Saturday, June 26, 2010
Howard Engel, author with alexia
In other words, this professional writer suffered brain damage that destroyed the part of the brain that recognizes written language. The feature article in the January 28, 2010 issue of The New Yorker Magazine by Oliver Sacks explores the problem and the disciplined approach that Engel took to cope. He depended on the brain's plasticity to relearn reading by another modality. He traced the letters with his fingers finding that that movement inputted the information into his mind so he could decode the words on the page. As his proficiency improved he switched from tracing letters with his fingers to using his tongue, a faster method. The saga is also described in a recent NPR interview: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127745750. Like the process Oliver Sacks explains, vision therapy also depends on the brain's plasticity and on a whole body approach to developing visual skills. Everyone can learn to read better, faster, more efficiently, with better comprehension and without getting confused. It is the premise of my Eye Can Too! Read series of e-books.