Proust and the Squid

I’ve been reading a fascinating book which looks at the way in which our brains have developed alongside our ability to read, giving us a new understanding of dyslexia.

Anyone who has been told in that dismissive way some schools adopt that ‘dyslexia doesn’t exist’ and their child is just unintelligent hence their inability to read, should read and quote this book!

It’s called ‘Proust And The Squid. The Story and Science of the Reading Brain’. By Maryanne Wolf.

(You’ll find more about her here; http://www.childrenofthecode.org/interviews/wolf.htm )

She starts out by saying; ‘We were never born to read’ and goes on to describe how although we are genetically programmed for other skills, like seeing and interpreting what we see, we are not genetically programmed to read and it is such an enormously complex act it’s amazing children can achieve it. She goes on to explain how the way we make connections in our brains governs how we will be able to interpret and comprehend language and due to differences in our brain’s make up some people are unable to make the required connections which will enable them to read in the way others do.

It is a complicated book but one that will bring much comfort to the parents who struggle to support a child not able to read well enough to survive in school when in all other aspects they seem adequately intelligence.

She concludes by saying; “Despite the fact that it took our ancestors about 2000 years to develop an alphabetic code, children are regularly expected to crack this code in about 2000 days (that is by 6 or 7 years of age) or they will run foul of the whole educational structure – teachers, principles, family and peers…

…within such a perspective there can be no one size fits all instruction”.

Which is what many parents, particularly home educators, have been saying for years!

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