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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.

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Linking The Visual Correlates Of Dyslexia

The visual correlates of dyslexia can be summarized as motor deficits in accommodation and vergence, the sensory magno visual system deficit, and a benefit from colored filters. Are these correlates linked to one another It is well known that there is a strong crosslink between accommodation and vergence, although the role (if any) of this link in the visual correlates of dyslexia remains to be established. The hypothesis that the magno deficit in dyslexia may be linked to poor vergence control was investigated by Evans, Drasdo, and Richards (1996). They found that a group of dyslexic children manifested a reduced sensitivity to faint flicker (a sign of a magno deficit) and significantly reduced vergence amplitudes (a sign of binocular instability). These sensory and visual motor correlates were very significantly correlated in this dyslexic sample (Figure 2 r -0.627). It has been hypothezised that the magno visual system deficit may explain the benefit that some individuals...

Learning Disabilities Association of America 163

Tude and performance. in many states, diagnosis of a learning disability depends on a very strict statistical measurement of this discrepancy between achievement and aptitude. Exclusion means that a learning disability is not caused by some other handicapping condition, such as physical impairment or social status. A child who struggles to learn because she cannot see, or because he comes from a disadvantaged background, is not considered to have a learning disability if these are the primary factors in the learning problems. Both the discrepancy formulation for learning disabilities and the role that exclusion of other conditions plays have become subjects for increasing debate in recent years. Many researchers have proposed redefining the concept of learning disabilities to focus on specific language and thought processing problems that may be identified by appropriate testing, without necessarily involving the question of aptitude or intellectual potential. some experts have argued...

Learning Disabilities Association of America A

National support group for parents of children with learning disabilities and for interested professionals. The group works to advance the education and general well being of children with adequate intelligence who have learning disabilities arising from perceptual, conceptual, or subtle coordination problems, sometimes accompanied by behavior problems. The group provides information to the public and helps state and local groups carry out direct services to parents and children via schools, camps, recreation programs, parent education, information services, and publication of books and pamphlets. Founded in 1964, the group publishes the bimonthly LDA Newsbriefs and a semiannual journal. For address, see Appendix I. (See also COUNCIL FOR LEARNING DISABILITIES NATIONAL CENTER FOR LEARNING DISABILITIES.)

Molecular Genetic Approaches To Locating The Genes For Dyslexia

A first step in locating genes that influence dyslexia is to find regions on chromosomes that are likely to carry those genes. This is done through a method called linkage analysis. DNA markers (not necessarily genes) that vary across individuals are identified in a region of interest. Siblings that share or do not share dyslexia are then compared on whether they share or do not share the specific marker. If sharing the marker means it is significantly more likely that they also share dyslexia, there is linkage evidence for dyslexia in that region. However, the identified region on a chromosome may be very broad and contain many genes. Linkage only shows that having inherited the same large region of DNA on a chromosome from their parents, the siblings are more likely to share dyslexia. A different approach to finding genes related to dyslexia is to see if genes already identified, which are known to be expressed in the brain, have variations (called alleles) that are associated with...

National Center for Learning Disabilities A

National voluntary organization promoting increased public awareness of learning disabilities that provides referrals to volunteers, parents, and professionals working with the learning disabled. The center publishes a state-by-state guide to programs, schools, services, and organizations, including information such as warning signals, rights, work, glossary, etc. Founded in 1977, the group publishes a triennial newsletter and an annual magazine. For address, see Appendix I. WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES COUNCIL FOR LEARNING disabilities learning disabilities association of AMERICA NATIONAL NETWORKER ORTON DYSLEXIA

Learning Disabilities Association

Have a learning disability if these are the primary factors in the learning problems. Both the discrepancy formulation for learning disabilities, and the role that exclusion of other conditions plays, have become subjects for increasing debate in recent years. Many researchers have proposed redefining the concept of learning disabilities to focus on specific language and thought processing problems that may be identified by appropriate testing, without necessarily involving the question of aptitude or intellectual potential. Some experts have argued that the exclusionary element in definitions of LD have led to the under-identification or misdiagnosis of individuals who come from poverty or from minority cultural, racial, or ethnic backgrounds. They argue that the difficulties such children have in learning are more likely to be ascribed to their backgrounds and upbringing than to a potential learning disability, and that approaches to diagnosis that depend on aptitude achievement...

