Research

research

“One of the most powerful intervention studies to date with older dyslexic students was conducted in Gainesville, Florida, through The Morris Center. Read about it here

Our research has proven, peer-reviewed results.

What is dyslexia?

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What Dyslexia Is NOT:
  • A visual problem

    Dyslexics do not see letters or words backwards. Mirror writing is equally common in dyslexic children as in nondyslexic children.

  • A developmental lag

    Dyslexia is lifelong and is not outgrown.

  • A result of laziness

    Dyslexics must work significantly harder to achieve the same results as their peers.

  • Found more often in boys

    Studies prove that boys and girls have an equal prevalence.Ongoing data collection of program effects for program self-evaluation

  • Responsive to standard classroom teaching

    Studies show that reading gains are minimal even in special education classes.

  • Uncommon

    It occurs in 5–17.5% of the population.

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What Dyslexia Is:
  • A hereditary disorder

    It affects the language areas of the brain.

  • Chronic

    It will persist through adulthood.

  • A result of laziness

    Dyslexics must work significantly harder to achieve the same results as their peers.

  • The result of a weak phonological system

    Causing difficulty with reading and spelling. Listening and speaking can also be affected

Our Research

Two key findings from our peer-reviewed and published research:

1

Dyslexia can be successfully prevented for Kindergarten age children who are already at risk.

2

Even 8 to 10 year-old children with years of poor reading skills made large improvements in reading skills and phonological awareness from The Morris Center’s treatment components.

Two key findings from our clinical data:

1

Adults with years of learning difficulty can make dramatic improvements in their reading, comprehension, writing and sensory processing skills at The Morris Center. It’s not too late. Stop declining promotions. Stop being passed over for promotions due to your learning difficulties.

2

We can close the gap for learning and sensory processing difficulties. Our published research studies and 25 years of clinical data support these possibilities.

Our transdisciplinary, intensive, individualized and scientifically proven language, sensory processing, attention and behavior treatments are designed to strengthen the processes and develop the skills that are weak. As weak skills become stronger, then learning becomes more efficient and the child or adult feels more competent and confident. We help them unlock their hidden, true potential. Self-esteem comes from success.

This research supports how one of The Morris Center’s treatment programs may provide a possible solution for children and young adults who are hindered by learning disabilities, such as dyslexia.

Research data from NICHD sponsored study conducted by Torgesen, J., Alexander, A., Wagner, R., and Conway, T.W. 2001 Journal of Learning Disabilities 2001; 34:33-58

Left hemisphere imaging of 2 subjects demonstrating the decreased activation before intensive phonological intervention and the normalization of the activation after treatment. Images from Simos PG,Fletcher JM, Bergman E, et al. (Neurology 2002;58:1203-1213)

We apply a unique program (supported by long-term scientific evidence) that has helped our clients with dyslexia re-enter their schools or work place with improved skills that are consistent with their expected range of academic and job potential. Our treatment program is fundamentally different from the approach employed by typical learning centers or tutors — these programs typically treat the client’s symptom or teach them to compensate for their weaker skills. Rarely do these programs or tutors actually aim to uncover the possible causes of the client’s difficulties.

We help build new bridges in the brain (neural networks) that true science indicates are most likely to provide new pathways or better skills. We target treatment only for the client’s skills that need improvement, such as language/learning skills (reading, writing, spelling, comprehension, speaking/expression, memory and critical thinking), sensory processing, sensory processing, attention and behavior.

Conclusion

Adult professionals (physicians, engineers, architects, teachers, speech-language pathologists, psychologists, physical therapists, firefighters, police, etc.) can also have learning difficulties. These adults can still make significant improvements in their cognitive abilities, e.g. language, memory, attention, sensory processing, reasoning, and visual processing. With the proper treatment, improved cognitive abilities can improve adults’ functional skills, e.g. reading, spelling, writing, comprehension, and problem-solving.

Many adults are surprised to find out that it is not too late for them to improve their cognitive and functional abilities. Recent evidence on neural plasticity clearly indicates that new learning and improved functional abilities are possible well into the later years of an adult life. The principles of neural plasticity that dominate the learning of an 8 year-old child are still evident in the learning of an 80 year-old adult.

