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Adult Dyslexia

Adult Dyslexia

This is a comprehensive guide covering the basics of dyslexia to a wide range of diagnostic procedures and tips to help you manage with your symptoms. These tips and tricks have been used on people with dyslexia of every varying degree and with great success. People just like yourself that suffer with adult dyslexia now feel more comfortable and relaxed in social and work situations.

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Dyslexia Facts You Should Know

Dyslexia, Facts You Should Know Is A Unique Fact Filled E-book That Gathers Easy To Read Information About Dyslexia In One Place For The Interested Reader. Learn How to Cope With A Diagnosis of Dyslexia and What To Do Next. Every bit of this eBook is packed with the latest cutting edge information on Dyslexia. It took months to research, edit, and compile it into this intriguing new eBook. Here's what you'll discover in Dyslexia: Facts You Should Know: What is Dyslexia? History of Dyslexia. Is it Dyslexia or Something Else? How You Can Diagnose Yourself. Benefits of Catching Dyslexia Early. What is the Dyslexia Test? How to Get Everything You Will Need for Help in Coping with Dyslexia. Exploring Your Options for Schools and Programs. What is the Individualized Education Program? Alternatives to the Iep. The Roll Your Childs Teacher Plays. Your Part in Your Childs Education. Why Practice, Patience and Practicality are Most Important. Teens with Dyslexia. Success in Life: Adults Overcoming Dyslexia.

Dyslexia Facts You Should Know Summary


4.6 stars out of 11 votes

Contents: Ebook
Author: Dee Henry
Price: $27.00

My Dyslexia Facts You Should Know Review

Highly Recommended

The author has done a thorough research even about the obscure and minor details related to the subject area. And also facts weren’t just dumped, but presented in an interesting manner.

This ebook does what it says, and you can read all the claims at his official website. I highly recommend getting this book.

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Language Learning Disability

Approximately 40 to 60 of students with a learning disability have also been diagnosed with a language-learning disability. Students with language impairments struggle with academics because learning is demonstrated through a process of reading, writing, and speaking. Potential indicators of language impairment during preschool and kindergarten include difficulty listening to a story, difficulty following directions, immature speech, word-finding difficulties, and poor play skills. During the elementary school years, signs of a language disability include difficulty understanding text, misunderstanding directions, difficulty synthesizing words with more than one syllable, and poor social skills. In high school, adolescents with a language disability struggle with processing complex, higher-order verbal information. Specifically, note taking, written expression, test taking, and poor organizational skills are all areas that may be affected by a language disorder.

The Bangor Dyslexia Test I

How, then, did the Bangor Dyslexia Test originate and what did I wish it to achieve In the first place I believed that dyslexia was a syndrome - a family of manifestations, having a constitutional basis. There was in the 1970s only circumstantial evidence for the constitutional basis the condition ran in families, which suggested a genetic basis, and, more speculatively, it was possible that there were analogies between the behaviour of the children whom I was assessing and the behaviour of adults who were known to have suffered brain damage. I was no neurologist, however, and believed that there was plenty to be found out by a systematic study of my subjects' behaviour.

PRO and ANTI the Dyslexia Concept A Dialogue

In the 1960s and early 1970s dyslexia was a relatively unfamiliar concept. That it should have met with opposition is not surprising many new ideas require time before they register in the public consciousness. What was remarkable, however, was the heat which discussions of dyslexia sometimes engendered. To quote some words which I wrote at the time (Miles, 1967, p. 242) 'Whatever else we know or do not know about dyslexia, it appears to be the case that discussion of the subject makes some people extremely heated and argumentative.' One of my reactions at the time was to try to clarify my own thinking on the controversies. As a result I decided to write a dialogue. To bring out the contrast between what I took to be opposing views I named the participants in this dialogue PRO, who was for the dyslexia concept, and ANTI, who was opposed to it. PRO starts the dialogue by describing the typical manifestations of dyslexia and ANTI then replies ANTI Yes, of course I have met such...

Proponents Of Dyslexia Do Not Agree Among Themselves

Another point sometimes urged by critics of the dyslexia concept was that even among its supporters there was no agreement as to what dyslexia was. This never troubled me, since it was clearly untrue. For the record, however, it is worth pointing out that in the early 1970s Elaine and I held a meeting with Beve Hornsby (co-author of Hornsby and Shear, 1975) and Harry Chasty, of the Dyslexia Institute, to see if we could agree on some basic principles of teaching. We had no difficulty in reaching agreement there needed to be systematic teaching of letter-sound correspondences and the teaching needed to be systematic, structured and multisensory. Dyslexia was not the controversial concept which some of its critics had assumed. As a result of this meeting and from my visits to other dyslexia organisations I was confident that there was broad agreement between ourselves at Bangor and the various other bodies in Britain concerned with dyslexia - the British Dyslexia Association, the...

Specific Learning Disability

The majority of children who receive special education assistance under IDEA are identified in the specific learning disability category. Unexpected low academic achievement, despite the provision of appropriate educational experiences, may signal the presence of a disorder in the basic psychological processes. A comprehensive evaluation of cognitive functioning is necessary to discern the child's unique learning profile. Results must support the existence of a disorder in a basic psychological process, which is manifested in at least one of the seven basic skills (see Table 1). Insufficient progress may not be attributable to sensory, motor, cognitive, emotional, or environmental factors. Since 1977, an ability-achievement discrepancy has been a required marker for identifying a child who has a learning disability (LD). This refers to the comparison of scores obtained on a measure of intellectual functioning (IQ test) to scores of academic achievement. When scores of achievement are...

Research On Memory Learning Difficulties And Intervention

The study of memory in students with learning difficulties has been strongly influenced by the hypothesis that variations in memory performance are rooted in the children's acquisition of mnemonic strategies (Swanson & colleagues, 1998). An example of a mnemonic strategy is the recall of number sequences (1, 2, 3, 4) using a rhyme (e.g., 1-2 buckle my shoe, 3-4 shut the door). Strategies are deliberate, consciously applied procedures that aid in the storage and subsequent retrieval of information. Most strategy training studies that include children can trace their research framework back to earlier research on metacognition and or research on production deficiencies by Flavell (1970). Metacognition refers to knowledge of general cognitive strategies (e.g., rehearsal) awareness of one's own cognitive processes the monitoring, evaluating, and regulating of those processes and beliefs about factors that affect cognitive activities. In this research, a distinction is made between the...

The Effects Of Dyslexiacentred Teaching

Dr Beve Hornsby spent a year in Bangor in the late 1970s, during which time she collected data for inclusion in a thesis for the degree of M.Ed. She had kept careful records of the reading and spelling performance of children referred to the Dyslexia Clinic at St Bartholomew's Hospital. Records were also available from the Dyslexia Institute in Staines and from our own unit in Bangor. The signs of dyslexia have recently become so clear that we do not now have to wait for a child to fail to read and spell before dyslexia can be diagnosed (see Hornsby, 1989). Games such as 'I spy' can be introduced at a much younger age.

Dyslexics Oral Language

When I was giving the Picture Completion subtest of the Wechsler (1974) Intelligence Scale for Children - Revised, Eileen Stirling, who was sitting in with me as part of her M.Ed. course, noticed that when the children were asked to name the part which was missing from the picture many of them avoided the necessity for naming by pointing - correctly - to the missing part and saying, 'That bit.' It occurred to Eileen that this was something which might be worth studying in its own right how good were dyslexics at word-finding She checked on this, using 21 dyslexics and 19 controls (note 15.7). All the subjects were boys and were aged between 12 and 16 years. What Eileen found surprised her. In untimed conditions the dyslexics were no worse than the controls at producing something like the right word, but the reproduction of the word was sometimes inaccurate for instance when the correct answer was 'buckle' (of a shoe), two dyslexic boys said 'buttle', while when the answer should have...

Proposal for a Taxonomy of Dyslexia

There is a further reason why some taxonomies can be better than others. If a taxonomy is proposed from a position of strength - from a position of knowledge - a particular decision to lump or split merits nothing but respect. If two researchers are both aware of all the reasons for lumping and of all the reasons for splitting, even if one person decides to be a lumper and the other a splitter, there is nothing significant left for them to disagree about - at most there might be a disagreement about what similarities and differences are the important ones to emphasise. In contrast, if proposals for classification show a lack of such awareness, they can justifiably be faulted. I suspect that those who opposed the concept of dyslexia in the 1970s (see Chapters 11 and 12) were unaware of some of the reasons for lumping. My thesis is that dyslexia is a syndrome - one which can supply a taxonomy of considerable strength if research findings in a number of areas are seen as interrelated and...

