Note: this post has been edited. I moved my comment, with further criticism, from the comments section to the body of the post.
One Marilyn Redmond is promising "new hope for dyslexia":
Marilyn Redmond, Clinical Hypnotist and Registered Counselor, in Edgewood, Washington is combining hypnosis with other complimentary health methods to improve the process with children and adults. When she heard the latest scientific release that Russian biophysicist and molecular biologist Pjotr Garjajev has scientifically proven that affirmations along with meditation/ hypnosis (another term for meditation) will raise consciousness, well-being, and even change DNA, she became interested in helping students with Dyslexia.
What a load of hogwash.
This is the material I added:
As justification for offering hypnosis for dyslexia, your press release reads in part:
"There is a new use for therapeutic hypnosis and holistic counseling. Harold B. Crasilneck, Ph.D., and James A. Hall, M.D. of Dallas Texas states that relatively little use of hypnosis is used in treating dyslexia. However, they report that “three-fourths of the dyslexic children treated through hypnosis demonstrated moderate to marked improvement.” "
I went looking for scientific evidence of this claim.
1. Crasilneck and Hall as joint authors have published six articles, according to PubMed. None deal with dyslexia, reading, or learning disabilities.
2. The statement above implies that Crasilneck and Hall have
recently announced the effectiveness of hypnosis for dyslexia. The most
recent of their articles was published twenty-eight years ago. This is hardly
cutting-edge research,especially in light of the great increase in the roots of dyslexia revealed by brain-imaging studies by Shaywitz, Eden, Beringer and Aylward, among others. The claim that “three-fourths of the
dyslexic children treated through hypnosis demonstrated moderate to
marked improvement.” seems to be drawn from Crasilneck and Hall's 1985 handbook, Clinical hypnosis: principles and applications, 2nd Ed, Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
3. Again according to a PubMed search, there are absolutely no controlled studies indicating that hypnosis is an effective approach to remediating dyslexia.
4. The press release also claims that hypnosis is a valid treatment for dyslexia based on a "scientific release" from a Russian scientist, biophysicist and molecular biologist Pjotr Garjajev, with the following claims
scientifically proven that affirmations along with meditation/ hypnosis (another term for meditation) will raise consciousness, well-being, and even change DNA
Garjajev has no citations in Pubmed. The claim for DNA modulation seems to come from the article entitled, "The Biological Chip in our Cells", by Grazyna Fosar and Franz Bludorf, published on their website, "German Magazine KonteXt reports on current developments within the ranges of border science and spirituality." There are a number of claims made, but no data to back up the claims. Remember, "Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof". We can reject the Fosar-Bludorf claims for lacking evidence.
5. The press release also states "Frustrated parents and schools have not found ways to improve or resolve this malady [dyslexia] for successful school careers." That is also not true, on two counts.
a. Dyslexia is not a "malady" in the sense of disease, ailment, or unwholesome condition. It is a neurological variation in how the brain processes the relation between symbol and sound.
b. "not found ways to improve" --this is just a flat misstatement of truth. Multi-sensory, structured, intensive, instruction in synthetic phonics will allow most children to learn to read. Anne Alexander and Anne-Marie Slinger Constant's article "Current Status of Treatments for Dyslexia: Critical Review" (J Child Neurol. 2004; 19 (10): 744-758.) is perhaps the most comprehensive current review:
treatment studies have shown that the majority of children respond to evidence-based treatment interventions
Yes, there are children who continue to struggle despite being in comprehensive programs, and there is certainly room for improvment in both diagnosis and treatment options. Alexander and Constant suggest a checklist:
- An evidence-based program to remediate dyslexia and the phonological system weakness
- Evaluate child's ability to focus/pay attention (remediate as necessary)
- Evaluate the child's working memory function (remediate as necessary)
- Evaluate the child's executive function,(remediate as necessary)
- Evaluate the child's sensorimotor capacity (the ability for fine and gross motor control. Deficits in this area can lead to dysgraphia. (remediate as necessary)
- Evaluate the child's psychological status (ADHD and dyslexia have a high degree of co-incidence; anxiety disorders also seem to be associated with specific language disorders)
I do not see the utility for a primary, secondary, or even tertiary role for hypnosis in the checklist above.
Parents, if your child has difficulty learning to read, do not waste your child's precious brain, or your money, on twaddle such as hypnosis. (Or colored lenses, or balance training, or optometric interventions like vision therapy, or seasickness drugs or movement therapies.)
Back to the original post:
What should parents of poor readers do? Here's what works: multisensory, methodical instruction in phonemic awareness, grapheme-phoneme correspondence, and further training in the structure of the English language.
If there isn't a Masonic Children's Learning Center near you, an independent Orton-Gillingham-based remedial program (see list below), or you can't find other help, go to Susan Barton's website and learn to tutor your child.
A list of good solid programs follows. Here's a description of effective teaching.
- Orton-Gillingham The pure, unchanged, original method.
- Barton Reading & Spelling System Designed for one-on-one tutoring of children, teenagers and adults by parents, volunteer tutors, resource or reading specialists, and professional tutors. This simplified Orton-Gillingham approach is easy to learn. Tutor training is provided on videotape, along with fully scripted lesson plans.
- Slingerland Designed for classroom settings of young children in the first, second, and third grades.
- Herman Method
Recently acquired by Lexia. The Herman Method can be used by both parents and teachers.
- MTA (Multi-sensory Teaching Approach) as developed by Margaret Taylor Smith.
- Alphabetic Phonics Designed for one-on-one tutoring of children. This is the method developed at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital.
- Wilson Reading System Initially designed for one-on-one tutoring of adults, their new version can be used with children in third grade or higher.
- Project Read
is designed to be delivered in the regular classroom or by special education, chapter one, and reading teachers who work with children or adolescents with language learning problems.
- Recipe for Reading This is a book with associated workbooks that teachers and parents may use to help a child slow to read progress. It is the least complete of all the systems listed here.
- Preventing Academic Failure (PAF) "a program for teaching reading, spelling, and handwriting in grades K-3. It has been proven successful in over 25 years of use in public and private schools. Thousands of children, many with learning disabilities, have learned to read thanks to PAF."
- Lindamood Instruction in Phonemic Segmentation (LiPS)
There's also the Institute for Multi-Sensory Teaching.