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Re: CHAT: dyslexia

From:Dan Sulani <dnsulani@...>
Date:Sunday, April 1, 2001, 6:38
On 30 March, Amanda Babcock  wrote:

>On Thu, Mar 29, 2001 at 06:48:32PM +0300, Dan Sulani wrote: > >> In other words, the term "dyslexia", IMHO, is just a cover-term
>> "trouble with reading". > >If that's true, then why is it characterized by structural differences in >the brain, and by very specific differences in the way sounds are heard? >If I recall correctly, dyslexics could not distinguish between two sounds >occurring very close together, where most people could.
IME, lots of disorders are characterized by structural differences in the brain. Problems with the way sounds are heard (auditory perception) can also be found among people characterized as "aphasic", among others. The question in my mind is: just how clinically precise is the definition of "dyslexic" which is being used. As a general term, it is useful as a "cover-term" to point one in the general direction of the problem. But I would sure hate to receive a client, about whom all I know is that someone calls him/her "dyslexic" and without further ado, be expected to proceed straight to treatment. By itself the term just doesn't contain enough information. It's sort of like saying that "browsers" don't do a good job showing web pages. There is no such thing as "browsers". Which kind: Explorer? Netscape? Other? Which version: 1.0? the latest? something inbetween? What plug-ins are being used? Which ones are not? And what versions of those? On what operating system? On what type of computer: 80288? the latest Pentium? Non-Intel altogether? And what other programs are running in the background which might interfere? Etc. Just saying "browser" doesn't give enough information. "Browser" as a "cover-term" does serve a purpose: to differentiate the program from non-internet games or word processors for example. In the same way, IMHO, the term "dyslexia" serves the same purpose, differentiating this particular problem, in general, from other language problems. Also, I am bothered by a lot of "research" on language dysfunction. I have seen way to many articles starting out: "I studied 3 dyslexics..." or "I studied 2 stutterers..." and proceed from there to "profound" generalizations! As case studies, perhaps, but not representative of everything included in the disorder. But even given a statistically significant number of subjects, without stating exactly which cognitive skills in each subject were disabled to which extent, and without making sure that the subjects' sets of disabilities ranged throughout the whole possible range of sets of disabilities generally included under the term "dyslexic" or "stutterer" etc., I find it difficult accept the generalities based upon infomation which is so variable. If the research stated that "we studied a group of "dyslexics" all of whom suffered from mild to severe loss of skill X and severe dysfunction of skill Y", I might derive something useful with which to help my clients. "Research" which begins "A group of dyslexics was studied and it was found..." just doesn't tell me a whole lot. Of course, I'm coming from a clinical/need-to-know-details perspective. I don't expect everyday use of the term to be that involved. I merely wished to point out, in my original post, that more in-depth considerations do exist with respect to the term "dyslexia". Dan Sulani -------------------------------------------------------------------- likehsna rtem zuv tikuhnuh auag inuvuz vaka'a. A word is an awesome thing.