The link between dyslexia and emotional responses
Dyslexia is most often considered a form of disability in the sense that children with dyslexia struggle with reading, decoding words, and language processing more generally. But as with most situations where there is a weakness or dysfunction, there also tends to be another area that is stronger or more developed than average.
There has been some recent research at the University of California – San Francisco that looked at how children with dyslexia respond to emotionally evocative videos. The findings seemed to indicate that when watching a video designed to elicit an emotional response, dyslexic children between the ages of 8 and 12 responded with greater emotion than their peers without dyslexia. The researchers were able to track this to the brain’s salience network; the part of the brain that “supports emotion generation and self-awareness”. Children with dyslexia therefore appear to have greater social and emotional intelligence than their non-dyslexic peers.
The researchers were quick to point out that more research is needed to better understand the significance of this type of finding, and it could have potential implications on how to optimize teaching approaches for students with dyslexia. For example, smaller group or one-on-one teaching scenarios might be optimal as smaller size social situations allow for greater emotional bonds between individuals.
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