Dyslexia Anomaly Or Normal Variation

It seemed to us that the first question we should try to answer from the data available from the British Births Cohort Study was whether something called dyslexia really existed. In the 1970s there were many people who asserted that it did not. Before any answer could be attempted, however, it was necessary to specify what exactly the question meant. An important clue to answering the question had been supplied to us by Dr Norman Geschwind (see the recollection at the end of this Chapter). It was obvious that some children had reading and spelling problems, but this did not entail 'the existence of dyslexia' in any worthwhile sense in the language of Chapter 10, it would not contain any 'bite'. What we needed to consider was Norman Geschwind's idea of anomaly, as opposed to normal variation. If there was nothing more than normal variation in any of the measures which we judged to be relevant to dyslexia, the scores would conform to the normal (or Gaussian) distribution, which involves...

Dyslexia And The Middle Classes

Next in point of time was the challenge, posed by the notion that, as mentioned in Chapter 12, dyslexia was a middle-class invention middle-class parents were using this fashionable label as a cover for the fact that their children were not very bright. This was, of course, a sneer and was not intended as a piece of serious research. However, there were already data in the British Births Cohort Study on social class. The children had been classified according to their father's occupation in 1980 into the following groups In addition we ourselves had isolated a group which we believed contained a large number of dyslexics and a group of normal achievers for comparison. Data were available on 227 dyslexics and 5959 normal achievers. Table 20.3 shows the number and percentage of dyslexics and controls falling into the six different groups. Table 20.3. Numbers and percentages of dyslexics and controls in each of the social groups Dyslexics Controls Table 20.3. Numbers and percentages of...

Mathematical Abilities Of 10yearold Dyslexics

We divided the severe underachievers into the three categories described in the last Chapter - severe underachievers A being those with most indicators of dyslexia, severe underachievers B those with the next most and severe underachievers C those with the fewest. We also wished to compare the scores of the normal achievers. Table 20.5 shows for all four groups the combined score on the Similarities and Matrices tests and the mean scores, with standard deviations, on the Friendly Maths Test. All four groups were at approximately the same level in respect of their combined scores on the Similarities and Matrices tests this rules out intelligence level as a possible factor influencing the results. However, severe underachievers A (the dyslexics) obtained significantly lower scores than underachievers C, and even lower scores than either the moderate underachievers or the normal achievers (note 20.3). One must therefore conclude that there are some aspects of mathematics which present...

Dyslexia and Dyscalculia Are They Two Separate Syndromes

The issue of whether there is a separate syndrome, dyscalculia, in addition to the syndrome of dyslexia, is an issue of where to lump and where to split. At present it seems to me that there is insufficient evidence to justify a firm decision in either direction. I shall assume in what follows that, for reasons set out in Chapter 18, dyslexia is an identifiable syndrome. The question to be discussed is whether the phenomena which constitute what people call 'dyscalculia' can all be explained in terms of a single concept, dyslexia, or whether two separate concepts are needed. According to the principle of Occam's razor, entities (that is concepts) should not be multiplied more than is necessary (note 22.1). There is no doubt that a large number of the calculation difficulties experienced by dyslexics are part and parcel of their dyslexia. I mentioned in Chapter 20 dyslex-ics' difficulty in holding in mind a series of mathematical procedures and carrying them out in the right order....

Dyslexia as a Disjunctive Concept

I suggested, particularly in Chapters 7 and 8 and in Chapters 19 and 20, that dyslexia is a disjunctive concept. This means that there are different ways of being dyslexic in one person it may be manifestations A, B, F and G in another person it may be manifestations B, C, D and H, and so on. No one manifestation is crucial what is crucial is the way in which the manifestations combine. According to the arguments in this book it is possible to be dyslexic without necessarily being a poor reader, that is to say poor reading is not a necessary condition for being dyslexic. It is also possible to be a poor reader without being dyslexic, which is the same as saying that neither is poor reading a sufficient condition for being dyslexic. I want to argue in this chapter that the word 'dyslexia' is also what Ryle (1949) would have called a 'disposition' word. What he had in mind can best be shown by means of examples. It was characteristic of Ryle to draw on the familiar events of ordinary...

The Bangor Dyslexia Test II

I suggested in the last chapter that clinical judgements were based on the use of a combination of cues, sometimes small ones, which required to be pieced together. This, of course, is what happens in any medical diagnosis. If I could operationalise these cues, I would be in a position to make a judgement as to whether a particular indicator of dyslexia was present or absent and quantify the numbers of each. In the event I found that I would sometimes be presented with a response which I regarded as marginal - not clearly indicative of the presence of dyslexia but also not clearly indicative of its absence. I therefore devised the following notation a clearly dyslexia-positive response would be scored as 'plus', a marginal response as 'zero', and a dyslexia-negative response as 'minus'. If the subject answered the question with no difficulty, hesitation or special strategy, this qualified as 'minus'. If there were hesitations and other signs of uncertainty or if the subject needed a...

Dyslexia In The Kannada Language

I was lucky to have the opportunity to collaborate with two colleagues, S. Ramaa (whose Ph.D. I had examined) and M. S. Lalithamma. Kannada is a Dravidian language spoken in some parts of India. We were particularly interested to discover if the manifestations of dyslexia were basically the same in a part of the world where there was a different writing system and where English was not the child's first language (note 15.9). On tests of visual and auditory discrimination there were no differences between the three groups. This is not surprising, given that the tasks did not involve naming or any kind of phonological skill. There were differences, however, between dyslexics and normal readers in their ability to recall auditorily presented digits and at breaking words into their components, and in the latter task the dyslexics also differed from the non-dyslexic poor readers. (For confidence levels see note 15.10.) Table 15.6. Comparison of dyslexics, non-dyslexic poor readers and...

Performance Of Dyslexics And Nondyslexics On The Rorschach Ink Blot Test

Frequency distribution of differences in dyslexia index between first and second assessments Table 15.1. Frequency distribution of differences in dyslexia index between first and second assessments came over to Bangor to study for her Ph.D. This was in the 1970s. At this stage we felt we knew a certain amount about the cognitive deficiencies of dyslexics, but we certainly knew very little about them on the personality side. It seemed, therefore, that it would be worth while to ask, 'What effect does being dyslexic have on someone's personality ' Dyslexics Controls The subjects were 15 dyslexic children between the ages of eight and 16, and 12 suitably matched controls. We were fairly confident that we could recognise dyslexics clinically, but at the time the Bangor Dyslexia Test was not yet in its final form. It had been checked that all the subjects were of no lower than average in intelligence. As a safeguard each subject was given the test on two separate occasions,...

Gender Ratio In Dyslexia

I was surprised to find, however, that the definition of dyslexia in the Shaywitz et al. paper was simply poor reading in relation to intelligence there was no reference to poor spelling. They also found, not surprisingly, that children who came out as dyslexic on one occasion and had then improved their reading had thereby ceased to be dyslexic on a later testing. Clearly the authors of the paper were not talking about 'specific developmental dyslexia' in the sense that Dr Macdonald Critchley had promoted, and which was the familiar sense of the word 'dyslexia' in Britain at that time. When Mary Haslum, Tim Wheeler and I considered how best to present our own data, we thought it tactful to suggest that there could be two different definitions of dyslexia 'specific reading retardation' (SRR), which our American colleagues had used, and 'specific developmental dyslexia' (SDD), which we ourselves had been using. In the British Births Cohort Study we found a total of 269 children who...

Learning Disabilities

Children and adults classified with learning disabilities (LD) are individuals of normal intelligence, but they suffer with mental information processing difficulties. Several definitions refer to persons with LD as reflecting a heterogeneous group of individuals with intrinsic disorders that are manifested by specific difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities. Most definitions assume that the learning difficulties of such individuals are The term learning disability was first coined in a speech that Samuel Kirk delivered in 1963 at the Chicago Conference on Children with Perceptual Handicaps. Clinical studies prior to 1963 showed that a group of children who suffered perceptual, memory, and attention difficulties related to their poor academic performance, but who were not intellectually retarded, were not being adequately served in the educational context.

Dyslexia Without Severe Literacy Problems

We had already divided the severe underachievers into groups A, B and C according to the extent to which they showed indicators of dyslexia on the supplementary items. We now decided to extend this A, B and C classification to the cohort as a whole, again excluding the low-ability children. We had already become interested in variants of dyslexia (see Chapter 21), since there seemed to be individuals who showed indicators of dyslexia despite the absence any major literacy problems. As far as the present study was concerned we needed to look among those normal achievers who nevertheless showed significant indicators of dyslexia on the supplementary items. Table 20.6. Numbers in each group classified in terms of achievement and indicators of dyslexia Table 20.6. Numbers in each group classified in terms of achievement and indicators of dyslexia It will be seen from this table that there were 422 children in Group VII, that is apparently normal achievers at word recognition and spelling...

