Video Text Alternative: Dyslexia Research at NICHD

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Dyslexia Research at NICHD: A Get To Know NICHD Video

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development logos appearing.

Camera view of Dr. Brett Miller.

BANNER: Brett Miller, Ph.D. Child Development and Behavior Branch, NICHD
Dr. Brett Miller: Reading is a relatively new phenomenon, evolutionarily, and so the brain has developed over time for language but hasn’t necessarily developed specifically for reading. So we...

Diagram of the human brain with three glowing areas. A moving dotted circuit connecting the areas appears and disappears.
Dr. Miller: ... have a system where we’re using different parts of the brain to really kind of refine our ability to read. And what we see with individuals that struggle is that...

The brain shrinks down to make room for a second brain, this one with six glowing areas that are smaller on average. The first brain is labeled “Typical Reading Activation.” The second is labeled “Struggling Reading Activation.”
Dr. Miller: ...we get more dispersed activation in the left hemisphere relative to those that are more typically developing...
Dr. Miller on camera. Dr. Miller: ...unless they’re given an intervention where they successfully respond and they show the sorts of improvement that we want, and then we see their system actually look much more like individuals that don’t struggle when they read.
(Edit/camera cut) Dr. Miller on camera.

BANNER: Teaching the Dyslexic Child to Read
Dr. Miller: There was an intervention study that was up to 3 years in duration, so it picked up kids at the end of fifth grade who were struggling with reading. So these are kids that have had years of reading instruction but haven’t showed the sorts of gain in...

Video of a student reading with a teacher’s help.
Dr. Miller: ...development and reading that we would ideally want, so they’re generally more than 1 year behind where we’d want in terms of their reading level.
Dr. Miller on camera. Dr. Miller: And these individuals are given really intensive intervention for either 1, 2, or 3 years.

Video of a student writing with a teacher’s help.
Dr. Miller: And basically, what we see coming out of that for the individuals that are there for 3 years of context, these are individuals that...
Dr. Miller on camera. Dr. Miller: ...have had, you know, difficulties over the course of their life. These are individuals that just received, you know, up to 3 this case, 3 years of intervention...really intensive intervention...that we’re able to see really actually robust gains for these folks.
(Edit/camera cut) Dr. Miller on camera. Dr. Miller: The flip side is, while we show these gains, unfortunately, what we’re not able to do is really, at this point, with this to reduce the gap between where these individuals are in terms of their performance level compared to peers that aren’t struggling.
(Edit/camera cut) Dr. Miller on camera. Dr. Miller: And what I think it implies is that we really need to kind of redouble our efforts on early intervention. Our ability to intervene successfully...

Video of a student reading alone.
Dr. Miller: ...and effectively is better for kids that are younger. So in terms of teaching methods...
Dr. Miller on camera.
BANNER: Direct
Dr. Miller: ...some of the things we know are that children with learning disabilities really need direct, explicit, and systematic instruction, whether we’re talking about reading or whether we’re talking about mathematics. And where we have real benefit here is that we also have data that shows that for kids that don’t struggle, that this type of instruction benefits them as well.

NIH/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development logo. The words “For more information, visit” appear.
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