Whether you are dyslexic or not, what do you perceive dyslexia to be?
I'm interested in answers where people already have ideas what dyslexia is about, without looking it up! What perceptions do you already have (whether you know anyone or not)? Do you know anyone? How does it affect them (or you)? The condition is so complex and affects people so differently that I want to get individual viewpoints.
Dyslexia is an overarching umbrella term for a whole range of learning difficulties so people with dyslexia have multiple problems, for example, irlen syndrome, short term sequential memory loss, hearing impairment. This means that people find it difficult to learn and communicate in a conventional way as easily as people without these issues.
Irlen syndrome means the person with this does not see the written word very well and so confuses letters which means their reading and writing can be impaired.
Sequential memory loss can interrupt peoples speech or writing because they think of what they are going to say or write but as they are performing it they forget what it was because the sequential memory breaks down and they can't recall what it was. Also letter and number sequences brake down so they find it difficult to remember the sequence of letters in words miss spelling as well a miss reading and interpreting them.
Hearing problems means that they don't hear words and sentences correctly so miss the pronunciation of words which means that when they write them down they are incorrect because they are missing bits they don't hear well.
All this combined can then mean that other things are missed because the person is missing a number of important factors as well as having to focus on the problems and not the important parts that they could be learning.
There is a lot more to this and I am not an expert but I have tried to make my understanding simple so I hope it's useful, thanks.
Yes, that's why multi-sensory teaching is so important (for everyone). It seems you're in the field of dyslexia, as I am. I find it interesting that many people still have a misinformed or old-fashioned perception of it so trying to find some! Thank
Misinformed, me too, 20 years ago. The education system labeled people lazy, you are bright but lazy comes to mind. It turns out that most teaching is done on the cheap, not flexible. A teacher should be a learner too but hard to do on the cheap.
How right you are Gareth! Funding in schools for special needs is pitiful. If all children who needed it got the help then we would have far fewer frustrated and misbehaving pupils.
Gareth Pritchard has provided a very comprehensive definition and explanation of all the related syndromes that fall under the label of "dyslexia."
However, the most common, and most universally recognized is difficulty with in transposing letters in a word, for example, reading "saw" for "was."
While it is not quite that simplistic, as they do not actually "see backwards," it is a language processing problem that occurs in the brain. Such folks think better in pictures than in words.
It can also involve numbers. I am not dyslexic with words, but I do tend to have a problem with numbers, and if I am not diligent, can easily write $1.79 as $1.97. This can be hazardous to the bank account....
Good point and you're right about the processing problem. The transposing of letters is common but many can read well but (due to the processing) do not comprehend what they read. The number thing is truly awkward with important money transactions.
I have not met anyone with dyslexia but I have read about one. He cannot compose in writing anything that is coherent. He has to hire a speechwriter to write speeches
Joseph Persico in his book "Nelson Rockefeller" wrote that Nelson suffered from dyslexia. Persico was one of his speechwriters. Nelson was governor of New York and vice president of USA. He appreciated art.
Yes, there are many well-known people, past and present, who were/are dyslexics. Thank goodness there is help for them now should they need it. We are such a literary based society so dyslexics are disadvantaged when so many are so intelligent.
One of my friends is dyslexic and has some trouble reading. This made it difficult for her while she was in school (back in the 60s and 70s) because back then I don't think it was a recognized condition. They simply labeled her as retarded. Since they didn't know how to properly teach her, she became what is know as functionally illiterate and had people read to her but she developed great memory recall and could have full discussions on what she heard. Once it became more recognized and ways were developed to help her and other adults (and children), she found a reading tutor to help her. It still takes her a lot longer to read a book or even something as short as a job application, but she can do it.
I have heard dyslexia described as "word blindness". For me this conjures up the image of someone struggling to read/write, which must be very frustrating when one knows one is putting forth much effort. I believe that people having this difficulty were once generally perceived as lacking in intelligence and that it is only relatively recently that people have looked beyond such unhelpful assumptions.
As requested, the above is what instantly springs to mind on this topic (knee jerk thoughts) but no doubt there is much much more to it.
Thank you for an exact answer to the question - yes, this phrase is often used though, as you say, there is so much more to than that. 'Blindness' implies you can't see it but in fact refers to not being able to see it 'correctly'. It's memory too.
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