Saturday, 12 July 2014

The Dyslexia Journey: Cellfield

Hello everyone. As I have posted on my blog about my experience with Irlens I thought I would talk about my experience with Cellfield, which is a remediation for Dyslexia.

At the beginning of July I went for a Cellfield assessment, the results of which showed I have certain issues with reading and comprehension. This is nothing out of the ordinary as I was diagnosed with Dyslexia in 2012, which was also not a surprise. 

After having little long term benefits from Irlens I looked at what else I could do in terms of neuroplasticity. Cellfield was recommended and I did some research in to the program. Like Irlen there were many who reported great improvement in their childs processing but there were the occasional case of there being no change to a child reading and comprehension. Finding information on adults who had done the program was not very fruitful, but I figured if it was being recommended to me then it is worth a try. I saw more benefit in try than just struggling and carrying on the way I have for 35 years. 

I really did not know what I was in for really, but my mind was put at ease and I dove right in. I did the program over five days with two, one hour session each day. The program is a visual and auditory base program with forces your brain to see passed the distraction or obstacles. In simple terms, I was looking at a screen that had dots appearing and disappearing and then either straight or waved bars tracking from one side of the screen to the other. Amongst all of this, I was directed to find words through the headphones I was wearing.
Added to all this I had to wear special glasses, some sessions one eye was patched others one eye has a red lens.

The first session was the hardest, mostly because there is no preparing yourself for the experience. I was really really tired and also famished (this is because I had burnt up a lot of brain fuel which is glucose). The rest of the sessions followed suit in terms of my coping, although by the 7th session I wasn't getting as exhausted after the sessions. What I did notice was about the 4th session I had noticed I wasn't using a process of elimination to find the words, but was actually looking for the word needed. Also I have used a decoding method for my B's and D's especially in lower case, which I noticed I wasn't having to use after the 4th or 5th session. There was an automation to my brain looking for a word I was directed to find.

Then we come to pigeon english. The most intensive section of the program for me was the pigeon english. At first I did ok as I was able to decode the pigeon sentence with little difficulty. By the 6th or 7th sessions I was reading the pigeon sentence like it was normal text, was freaked me out a little. Mostly because I was, at that point, very aware of the neuroplasticity that had taken effect.

The best part was the final session where I didn't get anything wrong.

Overall a grueling experience but well worth it. A nice little side effect is that since 2012 I have been wearing prescription specs, which I don't feel the need to wear any more. Also any visual symptoms I had with irlen Syndrome are not apparent any more. I go in for my post Cellfield assessment next week with the hope that there has been measurable improvement, but I feel there has been I just cannot articulate it apart from language connection being easier.

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