Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Education could help treat dyslexia

Scimex: Developmental dyslexia - characterised by trouble reading despite a normal intelligence - is a condition that runs in families and has a genetic basis, which means it is often assumed that nothing can be done to treat it. Now, a UK expert has rejected that notion and argued that educational interventions could help improve the reading skills of individuals suffering from the condition. Children's reading difficulties are not just caused by poor teaching; they often run in families and have a genetic basis. A common misunderstanding of such evidence is the idea there is a 'dyslexia' gene that can be used in screening. This is unrealistic because the genetic influences are complex, and involve the combined effect of many genetic variants, each of which has a small influence. Furthermore, people often assume that a genetic basis means nothing can be done. That is not the case: just as we can treat genetically-based visual problem with spectacles, so we should be able to treat reading problems with tailored educational interventions.