Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Reading in the Forest

This week John and I have travelled to The Black Forest in Germany to attend an exclusive conference. Presenting the research from the DRT and learning from some of the best researchers in reading in the world.
I was a little apprehensive about coming as I was busy and didn't know if I could afford the time to go but I am so very glad I did. My passion for the research has been reignited and I have traded ideas with people who's research I have admired for years.
Research was presented by the finest minds including Angela Fawcette, discussion the lack of automatisation in dyslexia; Rod Nicolson who proposed delaying explicit reading teaching in favour of training the central executive skills first. Ken Pugh and Andrea Facoetti had a good debate about the nature of the underlying causes of dyslexia and o have to admit that I found Andrea's argument well grounded in neuroscience as well as brimming with passion for the theoretical implications.
John and I also presented our work. John talked about the background to his neuronal magnocellular theory that dyslexia results from impaired magnocells across all brain systems. I had a poster which reported our findings on a recent EEG study investigating auditory stimulation responses in dyslexics in comparison to controls.
Overall my favourite part was meeting with so many fascinating researchers in such an intimate venue. It felt like being invited backstage at an extremely geeky rock concert. And it gave a similar thrill.
I just hope this inspiration continues when we return to real life.

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