Volume 1 • #81 • March 2009


One of the dead-give-away symptoms of dyslexia is something called double eye regressions.  A standard pair of eyes moves across the page in single jumps called saccades, each jump taking in a group of words, then jumping to the next place. The dyslectic reader makes a jump, but before going on, his eyes flick back a couple of times to previous words. Obviously this back and forth flickering makes a mess of reading.  One researcher wanted to know whether this was because the person couldn’t read, or whether it was just a physical oddity that went with dyslexia. So he tried putting dots on a screen instead of words, first one, then a second or so later, another, and so on across the page. No reading required.  The dyslectics’ eyes flicked back and forth just the same even when merely looking at dots. Standard eyes moved smoothly across the page.

We now know that the double regression is the result of that slow secondary signal that goes through the poky corpus callosum. The RfS treatment of by-passing the CC and thus eliminating the second, late signal works wonders. But you still have students, especially depressed ones, who grind through the exercises, learn the spelling rules, take a long time sounding out unfamiliar words, and never get up any oomph.

There is a nice twofer for this.  Obviously you can’t just go back and make the kid read the same old exercises until he can get up some speed. So you explain about double regressions and how you need to get the eyes moving smoothly to the right  without going back and forth.  So you will go back to some of the earlier exercises he has already done so he is familiar with the words and can get up some speed. Tell him that is an exercise to force his eyes to move to the right as fast as possible. You have to use  famliar words so he doesn’t have to think about them. Then have him read the page horizontally across the columns instead of vertically. At first you put your cursor in front of the top word in column one, then move it across FAST to the top word in column two, and so on, one line at a time across the page. The object is speed, so you say “FASTER!” as he goes, and still faster. You can even repeat the block of words on that page if you want to, always pushing for speed. By the time he has gone through it twice, it is a lot faster.

So what makes this a twofer?  You get him up to speed, and you have a chance to review a lot of words that you couldn’t any other way.




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