The teacher walked to the front of the room with her book in hand and as she got closer to the front, Paul got lower in his seat. He knew what was coming next; it was time for the class to read the next chapter. The teacher would start reading and then call on different students to read as they moved through the chapter. This scared Paul right down to his toes. He had read in front of the class before, but it was what followed after class that worried him the most. The taunts from the other students like “retard” or “are you stupid or what?” This type of relentless teasing would continue until gym class where he could hold his own ground again. He did not have any problems in gym; class he was good at sports and liked to play. The reason that Paul has so much trouble reading is because he has Dyslexia.
Dyslexia is a type of reading problem. In Greek, Dys means difficult and lexia means word or language (Goldish 18). The definition of Dyslexia varies based on which research group you are talking to, but one of the most widely accepted ones is from the National Center for Learning Disabilities and the National Institute of Child Health. The Orton Dyslexia Society Research Committee defines dyslexia in this way:
Dyslexia is one of several distinct learning disabilities. It is a specific language based disorder of constitutional origin characterized by difficulties in single word decoding, usually reflecting insufficient phonological processing abilities. These difficulties in single word decoding are often unexpected in relation to age and other cognitive and academic abilities; they are not the result of generalized developmental disability or sensory impairment. Dyslexia is manifest by variable difficulty with different forms of language, often including, in addition to problems reading, a conspicuous problem with acquiring proficiency in writing and spelling. (Reid 3)
With this definition in mind, we can start to see the hardships and difficulties experienced by the Dyslexic individual in a society so dependent on written language.
The cause of dyslexia is not completely known. One of the most widely recognized theories is that dyslexia is a genetically based neurological problem. It has also been argued that dyslexia could be caused during early fetal development. Some researchers have suggested that problems with dyslexia may be caused by defects in the inner ear that cause problems with word and sound decoding. Researchers continue to look for the cause of dyslexia, a possible cure, and ways to cope with the disorder (Wood Grigorenko 503-11).
A person with dyslexia can have many reading problems. Letters are often reversed for them so a q might look like a p and vice versa. Words can be read backwards and letters can be all jumbled up, they would see the word pot, but would read it as top. Words such as off may look like of or on. Dyslexics that might read aloud would probably...