Developmental Learning Disability

About three decades ago, I was listening to Norman Geschwind speak about dyslexia to members of the Orton (dyslexia) Society. Norman liked to say things that would shock his audience, and during his talk he said, Dyslexia is a social disease. At that time when someone spoke about social diseases, they were usually speaking about sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea and syphilis. There were many dyslexic people and parents of dyslexic children in the audience who appeared to be angry when he made this comment. He, however, held up his hand and said, Wait, let me explain. He mentioned that in the history of humans, it is only recently that reading has become so critical for success. He asked who would be our leader if we lived in a hunter-gatherer society the person who could read and write the best or the person who could get us back to camp after the hunt He also mentioned that he would not be surprised if the people with the best visual-spatial abilities have a higher...

Dyslexia Variants

According to Critchley and Critchley (1978, p 124) there can be dyslexia variants. They write as follows 'Children are often referred to a doctor on account of a learning disorder or because of inadequacies in written work, where developmental dyslexia seems at first sight not to be the obvious diagnosis if only because the individual's ability to read conforms with both chronological age and intelligence. Might it be that such cases, or at least some of them, can still be looked upon as falling within a rather broader conception of the syndrome of developmental dyslexia In other words can they be considered as dyslexia variants ' The Critchleys refer to such cases as 'formes frustes' of dyslexia. According to the dictionary the word 'frustes' has sometimes been used of coins when they are debased in the sense of not being genuine currency. One could perhaps look on the dyslexia variants described in this chapter as 'debased' types of dyslexia - not the classic cases but with the...


Dyslexia occurs as a result of deficits in understanding speech sounds, and therefore results in problems with accurate and fluent word recognition, poor spelling, and decoding or understanding the sounds that go with written language (International Dyslexia Association, 2003). The disorder is often characterized by poor reading, but good listening ability. It has been described as an unexpected difficulty learning to read despite having all the factors necessary to read-good thinking and reasoning skills and the ability to think creatively (Campbell, 2003, p. 20). These children frequently have aural oral, cognitive, fine motor, and executive functions that are normally developed. Their cognitive abilities are often in the average to above average range (International Dyslexia Association, 2003). However, children and adults with dyslexia may also have specific impairments in other academic skills like writing and math (Berninger, 2001). Throughout the life span, dyslexia may be...

Thoughts on Brenda and Michael

Minimum possible commitment on the theoretical side. In taking over the phrase 'developmental aphasia' I have deliberately chosen to go further than this. I wish to imply that our understanding of these disabilities in children can be helped by an examination of the whole group of aphasic disabilities in adults. Although there may be no history of actual brain damage, in the sense of injury, in the case of these children, their performance is sufficiently similar to that of brain-damaged adults to make us suspect an analogous failure of cortical function. By convention all terms such as 'aphasia', 'apraxia', 'dyslexia' etc. are assumed to carry the theoretical implication that they are caused by some neurological failure of function, and I have deliberately chosen a term with this implication. Thus to say that a child suffers from developmental aphasia is not, as some have supposed, simply a highfalutin way of saying that he is weak at reading it is to postulate an identifiable...

Comments In Retrospect

(A) Macmeeken (1939, p. 27) describes the syndrome as one of 'directional confusion', and this clearly influenced the writing of the above passage. I would not now place the same emphasis on spatial orientation, since from the early 1970s it became clear that dyslexia is primarily a difficulty with certain aspects of language and symbolisation, rather than a difficulty over orientation. and 'p' for 'q'. As a result the expression 'mirror writing' found its way into the dyslexia literature and Orton even speculates that some dyslexics were extra gifted at it. However, the only hard evidence which has come my way suggests that this is not so. In Miles et al. (2001), in which my colleagues and I examine the mathematical abilities of 10-year-old children, there is an item which involves the decoding of mirror writing. Eighty-three per cent of 6 333 normal achievers answered the question correctly, but only 48 of 269 dyslexics of the same intelligence level did. This result does not...

First Steps Towards Quantification

I remember my mentor, Professor Oliver Zangwill, once saying to me that, before one started to research any area in psychology which had practical applications, one should talk to the practitioners, sit in on their discussions and, in general, get the feel of what the subject matter of the topic to be researched was about. This was good advice as far as dyslexia research was concerned. My first priorities were to meet parents, to talk to teachers and, above all, to gain the confidence of the children themselves so that they were willing to tell me what their difficulties were. To this day I particularly value what people tell me about dyslexia in a clinical setting, even in the absence of tables of figures (norms) which tell me how frequently this or that type of behaviour occurs. Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 of this book each contain one statistical table both tables compare the proportion of errors over consonants to the proportion of errors over vowels in the spellings of Brenda and...

Uncertainty Over Left And Right

From time to time I noticed that, in order to answer the question 'Which is my right hand ' some subjects turned in their seats. I had a gut feeling that this was part of the syndrome, but it was only later that I felt I understood why this was happening. Dyslexia is a labelling difficulty and in this item of the Bangor Dyslexia Test it is the labels 'left' and 'right' which cause the problem. One can save oneself one of the two labelling tasks by turning in one's seat so as to face the same way as the tester. Turning in one's seat is an action - something which one does - and the subjects who turn in their seats are in effect using an ingenious compensatory strategy by which doing something (turning in their seats) is a substitute for naming.

Repeating Polysyllables

Among the more difficult words at the end of the Schonell Word Recognition test (Schonell and Schonell, 1952) is the word preliminary. What I have found with dyslexic children and adults is that responses which I had not believed were relevant to the diagnosis suddenly 'hit me in the eye' as having a significance which I had hitherto not appreciated. In this particular case I do not know how many times I had given the later part of the Schonell Word Recognition test to my subjects before I realised that stumbles over the word preliminary might be of diagnostic relevance. From then on I made a point of trying to notice whether such stumbling occurred. In this connection I consulted with my colleague Gill Cotterell, who had been teaching children at the Word-Blind Centre in Coram's Fields (see Chapter 4), and asked her if she had encountered anything similar. She said she had, and told me of a boy who had said 'par cark' for car park. Soon afterwards Elaine and I were giving lessons to...

Times Tables And Subtraction

I had been asked at one point to teach spelling to a dyslexic boy from St David's College who, I was told, also had difficulty in learning his times tables - would I help I had no idea why the boy found his tables difficult, but I can never resist bait and therefore agreed to explore the matter. When I did so, it became immediately obvious that his difficulty with his tables was part and parcel of his dyslexia. I also noted that, although he was aged about 12, he still used his fingers for calculation. From this point on I became aware that problems with calculation were manifestations of dyslexia. I therefore had no hesitation in including some subtraction items and the task of reciting tables in the Bangor Dyslexia Test. I suppose you could say that I was widening the concept of dyslexia so that it included these two mathematical items, but this seemed preferable to limiting the concept to 'poor reading' and then being confronted with a mass of disparate phenomena, which often...

Months Forwards And Months Reversed

Able to say the days of the week correctly, except in the case of the very young ones. This meant that a request to say the days of the week would not have differentiated the dyslexics from the non-dyslexics. The reason for this was also clear in the case of the days of the week there are seven items to remember, compared with 12 in the case of the months of the year, and, since the days of the week come round more frequently than the months of the year, there is more opportunity for learning them. I decided to retain the request to say the days of the week as an option in the case of the seven- and eight-year-olds, since although a successful response would be uninformative a failure would be a highly significant positive indicator.

Digits Forwards And Digits Reversed

I routinely made use of intelligence tests (see Chapter 9 for an account of the problems which I encountered in this area). I found, however, that some of the tests, including the Terman-Merrill and the Wechsler, included items where the subject was required to recall strings of auditorily presented digits. These included both Digits Forwards and Digits Reversed. I had become aware quite early on that many dyslexic children were weak at the recall of digits and, since one of the things which I was looking for was incongruity - poor reading or spelling in relation to intelligence - it seemed absurd to use a recall-of-digits test as a measure of intelligence this would have the effect of making this incongruity appear less than it actually was. It would be far more useful to include a recall-of-digits item as one of my tests for dyslexia. This was therefore what I decided to do.

Assessing Intelligence

The question of how to assess a dyslexic's intelligence is discussed in Miles (1996) in a paper entitled 'Do dyslexic children have IQs ' In it I express scepticism about the value of the concept of IQ in general and suggest that there are particular problems in the case of dyslexics. The idea that an IQ figure represents a fixed quantity and therefore implies a limit as to what a person might achieve seems to me a pernicious doctrine when applied to any individual, and particularly pernicious when applied to dyslexics. I have been influenced on this matter by my reading of Skinner (see Harzem and Miles, 1978, especially Chapter 7). Skinner and his followers have shown the many things which can be achieved by creating appropriate conditions in the environment. The possibility of providing a global IQ has been taken for granted even by those whose main aim has been to break down cognitive skills into their components. Such researchers report in meticulous detail on their subjects'...

