., Kronbichler, M., & Wimmer, H. (2013). Structural abnormalities in the dyslexic brain: A meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies. Human Brain Mapping, 34(11), 3055–3065. doi:10.1002/hbm.22127

Rumsey, J. M., Andreason, P., Zametkin, A. J., Aquino, T., King, A. C., Hamburger, S. D., Cohen, R. M. (1992). Failure to activate the left temporoparietal cortex in dyslexia. An oxygen 15 positron emission tomographic study. Archives of Neurology, 49, 527–534.

Sowell, E. R., Thompson, P. M., Leonard, C. M., Welcome, S. E., Kan, E., & Toga, A. W. (2004). Longitudinal mapping of cortical thickness and brain growth in normal children. The Journal of Neuroscience, 24(38), 8223–8231. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1798-04.2004

Turkeltaub, P. E., Gareau, L., Flowers, D. L., Zeffiro, T. A., & Eden, G. F. (2003). Development of neural mechanisms for reading. Nature Neuroscience, 6(7), 767–773. doi:10.1038/nn1065

© Copyright 2015, The International Dyslexia Association (IDA). IDA encourages the reproduction and distribution of this fact sheet. If portions of the text are cited, appropriate reference must be made. Fact sheets may not be reprinted for the purpose of resale.

IDA Website: http://www.interdys.org

Orton-Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH: Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email  aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

+ Two Scholarships Available for IDA Conference Oct 24-27

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The 63rd annual conference of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), themed Reading, Literacy & Learning,  is happening in Baltimore from October 24th through 27th.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, IDA is able to offer two scholarships to attend the Annual Conference for Professionals.

Applications are due by september 21st.

The Robert G and Eleanor T Hall Memorial Scholarship

IDA and School Specialty Literacy and Intervention offer a scholarship for teachers and administrators.  Originally created by IDA and Educators Publishing Service, this scholarship is in honor of EPS’s company founder, Robert G Hall and his wife, Eleanor Thurston Hall.

Scholarships will cover registration fees, a $250 travel stipend, a School Specialty Literacy and Intervention gift certificate valued at $250, and a one-year professional membership in IDA (a $95 value).  Click here for more information and to apply:  http://www.interdys.org/ewebeditpro5/upload/HallScholarship(1).pdf

IDA Annual Conference Scholarship for Teachers

IDA is pleased again to offer an additional scholarship for current educators, thanks to an anonymous donor.  This scholarship will cover the cost of registration only — for teachers, administrators, tutors and similar educators currently working in the education profession. Recipients are responsible for their own travel, hotel accommodations, and other expenses.  Immediate registration is required upon notification of acceptance.  Click here for more information and to apply:  http://www.interdys.org/ewebeditpro5/upload/TeacherScholarship(2).pdf

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Orton Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH:  Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com 

+ About the International Dyslexia Association (IDA)

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What is IDA?

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, scientific, and educational dedicated to the study and treatment of the learning disability, dyslexia.

IDA has over 13,000 members.  It is the oldest organization of its kind in the United States serving individuals with dyslexia, their families, and professionals in the field.  It does not receive government funding; the annual budget is funded by private donations, membership dues, foundation grants, sale of publications, conferences, and other developmental efforts.  It has an all volunteer Board of Directors.

IDA focuses its resources in four major areas: information and referral services, research, advocacy, and direct services (conferences and training) for professionals working with individuals with dyslexia.

IDA provides information:

  • To approximately 30,000 people annually via phone, mail and email
  • Through their website to more than 250,000 visitors yearly
  • Through 40+ branches (such as COBIDA in central Ohio) that conduct local conferences, seminars and support groups.
  • By hosting an annual an annual international conference that brings over 200 experts in the field together with approximately 3,000 individuals who are concerned with the issue of dyslexia and other learning disabilities.
  • Through publications and newsletters.

Membership

Membership in a branch (such as COBIDA) includes membership in the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and is open to anyone interested in its mission — individuals with dyslexia and their families, educators, school administrators, researchers, physicians, psychologists, and policy makers, to name just a few examples.

Membership opens up a world of research and information to all members:

  • Annals of Dyslexia
  • Perspectives: on Language and Literacy
  • Conferences (47 branch conferences, and the national conference)
  • Fact sheets
  • Referral services
  • Parent seminars
  • Networking
  • Awareness and education

Join or renew now: online at https://www.interdys.org/olssecure/JoinorRenew.aspx.

In central Ohio, you may also contact COBIDA Membership Chair Amy Reardon at 614-560-3109 or email her at membership@cobida.org.

(Window clings are available for Ohio members, for your car or home.  If you haven’t gotten a COBIDA membership cling yet, contact Amy Reardon at membership@cobida.org or 614-560-309.  The first cling is free to all COBIDA members.  Multiples are available for purchase: 3 for $5 or 10 for $10 by contacting Amy or info@cobida.org.

Orton-Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH:  Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com.

+ Dyslexia Association Creates Social Network Site for Conference

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IDA has launched a new social network created exclusively for those interested in attending the annual IDA conference on November 9-12 in Chicago.

The IDA Conference Zone allows members to interact and network with others, upload photos and videos, stay up to date on all the latest information and promotions, chat live with others online, and more! IDA Conference Zone is a safe and secure online community for attendees to connect before, during, and after the IDA conference.

We encourage you to share this with anyone else interested in attending the conference. This way they will be able to see what the conference entails and stay in tune with the latest news!

 What are you waiting for?! Follow the link below to join the Zone now!

The link to IDA Conference Zone is: http://www.idaconferencezone.ning.com

 

Keynote SpeakerRowland_Keynote

 

Pleasant Rowland is a noted educator, business leader, and philanthropist whose career began as a primary-grade teacher. Her lifelong interest in teaching children to read grew from her classroom experience and ultimately led to her authorship of reading and language arts programs used widely for years in schools across the country.

 In 2004, Ms. Rowland established the Rowland Reading Foundation which is dedicated to improving reading instruction in the primary grades. With all the challenges our nation faces today, the Rowland Reading Foundation deeply believes none is more critical than the need to solve the reading crisis.

Additionally, Ms. Rowland is infamous for the line of historically accurate books, dolls, and accessories she created known as The American Girls Collection. Ms. Rowland will give this year’s Keynote Address on Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m. 

 

tutoring in Columbus OH:  Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021  or email  aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com