Dyslexia, Music, Science

Rhythm and Dyslexia

There are certain traits that are evident in dyslexics which are not universal but are very common. For example, many dyslexics have poor balance and coordination skills but I know dyslexics who can move very graceful yet be unable to tell left from right. One such marker or indicator that a child or adult has a learning problems is a poor sense of rhythm. Two studies looking at this are Amplitude envelope onsets and developmental dyslexia: A new hypothesis (2002) and Deficits in beat perception and dyslexia: evidence
from French [PDF] (2004). Both found significant differences in ability between dyslexics and non-dyslexics. From the 2002 study: “We show significant differences … in amplitude envelope onset detection [and that] sensitivity to the shape of amplitude modulation account for 25% of the variance in reading and spelling acquisition even after controlling for individual differences in age, nonverbal IQ, and vocabulary” and from the 2004 study “The results suggest that deficits in the perception of cues important for speech rhythm may be universal in developmental dyslexia.“.
BBC News coverage of the 2002 study.
Article on Drums Against Disability from Dyslexia-adults.com.
A treatment based on rhythmc training: Interactive Metronome.