The Need For Good Literature

The concern that children should not miss out on good literature was a well-intentioned one, and arguably the use of reading books whose aim was to train up phonic awareness may at the time (though this is no longer true, see note 12.1) have led to a rather restricted vocabulary and, as a consequence, to dull reading. However, we may justifiably criticise those policymakers who laid it down that letter-sound correspondences should not be taught at all while it may be true that fluent readers can pick up the sense of a passage without looking at every detail, this policy proved disastrous for those who were not fluent readers - and for dyslexics in particular. My own experience with dyslexics suggested to me that, as far as reading is concerned, some may have achieved limited success without the systematic teaching of letter-sound correspondences. The idea, however, that after reading 'good books' dyslexics will come to learn letter-sound correspondences and hence learn to spell seems...

The Need For Evenhandedness

When resources are scarce, it goes without saying that these resources should go to those who need them most. The worry for some educationalists was that, if the dyslexia concept were accepted, resources might be channelled into helping those articulate middle-class parents who made a fuss at the expense of children whose needs might be greater. This was a perfectly valid concern. Sadly, however, things turned sour. The valid concern for a fair distribution of resources degenerated into a slanging match politically motivated people began to sneer that this new and fashionable label, 'dyslexia', was being used by the middle classes to disguise the fact of their children's low intellectual ability. In the words of one critic 'If you live in Acacia Avenue, you are dyslexic if you live in Gasworks Terrace, you are thick.' Such comments were hardly likely to help the situation, and, not surprisingly, some of us found them very exasperating. This was particularly the case for those of us at...

Medical Or Educational

I now pass to issues where there were apparent conflicts but where these were due not so much to disagreement as to misunderstanding. In particular there was the issue of whether dyslexia was a medical matter or an educational one. In the 1970s this distinction was sharper than it is now. Medical budgets were separate from educational ones and funding had to come either from one budget or from the other. From this point of view dyslexia was an awkward hybrid no one had ruled whether it properly belonged in education or in medicine. One of the reasons why some people objected to the dyslexia concept was because of its allegedly 'medical' overtones. In medicine it is common to use the words 'patient', 'diagnosis', 'treatment' and 'cure' but, if a child has a reading problem, so some people supposed, such terms are inappropriate. In the words of one critic (I do not remember the source), the term dyslexia 'wraps in medical mystery what should be an educational problem'. It is admittedly...

One Should Not Label Children

For example, if a teacher does not use the label 'dyslexic', other labels such as 'lazy' or 'lacking in concentration' will take their place. I remember an occasion - I had been addressing a local Dyslexia Association - when someone raised the objection about labelling. In reply a mother immediately stood up and said, 'My son prefers the label dyslexic to the label dumbo .' This was greeted with prolonged applause.

One Cannot Repair Damaged Brains

Those who take this view can be reassured that that is not what advocates of the dyslexia concept were implying there is nothing defeatist about labelling a person 'dyslexic'. Indeed, one of the main points of the label is to make sure that they do receive help. In sum, the objections to the dyslexia concept were many and varied. Some were more deserving of respect than others, and in some cases nothing more was needed than the removal of misunderstandings by improved communication.

Further Quantification I

It had already become plain that dyslexics were weak at recalling auditorily presented digits. During the 1970s it occurred to me to ask if they were also weak at recalling them when the digits were presented visually. The presentation of stimulus material by computer was not an option at the time, and it was necessary to use a device called a tachistoscope, by means of which it was possible in controlled conditions of illumination to expose visual stimuli for time intervals as short as a single millisecond (that is, one thousandth of a second). Elaine and I had long been suspicious of the idea that there were 'visual dyslex-ics' who learned better if material was presented auditorily, and 'auditory dyslexics' who learned better when material was presented visually. Now all the subjects in Miles (1993a) had been tested on their recall of auditorily presented digits, and data were available on 42 of them who had also been tested in the visual condition. If it were true that some...

Do People Remain Dyslexic

Twenty-two of my subjects came back to the Bangor Unit for reassessment (Miles, 1993a, Chapter 19). It was therefore possible to compare the number of positive indicators obtained on the Bangor Dyslexia Test at the first assessment with that obtained at the second. My belief had always been that dyslexia is a lifelong condition, and I should have been seriously worried if I had found any large difference in respect of 'pluses' (positive indicators) between the two assessments. The scoring system of the test allows for development in the case of three out of the 10 items, Repeating Polysyllabic Words, Digits Forwards and Digits Reversed. It is assumed that even those with dyslexia will to some extent improve their performance on these three items without ceasing to be dyslexic. In the case of the other seven items adjustments for age in the scoring system were unnecessary. Clearly familial incidence does not change and if there is a history of left-right or 'b'-'d' confusion, it is...

Starting Teaching At Age Seven

It was possible to study in detail 10 seven-year-olds, eight boys and two girls, all of whom were severely retarded at reading and spelling and all of whom (bar one, for whom there was no record) showed characteristically dyslexic responses on the Bangor Dyslexia Test. Elaine and I also had the opportunity to contribute a section on dyslexia to a book on developmental disorders among Kerala children (see Miles and Miles, 1999b).

Age Of Vocabulary Acquisition

There was a large amount of anecdotal evidence that dyslexics were late in learning to talk, but I owe to my colleague John Done an ingenious way of establishing the matter experimentally and quantifying the amount of lateness. After initially presenting these pictures to children John started on the main experiment. This involved giving the same 65 pictures to dyslexic and control subjects aged about 14.6. (The controls were marginally younger, so that, if there were any effect of age, it would count against the hypothesis which we were testing.) The response latencies of both groups correlated highly with the previously determined age of acquisition. However, the response latencies of the dyslexics were considerably longer than those of the controls. Overall, when he took into account the age of acquisition of the different words, John found that the difference in response latencies between the two groups produced an overall difference score of 67 milliseconds this was found to...

Colournaming Experiments

From earlier research, for instance Denckla and Rudel (1976), there was reason to believe that if dyslexics were presented with a card containing familiar colours and asked to name them they would be slower at doing so than suitably matched controls. The reason for this, however, was not clear. One possibility was that in dyslexics the transmission of information through the nervous system is slower, with the result that, colour for colour, dyslexics take longer time. However, I had sometimes had the opportunity to observe dyslexics in a colour-naming task, and it seemed to me possible that, colour for colour, they might be no slower than controls but that they might become 'tied up' at certain stages of the task - perhaps through being overwhelmed by the effort called for in continually having to find the right name. In that case their longer overall time would be the result of extra long delays over a small number of colours, rather than a slight slowness over each individual...

The British Births Cohort Study I

At birth and in subsequent follow-up studies medical, social and, in 1980, educational data were obtained. My own involvement was in the follow-up in 1980 I was invited to explore what could be found out from the cohort study about the existence and nature of dyslexia (note 19.1). I took the view that a necessary condition for a diagnosis of dyslexia was poor reading or spelling in relation to intelligence. In choosing a measure of intelligence it was necessary to bear in mind the existence of the so-called ACID profile (see Chapter 9) and the general danger that on some of the traditional tests of intelligence dyslexic children might obtain scores that did not do justice to their intellectual level. Fortunately I had had the opportunity to see in advance some work by my colleague Dr Michael Thomson on the performance of dyslexics on the BAS (note 19.3). Michael found that on some items the dyslexics in his group scored above the average as determined by the published norms and on...

Should Handedness Be Routinely Recorded

It had been widely supposed over many decades that among dyslexics there was either an excess of left-handers or possibly an excess of those who were neither Table 20.4. Categories of handedness normal achievers (N 6382) and dyslexics (N 235), percentages in brackets Table 20.4. Categories of handedness normal achievers (N 6382) and dyslexics (N 235), percentages in brackets Dyslexics Thus we found no evidence that there was anything unusual about the handedness of dyslexics in comparison with the normal achievers in our study. Three further papers presenting data from the British Births Cohort Study have been published in Annals of Dyslexia (Miles et al., 1998, 2001 and 2003).

Sketch 6 Rick Loeffler

Rick wrote to me from America at the age of 51 on account of his mathematical difficulties. He had read Dyslexia and Mathematics (Miles and Miles, 2004), and 'it was like I was reading about myself'. He was interested in moving to a more demanding job but needed a university qualification in mathematics which he had been unable to obtain. He had been told that his disabilities were not of any recognised kind and that he was therefore not eligible for financial help. He told me that he had no reading or spelling problems, and he enclosed a report indicating that he had been found to have a verbal IQ on the WAIS-R (Wechsler, 1992) of 138 and a performance IQ of 111 (full scale IQ 128). A copy of the Bangor Dyslexia Test was posted to him so that he could be tested by a qualified psychologist. There were five and a half positive indicators. He reported that his father and brother were dyslexic and that he used to confuse 'b' and 'd'. He told me that in the case of the Left-Right item...