Further Motor Deficits In Dyslexia

It is not only bimanual co-ordination tasks on which dyslexics may be impaired. The handwriting of dyslexic children is notoriously poor and on unimanual tasks, such as peg-moving or finger-tapping, disabled readers have sometimes been reported to perform worse than control participants of the same age (e.g., Badian & Wolff, 1977 Fawcett & Nicholson, 1995 Gardner & Broman, 1979 Wolff, Cohen, & Drake, 1984). It is not only dyslexic children who show sensori-motor impairments. Motor deficits reported by Fawcett and Nicolson (1995) were seen in dyslexics up to 17 years of age and adult dyslexics are slower in pointing with one hand to an unpredictable visual target (Velay, Daffaure, Giraud, & Habib, 2002). Findings such as these imply a persisting difficulty with certain fine motor skills. Gross motor functions can also be affected. According to Miles (1993), dyslexics often have a history of difficulties in everyday tasks such as learning to ride a bicycle. Orton (1925) observed that...

Auditory Functions And Dyslexia

The claim that relatively low-level visual deficits of the magnocellular system are found in association with reading difficulties has often been seen as contradicting the view that phonological deficits constitute the core causal problem in dyslexia. It is possible, of course, that visual deficits of one kind or other are not found in all dyslexics but only in some and perhaps only within a particular sub-type. Visual deficits do not appear to be characteristic of so-called dyseidetic (Borsting et al., 1996 Ridder, Borsting, Cooper, McNeel, & Huang, 1997) or surface (Spinelli et al. 1997) dyslexics. Yet there is no fundamental incompatibility between M pathway deficits and phonological impairments and visual and language difficulties are frequently found together in dyslexia (Slaghuis, Lovegrove, & Davidson, 1993 Slaghuis, Twell, & Kingston, 1996 Cestnick & Coltheart, 1999). Conceivably, both are the result of a third underlying factor involving sensory processing in both visual and...

Rapid Auditory Processing Deficits in Dyslexia

The rapid auditory processing (RAP) theory is very persuasive moreover, interventions that train RAP are advocated as a cure for language learning impaired children including dyslexics. But where is the evidence Tallal's original studies which are the foundation of the RAP theory were with language impaired children, not with dyslexies. Since then, there have been failures to replicate the findings with reading disabled children (Mody, Studdert-Kennedy, & Brady, 1997 McArthur, Hogben, Edwards, Heath, & Mengler, 2000) and to confirm predictions of the theory (Nittrouer, 1999). Studies from our own laboratory involving dyslexic children and dyslexic adults, have typically found only a small subset of dyslexic readers who display low-level auditory processing impairments. Moreover, it is important to note that these participants have not been those with the more severe phonological deficits. Thus, the relationship between RAP and phonological processing remains an open question. It seems...

Individual Differences in Dyslexia

A more serious issue for the phonological representation view is that of individual differences. The phonological deficit theory has no difficulty explaining the problems of a child with poor word attack skills, who cannot read nonwords and whose spelling is dysphonetic (Snowling, Stackhouse, & Rack, 1986). However, there are also dyslexic children who appear to have mastered alphabetic skills. Such children have been referred to as developmental surface dyslexics. The classic characteristic of these children is that, in single-word reading, they rely heavily upon a phonological strategy. Thus, they tend to pronounce irregular words as though they were regular (e.g., glove gloave island izland), they have particular difficulty distinguishing between homophones like pear-pair and leek-leak,, and their spelling is usually phonetic (e.g., Biscuit BISKT pharmacistFARMASIST). While evidence in favor of distinct subtypes is lacking (Seymour, 1986), most systematic studies of individual...

