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September 17, 2012 / the speech monster

Reading in the brain

I’ve just finished reading a fascinating book about reading, “Reading in the brain” by Stanislas Dehaene, a French professor of experimental cognitive psychology at a University in France.

This book served as a good scientific introduction to the topic; it revealed detailed history, evolution, and biological and physiological components of reading. As the author is European, there is a chunk of (often necessary) cross-cultural comparisons made in the book to prove certain points. My favorite and most relevant chapter is the one on dyslexia. The author also talked about some intervention strategies and future research proposals.

As a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), I often get referred children who have difficulties with auditory processing and phonological awareness: children at risk for reading difficulties or who already have trouble reading. Guidelines from the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) and Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) recommend the involvement of SLPs in reading interventions, collaborating with literacy coaches, teachers, and reading specialists to treat these children.

Despite the high number of referrals of children with reading difficulties, it was only really this last year that I gained more confidence in assessing and treating this population (who often also have concomitant difficulties with speech and language). I also realized that I really do enjoy learning about reading and reading disorders.

There is still much to be learned and if anyone has recommended books on this topic, I would love to hear them! Next post will be on a few of my favorite phonological awareness/literacy therapy resources.

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