pump phonics into the right side of the head through
ears and eyes, for transfer to the language areas on
the opposite side of the brain.
is because the brain sends its messages across to the
opposite side from where they came in.
him to use his left brain? Send input into the right
side of his body.
First the Ears
the ears is an ingenious technique that is based on the fact
that a sound which originates directly at one ear (as with
earphones) so that the other ear doesn't hear it, is
sent directly to the opposite hemisphere without going
through the CC. If, at the same time, you send a different
kind of a sound into the other ear, only the other hemisphere
gets it. When each side gets different input simultaneously,
neither will then ship its own input across the brain or get
involved in what the other is doing.
bone conduction? Isn't part of the sound sent to the opposite
ear through the skull? Yes, but the primary sound delivered
at the eardrum is much louder than the small amount that goes
through the bones, and experiments with dichotic listening
exercises have shown that the primary sound effectively overwhelms
the sound from bone conduction. See bibliography,
number 38, for technical details.
We can isolate words to the left hemisphere by sending music
to the right hemisphere at the same time. The right
will then be happily occupied with music, which it likes,
and will make no attempt to "help" the left side decipher
the words. This does two useful things: it supplies the
focus needed to keep the words in the left side, and
it neatly by-passes the corpus callosum which has been
contributing to reading problems. Once the CC is out
of the picture, things get better. After a year of this
kind of exercise, the left hemisphere becomes much more
involved in language processing and you get vastly improved
this, you use two CD players, one with
a music CD in it and the other with a spelling exercise on it
from your material. One little ear plug goes from the music
to the left ear, the other little ear plug goes from
the words to the right ear. Why not just have
some music in the room? Because both ears will hear it, and
both sides of the brain will get it. You have to isolate the
music to one ear only. It is the isolation of the signals
that does the trick.
white noise? Because it never changes. The right hemisphere
quickly learns to ignore it, and then feels free again to
interfere with the language processing. The right side has
to have something of its own to be actively attending to.
Signals criss-cross in the brain. If you want something
to go into the left hemisphere, you have to feed it into the
right side of the head. The word CD must go into the RIGHT
ear and the music CD in the LEFT ear.
Now for the Eyes
By-passing the CC with auditory signals prevents timing trouble. Can we by-pass the CC with visual input as well? Yes, and it turns out to be easy. The retina of each eye has two halves, one inside toward the nose, called the nasal retina, and the other outside toward the temple, called, sensibly enough, the temple retina. Now it happens that each nasal half sends a signal straight across to the opposite side of the brain without going through the CC! So we use the right nasal retina in order to get the words delivered across to that left angular gyrus. This is accomplished with a simple, ingenious device called an I-Card which is used to block out signals from the unwanted nasal retina. Mission accomplished. The poky CC has been by-passed during both seeing and hearing. And the left hemisphere gets its private lesson on time.
word of warning.
This kind of remediation requires a lesson every school day
for forty or forty-five minutes. You can't learn to play the
piano by taking one lesson a week and hoping for the best.
You have to DO it and DO it, over and over until your muscles
learn. Changing the way the brain operates also requires a
year or two of consistent practice. Don't start if you plan
to be half-hearted. You will only disappoint yourself and
one last word of warning:
If you plan to teach, READ ALL THE MATERIAL OVER BEFORE YOU
START and FOLLOW IT TO THE LETTER. Don't improvise, and above
all, don't change the order in which the lessons are presented.
You can go through it quickly if your pupil has only a mild
case of dyslexia, but DON'T SKIP ANYTHING. The package you
get will include everything you need except for the CD players
and pencils, paper, and persistence.