Sketch 10 Elizabeth

Critchley and Critchley (1978, pp. 126-7) describe the following variant of dyslexia 'There is a variant of dyslexia which may present itself in the guise of Since the Friends House library also contains letters written by Elizabeth's father and brothers, it seemed worth investigating whether there were signs of dyslexia among members of her family. The result, however, turned out to be negative there are virtually no spelling errors in any of these letters the writing is legible and there is no absence of punctuation. However, there is further evidence that Elizabeth Fry was dyslexic, not from her misspellings but from some of the entries in her journals. Small signs may be insignificant on their own but, taken together, can be seen to form a coherent pattern.

Overall Comments On The Sketches

If one relied solely on scores on reading and spelling tests, there is a risk that one will fail to detect manifestations which are important and interesting. What is needed, I suggest, is a widening of the concept of dyslexia so that cases such as these can be included.

Concerns and Disputes I

One of the most cogent of the academic arguments against the dyslexia concept was that of Davis and Cashdan (1963). The authors of this paper argue that if a concept such as dyslexia is to be justified it is necessary to show that the members of this group are distinctive in respect of causation, methods of treatment and prognosis. The authors did not claim that these conditions would never be satisfied but only that at the time of writing this had not happened. At the time Davis and Cashdan had a strong case. Certainly there was the fact that dyslexia ran in families, which suggested that a genetic factor might be at work. However, the evidence for a different brain organisation in dyslexia was only circumstantial, being based partly on the existence of possible analogies between its manifestations and those of acquired aphasia there had been no direct examination of individual brain structures. As things are now, of course, while there is much which remains to be discovered within...

Service for the County of Gwynedd

If I had had to convince the educational establishment of the time that research into dyslexia was of value, I do not think the dyslexia research at Bangor would ever have got off the ground - much of my time would have had to have been spent in making (probably unsuccessful) applications to grant-giving bodies, whose educational advisers could well have been hostile at the very mention of the word 'dyslexia'. Fortunately, however, in the 1960s and 1970s, as head of the Psychology Department at Bangor, I was left free to investigate any topic of my own choosing without any interference from the government. My academic colleagues on the college's faculties and senate were invariably supportive, and although I continued from time to time to publish books and papers in areas other than dyslexia - particularly on the philosophy of behaviourism (Harzem and Miles, 1978) and on the philosophy of religion (Miles, 1959, 1998) - dyslexia research occupied by far the largest part of the time...

Matching Sentences With Symbols

It will be seen that, whatever the stimuli, the dyslexics needed more time than the controls before they could respond correctly. The difference was more marked in the case of 'b' and 'd' and 'left' and 'right' than it was in the case of 'above' and 'below' or 'star' and 'plus'. Statistical analysis showed that the left-right and 'b'-'d' tasks were differentially more difficult for the dyslexics (note 16.1). As far as the other tasks were concerned, the dyslexics were always slower but there were no other tasks which they found extra difficult. These results confirmed the view, widely accepted among those with experience of dyslexia, that the distinction between 'above' and 'below' causes fewer problems for dyslexics than the distinction between 'left' and 'right'. This is presumably because 'above' and 'below' remain the same whichever way one is facing, whereas 'left' Table 16.1. Response times in seconds for dyslexics and controls to various combinations of stimuli Table 16.1....

Legislation and Governmental Recognition

The first attempt in Britain to achieve legal recognition for dyslexic individuals was in 1970, when the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act of that year included a reference to 'acute dyslexia'. The word 'acute' appears to have been poorly chosen, since this word is normally taken to mean 'coming on suddenly'. In this context, however, it should presumably be taken simply to mean 'severe'. Because of this clause the Tizard Committee was appointed to look further into what was needed. Unfortunately the Tizard Report (1972) was a great disappointment as far as the recognition of dyslexia was concerned We are highly sceptical of the view that a syndrome of developmental dyslexia with a specific underlying cause and specific symptoms has been identified We think it would be better to adopt a more usefully descriptive term, 'specific reading difficulties', to describe the problems of the small group of children whose reading (and perhaps writing, spelling and number) are...


Throughout this book there are many examples of dyslexics' writings. These have been reproduced in roman type ('dsgib'), while correct spellings for words have been reproduced in italic type (described). When reproducing dyslexics' writings, I have striven to be as faithful to the original work as possible. Therefore, there are a few instances when a word had been crossed out by its writer this crossing-out has been reproduced. Lastly, since there are both male and female dyslexics, I have used the expression 'he or she' except when this would have been inelegant and clumsy. When I have quoted from my earlier publications, for instance Miles (1961), I have left 'he' and 'his' in place since at the time the matter was considered less important than it is now.

Final Thoughts

I now think that Brenda's difficulty in drawing the plan of her house and drawing a bicycle is atypical of dyslexics in general. Certainly I found that in later writings I had no occasion to use the expression 'constructional apraxia'. It is clear, however, that I was aware even at the time of some of the problems in determining a dyslexic child's intelligence, and this problem was one which very much came to the fore in subsequent years. Looking back, I am now aware that there were many interesting points about Brenda's and Michael's spelling errors whose significance I did not appreciate at the time. The commonly accepted view nowadays is that dyslexics have a deficit in the area of phonology, that is in the recognising, remembering and ordering of speech sounds. When I wrote the original paper, this idea had not come to the fore. It was Overall I think it fair to say that with increased experience I have changed some of my views on points of detail but not on what I take to be the...


By the mid-sixties Marion Welchman had begun her pioneering work in the dyslexia field - prompted initially by the unsympathetic treatment meted out to her son, Howard, in his early days at school. Marion had heard about the work of the committee of the Word-Blind Centre and with characteristic energy had sought us out. I first met her at one of the committee meetings, where she was received with the utmost courtesy by Dr White Franklin and Dr Critchley. However, the person who first introduced her to us described her, in a rather disdainful voice, as 'a mother from Bath who thinks she may be able to do something'. At the time, of course, none of us knew how much this mother from Bath would be able to contribute to the understanding of dyslexia not only in Britain but on a worldwide scale. From our first I was afterwards to make many friends on the other side of the Atlantic. There was the much loved Margaret Rawson. Margaret lived from 1899 to 2001, dying at the age of 102, after...

Recall Of Sentences

In Miles (1993a, pp. 138-9) I note that when I gave my subjects sentences to remember from the Terman-Merrill (1960) test they were often able to report the gist of the sentence correctly but did not get the exact words right. When this happened, I said the sentence over again and asked them to have another try. What I found was that in some cases they needed as many as five or six repetitions before they were word perfect. This seemed a good idea for a student project, and I enlisted the help of two final-year students to check whether for the correct recall of sentences dyslexics needed more repetitions than controls (note 16.6). We found that the dyslexics needed many more repetitions than the controls. The number of repetitions needed for each of the four sentences is set out in Table 16.5. All differences were highly significant (note 16.7). We found that no control participant needed more than four repetitions for any one sentence or more than eight repetitions overall (that is...

Talking Things Over

It was always interesting to go through the results of the Bangor Dyslexia Test. I sometimes asked if they had noticed anything similar to what I had picked up, for instance confusion over 'left' and 'right' or becoming 'tied up' when trying to repeat long words. If they had, it was then possible to tell them that this was part of the overall dyslexic picture. Parents have sometimes said to me in irritation 'Yes, he was assessed by an educational psychologist who told us he was intelligent but a poor reader and speller. This was of no help because we knew that already.' As a result of such comments I began to ask myself, 'What else does a diagnosis of dyslexia provide ' I remember assessing a student who had previously been in the navy. When I gave him the 'left'-'right' items on the Bangor Dyslexia Test, he was immediately able to recall that his commanding officer had sworn at him for confusing 'port' and 'starboard'. What had been an isolated event suddenly made sense to him....

Sketch 1 Fiona

Fiona was assessed by me at the age of nine years three months. On the Schonell R1 test of single-word recognition (Schonell and Schonell, 1952) she had a reading age of 11.0 and on the S1 spelling test a spelling age of 9.2. On selected items of the WISC (Wechsler, 1974) her scaled scores were Comprehension 20, Similarities 20, Vocabulary 17, Picture Completion 16, Block Design 18 and Object Assembly 14. A score of 16 places a child in the top two and a half per cent of their age group on any reckoning, therefore, these scores are extremely high. On my method of scoring (see Chapter 9) her results placed her in the Z category, the highest possible and suggestive, at least in some respects, of an IQ in the 140s. When given the Bangor Dyslexia Test, she reported that she had worked out 'left' and 'right' by means of the strategy 'I write with my right hand'. She responded correctly to Months Forwards and Months Reversed, but her mother told me that Fiona had spent considerable time...

