How attention deficit causes reading difficulties
I can remember working with one child early in the development of DM Easyread, who was studying the materials with his hands on the table while bouncing the rest of his body in the air.
He always maintained that for the entire session. And the teacher had never seen him work on anything for more than 5 minutes. He regularly had to be sent to run around the school building.
Whenever I went into a classroom I was almost always assigned a character like him. I used to love it because they are always great kids (if you are not trying to handle them and 30 more at the same time!). But they were virtually unable to control their excess of energy.
It is not surprising that any form of Attention Deficit makes learning to read very hard, because it is a skill that takes prolonged practice and application to master. Interestingly, Attention Deficit has generally not been a problem for children using the DM Easyread courses, in my experience. Once you understand the main causes of Attention Deficit, that makes sense.
The cause of attention issues
I always misunderstood Attention Deficit. I thought that it was due to excess energy in the brain making it run around a bit like a puppy and that the drugs being used were mild sedatives.
The reality is that the medication for Attention Deficit and ADHD is a stimulant, very similar to cocaine.
The cause of the problem is strong neuron activity in the cerebral cortex, without sufficient control coming from the frontal lobe.
Your frontal lobe acts as a conductor of brain focus and without control coming from a single point, you get a mildly chaotic situation. Once the medication is applied, the stimulant helps the frontal cortex to take control and so the level of activity around the rest of the brain settles.
Most parents with children stuggling with attention difficulties will say “Oh yes! He can hold his focus on something well when he wants to!”
There are plenty of theories on how to help a child with attention difficulties, but we target simple ways to get them reading. And the key to that is to make them interested in the task and keep the sessions short.
Symptoms of attention deficit issues
The key symptoms are:
- Easily distracted
- Lots of fidgeting
- Likes to be in motion
- Able to focus when engaged or medicated
Solutions for attention issues
So it is now clearer why Attention Deficit is not a problem with the children doing DM Easyread. There are a number of reasons for it:
- The system activities are very engaging and acts as a mild stimulant
- The lessons are very short (10-15 minutes each)
- The children can feel their progress
In the same way, whatever reading practice you are using, it must engage and be short.