What causes dyslexia and variations of dyslexia? Learn the different types of dyslexia and dyslexia and adults, what to know and what you can do for treatment.
By Edward C. Kondrot, MD
Behavioral and developmental problems in children are widespread sociological issues in the United States today. Learning disabilities, intellectual retardation, dyslexia, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, and propensity to violence are eventually diagnosed in 3% of all children born in the United States.
What causes dyslexia.
The first thing that needs to be said is that dyslexia is not brought about by poor parenting. It is hard to believe that as recent as the 1960’s experts felt that poor parenting was responsible for dyslexia, autism and other forms of learning disorders.
Philip J. Landrigan, a pediatrician who chairs the Department of Community and Preventative Medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York says evidence is mounting that these disorders may be linked to exposure to chemicals in the environment.
Dyslexia and other learning disabilities have been linked to immunizations. This increase correlates with the time that the world began administering vaccines to children in the sixties. In the book that linked health problems to immunizations, DPT: A Shot in the Dark, Coulter and Fisher, the authors, estimated that 12,000 to 15,000 cases of severe neurological damage are caused by childhood vaccines each year Coulter went on to site the following: “One child in five or six is affected, to some degree, by the vaccination … about 20 percent of the population!
Whereas lead has long been recognized as a potent neurotoxin, it is only during the last 20 years that low-level exposures have been linked to deficits in children. In a landmark study of first and second grade schoolchildren from the towns of Chelsea and Somerville, Massachusetts, published in the 29 March 1979 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Needleman found that behaviors such as distractibility, decreased persistence, dependence, and daydreaming were significantly correlated with elevated levels of lead in children’s teeth. These findings contribute to a more recent hypothesis, that in some cases lead may play a role in the development of dyslexia.
It is clear that dyslexia is very frequently found in families, and is often accompanied by left-handedness somewhere in the family. This does not mean to say that a dyslexic parent will automatically have a dyslexic child, or that a left-handed child will necessarily be dyslexic. But where dyslexia is identified, between a third and a half of children have a history of learning difficulties in their family, and more than half have a family member who is left-handed.
Hearing problems at an early age.
If a child suffers frequent colds and throat infections in the first five years, the ears can be blocked from time to time so that hearing is impaired. The parents can easily be unaware of this until a doctor actually looks into the child’s ear. This condition is sometimes known as ‘glue ear’ or ‘conductive hearing loss’. If the difficulty is not noticed at an early stage, then the developing brain does not make the links between the sounds it hears. This early learning of sounds and words is fundamental to the child’s developing ability to handle language and text. If a child cannot hear clearly, it will be unable to hear the difference between words like ‘pin’ and ‘thin’, or ‘fan’ and ‘van’. The lack of clear hearing will also delay the child’s phonemic awareness – the ability to hear that words are made up of smaller sounds and syllables, like ‘c-a-t’, or ‘in-ter-est-ing’.
Helping dyslexia with homeopathy, vision therapy, Syntonic light therapy and microcurrent stimulation.
As a Board certified Ophthalmologist and homeopathic doctor, I have been interested in alternative therapies for the treatment of dyslexia. At the Healing the Eye Center we employ methods which are drug free and strengthen the visual system, mind and body.
Dyslexia is a learning disability of the normal processing of information. People with this disorder have difficulty with the written language, in particular reading and spelling. There is evidence that dyslexia results from how the brain processes written and/or spoken language. Since the visual system contributes close to 80% of information into our neurological system, my focus of treatment has been on the function of the visual system. By improving the efficiency of the visual system many of the disabilities of dyslexia can be reduced or eliminated.
Homeopathy is a scientific method of therapy based on the principle of stimulating the body’s own healing processes in order to accomplish cure. The basic system was devised and verified by Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, nearly 200 years ago. Homeopathy’s astounding success rates in both chronic and acute diseases has resulted in not only standing the test of time, but also rapidly achieving widespread acceptance in Europe, India and South America.
In Homeopathy (“homeo-” means “similar”), each of us is a total and complete individual, no aspect of which can be separated from any other. To be effective, any valid therapy must be based on a deep understanding of and respect for the uniqueness of each individual. In Homeopathy each patient is evaluated as a whole person- mental, emotional and physical. The prescribing remedy is based on the unique patterns found on all three levels. This means that each person is given a remedy that will stimulate his or her particular body to heal. Ten people with dyslexia might receive ten different homeopathic remedies.
Maria Chivers, Author of Dyslexia And Alternative Therapies, states that “Homeopathy assists the body to overcome illness by stimulating the natural defense processes from within.”
Many of the symptoms that are commonly associated with dyslexia can also be the result of vision problems. Vision therapy addresses problems that result from weaknesses in eye muscles and other problems, through a series of exercises and skill-building sessions, or with physical devices such as special lenses.
There are several basic visual skills that are important for reading. The first is pursuits or the ability to follow a moving target. When reading, it is necessary to follow and track words in sequence. Poor pursuits result in losing your place and jumping back and forth while reading. Another skill is saccadic movements. This is the ability to change fixation. When coming to the end of a sentence it is necessary to change fixation to the next line. Two common examples of problems that can be addressed with vision therapy are tracking or convergence problems. Tracking’ means that an individual is not able to use their eyes to scan the text left-to-right. ‘Convergence’ or ‘teaming’ means that the two eyes are not working together properly, so that the person may see double, or may lack binocular vision. There are specific eye exercises to develop these skills to help the eyes work better and more efficiently.
Syntonic light therapy.
The autonomic system has two parts, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. The sympathetic is responsible for survival or “fight or flight”, and the parasympathetic is responsible for the body sustaining life, like digestion and healing disease. When you are running away from a grizzly bear, your body does not care about digesting your food! Stress – yes we have heard of that word – STRESS certainly contributes to disease and stress can also be the fuel that sustains disease and prevents healing. The mechanism of stress can over-stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and suppress the parasympathetic. When the parasympathetic system is suppressed, the body has a difficult time to heal disease. Healing will not take place unless there is a balance in the autonomic system. Color therapy can help. The red spectrum has been documented to stimulate the sympathetic system. No, we do not want this since most of our life takes care of this very nicely! The color red has been associated with anger and increased heart rate and an increase in blood pressure. Blue, on the other hand, will relax the sympathetic system and stimulate the parasympathetic. This is the first step towards healing disease. Think about how relaxing the blue ocean water and the blue sky can be! A vacation to the beach can be very healing.
In dyslexia, the visual field or area of peripheral vision is often reduced. This makes reading and other close activities extremely difficult. Imagine trying to read looking through a small one inch opening! Light therapy can help to expand the visual field and open the peripheral vision.
Microcurrent has been used over the past 15 years to help improve vision. The mechanism is felt to be threefold; increasing the circulation to the eye, stimulating the function of the retinal cells, and possibly in the regeneration of cells. The effects of 10 to 500 micro amps on the cellular level have been documented by Dr. Cheng to increase ATP production by 500%, increase protein synthesis by 70% and increase cell transport by 40%.
A new technique, called Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM) has produced a dramatic improvement in the treatment of various eye disorders. The roots of Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM) date back to the early 1900’s to Dr. Albert Abrams, who was the first physician to use calibrated instruments capable of detecting the radiations of living tissue. Dr. Abrams concluded that all matter radiates electromagnetic energy and the characteristics of the radiation depend upon the unique molecular structure. Modern FSM utilizes hundreds of frequencies within the range of .01 to 999 Hz with varying intensities of 20 to 600 micro amps.
In the treatment of dyslexia, various frequencies are used to balance the autonomic nervous system, stimulate the activity of the visual system and the learning centers.