Sketch 2 Philip

Reversed - errors which are well outside normal limits for a non-dyslexic 10-year-old of average intelligence. He wrote 'b' in place of 'd' on several occasions, for example he wrote 'boll' for doll, 'barsing' for dancing and 'binermite' for dynamite. He needed to use his fingers for simple calculation he lost his place in saying his six-times and seven-times tables, and in trying to explain his arithmetical difficulties he said, 'All double numbers - I sometimes put them the wrong way round.' Overall, in what was later to become the Bangor Dyslexia Test, he was found to have five and a half positive indicators. Although he was not seriously retarded in spelling, many of his spelling errors which he made seemed to be of a typically 'dyslexic' kind 'prepterion' for preparation (later 'prparlion'), 'torw brigde' for Tower Bridge, 'wroy' for worry, 'Amecar' for America and 'libtgh' for light.

Sketch 3 Mary

Mary came for assessment at the age of 10. Her twin sister, Janet, had been referred because of suspected dyslexia, and their parents asked whether anyone in the team would like to assess Mary as well even though she was not dyslexic. This offer was accepted. Both twins turned out to be well above average in intelligence as judged by their results on the WISC-R (Wechsler, 1974). Janet turned out to be dyslexic, as her parents had supposed. In Mary's case, however, as far as her reading and spelling were concerned, there was no trace whatever of dyslexia on the Schonell tests (Schonell and Schonell, 1952) she had a reading age of exactly 12 years and a spelling age of over 13 years - and this at the age of 10. However, she was found to have four and a half positive indicators on the Bangor Dyslexia Test, with 'pluses' on Left-Right and Digits Forwards and Familial Incidence, as well as 'zeros' on Polysyllables, Tables and Months Reversed - a total of five and a half 'pluses'. The...

Sketch 4 Edward

Edward was discovered in 1981 at the age of 14 when control data were being obtained for the Bangor Dyslexia Test. The usual safeguards were specified as to adequate intelligence and opportunity, and in the case of this particular age group it had been decided to accept as controls all those who had spelled 72 or more words correctly on the Schonell S1 spelling test (Schonell and Schonell, 1952). This corresponds to a spelling age of just over 12. (It had been decided that anyone whose spelling was at this level could not be regarded as having any significant dyslexic problems.) Edward spelled 79 words correctly and was therefore included among the controls. Yet his responses on the tables item in the Bangor Dyslexia Test were quite clearly those of a dyslexic both a medical doctor with considerable experience of dyslexia who was also present and I were agreed on this, and we particularly noticed how other control children at the school could rattle off their tables without the least...

Sketch 5 Helen

When I gave Helen the Bangor Dyslexia Test, she showed positive indicators on Left-Right, Tables, Digits Forwards, Digits Reversed and Familial Incidence (her father was reported to be dyslexic) and a zero on Subtraction - the first four sums being answered correctly (9 - 2, 6 - 3,19 - 7, 24 - 2), but in the case of 52 - 9 there was a long hesitation before she responded '43' and to arrive at the correct answer to 44 - 7 she responded, 'Not sure 44 - 10 is 34 37.' Her tally of 'plus' responses on the Bangor Dyslexia Test was thus five and a half.

Sketch 7 Charlotte

Dyscalculia has largely been ignored in comparison (with dyslexia) but the disability can be very demoralising - not to say inconvenient - in this modern world. There must be thousands like me who have struggled with this common condition all their lives. The results of the Bangor Dyslexia Test were inconclusive. She made one error on the polysyllables item ('an enemy' for anemone), made one error over subtraction and, having mistakenly said that eight sevens were 54, she continued by saying that nine sevens were 61. The results on the Left-Right, Months Forwards, Months Reversed, Digits Forwards, Digits Reversed and 'b'-'d' confusion were all negative. Sketches 8 and 9 are different from the previous seven, since my evidence is second hand. I decided, however, that, despite this and their brevity, they were sufficiently challenging to be worth inclusion. The historical sketch, that of Elizabeth Fry, is different again and exemplifies how dyslexia variants can be of many different...


The psychologist who originally tested Michael thought that absence from school and some learning inhibition due to emotional causes might be sufficient to account for Michael's weakness at reading and spelling. Even at the time, however, and with my very limited knowledge of dyslexia this seemed to me unlikely. His parents certainly showed some anxiety, but not a disproportionate amount in the circumstances. A psychiatric interview led Dr Simmons to conclude 'I could find no good evidence of maladjustment of a kind that would warrant concern.' It was not until many years later that I realised that becoming 'tied up' when saying certain long words could be an indicator of dyslexia. I then included the request to repeat some suitable words as part of the Bangor Dyslexia Test (Miles, 1997). In many of my talks I have presented this reproduction to local Dyslexia Associations and other organisations as an illustration of how a highly intelligent boy can nevertheless produce weird and...

The Word Blind Centre

Early in 1962 I was surprised to receive a letter from Dr Alfred White Franklin, who was then chairman of the Invalid Children's Aid Association. It invited me to take part in a conference at St Bartholomew's Hospital on the theme of dyslexia or word-blindness the invitation had arisen because he had read my paper on the subject (Miles, 1961). Dr White Franklin held a senior post as physician at St Bartholomew's Hospital. I afterwards learned that he had been coming across a significant number of children who were refusing school and in some cases showing signs of stomach upsets and the like. I rate him as one of the unsung heroes of the dyslexia movement since he had the insight to appreciate that these school-refusers had one thing in common - they had difficulty in learning to read and spell. The conference was a decidedly stormy one. There was a foretaste of the heated and not always very courteous arguments which were to rage about the concept of dyslexia for the next 20 years. I...


It was at this Child Guidance Clinic that my interest in dyslexia was first aroused. By a remarkable coincidence it was on my first day at the clinic that I met Brenda. Brenda was being referred at the age of 10 because of her poor progress in some aspects of her school work. She was being educated as a day girl at a private school not far from her home. Tests given by myself and two colleagues showed Brenda to have an IQ of 116 on the Terman-Merrill (1937) test, a reading age of 8.3 years and a spelling age of 8.3 years on the Schonell (1945) reading and spelling tests, and a mental arithmetic age of 7.0 years on the Burt (1947) test. Her vocabulary score on the Terman-Merrill test (17 words correctly explained) gave her a pass at year xiv - far above the norm for her age. The incongruity of these results was clear, though it is interesting that at the time I had failed to appreciate the significance of her low score on the mental arithmetic test - the fact that there was a...

Individuals With Disabilities Education

The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (1990) is the legislation previously known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA) (1975). Prior to this act, children with disabilities, particularly those with severe disabilities, did not receive a public education. Before IDEA, the main role of a school psychologist was to determine whether a child was eligible for public education or needed to be excluded from the public school because he or she was too difficult to teach. Special education teachers were generally for children with mild mental retardation. Few schools provided services for children with learning disabilities or emotional disturbance.

School Psychologists Roles

One of the primary roles of school psychologists is to help determine whether a disability that affects learning is present among students having difficulty in school. The identification of a disability may explain why a student is struggling in school, and appropriate interventions may be provided to accommodate or remediate the impairment. Students, however, often fail to perform in school even in the absence of a disability. School psychologists can help to differentiate between students who have a genuine disability that interferes with learning and students who are capable of achieving but are not performing at expected levels. To reliably ascertain whether a student has a learning disability, for instance, it is essential to determine Is the lowered performance primarily caused by an inability to fully process sensory input, or it is caused by a lack of interest, lack of effort, or, in other words, diminished motivation It is not unusual for students with disabilities that...

Neurofibromatosis Type

Neurofibromatosis type (NF) 1, also called von Recklingh-sausen disease, is defined by the presence of cafe-au-lait spots (five or more 0.5 cm), multiple cutaneous or subcutaneous neurofibromas, multiple axillary or inguinal freckles, bilateral optic nerve gliomas, multiple hamartomas of the iris, and congenital abnormalities of the long bones (bowing or thinning of the cortex) (12,102). Seizures are reported in 3-5 of affected individuals, and learning disabilities in 25-40 . This condition is caused by the autosomal-dominant inheritance of a mutated NF1 gene located on 17q (12). Approximately 25 of patients with NF1 have intestinal polypoid neurofibromas or ganglioneuromas (102). The polyps are most commonly found in the small bowel, but can occur in the stomach and colon as well. In most cases, the polyps are clinically silent, but can rarely cause abdominal pain or hemorrhage.

The Component Model Of Reading

A component, as applied to psychological phenomena, is a mental process that is independent of other psychological processes. The failure of any one of the processes in the Component Model of reading can result in reading difficulties. For example, decoding (the ability to pronounce the written word) is one such operation linguistic comprehension is an example of another operation. A child may not be able to decode written text but can listen and comprehend spoken language much better. He or she will, nevertheless, be a poor reader because the weak decoding process can affect reading independent of the comprehension process. Conversely, an individual who can decode written words fairly well but has weak linguistic comprehension skills will also be a poor reader. These two operations, decoding and comprehension, are part of the Cognitive Module of the reading Component Model. The Component Model of reading contains three modules that are relatively independent of each other. Each...

