Studies with Deaf Children may Help Decode Dyslexia
- Published 07/9/2012
Nittrouer said she began to suspect the role hearing might play in dyslexia after nearly a decade-long study involving children who were born deaf or with profound hearing loss. “We began following this group of over a hundred children, basically, since they were infants,” Nittrouer said. All the children in the study got cochlear implants, which use microphones mounted just behind their ears, to capture and feed sound waves to nerves near the brain.
Through consistent testing, researchers found that the implants made a remarkable difference in terms of childrens’ ability to hear, but they’ve raised some intriguing questions as well. “Cochlear implants have been able to help children who are deaf basically function as hearing children do,” said Nittrouer. “However, once you begin to scratch the surface, you often find that children who have cochlear implants function similarly to how children who have dyslexia function.”Nittrouer says that’s important because it points to the role of hearing in dyslexia.