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Putting the Cart in Front of the Horse

April 19, 2011


There are a couple of areas related to reading where people seem to confuse cause and effect and rather than finding effective solutions that deal with the cause, they implement ineffective solutions that deal with the effect.

 

An example of this is working on cognitive reading skills when the motor and sensory reading skills are not functioning properly.  Another example is the thinking that we can fix reading difficulties merely by reading more.

 

To read better, people first need to work to improve their motor and sensory reading skills, then the cognitive skills if necessary.  Once proper reading skills are in place, reading more occurs naturally because it is easier and it is stimulating.

 

Address the underlying cause of a problem and the problem goes away.  Only address the effect and the underlying problem remains.

 

Brain functions are hierarchical, meaning successive brain functions rely the proper functioning of prior brain functions.  If the motor and sensory reading skills are not functioning properly, the information that is passed along to the cognitive functions will be garbled and will diminish the performance of the cognitive functions.

 

When motor and sensory reading skills are not functioning properly, reading is difficult, frustrating, and painful.  Reading more only reinforces poor functioning and bad habits.

 

So, here we can kill two birds with one stone.  If we work on the motor and sensory reading skills and make them easy and automatic, the cognitive reading skills will not only function better, but it will stimulate our brains and we will automatically read more.

 

John


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