Join the discussion on key conclusions that can be drawn in the fields of education, learning strategies, learning problems, dyslexia, adhd, autism and more.


Through his long experience in these fields Ioannis Tzivanakis reports and considers relevant research news and their implications. With a subscription of his free Newsletter you will receive the newest edition of Research Insights and more.


Dyslexia, provided that it is regarded as a problem that must be overcome, and not only as an indication of a different perception and thinking style, on the one hand can then be treated, as soon as it is unmistakenly there, on the other hand it would be most desirable for all those involved and affected that dyslexia is detected as early as possible in its genesis or arising, dealt with and ideally resolved.


Certainly the most advantageous situation for all would be, that dyslexia does not arise at all. Both dyslexia and learning problems in general should be prevented through adressing the conditions, through which they arise.



It is my experientially confirmed conviction that dyslexia does not arise, when learning to read is grasped in its complexity and naturalness, and when students use the individually fruitful learning method for reading. Nevertheless, as long as such learning and such complete prevention have not arrived everywhere, the next best thing is dyslexia treatment as early as possible, that is, once dyslexia looks to be active.


Researchers from three universities (University of California, Davis and Yale University) found from the results of a study that it seems very well to be possible to intervene already in the first class, so that a potential future gap in differences in performance can be closed.


In a longitudinal study for reading from the first to twelfth grade examined dyslexic readers - compared with usual readers - had lower reading performance already in the first grade. Thus, the conclusion can be drawn that dyslexia does not arise (only) due to differences that grow over time and expand, but that such differences are already present in the first grade age.


“If the persistent achievement gap between dyslexic and typical readers is to be narrowed, or even closed, reading interventions must be implemented early, when children are still developing the basic foundation for reading acquisition,” said Emilio Ferrer, a UC Davis psychology professor. He is lead author of the article published in The Journal of Pediatrics (November 2015).



Concerning the question, whether drugs for ADHD treatment affect the sleep of those with an ADHD behavioural structure and performance, researchers have previously assumed different influences. Some researchers found that such substances may interfere on sleep, particularly if they are taken at a later time of day. Others claim that these drugs improve sleep ability.


Due to such different results, a meta-analysis was conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. For Timothy Nelson, who was involved in the study, such a meta-analysis is very useful: “By aggregating and summarizing previous research in a rigorous and statistical way, we can identify the main findings that we see across all these studies. It's essentially a study of studies."



The in-depth investigation was carried out on the basis of objective criteria and not influenced by reports from parents. So results were considered of clinical sleep studies and using wristband monitors. The results showed that both Ritalin and amphetamines like Adderal cause sleep problems. The conclusion of the researchers from Nebraska (published on 23 November 2015 in the Journal Pediatrics) for physicians who wish to consider all pros and cons concerning such stimulants, reads: "The potential for disrupted sleep should be part of the cost-benefit analysis with stimulants“.


Good to know, because good sleep is so essential; especially as we all share the common experience that before all medication in ADHD cases, but also in general, i.e. independent of ADHD, poor sleep or lack of sleep leads to increased fatigue and irritability. Both strong causes with many effects, but in the present context, especially with the effect of a weaker or more restless and fidgety attention.