The Dyslexia Controversy


What happens when you are dyslexic? The common myth is that it is a visual problem, but Dr. Sally Shaywitz from Yale proved it was an auditory problem. (Yes, you can find it on the Internet today 20 years after her groundbreaking research.) She also proved it could be cured if you taught explicit phonics. Rocket Phonics games do that and then teaches them to blend the sound.

About 11 years ago Kris Bales was homeschooling her dyslexic son, Josh, and was given a Rocket Phonics kit to review. Josh progressed and grew more confident. (See it here  Kris implemented it beautifully. She took a break when Josh felt stressed and Josh started reading picture books for pleasure.  “Since he was reading longer selections than he ever had before — more confidently and fluently — I was willing to let him spend some time putting his new-found skills into practice by just allowing him read to me daily.  After all, isn’t that the ultimate goal of reading instruction?  Frog and Toad books were our favorites.” This is exactly what I recommend because Kris is right reading for pleasure is the ultimate goal otherwise your children may know how to read, but will lose their skill from lack of practice.

Josh is in his 20’s now and hopefully doing well. He might even have cured his dyslexia. Sally Shaywitz points out that dyslexics have low phonemic awareness which means we hear words as 1 sound not a blend of sounds. She notes that if you can enlarge their phonemic awareness area in the brain they will stop being dyslexic. This is why direct phonics instruction that uses a different letter or letter combination for all the sounds of the English language is essential.

Sally proved this with a functional MRI (An MRI taken while the child is reading.) Two things would stop this cure from occurring. One is age I don’t think Sally says at what age the change no longer happens. The other is how severely dyslexic the child is.

The battle with Josh was harder because he started at 10. Reading had become a frustration to him. When you get to the dyslexics at 5 or 6 it’s much easier. They enjoy the games more. Their willingness to try new words is higher and they progress much faster. If you are wondering if your child might be dyslexic contact me at or leave a comment and I will do a free evaluation. Or if you prefer to Do it Yourself click on this link and discover what happens when you’re dyslexic. (A word of caution all children are born dyslexic. Hearing the sounds in words occurs somewhere between 3 and 7 so your child may be too young.

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