DyslexiaThe most consistent thing of children with dyslexia is their inconsistency! These children appear bright, highly intelligent and very articulate, but are unable to read, write and spell at grade level and struggle with very low self-esteem. They have difficulty sustaining attention and will “zone out” frequently losing track of time. Overall struggles are in areas of vision, reading, spelling, hearing, speech, writing, motor skills, math and time management, memory and cognition and behavior, health, development and personality.

How can they be helped?

Probably the most important nutritional deficiency for dyslexia is good quality fats and fatty acids for the brain and eyes. DHA, found in mother’s milk, is vitally essential to brain functioning and hand/eye coordination. The Modified Atkin’s Diet (MOD) is the new Ketogenic Diet focusing on high levels of fat and low levels of carbohydrates and sugar. Also helpful is the Feingold Diet that eliminates food additives, chemical preservatives, dyes, refined sugar, and salicylates which all negatively affect the brain. Supplementing zinc and iron, two of the body’s most important trace minerals deficient in children with dyslexia, have been found to improve their overall health and immune functioning. A detoxification protocol to address multiple chemical sensitivities by removing toxic pathogens will help improve cognitive functioning. Removing gluten and casein from the diet will lessen the effects of food allergies and the “zoning out” behaviors.

What Therapies Help the Best?

Vision Therapy is at the top of the list. The role of vision in dyslexia is paramount because it addresses various visual conditions that have been associated with dyslexia and learning disabilities: poor eye movement skills, convergence insufficiency, faulty binocular vision, farsightedness, lazy eye, poor visual processing, weak visual motor skills and suppression of one eye. Other important therapies include Chiropractic Neurology (balancing the right and left hemispheres of the brain), Brain Gym (hand eye coordination), Reflex Therapy, Occupational Therapy with Sensory Integration, Neurobiofeedback, and Auditory Integration Therapy (Berard) or Sound Stimulation (Tomatis). See Learning Disabilities for more information.

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For further references:

Baker SM (1985). A biochemical approach to the problem of dyslexia. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 18(10): 581-584 http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/002221948501801003

Johnson, Kathy.  Dyslexia: Recognizing, Screening and Treating. Albany, NY. Pyramid of Potential, 2014 http://www.pyramidofpotential.com/dyslexia/

Vision and Dyslexia. College of Optometrists in Vision Development. 2008 http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.covd.org/resource/resmgr/white_papers/7-_vision_and_dyslexia.pdf