Phonological Deficits In Dyslexia

We have seen that current theories of early reading development propose that children set up direct mappings between printed words and representations of spoken words in the child's language systems (Ehri, 1992 Rack et al., 1994). It follows from this that the status of a child's underlying phonological representations determines the ease with which they learn to read. Since 1980, there have been many studies that point to language difficulties in the dyslexic child, specifically at the level of phonology. Dyslexic children typically perform poorly on a wide range of measures of phonological awareness, verbal short-term memory, rapid naming, speech perception, and verbal representation, tasks which essentially tap children's representation of, access to, and recall of phonological information (see Snowling, 2000, for a recent review). From this extensive research on phonological deficits in dyslexic children, Snowling has formulated the following definition of dyslexia Dyslexia is a...

Comorbidity for Dyslexia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD

The above bivariate genetic analyses have also been performed for reading deficits and ADHD. ADHD has commonly been diagnosed in the United States by asking teachers and or parents to rate their children on a list of symptoms for attention deficits and hyperactivity. If a sufficiently high number of symptoms are checked, the children are categorized as ADHD. Researchers in the United States have noted a high rate of ADHD among children with dyslexia, ranging from about 20 to 40 across studies. We now have evidence from the Colorado twin study that part of this comorbidity is due to shared genetic influences, particularly for dyslexia and the attention-deficit symptoms (Willcutt et al., 2002).

Short History Of The Concept Of Dyslexia

Medical approaches to dyslexia, such as that exemplified by the work of pioneers such as Orton and Macdonald Critchley (Critchley, 1970) fell from favor mostly *A more detailed version of the argument in this chapter can be found in Snowling (2000). Margaret J. Snowling, Department of Psychology, University of York, Heslington, YorkY01 5DD, UK. The Study of Dyslexia, edited by Turner and Rack. because they were difficult to put into practice. The dyslexic child was described as having severe difficulty in learning to read and write, despite adequate IQ, normal sensory function, and adequate opportunity both at home and at school. It is perhaps worth taking time to consider these criteria. What is adequate IQ What is adequate opportunity Why should a sensory impairment rule out the possibility of dyslexia It will be clear that many of the terms in this kind of a definition are difficult to operationalize. It is a definition by exclusion and does not list any of the positive signs of...

Genetics And The Neurobiological Basis Of Phonological Awareness And Dyslexia

There is accumulating evidence that dyslexia is an inherited condition not just the reading difficulty per se, but in particular, the underlying phonological deficit Additionally there have been recent attempts to relate phonological deficits experienced by dyslexics to specifics of brain function. The phonological processing skills essential to reading development are thought to be associated with regions in the left temporal lobe of the brain. As a rule, these left temporal regions are larger in volume than those homologous areas in the right temporal lobe (Geschwind & Levitsky, 1968). However, when the temporal lobes of dyslexic individuals were studied at postmortem by these authors, it was found that this characteristic asymmetry favoring the left hemisphere structures was absent. Clearly, this phenomenon of planum symmetry in dyslexia is an important brain-behavior finding, but how does it relate to the specific phonologically based reading difficulties that dyslexics experience...

Dyslexia And Interhemispheric Transfer The Role Of The Corpus Callosum

The left and right sides of visual space are represented in the occipital lobes of the right and left hemispheres of the brain, respectively. Asking someone to compare two stimuli flashed briefly to the left and right of a central point at which he or she is staring (fixating) presumably requires some transfer of information between the hemispheres for the task to be performed. In comparison with controls, dyslexics have sometimes been found to show deficits in cross-field matching thereby suggesting an impairment in inter-hemispheric transfer of visual information. Analogous findings for the auditory and tactile modalities have been interpreted in the same way, although in these modalities, sensory input from one side is not restricted to the opposite hemisphere as it is in vision. Although there are problems in interpreting the relevant data (see reviews by Beaton, 1985 Young & Ellis, 1981) the idea of an inter-hemispheric transfer deficit is supported by some electrophysiological...

