Author of parenting books blogs about raising children and health issues.
Could video games help kids with dyslexia learn to read?
New study looks at dyslexia as more of an attention disorder than a problem with reading.
Mon, Feb 17, 2014 at 08:00 AM
Conventional wisdom suggests that parents limit screen time
for kids, particularly for kids who have trouble learning in school. But a new study just might lend to the theory that certain video games
could help kids with learning disorders
improve their performance in school.
In a new study
conducted at Oxford University, researchers found that video games that force kids to respond to a number of stimuli at once may help kids with dyslexia
'train their brains' to respond more quickly to the words on the page when reading.
Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disabilities affecting kids around the globe with roughly 5-10 percent of the world's population suffering from the condition. The common approach to dyslexia uses phonetics to help struggling readers, but the Oxford research suggests that dyslexia may be more of an attention issue than a problem with reading.
For the study, researchers asked 36 participants - 17 with dyslexia and 19 without - to press a button each time they heard a sound and/or saw a flash of dim light patterns. Researchers found that the dyslexic participants took longer to press the button than their non-dyslexic peers - particularly in the cases where they were shown the light patterns. This led researchers to believe that there might be a connection between dyslexia and the participant's ability to change focus quickly between stimuli.
The Oxford study did not directly look at how dyslexia could be improved with video games
, but its authors suggest that this study adds more credence to previous research that found that dyslexic children showed improvements in reading speed after playing action-packed video games that forced the kids to change focus quickly.
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