Reading and related language and information processing skills are crucial for effective academic and occupational performance.
For example, people with reading difficulties face challenges in completing education, securing post-college employment and advancing in careers, found University of Washington’s Phyllis Levine and Eugene Edgar.
However, early detection and intervention can equip people for effective performance in school and work situations by practicing required skills and learn problem solving skills to manage these information processing differences.
People with learning disabilities including reading difficulties face significant challenges: They are significantly less likely to attend 4-year college programs or graduate, noted Haifa University’s Kineret Sharfi and Sara Rosenbaum.
Similar results were reported separately in a study of U.S. high school graduates from classes of 1985-1990, interviewed in the next 5 year, by De Paul University’s Christopher Murray, with Donald E. Goldstein, Steven Nourse and Eugene Edgar of University of Washington.
Of even greater concern is that learning disabilities (LD) including low reading skills, were significantly associated with ADHD, school dropout age, and onset of criminal activity among Israeli-born prisoners, according to Bar-Ilan University Tomer Einat and Amela Einat of Tel-Hai Academic College.
Further, these information processing challenges were also prevalent among homeless adults in Canada, reported Simon Fraser University’s Michelle Patterson, Akm Moniruzzaman, and Julian M. Somers with Charles James Frankish of University of British Columbia.
For those with years of practice in reading, Northwestern’s Travis White-Schwoch noted that “learning to read is a chief developmental milestone with lifelong consequences.”
His research colleagues Kali Woodruff Carr, Elaine C. Thompson, Samira Anderson, Trent Nicol, Steven G. Zecker, Ann R. Bradlow and Nina Kraus added “… an ongoing challenge has been to identify candidates for intervention at a young-enough age.”
However, it’s possible to identify potential reading difficulty is possible as early as age three.
This early awareness can enable early remediation efforts including skill-building in phonics, sound blending, phonograms, and close listening for comprehension and memorization, suggested among multi-media interventions and practice processes by Johns Hopkins’ Crystal Kelly and Linda Campbell.
White Schwoch’s team asked 112 children ages 3 – 14 years to detect consonants while in a noisy environment.
These children selected and watched a movie in separate booths while wearing electroencephalograms (EEG) and headphones, which provided “babbling” (semantically anomalous English sentences) in the right ear and “da” sounds in the left ear as the movie’s audio played .
The group accurately predicted that children with higher scores on a test understanding sounds that make up words and sentences (“phonological awareness”) were were more able to quickly and accurately detect the “da” sound.
Similarly, higher performance on phonological awareness predicted higher scores on a literacy test a year later among 37 four year old pre-reading children.
“Neurodiversity” at work is a more frequent topic in popular business publications, public policy and diversity efforts, so it’s essential to understand the complexity of acquiring information processing skills, and the adverse consequences for those who don’t master these capabilities.
As a result, progressive workplaces enable greater inclusion of these different abilities by offering skill enhancement opportunities for those whose reading difficulties affect their ability to perform their work responsibilities.
-*How do you enable people with neurodiversity to optimally perform in the workplace?
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