"Why do Dyslexics make such good Fast Readers?"

Not too long ago, I learned about a discovery that is sure to revolutionize education of all Dyslexics. In Jeffrey Freed's book "Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World", he says: "While our schools have been harping on the deficits of children with [Dyslexia], I've had the pleasure of unearthing their many gifts. These children can do difficult math problems in their head, remember long lists of words, and are excellent speed-readers."

I believe that the term "Learning Disability" is really a misnomer when referring to Dyslexics. All too often, these bright children get pigeon-holed, thrown away into the "slow" classes and then forgotten.

The truth is, that whenever I teach a rapid reading class where a Dyslexic child is present, more often than not, the Dyslexic child will end up being the best speed reader in the entire class by the time the course ends.

The real problem is that all minds will not respond to the same learning approach equally. That is why an introduction to speed reading can be so important for many children with Dyslexia. Dyslexic people are usually GIFTED when it comes to reading rapidly.

Why is it that people with Dyslexia are so gifted in this way?

It turns out that Dyslexic brains work a little differently than most brains. Most of us are Left-Brain dominant (the Left-Brain is where "normal," slow reading takes place). However, people with Dyslexia are Right-Brain dominant (the Right-Brain is where rapid reading takes place). Since most Dyslexic "wires" are connected on the right side, this is why they tend to become gifted speed readers.

Here's what Sandy Cook, mom of more than one Dyslexic child (she also runs a website dedicated to helping so-called "Learning Disabled" kids), had to say after teaching her children to speed read:

"I HAVE to tell you that I have been amazed (truly I have)
at how well and how quickly my children,
with mild to severe dyslexia, have learned to speed
read. I was skeptical.. VERY skeptical..
when I read that children with dyslexia
can often learn how to speed read better than
typical readers....My children, who have mild
to significant dyslexia, can read a 200 page
chapter book in ten to fifteen minutes with
amazing retention and recall."

"Becoming speed readers has been a great esteem
builder for my children as well. By reading so
quickly and so well, they can amaze and
entertain their friends, read more than I ever
dreamed they could, and they use their speed
reading skills at will..."
--Sandy Cook

If you would like to know more about rapid reading and how it may help your child with Dyslexia, you need to seek out a method that has the following traits:

1) It must have been designed specifically for children. (Beware of programs that are designed for adults. Many speed reading methods are not kid-friendly).

2) It is simple. Must be simple enough for any mom, dad or even grandma to get good results with a Dyslexic child.

3) It is usually best that the program be conducted/monitored by an adult. Some kids are self-motivated enough to follow through with everything, but experience shows that gentle guidance is a big key to success with speed reading. With proper involvement by an adult (even if the adult doesn't even know how to speed read himself) it is common for Dyslexics to achieve rates of over 1,500 wpm with very good comprehension.

ALSO, you may find the following Questions and Answers to be helpful:


Q. I've tried so many things with my Dyslexic child. Will speed reading really help him?
A. Yes it will. It's rare when a Dyslexic child doesn't end up at or near the top of any of my speed reading classes.

Q. When a Dyslexic child learns to read fast, do he always have to speed read everything after that?
A. Sandy Cook has also answered this question: "I have found that my children still use slower, more purposeful reading for their textbooks, but they enjoy speed reading for magazines, newspapers, books at the library, etc."

Q. Why don't schools teach speed reading to Dyslexics already?
A. Although a few already do, most are not aware of the dramatic difference that rapid reading makes for Dyslexic children. This is a fairly recent discovery. Only time and educational efforts with schools and teachers will remedy this situation.

Another factor with schools (especially public schools) is that they generally implement programs where the students "all move along together, at the same pace." When you have students who read at varying rates, from 400 words per minute up to 10,000 wpm, you have a situation that doesn't fit the mold that many school teachers expect for their classrooms. This fact will sometimes make rapid reading a hard sell for some teachers, even if they already understand the benefits of reading rapidly (imagine the extra work load for the teacher if the students all tripled their reading speed!). So, if you want your Dyslexic child to benefit from rapid reading, you are going to have to take charge of the process yourself. This is precisely why I strongly recommend that you seek out the right kind of speed reading program for your child. It should be very easy to follow the step-by-step instructions yourself, even if you have no experience in "teaching" your child.

Q. What about a computer-based reading fluency course?
A. I've never seen any computer-based course that even came close to the results that I've seen with a live teacher/parent working closely with students/children. Since your Dyslexic child will eventually be reading books etc., the best training is to learn rapid reading by using books. That way, when the training is done, your child will already be used to reading rapidly in...BOOKS (or other printed matter).

Computers are nice, and they can do cool things like flash words on the screen at a programmed rate, and they do have some benefit. But after all the bells and whistles are over, you're still going to get back to real-life reading in books, letters, magazines, etc. And these things won't have all the crutches that are built into the computer programs.

Author's Bio: 

George Stancliffe is the author of SPEED READING 4 KIDS. He has taught speed reading to several thousand children since 1997 and has been interviewed on TV and radio many times. He is the founder of http://www.speedreading4kids.com where you can find the answers to most questions about children and speed reading. His email address is: george "at" speedreading4kids.com (please put SPEED READING in the subject line of all emails so the spam filter won't snag your message).