ago, when Drs. Roger Sperry and Michael Gazzaniga did their
work on the split brain in man, it was proven that the left
hemisphere masterminds language processing. In 1972, when
I first started teaching dyslectic students, Dr. Gazzaniga
wrote me that if someone could find a way to increase the
use of the left side of the brain in the dyslectic reader,
it might develop "one final cognitive path" that
would reduce the confusion and improve reading.
a way to distract the right hemisphere during a phonics lesson
so that I could exercise the left hemisphere by itself, and
the left hemisphere requires specific tasks that force it
to do the things it is the weakest in: phonics, phonemic analysis,
syntax and grammar, and letter sequencing. Reading
from Scratch grew out of these requirements,
and is unique because it concentrates on the specialized
problems of dyslexia.
usually have a degree of left-right confusion. Teaching "consonant
digraphs" is unnecessarily difficult if the student has
to distinguish quickly between "ts" and "st".
Better to spell out a word like BUST with plastic letters
and have him move the S around until it forms STUB and
BUTS. This becomes an exercise in sequencing and sound-symbol
matching, both of which he needs.
same reason (left-right confusion) it is wise to postpone
teaching diphthongs until the student has had several months
of exercises in short vowel sounds, the sounds of ar, or,
and er, and long sounds formed with a silent e on the end
of a word. By that time, his left hemisphere has kicked in
enough so that he can handle ea, ei, ue, and so forth, without