Dyslexia Essay, Research Paper
Dyslexia is a neurological syndrome in which other wise normal people have difficulty reading and writing. There are few different types of dyslexia, reading, writing and mathematics.
Many misconceptions go along with dyslexia, for example, people with dyslexia are mentally retarded, have vision problems or even labeled as just dumb (Connelly 18).
There are very detectable symptoms of dyslexia when a person is reading. Some of the people with dyslexia may skip words; reverse the order of letters in a word for example, was for saw (galenet 1). In addition, a person with dyslexia will be unable to distinguish between common letters and sounds. When a dyslexic person is reading aloud they might distort, substitute, omit letters or words.
Throughout all economic classes and intelligence ranges of people, about one in 25 is dyslexic in the field of reading (Connelly 18). The commonness of dyslexia in the United States is estimated to be about four percent of school-age children (Connelly 19). With those who are diagnosed with a reading disorder sixty to eighty percent are male (galnet 1). So many boys are diagnosed because the boys call more attention to their problem than girls do (galnet2). It is not uncommon for a person with dyslexia to get A s in science but to fail English.
Many people from around the country and world also suffer from the disorder of written expression. Students with the written form of dyslexia also reverse letters, make grammatical or punctuation errors within sentences, have poor paragraph organization skills, multiple spelling errors and excessively poor handwriting (Connely 22). When students have to take standardized writing tests in this area they are less able to do as well as they would on a reading or arithmetic tests (Connely 22). Teachers find out how severe the disorder is by giving the student a number of tests such as to copy information, writing to dictation, and writing spontaneously.
The prevalence of the writing expression dyslexia is sometimes followed with problems with eye-to-hand coordination. Writing dyslexia is sometimes found in association with reading and mathematical dyslexia (Connely 22). Usually when a person has the writing expression dyslexia, they have other learning disabilities (Connely 23).
Although the most common form of dyslexia manifests itself in the area of reading, it is not unusual for a person to be dyslexic in the field of math. Students with this may have trouble in understanding mathematical terms, operations, or concepts (Connely 21). Dyslexic students also may have weakness in reading numerical symbols or arithmetic skills. Children and adults with mathematics disorder may have trouble with problem solving or recognizing patterns (Connely 27).
Dyslexia in mathematics is common in approximately six percent of all school age students (Connely21). It is not known what the ratio of girls to boys is. Many students diagnosed with the mathematics form of dyslexia occur in the lower socioeconomic classes (Connely 21).
Sigmund Freud wrote that in 1900 that painful childhood experiences of hatred of one or both parents caused dyslexia (galnet1). Later studies showed that Sigmund Freud s ideas on dyslexia were incorrect. Dr. Samuel T. Orton was the one to first bring attention of dyslexia to American doctors and educators in the 1920 s. For years after people that suffered form dyslexia were still classified as emotionally disturbed, mentally retarded, or culturally disadvantaged (Connely 25).
During the 1940 s, more Doctors began to find why people have dyslexia. Some of these reasherchers came up with the idea of brain damage. Just because the people with dyslexia looked ordinary, they thought that the brain damage was insignificant Connely 21). Later studies showed that there was no brain damage involved with dyslexia. In 1966 name minimal brain dysfunction was introduced.
Researchers for dyslexia also at that time started giving concepts and terms for each of the observed reading, writing and arithmetic disabilities. A problem with reading was called dyslexia . The name for dyslexia came from the Greek dys which means poor or inadequate, and the lexis meaning words or language. If a person had difficulty in writing, it was called dysgraphia . Whenever a person had a problem with arithmetic, they were grouped as dyscalculia .
During the 1920 s and 1930 s students were becoming more excepted as individuals with normal or high intelligence the only difference being a need for special teaching methods (Connely 21). Since these students need customized, teaching methods a school was built in 1926 right near Buffalo, New York. The schools name was the Gow School. The school was made specifically for boys who were smart but had trouble with writing and reading. More types of schools were built like this one. These new types of schools were high-priced so if could not afford to send your son to the special schools they had to go to public schools. Although the public schools did provide special education classes, they were inadequate to the students needs.
Finally the federal government became involved and supported the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Connely 28). Later this was renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This law made the states give children with disabilities a free, appropriate public education (Connely 28).
One issue that affects children with disabilities and their schooling is which classroom setting is most appropriate. Some people believe that the more traditional form of separating the students with disabilities from the other students is more effective because the student can receive more individualized treatment (Connolly28). However a newer practice, called mainstreaming is being used in more public schools. When mainstreaming is used, all students, regardless of ability are all in the same classroom. Mainstreaming, also called inclusion began with a report issued by the National Academy of Sciences (Connolly 31). This report stated that placement of children into special education classrooms was ineffective and discriminatory (Connolly 31). The report also stated that children be given non inclusive or extra class placement for special services only if they could (a) be accurately classified or (b) if noninclusion produces superior results (Connolly 31) The federal government stepped in and stated that All handicapped children, to the maximum extent possible have the right to be placed in the least restrictive learning environment (Cronin182).
Researchers have found that genetics play an important role in dyslexia (galnet2). Some studies show that if one twin has dyslexia the other twin also has it (galnet2). Many people who have dyslexia also have a parent or a close relative that has a learning disability (galnet1). Some scientists also think that since dyslexia affects males more than girls that there is a relationship between hormones to dyslexia.
Great strides have been made in the research and the understanding of dyslexia. Parent and teachers need to work together to help the dyslexic student. With the right supports students no longer need to feel stupid for having this disability.