Molecular Genetics

The lesion consists of other heterozygous cells, including fibroblasts and mast cells, recruited to the lesion by cytokines yet to be identified. Malignant growths are likely to arise from the acquisition of additional genetic changes, such as loss of function of p53. It is unclear whether some of the nontumor manifestations, such as learning disability, also arise from a tumor suppressor mechanism, or whether haploinsufficiency explains any of these lesions.

Classroom Environment

For optimal learning-teaching outcomes, seating of the children can be arranged in a semicircle so that the distance between the teacher and the child is the same for all children. The result is that no child sits always in the front part of the classroom and no child is cast away to the rear of the classroom. Wild departures from these ideal environmental conditions can result in reading difficulties.

Summary and Conclusions

Sam's present levels of performance qualify him under law to be eligible to receive special education services for a child with a specific learning disability in the area of reading comprehension. Despite numerous modifications, Sam continues to demonstrate a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability in the area of reading comprehension. This discrepancy is not determined to be caused by a visual,

Responsiveness To Intervention Model

The term learning disabilities is a disability category that includes persons with severe underachievement in academic areas that is caused by a neurological delay or dysfunction. This underachievement is not related to mental retardation, sensory impairments, or environmental influences such as lack of educational opportunity or poor instruction. The history of learning disabilities (LD) has included much controversy about the procedures and criteria for identifying students with LD. Responsiveness to intervention (RTI) has gained momentum as a means of determining whether a student has a learning disability. RTI is an assessment method that incorporates intense instruction focusing on improving the LD student's skill deficits (e.g., word recognition deficits) with careful monitoring of the student's progress. RTI intends to rule out that poor instruction is responsible for the student's skill deficits. Thus, RTI can be very helpful for assessing the quality of instruction for all...

Challenges Facing Early Diagnosis

Early detection of cognitive change that heralds Alzheimer's disease poses some challenging obstacles. Early symptoms of dementia are commonly overlooked because they are relatively mild, do not call for immediate medical attention and are commonly discarded as signs of old age, fatigue, poor physical health or depression, even by primary care physicians. When a patient is initially evaluated for dementia with neuropsychological tests, it is exceedingly rare to have preexisting baseline tests for comparison. While most elderly people will have had prior measures of other health indicators (e.g., measures of blood pressure, cardiac function, pulmonary function, blood tests) as a matter of routine heath care, very few individuals will have had prior cognitive testing unless there was a specific problem in the past (including early learning disabilities or prior impairment of cognitive functions). Estimates of prior level of functioning can be derived but these can be quite imprecise...

Manifestations of the Spectrum of Mps I Disease

The broad range of severity, both in overall disease status as well as in individual components of the disease, leads to a very heterogeneous population of patients in varying stages of disease progression within the various body systems. At the severe end of the disease spectrum, Hurler patients have severe developmental problems, whereas Hurler-Scheie patients show little or no mental retardation but may experience learning disabilities. Scheie patients do not lose intellectual function, in general. Hurler patients can experience cardiac failure due to stiffening of the heart as well as coronary artery disease. Their valvular disease does not progress fast enough in most cases to be the primary cardiac problem. In contrast, intermediate and milder patients have valvular disease problem as their dominant cardiac problem, often beginning at age 8 to 10, and continuing through their teenage years and

Special Education Services

Almost entirely in the resource room instead of in the general education classroom. Resource room teachers had large classes that spanned many reading levels and were mostly unable to provide intensive, individualized instruction. Students made little or no gains in reading achievement over an entire year, even though their special education program was designed to narrow the gap between their achievement and that of nondisabled students. In contrast, Rea and colleagues (2002) found that children with learning disabilities served in inclusive general education classrooms earned higher grades, did just as well on standardized achievement tests, and attended more days of school than the students served in pullout programs.

Point Versus Counterpoint Full Inclusion or Continuum of Services

One of the contentious issues affecting implementation of the IDEA is disagreement over the location of services for students with disabilities. When special education is provided within a general education setting it is commonly referred to as inclusion, or inclusive, education. Full inclusion means providing all educational and related services to students with disabilities in general education or community environments with nondisabled peers. This issue has prompted heated debate by professionals, advocacy groups, and researchers. Advocacy groups for individuals with severe disabilities have called for inclusive practices for all students on civil rights grounds. Others prefer a continuum of services ranging from inclusion in general classes to pullout programs or segregated instruction. The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) does not support any policies that mandate the same placement, instruction, or treatment for all students with learning disabilities. Students...

Spelling Interventions And Strategies

Given the number of words in the English language, mastering spelling is a daunting and complex task. Yet, spelling is critical for enhancing word knowledge used in reading and for fluent and qualitative writing that provides effective communication. However, many students, particularly those with learning disabilities, are poor spellers. Computer spell checkers are one option for poor spellers even though

Example Of A Token Economy

Token economies can be implemented with an individual student, classroom, or entire school. For example, at the individual student level, a teacher decides to implement a token economy with Donita, a third-grade student with a learning disability in reading, to increase her rate of work completion and the amount of time spent reading independently. Donita receives tokens for completing reading comprehension problems with 90 accuracy or better, and for each five minutes spent reading out loud with audio tapes. Figure 2 provides a sample reinforcer menu for Donita.

Treatment For Oppositional Defiant Disorder

ODD symptoms by focusing on teaching parents effective methods for managing their children's behavior (Barkley, 1997 Forehand & McMahon, 1981 Patterson, 1974 Webster-Stratton, 1984). Other school-based interventions that have demonstrated success with ODD include social skills training, problemsolving training, effective classroom management, self-management training (managing one's own behavior), and home-school communication. Youths with ODD may also be deemed eligible for special education services under the category of a behavioral disorder (BD) in states that have this eligibility category, or other health impaired (OHI), learning disabilities (LD), or emotional disturbance (ED) if the youth has a comorbid condition. While all of the interventions described have some merit, Burke and colleagues (2002) emphasized that the most successful interventions for youths with disruptive behavior disorder are multifaceted and address multiple risk factors. School psychologists may better...

Preparing information for the seminar

Everyone enjoys preparing slides in PowerPoint because of the animated features and sound effects. These should be used with some caution in presentations as they can become a major distraction and eventually an irritation to your audience. Anyone who has dyslexia will also find your presentation very difficult to follow, particularly where blocks of text are animated on a slide.

Attentiondeficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Initial reports of deficiencies of essential fatty acids among children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia raised the promise of potential nondrug treatments. Convincing treatment data from interventional trials has not yet been reported. (Stevens et al. (1995) found that 53 subjects with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder had significantly lower concentrations of AA, EPA, and DHA in plasma polar phospholipids when compared to 43 control subjects. (Stordy 1995) has described decreased rod function comparing 10 young dyslexics to 10 controls. In an open trial, supplementation with a fish oil containing 480 mg of DHA d for 1 mo improved scotopic vision among these dyslexics. Stordy (2000) has also reported that supplementation with a mixture of essential fatty acids improved motor skills in a open trial of 15 children. Two well-controlled, double-blind placebo-controlled trials among children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder supplemented with...

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Homework

On the negative side, if overused, homework may lead to student fatigue and loss of interest in academic material. The pressure accompanying homework completion could lead to cheating. Parental involvement that is based on conflict or that is uninformed or inaccurate is not helpful. Finally, homework may lead to increased inequities in schooling because of the false assumption that all homes will provide an appropriate place, time, and support for homework completion. Families in low socioeconomic conditions may struggle to provide these supports. Language differences between the home and school further complicate parental ability to help with homework when needed (Cosden & colleagues, 2001). Finally, variations in student ability complicate the intended benefits of assigning homework. Approximately 28 of average-achieving students and 56 of students with learning disabilities have problems completing their homework (Polloway & colleagues, 1992).

Features Of Fraxa And Fraxe

The fragile X syndrome affects males to a greater extent than females in males, learning and social deficits are moderate to severe, with social impairments usually preventing them from fathering offspring although sperm production is thought to be unaffected. In adult males, visible signs of the condition often include a large head, long face, large ears, and macroorchidism however, in children, the phenotype is likely to be restricted to developmental delay with perhaps some autistic-like features such as gaze avoidance or hand-flapping. 2 Females with fragile X syndrome vary from apparently normal phenotypes to moderate learning disability, often with heightened anxiety, social withdrawal, or depression.1-3-1 The appearance of fragile X phenotypes in women In addition, in 1991, the existence of the distinct condition of FRAXE was established when it became clear that several ''fragile X'' families (i.e., showing expressed site fragility in Xq27-28 and learning disability) did not...