Essentially, neurons that “wire together then begin to fire together.” Functional neuroimaging has clearly documented evidence of improved neural networks of activity in the adult’s brain in response to new learning or new skill development. Unless the proper treatment is received, a child with learning difficulties typically grows up to be an adult with learning difficulties. Many adults choose professions that utilize their stronger cognitive abilities and minimize their learning difficulties. However, with the proper treatment, these learning difficulties can be improved for adults. Making weaker skills stronger can provide the adult with a greater range of functional abilities which may lead to greater occupational opportunities. Regardless of age, the learning barriers or learning difficulties that limited an adult’s functional skills, academic pursuits, and occupational or professional choices can be minimized. Significant improvements in cognitive abilities can occur, such that learning weaknesses or barriers can be removed.

Our Commitment

As a team, The Morris Center strives to stay as informed as possible on the latest research and methodology in highly progressive fields. The staff attends professional conferences to stay current on professional development. All aspects of the transdisciplinary treatment are maintained at a higher level, from Occupational Therapy to Language Pathology.

Adult professionals (physicians, engineers, architects, teachers, speech-language pathologists, psychologists, physical therapists, firefighters, police, etc.) can also have learning difficulties in reading, spelling, writing, speaking, memory and comprehension. These adults can still make significant improvements in their cognitive abilities, e.g. language, memory, attention, sensory processing, reasoning, and visual processing.

With the proper treatment, improved cognitive abilities can improve adults’ functional skills, e.g. reading, spelling, writing, comprehension, problem-solving. Many adults are surprised to find out that it is NOT TOO LATE for them to improve their cognitive and functional abilities. Recent evidence on neural plasticity clearly indicates that new learning and improved functional abilities are possible well into the later years of an adult life.

Presentations at Professional Conferences

Picture of Dyslexia IDA Conference 2006



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Picture of Dyslexia IDA Conference 2006



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AOTA Talk-2010 OT’s Role in Dyslexia Assessment and Treatment



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The Morris Center’s Transdisciplinary Model of Assessment and Treatment, Univ. of Florida Case Conference 2009



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FLASHA Talk – 2010 Is It Too Late or Can Phonological Dyslexia be Successfully Treated for Adults?



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FLASHA_2011_Breaking through the Barriers: How Adults with Dyslexia Made Significant Improvements in Phonological Processing, Reading, Spelling and Writing Skills



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Transdisciplinary Assessment and Treatment of Language-based Learning Disabilities: The Theoretical Importance of Sensory Processing_SPD-2011



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FLASHA-2011 Multimodal Treatment of Adults with Post-stroke Phonological Alexia: Behavioral and fMRI Outcomes



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Transdisciplinary Assessment and Treatment of Language-based Learning Disabilities: The Theoretical Importance of Sensory Processing_SPD-2011



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Further Dyslexia Research

Additional reading and research on the nature of dyslexia and the components that contribute to the language disability:

Articles

View Article

Intensive remedial instruction for children with severe reading disabilities: immediate and long-term outcomes from two instructional approaches

View Article

Phoneme-based rehabilitation of anomia in aphasia

View Article

Adults with dyslexia: theta power changes during performance of a sequential motor task

View Article

Neural substrates related to auditory working memory comparisons in dyslexia: an fMRI study

View Article

The Co-occurrence of reading disorder and ADHD, Epidemiology, Treatment, Psychosocial Impact and economic Burden

Occupational Therapy

OT provides specific instructive therapy that can assist clients in overcoming sensory processing difficulties, these occur in approximately 50% of the clients and may be one or a combination of the following:

  • Oral-motor and motor planning difficulty

  • Fine and gross motor delays

  • Visual perceptual delays

  • Somatosensory deficits (lack of body awareness)

  • Sensory hypersensitivity

OT works to improve overall strength, balance and coordination. Attention is also given to handwriting, oral control and ocular motor skills. This type of intervention helps build self-esteem and self-confidence.

Medical and Psychological Treatment

Our team of professionals will collaborate on and provide options for interventions which may or may not include medication for behavioral management of attention, mood or behavior disorders.

Each therapy hour the client’s attention is monitored and reported. Non-pharmacological measures designed to maximize attention and arousal are integrated into all language and OT sessions. In cases where these do not suffice, medication may be recommended.

Transitional Unit

Following treatment, clients are recommended to attend to TU 2 to 4 times per week for approximately 2 to 10 weeks, with the following objectives:

  • To generalize the client’s newly acquired language, sensory processing, attention and behavioral skills to his/her schoolwork

  • To establish optimal working behavior and organizational skills

  • To help clients become independent and self-confident in the use of their improved skills

Parent Education and Participation

Opportunity to meet with the psychologist once per week for the duration of the treatment program for the following purposes:

Parent-education
  • Awareness of the treatment the child is receiving

  • Progress updates

  • Allows you to voice your concerns and questions and receive feedback

  • Learn behavior management techniques