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Video Games Tested as Treatment for Dyslexia

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dyslexia is a common learning disability where a person has problems with reading and spelling words, despite having 'normal' intellect. It is estimated that 10% of all children may be affected by some degree of Dyslexia. It can affect all aspects of a person's learning, reading, writing, spelling, maths, memory, sequencing skills, omitting words and difficulty pronouncing words, especially unfamiliar words, and confusion between left & right and difficulty reading maps, reversal of letters, p, q, b, d, m, w, and some numbers. Dyslexic individuals may have trouble with the transposition of words such as was to saw and the comprehension of what they have read or heard. A study at the University of Padua involving dyslexic patient was funded by grants from the CARIPARO Foundation. This study involved 20 Dyslexic children, 10 of whom were exposed to fast paced action video games and the other 10 to Non action video games.

Action video games display a high speed of transient events and moving objects, in addition to requiring a high degree of perception and response, then this may improve certain pathways in the brain that can help to improve reading ability. At the conclusion of the study, the research showed that the Dyslexic children exposed to the fast paced action video games were showing improvement on their reading ability and attention skills. On the other hand, the children exposed to non action video games had no significant improvement. While video games may offer a possible treatment, much more research needs to be done before this type of treatment could be safely recommended.