I want to begin by thanking you for this wonderful resource. My 10-year-old was diagnosed with dyslexia just over a year ago and we are constantly seeking information.

Our optometrist is an advocate of Vision Therapy. It is new to me and I cannot seem to see anything online that suggests it helps with dyslexia.

I was wondering if you have any information on diet and how it affects children with dyslexia. My son has mild attention issues (suspected but not yet diagnosed with ADHD) and there is rich information about how food plays a role in the lives of children with ADHD, but I wondered if there was specific information pertaining to dyslexia?

Dr. Pierson's Response: 

First, let me address the vision therapy and dyslexia issue. The reason that you cannot find any information that shows vision therapy helps with dyslexia is because it doesn’t. Here are pieces that were written by myself and my colleague at my private clinical practice -- both precipitated by attending talks at the International Dyslexia Association annual conference in 2015 and 2016 (and nothing has changed).

It is a shame that this myth continues to be perpetuated by professionals. Families waste resources of time and money. Moreover, students waste precious time in an intervention that will not help them learn to read. Dyslexia is a language-based learning disorder, and therefore, students need structured literacy intervention.

With regard to your question about diet and dyslexia, this is not my area of expertise. We know that there can be comorbidity between dyslexia and ADHD. As you allude to with ADHD, students need to be 'at their best' in order to get the most out of learning and diet plays into that. I know how I feel when I'm dehydrated or hungry....not at my best. So while it is true that students need to be ready to learn, to learn to read they need structured literacy intervention.