While we often think of dyslexia as a reading problem, the disorder is actually a linguistic issue that can affect people regardless of their intellectual capabilities. Dyslexia presents itself differently in different people. So much is not known about dyslexia, but we do know three things: 1) People with dyslexia read at much lower levels than most people their age, 2) Dyslexia affects 4 percent of all American children, and 3) It impacts more boys than girls.
Scientists believe there are a wide variety of causes of dyslexia. Some suspect toxic exposure to cadmium, aluminum and lead. In an article in The Lancet Neurology , Dr. Philip Landrigan at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York discussed the link between lead, methylmercury, arsenic, PCBs and toluene with learning and behavior problems, including dyslexia. A high concentrations of fluoride in drinking water has also been linked to an average IQ decline of seven points.
In 1981, a report published in Clinical Chemistry postulated that excessive cadmium could be a cause of dyslexia. The researchers had also observed the presence of lead in subjects with dyslexia. Pediatric allergist Dr. Ben Feingold was known for his work in the field; he recommended that children with dyslexia avoid artificial colors. Artificial colors contain lead.
A Swedish study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food focused on the use of essential fatty acids (EFA) as a treatment for dyslexia. Researchers demonstrated that following five months of supplementation, subjects’ reading speed improved by 60 percent, and their motoroic-perceptual velocity improved by 23 percent.
Service dogs have proven very helpful to children with dyslexia. Children who have language problems are often embarrassed and reluctant to read aloud. They often feel much more at ease when they can read stories to their dog. One organization serving such children, Intermountain Therapy, found that children who were part of a 13-month service dog support program increased their reading level by two grade levels, and some even four levels.
Studies indicate that some people who present with symptoms of dyslexia are sometimes suffering from visual problems instead. Experts recommend a functional vision test with a behavioral optometrist.
One other treatment approach is homeopathy. Lycopodium is sometimes used, as are Caesium muriaticum or Dirca palustris. A homeopathic practitioner can provide support and advice.