Current Status of Treatments for Dyslexia: Critical Review

Ann W. Alexander, MD; Anne-Marie Slinger-Constant, MD

Disclosures

J Child Neurol. 2004;19(10):744-758. 

In This Article

Questions to Ask in Evaluating Treatment Programs

Eden and Moats reviewed commercial programs that have been fueled by neuroscientific theories of dyslexia.[61] Some are effective, whereas others are less so. It is important that the child undergo a thorough evaluation to define what is likely to be the best treatment modality. Without such an evaluation and careful assessment of the child's needs and the nature of the program, parents might invest time and money in a program that is not appropriate for their child. The research available to the neuroscientist is also not readily available to the public. Parents should be encouraged to seek help from the International Dyslexia Association or their physician, psychologist, language therapist, or teacher. However, they should also ask the following questions when considering any specific intervention:

  • What are the short- and long-term gains in accuracy, fluency, and comprehension of the intervention?

  • Do they do baseline and post-treatment standardized assessments to measure outcome?

  • Is it administered intensively?

  • Is there support following the intensive treatment to ensure that the child practices and maintains gains?

  • Is it a cost-effective solution?

  • Has the intervention been rigorously evaluated with scientifically designed studies and reported in peer-reviewed studies in reputable journals? Do these studies use standard reading assessments? Eden and Moats noted that only two commercially available programs fell into that category, emphasizing the need for this research.[61]

  • What are the training requirements to become a proficient therapist?

  • Parents and professionals can also find reviews of reading programs offered in the schools by going to Torgesen's Center for Reading Research Web site, www.fcrr.org. The site also offers the presentations made by their professionals on the current research in reading, a very helpful source of information.

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