The Cellfield Intervention for reading, learning, dyslexia and visual processing - Listen And Learn Centre
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The Cellfield Intervention for reading, learning, dyslexia and visual processing


Cellfield practitioner training

Cellfield Intervention practitioner training is now available at the Listen And Learn Centre. We support practitioners Australia wide. Request a call to commence your practitioner training.

What is Cellfield intervention for reading and visual processing?

Cellfield is an intense 10-hour computer based program which aims to strengthen auditory and visual skills associated with reading. It is a language-based intervention which uses visual exercises to stimulate visual attention, visual processing and working memory, as well as acoustically modified sound to assist auditory perception. In doing so, it develops neurological connections and activation of parts of the brain which are involved in reading. While this program is mostly aimed at children with reading difficulties, it is also useful for children and adults with visual processing and/or visual attention difficulties.

The Cellfield Intervention is presented as a 10-session intensive at the Listen And Learn Centre over 2 weeks. Each session takes 1 to 1.5 hours and is supervised by one of our staff. Children are also provided with homework booklets each day.

The Cellfield program is seen as a kick-start to boosting visual processing and reading skills. As the program does not cover all aspects of literacy, in many cases, this program is followed by Cellfield’s Reading Fluency intervention, more….. This second part of the program is a 10 week Cellfield literacy program aimed to consolidate the skills gained during the previous phase and address poor phonological awareness as well as spelling, grammar and comprehension. Cellfield is sometimes recommended in conjunction with other programs, depending on the child’s specific difficulties.

How effective is Cellfield?

Research conducted at Griffith University and published in the Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities (Volume 10, number 2, 2005) indicates that the Cellfield program has a positive impact on reading related skills, oral reading proficiency and ocular measures. Professionals using Cellfield in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have reported average comprehension gains of a year and decoding gains of almost two years. Read the full article here.

What results have we achieved?

We have analysed the results of the first 20 clients to complete the 10-hour component of the Cellfield Program. Clients ranged in age from 7 to 17 years and were diagnosed as having a range of difficulties including a reading disorder, ADHD, Aspergers Syndrome and an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Others simply had reading difficulties or wished to enhance already average reading skills.

Clients achieved improvements of varying degrees on the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test and Neale Analysis of Reading tests of reading skills as well as on the SAST (South Australian Spelling Test). The most outstanding results so far have been in Word Attack, which measures decoding skills and reading comprehension. These results do not take into account the impact of the 10-week Cellfield Fluency component, which brings about further changes through fluency practice and targeting individual areas of weakness.

WOODCOCK READING MASTERY TEST (N=20) Age Reading Equivalent Mean Change after 10 hours
 Passage Comprehension +2 months
Word Attack +8 months
Word Identification +6 months

Reading Comprehension +9 months
Reading Accuracy +5 months
Reading Rate -4 months

SAST (N=20)  
Spelling +3 months

Feedback from Parents

These results tell only one part of the story. Feedback from parents has provided us with further evidence of the benefits of Cellfield:

“Sylvia reported an exponential jump in Leo’s reading ability –– his eye tracking has improved – he does not lose his place as much. His words are coming out more fluently and Leo self-corrects more often in his reading. When Leo went back to school, his teachers said that he is much more settled at school. His energy is much calmer and he is getting on more easily with others. He is also able to participate more in class.”

“Tim is more focused and attentive, and has become more patient; he is completing tasks more readily. Prior to the program he was less persistent with tasks. His letters are better formed and smaller in size”

“John is more mature in his approach to reading, more motivated in reading, he reads both sides of the page and no longer watches the time. Since Cellfield, John is reading more fluently and attempting to decode the whole word rather than guessing after the first couple of letters.”

Cellfield is making an impression on students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder at the Listen And Learn Centre

A number of children with Aspergers Syndrome, aged between 7 ½ and 17, have been through the program at the Centre, all with positive results. Reading materials to practise their reading and comprehension skills in a positive and supportive environment. They are also provided with some homework activities to support ongoing skill development.

Generally the children were able to comprehend the exercises, and attend successfully; and most of the children’s reading skills improved from pre to post testing. However, it has been the anecdotal feedback from the families around behavioural and motivational changes in the children that is truly worth noting. Without exception, parents offered positive feedback. This included aspects of improved executive function such as visual memory, attention and processing speed and sequencing of tasks, leading to better focus at school and with homework; more motivation and being better organised to complete tasks; better awareness of expectations; and, improved confidence and self esteem.

How does Cellfield work?

Accumulated research indicates that persistent reading difficulties are associated with poor connections between key brain areas rather than being due to a lack of function in these areas themselves. These inadequate connections result in under-activation of these key brain areas and over-activation in other areas. In other words, fluent readers use the left hemisphere of the brain in an efficient way to decode words and make sense of what they read. Poorer readers use both sides of the brain in a less connected and less efficient way.

Recent research has also found that individuals with reading difficulties have often been identified as having visual processing deficits. One such deficit is the operation of the magnocellular pathways (M pathways). M pathways translate visual information about edge boundaries and motion to the brain. These pathways are implicated in fluent reading. Fluent reading requires that the reader’s eyes can see words in peripheral vision before they actually look at them; then letter-sound associations follow almost instantaneously. By the time words come into central vision, fluent readers already understand what they are reading and use high speed scanning for checking rather than reading.

Other specific visual processing difficulties relate to the motor control of the eye itself. Some readers have subtle problems with eye stability as well as with centering the visual image in the middle of their eye (the fovea).

Unlike conventional reading programs, the Cellfield intervention is designed to work on the visual, auditory and phonological processing aspects of reading difficulties simultaneously. Various components aim to simultaneously address:

  • Auditory processing speed
  • Visual processing speed
  • Bonding of auditory and visual functions
  • Increasing short term and working memory capacity
  • Improving attention and motivation
  • Improving eye movement control

The program also contains a number of motion graphics which are designed to stimulate the M pathways and achieve enhancements in:

  • Eye movement control
  • Working memory
  • Sequencing
  • Peripheral vision and visual persistence
  • The motion graphics match the excitation characteristics of the various receptive cell types in the M pathways and the motion centres of the visual cortex. Other visual exercises targeting eye/hand coordination are also incorporated into each session.

    Further reading on Cellfield

    Read on at the Cellfield website:

    Cellfield in Melbourne

    Find out more by attending an information session at the Listen And Learn Centre in Melbourne Victoria. Contact us….