Dyslexia Issues Essay An Assignment Submitted by Name of Student Name of Establishment Class XXXX, Section XXXX, Fall 2012



This essay touches upon a disorder that is called dyslexia, its history in brief, symptoms, the possibilities of diagnosis, some statistics at present and how this disorder may affect (or affect at the slightest extent some minority groups). Dyslexia is generally defined as a brain-based type of learning disability that greatly impairs a person’s ability to read. However, its impact is not limited to impaired reading skills; dyslexia also involves other difficulties in both receptive and productive skills, such as writing and spelling, for instance. Key words: dyslexia, symptoms, diagnosis, disorder, statistics, reading skills, writing, spelling.



Dyslexia is a type of the brain-based disorders which has attracted attention of scientists and psychology professionals for quite a long time. It was discovered by scientists in the 19th century, though at that time learning difficulties were related to medical problems and reading difficulties were known as “word blindness” (Lawrence, 2009). The term “dyslexia” as such was firstly introduced by R. Berlin, a German ophthalmologist which was, however, in common use until the 1930s. In this period of time dyslexia started to be perceived by professionals as an educational problem rather than a medical one. In the middle of the 20th century thanks to vast data, obtained from educational research, the ways of coping with dyslexia-related difficulties were suggested. It became possible due to establishment of various organizations which provided support and care to dyslexic children and their special needs. Thus, at present dyslexia is studied from the grounds of psychology and education (Lawrence, 2009). Having outlined its history in brief, let us move on the symptoms of dyslexia and then on how it can be diagnosed. The first and the most significant point is that the symptoms may vary depending the age of a person, so, there are specific characteristics, singled out for children and adults. We would like to concentrate on children’s symptoms, because it is of utmost importance to identify dyslexia at an as early stage as possible in order to provide correction measures. That is why, it is important to know and be aware of dyslexia symptoms, appropriate to children. Following R. D. Davis’ classification (Davis, 1992), we can center groups of symptoms on the affected functions. Thus, it is possible to speak about general symptoms, symptoms, related to vision, reading and spelling; symptoms, related to hearing and speech; symptoms, related to impaired writing and motor skills; Mathematics and time management; affected memory and cognition; behavior issues; health, development and personality (Davis, 1992). Historically,



dyslexia was related and limited to impaired reading skills and included difficulties with soundletter correlation, dividing words into sounds, reading accurately, reading with speed or expression. In general, children who suffer from dyslexia are described as being quite intelligent, but unable to read at an appropriate level, as having quite a high general IQ level, but experiencing difficulties with oral tests. Dyslexic children can be often regarded as lazy or not trying hard enough which can lead to a child’s having low self-esteem and feeling frustrated in terms of reading or writing (Davis, 1992). As we have stated earlier, dyslexia symptoms may vary, and this makes it difficult to diagnose. Thus, there were developed special tests to measure a child’s level of reading skills. These tests comprise all aspects of reading skills in order to see where the possible breakdown can take place. The tests are standardized and provide valid and reliable data. A battery of tests includes mainly of the following tests: Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Third Edition, Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children, Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, WoodcockJohnson Psycho-Educational Battery, Peabody Individual Achievement Tests-Revised, Wechsler Individual Achievement Tests, Kaufman Tests of Educational Achievement (Perstan). In the last part of this essay we would like to refer to the current statistics to see how common the disorder is. Due to the results of surveys, dyslexia is regarded as a common cause of reading, writing and spelling difficulties: about 70-80% of people with impaired reading skills are related to dyslexia. Speaking about differences of dyslexia spread in various groups, it is possible to say that nearly the same amounts of males and females suffer from it and nearly the same numbers of people of different ethnic groups suffer from it. However, higher percentage of children suffering from dyslexia can be noticed among poor families, and this fact can be explained by children’s attending ineffective schools (Dyslexia Statistics).



In conclusion, we can state that at present dyslexia is defined as a category of learning difficulty and is studies from the perspective of medicine and education, as the former plays a crucial role in defining the cause of the disorder while the latter provides adequate treatment.



References Davis, R.D. (1992). 37 Common Characteristics of Dyslexia. Retrieved from Davis Dyslexia Association International, Dyslexia the Gift Web site: Dyslexia Statistics. Retrieved from: Lawrence D. (2009). History of Dyslexia. In Lawrence, D. Understanding Dyslexia: A Guide for Teachers and Parents (pp. 9 – 19). Open University Press, 2009. Perstain D. Dyslexia. How Is Dyslexia Diagnosed. Retrieved from: dyslexia/page4.htm.

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