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Speed Reading and Learning Disabilities

There are a number of learning disabilities that affect a person’s ability to read easily and comprehend what has been read.  Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), with or without Hyperactivity, as well as Dyslexia, can make it difficult and frustrating for individuals of all ages to read.  Because of this, many people with learning disabilities shy away from books and reading altogether.

In recent years, it has been found that speed reading may actually help individuals with disabilities such as dyslexia or ADD.  Some studies state that some of these people can increase reading speed more than three times and recall facts with excellent accuracy.  Research states that up to 95% of children who learn to speed read will improve with most doubling or tripling reading rates.  In many tests, individuals who were labeled as “learning disabled” actually showed a greater improvement than those who were “normal” learners.

Speed reading is an often overlooked approach to reading that may be a needed alternate learning style.  Often, individuals who have difficult learning material that is being taught a certain way simply need to be able to learn that material in a different manner.  This is why speed reading may actually be a more effective method for those with learning disabilities.

Jeffrey Freed, M.A.T., addressed this subject in his book Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World.  In this book, he explains that traditional reading is done using the left side of the brain, while speed reading is done using the right side of the brain.  Because most individuals who have ADD or Dyslexia are right-brained, it stands to reason that processing text by speed reading would come easier for them than traditional reading.  It is not simply additional time or resource classes that learning disabled students need; some cases could be aided greatly by simply educating them in how to speed read.

Unfortunately, there are not enough educators with the information and resources to teach individuals just how to go about improving reading speed and accuracy.  Many times, individuals are left to research for themselves and often teach themselves how to speed read.  This, however, has proven to be difficult at times.

While there are numerous resources available, especially online, it is important to understand that not all programs are alike and not all are right for each individual.  There are a great deal of myths about speed reading that abound, and individuals must work hard to educate themselves about those myths as well to insure that they are getting the most out of whatever program they choose to follow.  However, once reliable information has been obtained, the rewards of speed reading will be more than worth the work of the research.

Whether you suffer from a learning disability yourself or you have a child who does, the benefits of learning how to speed read are countless.  Feeling the satisfaction of reading and comprehending information is well worth the efforts.  Despite ideas from the past, there is help for individuals, and it is not as difficult or as time consuming as once believed.

How can Speed Your Read help?  If you, or your child, suffers from ADD this can be a life-saver.  I’ve had it my entire life, and becoming a speed reader was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.  It’s helped me focus, and improve the quality of my reading.  My thoughts don’t tend to wander-off every few seconds.  I can sit and happily read page after page without drifting-off.

Dyslexia is a complex issue.  There are a lot of different factors that contribute to its symptoms.  Most dyslexics tend to have problems identifying letters and words in the proper context.  After a few days with a quality speed reading program it can help them start identifying words rather than just groups of letters. 

Speed Your Read specifically helps dyslexics because it allows you to change so many different aspects of the program.  You can change the background colors (try yellow or grey), the text, and even the way the text is displayed in the drills section.  Because you can learn at your own pace you can tailor the lessons to your unique needs.  This minimizes frustration, and keeps the process fun.  

There are a lot of snake-oil salesmen in the speed reading business.  If it seems too good to be true (like claiming that you can read 3000 words a minute) it probably is.  Beware of folks offering expensive programs that will “cure” your learning disability.  While several things can help, it’s not like a cold…you can’t “cure” it.   With speed reading you can manage the symptoms and lead a highly productive life. 

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