Importance Of Friendships

Finally, disturbed peer relations are often found among children with learning disabilities, and those with emotional and behavioral problems. Specifically, children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) commonly have impaired social functioning and disturbed peer relations, which begin in early childhood and persist into adolescence.

Designed for Teaching Children at Risk

It is said that for no apparent reason, 10 to 20 of school children experience difficulty in learning to read. This condition is recognized by different labels such as learning disability, specific reading disability, and dyslexia. Since it was first recognized that some children with normal mental ability experience an inordinate amount of difficulty in learning to read, specialized methods for teaching these children have been developed and promoted. Fernald and Keller in 1921, Monroe in 1932, and Orton in the 1930s were the pioneers who developed such methods. These methods focused primarily on developing word recognition skills through phonics-based instruction.

Clinical Description

NF1 usually presents with pigmentary features. Multiple cafe-au-lait macules begin in early childhood, and skin-fold freckles appear between 3 and 5 years of age. 2 Iris Lisch nodules are melanocytic hamartomas that are useful in diagnosis but are clinically silent. 3 Other common nontumor manifestations include skeletal dys-plasia, macrocephaly, vascular dysplasia, and learning disabilities. Skeletal dysplasia most often affects long bones, particularly the tibia. 4 Tibial dysplasia presents in infancy and creates risk of fracture. Orbital dysplasia occurs in association with trigeminal plexiform neurofi-broma. Children with NF1 tend to be short and have relative or absolute macrocephaly. 5 Vascular dysplasia consists of nodular proliferation within the arterial wall and may cause arterial stenosis or hemorrhage due to dissection. 6 Learning disabilities occur in at least 50 of affected individuals and include both verbal and nonverbal problems. 7 There may also be attention deficit...

Intelligence Quotient Tests And Their Use In Schools

Use of intelligence testing often is conceptualized as most critical in the identification of mental retardation and learning disabilities the score(s) obtained on measures of intelligence are incorporated into the criteria used for determining eligibility in these classifications.

Classwide Peer Tutoring

Classwide Peer Tutoring (CWPT) is an instructional strategy focused on increasing active responding, improving academic achievement, and enhancing interpersonal relationships in the classroom. Research suggests that CWPT is an effective form of tutoring, especially with diverse populations, including students who have learning difficulties (i.e., learning disabilities, mental retardation), have limited English proficiency, or are economically disadvantaged. The core components of CWPT include content development, weekly assessments, training teachers and students, peer pairing (pairing of students), individual and group contingencies (rewards provided to an individual student or group of students for their work effort), and structured tutoring sessions.

Why Observe Students In The Classroom

Classroom observations are done for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is when a student is disrupting the classroom and documentation of the problem behavior is needed. Part of the assessment process of students who are being evaluated for special education services includes observations. If the problem is thought to be a result of a learning disability (LD), a school psychologist would observe the student in the classroom in an attempt to monitor the student's approach to learning tasks, level of frustration with tasks, and general behavior. For students who are suspected of having an emotional or behavioral problem, the observer would look for examples of inappropriate behavior with peers and or teachers. Classroom observations are also done as a part of a consultation program with a teacher. Through consultation between a school psychologist and teacher, it might be important to observe general classroom behaviors to determine key interactions that might be leading to...

Diagnosis And Labeling

Mental Retardation Mild Mental Retardation Moderate Mental Retardation Severe Mental Retardation Profound Mental Retardation Mental Retardation, Severity Unspecified Learning Disorders Reading Disorder Mathematics Disorder Disorder of Written Expression Learning Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified Motor Skills Disorder Developmental Coordination Disorder Communication Disorders Expressive Language Disorder Mixed Expressive-Receptive Language Disorder Phonological Disorder Stuttering Specific Learning Disability

Written Language Assessment

A growing number of students in our school systems are experiencing difficulty with written expression. The etiology of these problems is certainly not singular and often is the result of a mixture of factors. The source of underachievement in written expression for some students rests with thinking or oral language abilities. Learning to organize experiences or transforming ideas to oral language is the key instructional goal for such individuals (e.g., language or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Other students are fluent in developing ideas and demonstrate adequate oral language abilities. However, the breakdown for these students might be in the coding of oral language into written symbols (e.g., dyslexia). Students demonstrating significant social cognition problems (e.g., autism, Asperger's disorder) encounter problems with a sense of audience. Motivational or anxiety problems surrounding the process of writing can interfere with fluency and quality of text for any...

Disability Categories

There are several categories of conditions or disorders defined in the IDEA that are deemed appropriate for special education services. These categories are autism, deaf-blind, deaf, hearing impairment, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, serious emotional disturbance, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairment including blindness. The states have established specific criteria for inclusion in special education. These criteria can vary widely between states. The entire IDEA document is available online at

Selfmanagement Populations And Behaviors

Substantial research has supported the use of self-management interventions, documenting positive gains for a wide variety of students (Shapiro & Cole, 1994). Self-management interventions have produced positive changes for students with various school difficulties and disabilities, including students with autism, learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, health-related concerns, and mild to severe cognitive impairments. Additionally, self-management has been used in special education and general education classrooms, and on an individual or a classwide basis. Generally, self-management strategies can be effective for all ages or disability groups however, adapted procedures may be needed depending on the population and the goal. For example, students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may need more specific feedback for both their desirable and undesirable behaviors.

Array construction and application of genomic microarrays

Array CGH is being increasingly applied to the identification and analysis of sub-microscopic deletions (microdeletions) or gains (microduplications) in patients with constitutional genomic rearrangements in order to identify genes contributing to the patient's phenotype. Array CGH-based approaches are particularly suited for the analysis of patients with learning disability and dysmorphology (15-17). In a study of 50 patients with cyto-genetically normal karyotypes but with learning disability and dysmorphic features, we identified 12 patients (24 in total) harboring subtle genomic copy number changes. These copy number aberrations ranged in size from those involving only a single clone to regions as large as 14 Mb. Interestingly, none of the rearrangements coincided with previously reported cases from similar patient groups. We detected seven different microdeletions of which six were de novo and one deletion inherited from Array CGH is also proving valuable in the more detailed...

The Genetic Epidemiology of ADHD

Family studies have provided evidence for the genetic heterogeneity of ADHD. Studies that systematically assess other psychiatric disorders suggest that ADHD and major depression often occur together in families that ADHD children with conduct and or bipolar disorders might be a distinct familial subtype of ADHD and that ADHD is familially independent from anxiety disorders and learning disabilities. It may therefore be appropriate to divide ADH children into those with and those without conduct and bipolar disorders, thus forming more familially homogeneous subgroups. In contrast, major depression may be a nonspecific manifestation of different ADHD subforms.

Gender And Disabilities

The school experience is further complicated and the future even more uncertain for students with disabilities. Males have higher rates of autism, psychoses, and schizophrenia, as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities. Females are more likely to be diagnosed with depression however, teenage males are more likely to commit suicide. Female teens are more likely to display eating disorders. Many disorders have a genetic basis however, social expectations also contribute to gender differences in prevalence.


In chapter 2 I further discuss the relationship between intelligence and creativity. As I discuss in chapter 3, many people who have been considered to be geniuses have learning disabilities. It is doubtful that these people with verbal or math learning disabilities would have scored higher than 140 in IQ testing. Two of perhaps the most creative scientists in the modern era, Einstein and Darwin, demonstrate the relationship between learning disability and creativity. Einstein had trouble with learning to read (developmental dyslexia) and in doing arithmetic (developmental dyscalculia). In his autobiography Darwin wrote that, compared with his younger sister, he was very slow to learn, and his teachers considered him as a very ordinary boy who was below the common standard in intellect. Children with developmental language disorders including dyslexia often have problems learning foreign languages. Like Einstein, Darwin might have had a developmental language disorder because he wrote...


Since the pioneering reports of Paul Broca, studies of patients with discrete brain lesions suggest that a person can have specific cognitive disabilities. Developmental disorders can also be associated with specific cognitive disabilities. For example, there are children with specific disabilities in reading, math, drawing, music, and route finding. Some of these children become creative geniuses. For example, as previously mentioned, there are many great artists, such as Picasso, who did not do well in school because of language disabilities and, as it was noted in chapter 1, even mathematical geniuses such as Einstein have had language learning disabilities. Thus, the g factor alone cannot explain specific disabilities or specific talents, and several theorists have placed more of an emphasis on special factors. For example, Howard Gardner (1985), who popularized the concept of multiple intelligences, had worked with neuropsychologists and behavioral neurologists such as Edith...


School psychologists should examine motivations for cheating, considering both individual and environmental variables. For example, children with learning difficulties may cheat in order to keep up with the fast pace of the class (Powers & Powers, 1997). When parental pressure to excel contributes to cheating, family interventions are warranted. When students cheat to assuage peer pressure, social skills training is beneficial. Understanding a student's motivation for cheating provides information necessary to form an appropriate intervention strategy.