Some dyslexics are made, not born, according to Yale researchers who studied brain scans.
One group appeared to have what the researchers called a “predominantly genetic type” of dyslexia.
These students had gaps in the neural circuitry that the normal readers used for the basic processing of sound and language, but had learned to enlist other parts of the brain to compensate for the difficulty. They still read slowly but can comprehend what they read.
The second group had what the researchers called a “more environmentally influenced” type of dyslexia. Their brains’ system for processing sound and language was intact, but they seemed to rely more on memory than on the linguistic centers of the brain for understanding what they were reading. These students had remained persistently poor readers, scoring poorly on speed as well as comprehension.
As I understand this, the “environmental” dyslexics, who are twice as likely to attend “disadvantaged’ schools, learned to memorize words in elementary school. They never developed the brain connections used by students who learn to decode. In higher grades, these students have trouble learning new words. They can’t memorize everything.
The good news is that these children can learn to read well, if they’re taught well at an early age. There’s nothing wrong with their brains.