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E-readers benefit some dyslexics

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Researchers have found that dyslexic readers are able to read more easily, quickly and with better understanding by reading short lines on e-reader devices, according to data published in the journal PLOS ONE They note that many cases of dyslexia involve an element known as a visual attention deficit, which is an inability to concentrate on specific letters or words within lines of text. Another feature of dyslexia is visual crowding, which is the inability to recognize letters when they are scattered within the word. By reading short lines on an e-reader, the researchers say dyslexics are able to resolve the issues by "reducing visual distractions within the text E-reader use "significantly improved" both speed and understanding in many of the students, the study shows. Students who had a significant visual attention deficit benefited the most from the e-reader, According to lead author,Matthew Schneps,"at least a third of those with dyslexia [that they tested] have these visual attention issues." But the reverse was true for those students who did not have these issues.

Previous eye-tracking studies showed that shorter lines help dyslexics read, which suggests that it is the short lines - not necessarily the e-reader device - that created the benefits for some readers.

These results support Dr Levinson's prior clinically based concepts indicating that dyslexia is due to an inner-ear/cerebellar dysfunction resulting in impaired ocular fixation and sequential scanning. The latter results in visual scrambling and secondary difficulties recognizing and concentrating on read content. Visual overloading or crowding on a page intensifies these problems. Also ADD significantly overlaps or is comorbid with dyslexia, thus complicating the prior dysfunctioning mechanisms. These data also highlight a major flaw in those defining dyslexia on the basis of only phonetic scrambling, not accounting for the coexisting visual processing dysfunction.

According to Levinson, dyslexia is a syndrome of many reading and non-reading symptoms. These typical dyslexic symptoms result when normal brain structures fail to recognize and compensate for the scrambled reading and non-reading signals received and transmitted. And the scrambled visual, auditory (phonetic), motor..signals result from a fine-tuning dysfunction within the inner-ear and its supercomputer--the cerebellum. Importantly, Levinson also demonstrated that all dyslexics can be rapidly and dramatically helped by therapies which enhance inner-ear functioning and decrease signal scrambling while improving concentration as well as cognitive descrambling capabilities. Utilizing large, dark, colored typeset, minimal glare as well as minimal symbol density/pg. and line may significantly help compensation. The latter is now best accomplished withE-readers.