162: All Things Speech Sounds and Dyslexia with the CLaSS Lab

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Guest: Dr. Kelly Farquharson - Scientists now know more than ever about dyslexia, but there are still a lot of misconceptions about this common learning difference. In this episode of the First Bite Podcast, we are debunking some popular myths surrounding dyslexia and language-based learning disabilities with today’s special guest, Dr. Kelly Farquharson! Kelly is a speech-language pathologist, associate professor, and director of the Children’s Literacy and Speech Sound (CLaSS) Lab at Florida State University. She studies the cognitive, linguistic, orthographic, and environmental factors that influence how children with speech and language disorders acquire literacy skills. Specifically, her research examines the intersection between speech sound production and literacy acquisition and, in this episode, she shares her unique insight with us about the very real intersection between speech sounds and dyslexia. Believe it or not, dyslexia is a phonological impairment disorder, not a visual one, which means that SLPs can and should play a very important role in its assessment and treatment! Listen in to learn more about why phonetics matter to clinicians, the importance of taking a code-based approach, and why strategies like eye tracking exercises aren’t necessarily helpful. We also touch on the value of both real word and non-word assessments, phonological input, and collaboration between SLPs and teachers, and Kelly emphasizes the need for patience, persistence, and advocacy when it comes to addressing dyslexia in your institution. This is a fascinating discussion that you won’t want to miss, so make sure to tune in today!

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