Dyslexia: Educational Psychology and Modern Imaging Tools

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Dyslexia (pronounced: dis-lek-see-ah) is a type of learning disability. A person with a learning disability has trouble processing or understanding words or numbers. There are many different kinds of learning disabilities; dyslexia is the term used when people have difficulty learning to read, even though they are smart enough and are motivated to learn. The word dyslexia comes from two Greek words: dys, which means abnormal or impaired, and lexis, which refers to language or words. Dyslexia is included in the category of "Learning Disabilities" in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). A person with dyslexia is someone with average to above average intelligence whose problem in reading is not the result of emotional problems, lack of motivation, poor teaching, mental retardation or vision or hearing deficits. Dyslexia is not a disease. It is a condition that you are born with, and it often runs in families. People with dyslexia are not stupid or lazy. Most have average or above-average intelligence, and they work very hard to overcome their learning problems. It was only about 100 years ago that doctors first identified the set of learning problems that we call dyslexia. At first, many people believed that dyslexia was caused by vision problems. So some early attempts at treatment involved eye exercises or glasses with tinted lenses. Today doctors know that these treatments do not work.Researchers now believe that dyslexia occurs because of the way that the brain is formed and the way that it processes the information it receives. People with dyslexia are actually wired differently. Pictures of the brain, taken with modern imaging tools, have shown that when people with dyslexia read they use different parts of the brain than people without dyslexia. The term dyslexia, however, is defined in different ways. While reading is the basic problem, people include different aspects of reading and related problems in their definitions....
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