Researchers from the University of Washington are in the midst of a study using the Seeing Stars® intervention to better understand the underlying mechanisms of dyslexia. Typical interventions for dyslexics involve strategies to help struggling readers compensate. And while there are many programs and strategies that improve specific reading skills, such as phonemic awareness and word attack, too many dyslexics continue to rely on compensatory strategies without becoming fluent, independent readers.
The Seeing Stars program was implemented to develop symbol imagery, the ability to visualize sounds and letters in words as a basis for orthographic awareness, word recognition, and fluency. Symbol imagery correlates very highly to overall reading ability, with strong readers able to easily pick up alphabetic principles, learn sight words, and read with fluency. An important question for researchers then is whether individuals with dyslexia can develop the very same brain processing skills that skilled readers already possess.
The research is yielding promising results. “One thing I can say definitively is that the intensive reading intervention program changes the underlying structure of the brain. That’s something that we’re clearly seeing,” noted one of the study’s authors, Jason D. Yeatman, Ph.D.
READ UW PRESS RELEASE – For more information on this exciting study.