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What Is Dyslexia? Essay

3569 words - 15 pages


Dyslexia is a developmental disorder that was not clear to scientists until the 20th century. In 1887, physicians called this developmental disorder dyslexia after observation of an adolescent male who experienced significant difficulties in learning to read and write. Dyslexia is widely accepted to be a specific learning disability and has biological traits that differentiate it from other learning disabilities. It is the most widely known and most carefully studied of the learning disabilities, affecting 80% of all those designated as having learning disability (Lyon et al, 2003). Dyslexia became categorized as a learning disability in the 1896 and has been debated for many years (Snowing et al, 2003). It has been defined according to many in different forms and ways. These are some of the definitions that were found of Dyslexia: according to the US National Institutes of Health, Dyslexia is a learning disability that can hinder a person’s ability to read, write, spell and sometimes speak. In the 1980’s, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) came about with an exclusionary definition of Dyslexia: If a child’s difficulty with reading could not be explained by low intelligence, poor eye sight, poor hearing, inadequate educational opportunities, and then the child must be Dyslexic. Despite this advancement in identification, the condition was first described in the medical literature by many physicians who studied several classes of individuals with obvious normal intelligence but could not learn to read (Siegel, 2006).
These cases were termed word blindness (i.e. inability by to read words). Dyslexia or learning disability is behaviorally seen as a discrepancy between reading ability and intelligence in children (Liberman & Shankweiler, 1985). It is indicated when a sufferer experience significant difficulty with speed and accuracy of word decoding. Delay in language development in children may indicate a significant risk for dyslexia. A child who show delayed language development at the age of 3 or 4 may end up dyslexic. Several studies have indicated that childhood language impairment and early language difficulties is an indicator of reading disabilities in the future school years including adolescent and adulthood (Liberman & Shankweiler, 1985). It is important to know that not all children with language disorders in early childhood end up with dyslexia. It is an essential pointer of a potential disability; this category of children should be monitored and given proper management.
Another sign of dyslexia is academic inabilities mainly involving difficulties in reading. Dyslexic individuals also lack the ability to comprehend text. Although every child is different from the other in reading rate, but if a child is significantly performing bellow his or her peers after months of reading instructions, this could point to the direction of dyslexia. In addition, having the fear of going to school...

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