The celeco method

Previous methods of treating dyslexia, in which reading is practiced or attempts are made to improve reduced partial performance, have proven to be lengthy and have usually had limited success. In the method developed and patented by Prof. Dr. Dr. Werth at the University of Munich, the causes of reduced reading performance in each child are first determined, and it is investigated how these causes lose their ability to read due to a changed reading strategy. For this purpose, a new reading strategy adapted to the respective reader is practised. Three independent studies have shown that the number of reading errors decreased by almost two thirds after less than half an hour of practice (Werth 2006; Klische 2007; Werth 2018).

Differentiated diagnostics with the celeco program package

With the method “learn to read celeco correctly”, the causes of reduced reading performance are first determined for each child by examining them,

  • what influence the time a reader has to fix a word or word segment with his/her eyes (i.e. the fixation time) has on the development of reading errors,
  • how many letters can be recognized within a certain fixation time (i.e. ability to recognize simultaneously, influence of lateral masking),
  • how much time is needed to retrieve and formulate the correct sound sequences from memory for the words or word segments processed by the visual system,
  • how big the eye leaps may be when reading a text, in order not to overlook any letters,
  • what influence the text appearing in the periphery of the visual field has on the length of the fixation phase and the introduction of the gaze jump to the next word or word segment to be read,
  • how reading improves when eye movements in the opposite direction (reversions) are prevented.

The celeco therapy method

On the basis of these results, a reading strategy is developed for each reader which takes away the effect of the identified causes of the reduced reading performance by compensating for them. In the process

  • the size of the word segments that a person can perceive during a fixation phase,
  • the required length of the fixation phases,
  • the size, the beginning and the direction of the gaze jumps,
  • the time required to retrieve from memory the sound sequences and meanings belonging to the perceived word segments,
  • adapted to the respective reader.

This is done, inter alia, by a computer program using a suitable optical marker in a continuous text to indicate which word segments are to be read, how large the word segments may be which the child is to attempt to read within a fixation phase, where the gaze is to be directed within each word segment, how long the word segment to be read is to be fixed, when and in which direction a gaze jump is to take place, how large the gaze jump is to be and when the pronunciation of the word or word segment currently to be read may begin.

In addition, the tendency towards spelling reading can be overcome by targeted tachystoscopic exercises. The simultaneous recognition of short word segments is systematically practised on the monitor.

Even partial performances required for reading, such as the increasingly faster recognition of increasingly longer word segments, can be improved by systematic practice with the celeco program. For example, word segments of a length that just allows the recognition of the word segments are shown and the children have to try to recognize them. As performance improves, the length of the word segments to be recognized can then be increased until word segments of the desired length are also reliably recognized.

It can also be practiced to recognise word segments increasingly more quickly by shortening the presentation times according to the progress made to such an extent that these word segments can still be recognised. In these exercises, it must be ensured that the child focuses his or her eyes on the fixation point within the word while viewing the word segment to be read and does not move them from letter to letter (i.e. avoid spelling reading). This can be achieved by showing the word segment to be read so briefly that it is impossible to jump within the word segment.

A detailed description of the procedure and the psychobiological basics can be found in:

Reinhard Werth:
Legasthenie und andere Lesestörungen – wie man sie erkennt und behandelt“ (Dyslexia and Other Reading Disorders – How to Recognize and Treat Them – German).
Verlag C.H. Beck, Munich, 3rd updated edition 2007.