Is Listening to Podcasts Good for Dyslexic Children?
Updated: Oct 6, 2022
Do you have a child who has been diagnosed with dyslexia or is targeted as being “behind” in reading? If so, I know the feeling. I’ve been there.
There is often a lot of confusion and worry associated with a diagnosis of this type. As a parent you want to do whatever you can to help your child succeed and reach their full potential. It can feel overwhelming and daunting.
While I’ve certainly learned a lot about my individual child, I don’t claim to have all the answers. But I WILL share a secret something we use on a regular basis that has been immensely beneficial to my daughter’s reading success and development.
That secret sauce is- Audio! In the form of audiobooks and podcasts!
We use both equally often and love them both.
“Ear Reading” (aka audio) is a great resource available for all children and can be especially helpful for children with learning differences such as dyslexia.
While some want to discount “ear reading'' as an inferior mode of learning, recent research published in the Journal of Neuroscience has proven the opposite to be true- a study compared the brains of participants as they read and listened to the same story from a popular podcast show and found that reading and listening simulated the same cognitive and emotional areas of the brain- showing no discernible gap between the two types of learning.
“These results suggest that the representation of language semantics is independent of the sensory modality through which the semantic information is received,” says the study’s report.
In other words, it doesn’t matter how you intake the information (through your eyes or ears), it is all beneficial to your brain in making sense of language. We can feel confident in adding audio to our toolbox of helpful resources for our dyslexic children.
WHAT ABOUT PODCASTS?
Audiobooks are often highlighted as a great resource and are currently growing in popularity, which we love! But an area that is often overlooked is podcasts. Podcasts offer some of the same wonderful benefits as audiobooks. Things such as reinforcing word recognition, improving fluency, building vocabulary, and supporting reading and listening comprehension. Listening to podcasts with its conversational or formal language is helpful to children who are eager to have exposure to complex storylines and information beyond their current reading level. Listening to podcasts is a great way for children to access engaging and educational content in a format that is often easier for struggling readers to comprehend.
We LOVE listening to podcasts and my dyslexic daughter continues to lead the charge in our listening time. Her favorite shows are those that tell stories such as WBUR’s Circle Round, Super Great Stories for Super Great Kids, Bedtime Stories with R.A. Spratt, KoKo Sleep, Grimm Grimmer Grimmest, Melon’s House Party, and all the fantastic serial shows such as 6 Minutes, Treasure Island 2020, Adventures with Cairo, and many more.
Podcasts are a great, screen-free, cost effective, educational, and entertaining resource we can all utilize with our dyslexic children. As a mom of an audio obsessed dyslexic child, I highly recommend listening to podcasts!