Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dyslexia and Echoes of "Who's on First?"

"Mrs. B, what is dyslexia and how do I know I have it?"

"Well, wonderful, creative thinker I know, dyslexia is how we describe a brain that does not process language through what is considered an efficient or neurotypical process. People with dyslexia do not have typical development with reading, writing, spelling and other language-processing based tasks or skills. Researchers are finding that there are different categories of dyslexia and can show what brain activity is, or is not, operating efficiently when a person with dyslexia is processing language. 

Even though there is not a medication that can alleviate dyslexia directly, an official diagnosis of dyslexia requires a visit to a medical professional who performs an assessment and interprets the assessment results based on criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM. The DSM first came out in 1952. The DSM-V, I mean DSM-5 is due out next Spring. 

Major studies are currently being published and funded through the National Institute of Health to further explore these neurological factors so teachers, parents and others can better support individuals with dyslexia. This is fabulous, because as recently as my mother's generation, people who struggled with reading were considered stupid, lazy or even brain damaged. I am thrilled that modern society is moving away from such a limited understanding of your creative brain."

Historical Definitions and Terms for Dyslexia Up to the Coming Soon DSM-5
Brain damage.
Alexia.
Congenital word blindness.
Strephosymbolia.
Specific Reading Difficulty.
Dyslexia.
Reading Disorder (Dyslexia).
315.00 Reading Disorder.
No Longer Recommended - See A 08 Specific Learning Disorder, Type Specified in Diagnosis From Following Domains of Academic Difficulties and Their Subskills Impaired at Time of Assessment:

  1. Reading (Word reading accuracy, Reading rate or fluency, and/or Reading comprehension)
  2. Written Expression (Spelling accuracy, Grammar and punctuation accuracy, Legible or fluent handwriting, and/or Clarity and organization of written expression)
  3. Mathematics (Memorizing arithmetic facts, Accurate or fluent calculations, and/or Effective math reasoning)

"So Mrs. B, what does that really mean?"

"Well, wonderful, creative thinker I know, it feels a lot like the educational version of "Who's On First?". I think I'm not so thrilled anymore."

6 comments:

Kathleen Kosobud said...

Bravo, Mrs. B!

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