The Dyslexic Brain – Wired for Whole Brain Thinking

Albert Einstein
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.’

Scientists can now capture images of the internal wiring of the brain, using a tool called “diffusion sensor imaging” (DTI). Research can now confirm what was once only a hypothesis: the dyslexic brain is wired differently, in a way that is far more elegant than a mere localized glitch or disruption.

Ron Davis is known for his early recognition that the signature mental strengths of dyslexia are closely tied to the difficulties in learning to read. His theory was drawn from experience, both personal and from working with hundreds of children and adults. But without the brain science to back up his ideas, many academic researchers ignored his work and continued to look at dyslexia as a discrete dysfunction of the brain.But things have changed.
In the 1990’s scientists tended to look at parts of the brain in isolation. They assumed reading was only a left-brain function, tied closely to areas known to be involved in processing oral language. But with 21st century technology, the focus has shifted to looking at the whole brain, and the wiring that connects different parts and different functions within the brain.

The Dyslexia, the Gift web site went live in 1995, and was the first to shine a positive light on dyslexia. We saw the gift, but others still saw dyslexia as the product of some sort of brain defect. Now science has caught up. These days many writers, educators, and research scientists are talking about the dyslexic gift.

But many still make the mistake of assuming that the gift is also tied to a permanent disability. They assume, mistakenly, that the different brain wiring means that reading will be a lifelong struggle.

Research science tells a different story. Children who struggle with reading often grow up to be excellent readers and compelling writers. Studies over the past decade show that the dyslexic teenagers and adults who do best are those who have developed the most robust right-brain pathways. For a dyslexic learner, reading is a whole-brained process. In the words of Ron Davis, the true gift of dyslexia is the gift of mastery.