5 Facts About Dyslexia You Haven’t Heard a Thousand Times Before

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month, and many educational providers share helpful and relevant information on this common problem (including Edublox!). We take a look at a few lesser known facts about dyslexia to add to the wealth of knowledge available on the subject.

Hinshelwood named it ‘congenital word-blindness’

In 1907, James Hinshelwood, a Scottish ophthalmologist, was one of the first physicians to describe the clinical picture of developmental dyslexia. He named the condition ‘congenital word-blindness’.  Read more…

Extreme viewpoints about dyslexia exist

Extreme viewpoints about dyslexia make it difficult for parents to know how to best help their child. On the one side there is the group who believes dyslexia is a condition that cannot be cured, but endured; on the other extreme there are those who say diagnoses of dyslexia are a complete waste of time.

The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) states that dyslexia “is likely to be present at birth and to be life-long in its effects.” The association and many others like it recommend taking a dyslexia test — at a cost — and provide advice about how to cope with dyslexia and gain access to the special study allowances and benefits available for diagnosed dyslexics.

Professor Julian Elliott, from Durham University in the United Kingdom and Professor Elena Grigorenko, from Yale University in the United States of America take the opposing view — that diagnosis of dyslexia adds little value. In their book, The Dyslexia Debate, they write: “Parents are being misled by claims that such dyslexia assessments are scientifically rigorous, and that a diagnosis will point to more effective forms of treatment.” Elliott raises concerns about the ever-increasing number of people who are being diagnosed with dyslexia. Dyslexia, according to Elliott, is a term which, “confuses, rather than clarifies, and should be discontinued.” Read more…

Letter reversals are usually caused by an inability to interpret left and right

Reversals of b and d is a common — but not the only — symptom of dyslexia. The problem is usually caused by a visual processing deficit, specifically an inability to interpret position in space.

Position in space is the ability to perceive an object’s position in space relative to oneself and the direction in which it is turned, for example up, down, in front, behind, between, left and right. With regards to discriminating between a b and a d the directions left and right are especially important.

The human body consists of two halves, a left side and a right side. The human brain also has two halves, which are connected by the corpus callosum. It is thus unavoidable that a person will interpret everything in terms of his own sidedness. However, a child who has not learnt to interpret correctly in terms of his sidedness yet, who has not learnt to distinguish properly between left and right, will inevitably experience problems when he finds himself in a situation where he is expected to interpret sidedness. One such situation, where sidedness plays a particularly important role, is when a person is expected to distinguish between a b and a d. It is clear that the only difference between the two letters is the position of the straight line — it is either left or right. Read more…

Neuroplasticity offers new hope to people with dyslexia

Advancement in technology has made it possible for scientists to see inside the brain, resulting in the knowledge that the brain is ‘plastic’. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to develop new neurons and/or new synapses in response to stimulation and learning. Read more…

Current thinking is that dyslexia is a multiple cognitive deficit

The phonological deficit theory became the most well-developed and supported of the theories of dyslexia. It has been widely researched, both in the UK (York group) and in the US, resulting in a remarkable degree of consensus concerning the causal role of phonological skills in young children’s reading progress. Current thinking in the field, however, is that multiple cognitive deficits are likely to interact to cause reading disability, and not only a lack of phonological awareness. Read more…

Edublox offers fundamental solutions for reading disabilities through educational interventions comprising of cognitive training, reading, spelling, comprehension and maths. 

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