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Oakland, Calif. — Oct. 5, 2015 — Paula Tallal, Ph.D., testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology at a Sept. 30th hearing on H.R. 3033, the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia (READ) Act. Dr. Tallal, a cognitive neuroscientist and board-certified clinical psychologist, is a professor at the University of California, San Diego and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, a co-director of the Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center, and a co-founder of Scientific Learning Corp. (OTC PINK:SCIL).

Tallal was one of three expert witnesses invited to address what research and development would be most beneficial for practical applications to overcome dyslexia, which affects as many as one out of six, or 8.5 million, American school children. “There is an epidemic of reading failure that we have both the scientific evidence and the interventions to treat. What we do not have is a roadmap for implementing these evidence-based tools and technologies on a broad scale, or a mandate for our schools to use these advances to help the millions of struggling readers who desperately need our help,” said Tallal.

At the hearing, Tallal’s testimony focused on how to bridge this gap between knowledge and action. “Decades of scientific research show that reading success relies on a solid foundation of rapid, consistent auditory processing and oral language skills,” she said. “Traditional tools for teaching reading, regardless of how expertly and how often they are applied, will not work for most struggling readers until these more foundational skills are remediated. Not providing educators with evidence-based tools to address both listening and oral language skills is equivalent to demanding that a builder construct the third floor of a school without having the tools to build a sufficiently strong first and second floor, and then wondering why the school keeps collapsing. Including classroom listening interventions can improve a child’s reading ability and fundamentally rewire the brain for healthier learning and communication skills.”

Tallal is a frequent participant on governmental committees on developmental language disorders and learning disabilities. She has authored over 200 professional publications and holds several patents. She earned the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Prize for her work leading to the development of the Fast ForWord® program.  

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