Nasa dyslexia exercises 'could help millions'

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The Independent Online

Millions of dyslexic children could benefit from a new treatment that relies on exercises similar to those developed for astronauts by Nasa, it was announced yesterday.

Millions of dyslexic children could benefit from a new treatment that relies on exercises similar to those developed for astronauts by Nasa, it was announced yesterday.

Severely affected children given the treatment for six months improved their writing skills by up to 32 per cent better than the national average for non-dyslexic pupils. Their spelling improved by up to 42 per cent better than the average and their reading by up to 67 per cent.

The exercises – developed by the Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Attention Disorder Centre at Kenilworth in Warwickshire – are based on a programme invented to treat the temporary dyslexia that can afflict astronauts, thought to be induced by prolonged weightlessness. They include passing an object from one hand to the other behind the back, or, at a more difficult level, above eye level while reciting a times table and standing one-legged on a cushion.

The centre's programme has been independently assessed Professor David Reynolds of by Exeter University, the former chairman of the Government's national numeracy task force. "With 15 per cent of all school children estimated to have some form of dyslexia, treatment of this issue has worldwide implications," he said.

The research has reportedly established that the root cause of dyslexia lies in the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls co-ordination.

The centre was set up by a businessman, Wynford Dore, whose daughter, Susie, had such acute dyslexia that she attempted suicide three times.

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