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What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia affects 20% of the population. People with dyslexia have a phonological impairment, meaning they have difficulty matching the letters they see on a page with the sounds they make. Among other challenges, dyslexics struggle with reading fluency and spelling. And since the ability to decode words is at the lowest level of the reading process, this phonological weakness impacts all other steps necessary for higher-level processing.¹  

Despite these challenges, dyslexia has no connection with overall intelligence. In fact, dyslexic children are often very fast and creative thinkers who regularly demonstrate complex reasoning and sophisticated problem-solving skills.²

Although dyslexia cannot be “cured,” powerful evidence suggests that with intervention by an effective reading program, such as the one offered by Orton Gillingham Dyslexia Treatment, dyslexic children can become highly successful students.³

Dyslexia and the Brain

Scientific research shows a clear difference in brain activity between dyslexic and typical reading children.² Functional MRI (fMRI) scans from non-impaired readers show activity in neural systems that are mostly in the back of the brain. However, the same scans in dyslexic readers show underactivation in these “efficient reading regions” and overactivation in less efficient frontal areas. Underactivation in the back of the brain explains why dyslexic individuals struggle with automatic word recognition. And overactivation in the frontal region explains why dyslexics have to work harder to read: they are relying on less efficient reading neural pathways.² Interestingly, mounting evidence shows that through successful intervention a dyslexic child’s brain can be rewired to utilize the “efficient” pathways of typical readers.³


The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity – Yale School of Medicine.


Shaywitz, Sally. Overcoming Dyslexia: Second Edition

Completely Revised and Updated. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2020.​


Neuroimaging of Reading Intervention: A Systematic Review and Activation Likelihood Estimate Meta-Analysis. journal.pone.0083668.

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3148 East Locust Ave Orange, CA 92867

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