Non-evidence-based interventions for learning disabilities can be hard to pick out.
They often appear in the media as undisputed methods for helping overcome dyslexia, dysgraphia, and other LDs. Dyslexic fonts, for example, have been advocated for in the absence of peer-reviewed research. These fonts were created around the idea that weighting or slanting letters differently can make recognizing and differentiating them easier. While the idea seems compatible with our current society’s interest and dependence on technology, these fonts (OpenDyslexia and Dyslexie) have yet to be scientifically proven to better a dyslexic’s reading ability—OpenDyslexia admits that it is not undergirded by science. Dr. Guinevere Eden, Director of the Center for the Study of Learning at Georgetown University, explains further in an online article this issue of non-evidence-based interventions. She, along with many others in the LD field, are hesitant to jump on board with dyslexic fonts until there is scientific evidence supporting it. However, related research (such as studies on letter spacing) have been peer-reviewed and published—though Dr. Eden explains that their findings do not necessarily mean letter features (such as spacing) will become a dyslexia intervention tool.
Read Dr. Eden’s piece on dyslexia fonts here at Understood.
For a checklist to help you determine the scientific basis of information see Dr. Pierson’s post on finding reliable intervention.