Dyslexia Essay, Research Paper
Dyslexia is a disorder in which a person with normal vision has difficulty understanding written language. The cause of dyslexia is not known. When a child of average or higher intelligence is two or more years behind grade level in reading, but has normal or better achievement in other subjects. Reading difficulty was the first form of specific learning difficulty. Dr. Kussmaul, a German physician, in 1878 described a man who was unable to learn to read. He was of normal intelligence and had a perfect education. Dr. Kussmaul called this problem reading blindness. Nine years later, another German doctor, Dr. Berlin created the term dyslexia. Dyslexia comes from the Greek meaning difficulty with words. The areas of learning most commonly involved in learning difficulty are reading, language, attention, and motor coordinations. Boys are approximately three times more likely to be affected by any form of specific learning difficulty. It is thought that this is due to certain genes in the X-chromosome. If after the first year or two of school a child is still struggling with school work this could be a sign of a learning difficulty like dyslexia.
How a diagnostic assessment is carried out:
- collection of information a bout the child
- examination (testing) of the child
- explanation of the findings to the parents
- recommendation of an appropriate management plan
(Eldon M. Braun & Ronald D. Davis, 1994)
There are more than 200 English words that cause problems for most dyslexics. Many of the words dyslexics have trouble with are small words like the , or , and, etc. What happens with dyslexics is that they try to picture every word they are reading. For example, the child reads a sentence that says: The brown horse jumped over the stone fence and ran through the pasture. The child reads the and does not get a clear image, then goes on to brown he/she can picture this color, he/she goes to horse and can picture a horse, now goes to jumped he/she can picture a brown horse jumping. Reads the word over and the child pictures the horse rising. The next word is the this confuses the child because there is no mental picture, and so on with the rest of the sentence. When a child is reading a sentence and comes across a word for which no mental picture is produced the child is disoriented. Now the child tries to picture something close to it. Each time the child does this more and more mistakes are made.
Not all dyslexics are the same. They do have certain mental functions in common:
1. They can use the brain?s ability to alter and create
perceptions (the primary ability)
2. They are highly aware of the environment
3. They are more curious than average
4. They think mostly in pictures
5. They are highly intuitive and insightful
6. They think and perceive multidimensional
7. They can experience thought as reality
8. They have vivid imaginations
(Eldon M. Braun & Ronald D. Davis, 1994)
It is not easy to tell if a child has dyslexia until kindergarten or first grade. Some early signs of dyslexia are problems or delays in naming letters and pictures, choosing words in word finding problems and word substitutions. Less than 20% of dyslexics have trouble with the visual parts of reading. At times they can confuse letters and words with similar forms of those letters or words. The letter ?b? may become ?d?, ?m? may become ?n? or ?h?, the word ?mom? may become ?wow? and so on. During the first few years of school many children do this, so if a child does this it does not necessarily mean the child is dyslexic.
Many children can develop dyslexia as early as the age of three months. Their deficiencies, skills, and special abilities are developed at this age. Although the disorder is not detected until the child starts school. It has been said that dyslexia can be detected in preschoolers. One psychologist claims to have developed a test to detect dyslexia in newborn babies. Since children in preschool can be so different, it is difficult to make these tests work. Treatment during preschool years has not been proved to prevent or make better the development of dyslexia later on.
There are three kinds of difficutly that cause a child?s writing to be ununderstandable. The first kind is specific spelling difficulty in which words are spelled so incorrectly that they are hard to make out. The second kind is specific writing difficulty in which the writing is so sloppy that it is illegible. The third is language disorder in which the language the child uses is so full of errors that it does not make sense.
An example of specific spelling difficulty:
Las holiday I went with my bruther to viset my annt on her fam. We sor many anemels. The best was the bobl He was very angree.
(Mark Selikowitz, 1993)
Specific reading difficulty is the best known, and the best studied form of specific learning difficulty. It is an unexplained delay in reading in a child of average or above average intelligence. As I explained before, when dyslexics read a word and can not form a mental image for it they become disoriented. Also when reading, dyslexics do not mentally sound out the words as they read. This makes it more difficult tor dyslexics to read. Dyslexics have the same problems that other children have when learning to read just that for them it is to a larger extent.
Agraphia and dysgraphia are terms used when talking about handwriting problems. Sometimes poor or sloppy writing is used to cover up spelling problems. Other times it is because instructions were given when the dyslexic was disoriented. Sometimes dyslexics are given instruction on how their work should look. They get mental pictures of letters and words on top of one another. Then when the child tries to write he/she writes everything is jumbled up and makes no sense.
THE GIFT OF DYSLEXIA
Eldon M. Braun & Ronald D. Davis
DYSLEXIA & OTHER LEARNING DIFFICULTIES — THE FACTS
WHEN CHILDREN DON?T LEARN
THE MERCK MANUAL
Some Talented Dyslexics
Scientists/ Inventors/ Thomas Edison
Engineers Alexander Graham
Artists Leonardo da Vinci
Military/Political General George Patton
Strategists Wilson Churchill
Athletes Greg Louganis
(race car driver)