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Volume 3 #11 Oct.
The term, flip-flop,
in today’s political arena has been given the nasty
connotation of indecisiveness or, worse yet, lack of integrity.
It seems to me that it is actually sensible to change one’s
mind if new facts appear that make one’s original
position questionable. History is rife with examples of
disasters that were the result of stubborn insistance on
tired ideas and unverified information.
This was brought
home to me recently by an e-mail from a mom who was worried
because her teen-age son hated the classical music she
had for his lessons and wanted only rap. Well, I have always
recommended that the distractor for the right hemisphere
be music, because at least I knew that the right was happy
processing music and the input would be qualitatively different
from the words coming into the left side. Besides a neurologist
had done a study in which he had sent a verbal exercise
to the left hemisphere while sending a musical discrimination
task to the right, which is exactly what we do with Enhanced
Lateralization. The good doc had found that this split
input produced increased activity in the left hemisphere,
which is exactly what we wanted with Enhanced Lateralization.
On the other
hand, it is also true that when I was at the 2002 Rodin
Dyslexia Conference in Munich, a Swedish teacher came up
to me in a state of high excitement to talk about distracting
one hemisphere while the other was given its phonics lesson.
She had been doing something similar with astounding results
and wanted to compare notes. What she had done was to tape
the evening news and use the talking heads for her right
hemisphere distractor! The kids apparently thought it great
fun and she was getting improvement results that were on
a par with mine.
It is also true
that Ihave heard that sometimes when a person has a stroke
that knocks out the language area of his left hemisphere,
leaving him unable to speak, that he can often sing songs
that he learned in childhood, words and all, even though
he can’t say them without the tune!
So perhaps just
music isn’t the only distractor that works, or even,
if the Swedish lady is to be believed, the best one. Maybe
the trick is that if the two sides hear different things,
that it is the forced concentration on the left hemisphere
contents that makes the difference. Maybe Dan Rather would
be more useful than he ever imagined if his evening pronouncements
could help kids learn to read. Now wouldn’t THAT
In any case,
maybe-- just maybe-- I will have to flip-flop. I told the
lady with the teen age son to go ahead and try rap. But
I don’t think that I will write Dan Rather just yet
to tell him that a cohort of his listeners may get a surprising
benefit from his wisdom when they make a real effort not
to hear him.
We have put the Phonics Book on a disk for two reasons. Any self-respecting
kid today would rather look at a computer screen than a piece of paper, even
if they have exactly the same thing on them. More important, the disk can be
partly color-coded, which helps a lot in teaching. But be sure you put the
disk in your computer and not your CD player!
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|Archives (2001 files in .doc format):
|April 2004 - Vol.
2002 - Vol. 2, #3
|March 2004 - Vol.
2002 - Vol. 2, #2
|February 2004 - Vol.
2002 - Vol. 2, #1
|December 2003 - Vol.
2002 - Vol. 1, #11
2003 - Vol. 3, #2
2002 - Vol. 1, #10
2003 - Vol. 3, #1
2002 - Vol. 1, #9
2003 - Vol 2, # 12
2002 - Vol. 1, #8
2003 - Vol. 2, #11
2002 - Vol. 1, #7
2003 - Vol. 2, #10
2002 - Vol. 1, #6
2003 - Vol. 2, #9
2001 - Vol. 1, #5
2003 - Vol. 2, #8
2001 - Vol. 1, #4
2003 - Vol. 2 #7
2001 - Vol. 1, #3
2003 - Vol. 2, #5
2001 - Vol. 1, #2
2002 - Vol. 2, #4
2001 - Vol. 1, #1