Dyslexia

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Growing, developing and learning are the facts of life for all children. Each day children are faced with many new concepts and various challenges. Can you imagine how it feels for a child to face not only new challenges life has, but to face these challenges while living with a learning disability? These challenges are met not just when they begin school either. Students suffer from learning disabilities from the moment they begin learning, not when they start school. Learning disabilities are real and they affect millions of people. "One such disability that affects over approximately 15 percent of the total American population is dyslexia" ( Nosek 5). We will discuss the following issues and areas surrounding dyslexia:  What is dyslexia?

 Causes of dyslexia.
 Two different terms to describe dyslexia.
 Characteristics of someone with dyslexia.
 The learning process.
 Three areas that are affected by the disability.
 Focusing and behavior.
 Misconceptions about dyslexia.
 Seeking help through organizations.

What exactly is dyslexia? "The word dyslexia is derived from the Greek "dys" meaning poor or inadequate and "lexis" meaning language. Dyslexia is a learning disability characterized by problems in expressive or receptive, oral or written language"(Wilkins URL). Simply put, dyslexia means trouble with reading, writing, and spelling. Dyslexia is not stupidity, laziness, lack of interest, or anything to be ashamed of. Dyslexia is not a disease; it has no cure and it will not go away. It knowas no age, gender, or class boundaries. "There is a significant disproportion between the sexes, however. The proportions of male to female dyslexics are 3 to 1. Dyslexia can also be compared to amnesia because it is selective" (Bakker 23). Some experts use the term specific learning disability instead of dyslexia" Despite much research, nobody knowas

what causes dyslexia. Current research is focused on such possible causes as genetics, physiology, biochemistry, and structural changes in the brain. "There are theories that something is wrong with the brain or that certain chemicals are missing. One of the most popular theory is that dyslexia is a structural defect in the brain which involves the central nervous system" (Irlen 98). Numerous studies have been done throughout the years. "In 1907, the idea was first expressed that the genetic factor was undeniably a reason" (Bakker 27). Research to find causation is still being probed. There are two terms to describe dyslexia, ‘dysphonetic' and ‘dyseidetic'. "Dysphonetic means having difficulty connecting sounds to symbols; it also means they might have a hard time sounding out words. Dyseidetic means to have a good grasp of phonetic concepts, but great difficulty with whole word recognition and spelling still exists" (Wilkins URL). Typical mistakes would be reversals such as the word ‘at' spelled ‘ta' and mistakes in phonetic spelling of a word like ‘phone' spelled ‘fon'. The characteristics of a dyslexic person can be very different from one person to the other, just as the characteristics of students without disabilities are different. These students show a different combination of learning problems. "Such characteristics are learning style, motor dexterity, time/math, memory/cognition, language/reading skills, behavior and vision. Sometimes the dyslexic youngster has early or late developmental stages, such as crawling, walking or talking" (Grolier's). Once these children begin school they might appear bright and highly intelligent, but unable to keep up with their peers in reading and writing. They test well orally, but when given a written test on the same subject they can fail miserably. Others might seem dumb or lazy, when in fact their efforts just go unnoticed. These students can feel dumb, which results in a low self-esteem; they try to hide these features with...
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