Routledge

A word about the cerebellum

 

The cerebellum is the part of the brain at the back of your head, above the brainstem, which connects with the spine.  It controls all your automatic movements and body equilibrium.  Think of it as the brain's autopilot. We are only just beginning to understand all the workings of the brain, including those of the cerebellum.

 

You may hear the cerebellum mentioned in relation to dyslexia because evidence is accumulating that this part of the brain is also involved in language.  For example, the structure of the cerebellum is somewhat different in dyslexic brains.  Scans show that it also fires (activates) differently when carrying out certain tasks.  It seems that the dyslexic cerebellum takes longer to get literacy skills and other tasks fully automated.

 

If the cerebellum isn't doing its job properly, a range of tasks can be affected:

·      balance

·      motor skills  - thus affecting handwriting

·      articulatory and phonological skills – so affecting reading, spelling

·      automising skill and knowledge – also affecting spelling, reading

 

But our brains are said to be 'plastic' – they are adaptable and flexible. This means that, if the cerebellum isn't fully functional, then other parts of the brain are likely to be dealing with the tasks the cerebellum should be doing.  If this is the case, then the rest of the dyslexic brain is likely to be overloaded with processing information. This can cause the effects listed above and many of the symptoms of dyslexia.

 

 

 

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