Morphology Of The Corpus Callosum In Dyslexia

As a result of the behavioural findings, some investigators have compared structural aspects of the corpus callosum between dyslexics and controls. In particular, the relative size of the corpus callosum or of its sub-divisions has been compared. These studies have all been carried out in the intact brain I know of no postmortem investigations of the morphology (size and shape) of the callosum in dyslexia. The usual approach is to compare the size of the callosum between groups (controlling for overall mid-sagittal brain size) and to express the size of individual callosal segments as a proportion of total callosal size. The posterior section of the callosum is the splenium the centre section is the trunk (including the isthmus) the curved anterior section is known as the genu. One study reported finding a proportionally larger splenium in dyslexic adults (Duara et al., 1991), one found a smaller genu in dyslexic children (Hynd et al., 1995), and one found no difference between...

What Is The Cognitive Deficit In Dyslexia

At about the same time as the first epidemiological studies were being conducted, cognitive psychologists began comparing groups of normal and dyslexic readers in a range of experimental paradigms. These researchers pursued the then popular idea that dyslexia was a perceptual deficit and studies investigated visual perception, visual memory, cross-modal transfer between visual and verbal codes and perceptual learning, and other skills in relation to reading ability. These early studies were fraught with methodological problems as Vellutino's (1979) ground-breaking review makes explicit. The nub of his argument was that, when it is appropriate, children recruit verbal codes to support perceptual performance. Imagine a visual memory task in which you have to recall a string of letters. Would you do this visually or verbally In some elegant experiments, Vellutino and his colleagues showed that when it was not possible to use verbal codes (e.g., if you had to remember strings of...

Issues For Phonological Representations Theory Of Dyslexia

The concept of dyslexia as a deficiency in the way in which the brain codes phonology is appealing but the idea of fuzzy phonological representations is vague. What exactly is meant by phonological representation How are phonological representations created Does each word have one (a localist account) or are these really distributed patterns of activation across a set of yet to be specified processing units We do not have answers to these questions. However, one influential theory proposes that problems in basic auditory processing (of rapidly presented sounds) cause deficits in speech perception that lead on to problems of phonological awareness and reading development (Tallal, Miller, Jenkins, & Merzenich, 1997).

Laterality And Dyslexia

Orton drew attention to what he believed was a raised frequency of left-handedness among children with dyslexia (and among those who stuttered). He also believed that children with severe reading difficulties showed crossed hand-eye dominance more often than expected. This refers to a dominant right hand in combination with a dominant left eye or a dominant left hand in combination with a dominant right eye. In actual fact, crossed-laterality is exceedingly common in the general population and its occurrence should no more be considered diagnostic of dyslexia than the presence of left-handedness (which is not to say that an association between crossed-laterality and dyslexia will not be found if one looks at a sufficiently large number of cases). There is certainly a genetic connection between language lateralisation and handedness although the exact nature of the relationship is controversial (see Beaton, 2003), and handedness is probably related in some way to reading and dyslexia...

Dyslexia And The Thalamus

The finding of a group difference in brain activation as early in the visual system as the striate or visual cortex (V1), that is lower than the middle temporal area, is consistent with the idea that the deficit may arise at a pre-cortical (genicu-late or retinal) level. In this context, the findings of a postmortem study by Livingstone, Rosen, Drislane, and Galaburda (1991) are of interest. These authors examined the LGN from five purportedly dyslexic individuals and reported that there were proportionally fewer large cells in the magnocellular division than in five control brains. A parallel study of five (living) dyslexic adults showed that there was a reduced electrophysiological response from this area under conditions of low luminance and high temporal frequency. The obvious, if logically tenuous, conclusion was that the reduced visual evoked potential (VEP) and anomalous cellular morphology are related to at least some aspects of dyslexic symptomato-logy. However, the finding...

The Neurobiology of Dyslexia

Examination Health Boys

It is now almost universally accepted (but see Ehri, 1992) that dyslexia is a constitutional condition, almost certainly genetic, rooted in the biology of the central nervous system. The question is, how do the relevant genes have the effect that they do To show that a particular gene locus is implicated in, for example, phonological awareness does not explain how the gene (or more probably genes) code for biological mechanisms which underlie this ability. One step towards solving this problem might be to relate relevant gene loci to particular brain structures and mechanisms. Presumably, genetic factors determine in part the relative size or efficiency of regions of the brain involved in language and other processes relevant to reading and its component skills. Figure 1 shows a diagram of the eyes and brain. Defects at every stage from the retina (Grosser & Spafford, 1989, 1992 Stordy, 2000) through the midbrain to the cerebral cortex and the cerebellum have been said to be involved...

