Building a tree-house

I spent much of the last two weekends working with my two sons-in-law constructing a tree-house for their children (Diane and my grandchildren). It’s a beauty. You enter tree-house paradise via a ladder (still under construction) that wraps around a large oak tree to deliver the kid to a notch that opens out onto a…

Pride in reading

In an earlier blog, I recommended that you look at “Children of the Code” as a reference for gaining a deeper understanding of dyslexia and its human costs. I really hope that you’ve taken a look at this wonderful resource. One of the best treatments in this outstanding series of documentaries summarizes the often-tragic human…

A great resource for a general understanding of dyslexia, and its human and societal impacts

David Boulton’s “Children of the Code” is a wonderful, general resource for educating yourself, a class, a teaching staff, your professional assistants — or any other group with a need to know — about the miracle of reading. A second, very enlightened focus of Boulton’s opus is on the origins of, and the great personal…

Down Syndrome children can greatly benefit from EARLY training

A child therapist who I very greatly respect, Ann Osterling (from Champaign, Illinois) wrote me an email message in response to my (undoubtedly superficial) comments about Down Sydrome that I thought everyone interested in helping these kids would enjoy reading. In her words: You threw out the idea of intensive early intervention as one option…

Jacksonville is moving UP!

Jacksonville, Florida is making an unprecedented attempt to move up in the world. How can a large American city accomplish that? There is one slow-but-certain way: Improve the brain potential of, and the possibilities for achievement for EVERY child. How on earth could an entire city begin to achieve THAT? Led by a great Superintendent…

One million children

Sometime over the next days, the millionth child willl enroll in a Fast ForWord language or reading program. For Paula, Bill, Steve, Bob, Glenn …………. and the thousands of other good people who have helped make, sell, manage, train, support, HELP those million children — THANK YOU! One of the nicest things that can happen…

Jack’s hippocampus is bigger than yours

My dog Jack, thinking, has a proportionally larger hippocampus than you do. If I had a pet bunny, its hippocampus would be (proportionally) larger, still!! You’ve probably heard a lot about the crucial role that the hippocampus plays in recording our “episodic” (historic, serial, ‘long-term’) memories. Does this mean that we should revise that age…

Ultrasound and autism

A former UCSF medical student, Carolyn Rees, now a doc in rural Idaho, wrote me a very informative letter — and raised several interesting questions — that are definitely worth a little discussion here. Dr. Rees asked: Is there any evidence that ultrasound examination can affect brain development? In fact, that evidence is mixed. Over…

What underlies the documented increase in autism incidence? Results of a new study

Studies from the Center for Disease Control and elsewhere have compellingly documented a rapid increase in the incidence of autism in the United States. WHAT THE HELL IS CAUSING IT? Given the enormous human and societal costs of this malady, few practical scientific questions are more important to we Americans, in our current era. Whether…