Autism-reading/brain activity improved after 10 weeks -study

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Winnie
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Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:48 pm

Autism-reading/brain activity improved after 10 weeks -study

Postby Winnie » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:42 am

Autistic children improved reading and brain activity after 10-week reading intervention

Ten weeks of intensive reading intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder was enough to strengthen the activity of loosely connected areas of their brains that work together to comprehend reading, University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have found. At the same time, the reading comprehension of those 13 children, whose average age was 10.9 years, also improved.

“This study is the first to do reading intervention with ASD children using brain imaging techniques, and the findings reflect the plasticity of the brain,” said Rajesh Kana, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences and the senior author on this paper. “Some parents think, if their child is 8 or 10 years old when diagnosed, the game is lost. What I stress constantly is the importance of intervention, and the magic of intervention, on the brain in general and brain connectivity in particular.”


Families taking part in the study received the intensive intervention — which was four hours a day, five days a week, for a total of 200 hours of face-to-face instruction — free of charge, says Kana.

It is well-known that children with ASD have decreased connectivity between certain areas of the brain’s reading network, as compared with typically developing children. The children with ASD who received the 10-week reading intervention in Kana’s study improved their reading comprehension by modulating their brain function. They showed increased activation of the brain regions involved in language and visual/spatial processing in the left hemisphere of the brain — where language abilities reside — and also compensatory recruitment of some regions in the right hemisphere and regions of the brain beneath the outermost cortex.

Moreover, the amount of increased brain activation and functional connectivity of two core language areas — the left middle temporal gyrus and the left inferior frontal gyrus (which includes Broca’s area that enables a person to speak words) — correlated with the amount of improvement in reading comprehension for the intervention group of children with ASD.

Article continues: http://www.uab.edu/news/innovation/item/6213-autistic-children-improved-reading-and-brain-activity-after-10-week-reading-intervention
Winnie
"Make it a powerful memory, the happiest you can remember."

kulkulkan
Posts: 2075
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:37 pm

Re: Autism-reading/brain activity improved after 10 weeks -s

Postby kulkulkan » Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:30 pm

Though very expensive (I believe $2500 per week), I think lindamood bell's Verbalizing and visualization program is excellent way to help improve comprehension. One can order the basic V&V materials online ($500) to get started and one of the education consultant that we know is getting some formal V&V training, so she can do it herself or to train a tutor.

Our 5 year old is very good at decoding and can read level 3 books now, thanks to Kumon reading program but comprehension is going to be a challenge down the road.

Winnie
Posts: 4226
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:48 pm

Re: Autism-reading/brain activity improved after 10 weeks -s

Postby Winnie » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:56 am

kulkulkan wrote:Though very expensive (I believe $2500 per week), I think lindamood bell's Verbalizing and visualization program is excellent way to help improve comprehension. One can order the basic V&V materials online ($500) to get started and one of the education consultant that we know is getting some formal V&V training, so she can do it herself or to train a tutor.
I agree -- it is very expensive! The parents I know who did the LMB intensive program did so for math -- and they were upper elementary and middle school. I don't personally know any parents who have used this program for reading with a child with autism.

A friend's child fairly recently completed the intensive program for 6 weeks (4 hours per day, 5 days per week) to remediate an extreme gap in math, and it was 2k per week in my city ($100 per hour). It was very effective -- the mom observed the majority of the sessions and also ordered the V&V materials for potential use later (maintenance). Interestingly, LMB began with V&V initially for math remediation with this particular child.

kulkulkan wrote:Our 5 year old is very good at decoding and can read level 3 books now, thanks to Kumon reading program but comprehension is going to be a challenge down the road.
Sounds like he is great decoder. I think you are right to keep an eye on his comprehension, just in case, and good that you are aware so early on. The language-related and abstract comprehension nuances are not as obvious in early elementary grades/literature, even to teachers (our experience anyway), especially when these kids may be reading (decoding) more fluently than their classmates.
Winnie
"Make it a powerful memory, the happiest you can remember."


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