When I was younger, I thought dyslexia only meant that a person had trouble reading because they mix up the letters in words. But I found out later on that it was much more complicated than that.
People with dyslexia struggle not just to read words but also to identify speech sounds and to associate those with words and letters. So it's not just about having a hard time reading. It can hinder someone's communication and absorption of ideas and concepts.
But there's still more that we don't know about dyslexia, so through a research alliance between UC San Francisco and UC Berkley with the support of Charles Schwab, dyslexia and other learning disabilities will be further examined so that we might know how it starts, which parts of the brain it affects, and so on.
The new center, with clinical and research efforts at both Bay Area campuses, will break down barriers between disciplines such as medicine and education, and create and provide the best evidence-based interventions in the clinic, classroom, workplace, and home.
Known as the UCSF-UC Berkeley Schwab Dyslexia and Cognitive Diversity Center, the new initiative will draw on the deep and diverse strengths of both campuses – in child and adolescent psychiatry, psychology, neurology, neuroscience, education and public health – to accelerate research; develop and implement better screening and assessment tools; test new interventions; and reduce the social stigma surrounding dyslexia and other learning disorders.
(Image credit: E. Caverzasi & R. Bogley/UCSF Dyslexia Center)