Phonological Representations Learning To Read And Dyslexia

Although the role of visual deficits in dyslexia continues to be debated (Stein & Talcott, 1999 Willows, Kruk, & Corcos, 1993), the best candidate for the cause of dyslexia is an underlying phonological deficit. A useful way in which to think about this is that dyslexic individuals come to the task of learning to read with poorly specified phonological representations the way in which their brain codes phonology is less efficient than that of normally developing children (Snowling & Hulme, 1994). As we have seen, this problem at the level of phonological representation causes a range of typical symptoms which can be observed in the overt behavior of dyslexic individuals. However, it is reasonable to ask why a deficit in spoken language should affect the acquisition of written language. Studies of normal reading development offer a framework for considering the role of phonological representations in learning to read, and for understanding the problems of dyslexia. At the basic level,...

Introduction Background

Vision is a core component of the reading process, so do visual problems cause dyslexia Despite a century of research, there is no clear answer to this question, and the lack of clarity reflects the vagueness of the terms dyslexia and vision. Definition, classification, and the etiology of dyslexia are discussed elsewhere in this book. This chapter will concentrate on the visual problems that have been identified as correlates of dyslexia. But research suggests that the visual correlates of The Study of Dyslexia, edited by Turner and Rack. Kluwer Academic Publishers, New York, 2004. non-dyslexic reading difficulties may be the same as the visual correlates of dyslexia. So, the battery of optometric tests that is suggested below should really be aimed at any person who underachieves at school, not just those who have been formally diagnosed as having dyslexia.

Hypermetropia Longsightedness

A constant accommodative effort to overcome excessive longsightedness may also cause eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision. Longsightedness in children would not usually be detected by a distance letter chart test, and frequently does not even affect performance at brief near vision tests. Longsightedness in one eye will not be detected by binocular (both eye) acuity tests and, although unlikely to affect reading, can result in a permanent visual loss if not detected in the first 5 or 6 years of life. Some studies have found a weak correlation between longsightedness and reading difficulties, others have suggested that this may result from a weak negative correlation between hypermetropia and IQ (Evans, 2001).

Avoiding Genetic Determinism

A strong genetic influence on some aspect of human behavior or physiology does not mean that it cannot be changed by the environment. For example, Diabetes is a disease with a strong genetic influence, but its course can be substantially changed through environmental manipulations of insulin and diet. Similarly, there is much evidence that dyslexics' reading can be substantially improved through intensive individualized instruction that focuses both on phonological skills and accurate reading in context (e.g., Torgesen et al., 2001). However, the cost of this individualized instruction with a human tutor is very high and unavailable to many children with dyslexia. Could computer-based remedial instruction be of help

Magno Deficit And Asymmetry Of The Planum Temporale

This question was taken up by Best and Demb (1999) who investigated PT asymmetry in five dyslexic subjects all of whom showed reduced brain activity in area MT V5 in response to stimuli designed to elicit strong activation. In this small sample of dyslexic participants, there was no obvious association between anomalous PT asymmetry and putative magnocellular deficits. Similarly, six dyslexics who all showed deficits in motion sensitivity in the study by Eden et al. (1996) were drawn from a group among whom the majority were known to have normal leftward PT asymmetry (Rumsey et al., 1997). It thus seems unlikely that there is any relation between magno deficits and PT symmetry although according to Stein (1994) one can speculate that magnocellular input and lateralisation characteristics are causally connected in other words that the favoured access of magnocellular input to the left hemisphere is what causes it to become the language hemisphere and the PT to be larger on that side...

The Relationship between Language and Phonology

Surprisingly, given the strength of the phonological representational account of dyslexia, rather little is known about the relationship between phonological skills and other language abilities. While it is clear that semantic and phonological skills can be selectively impaired in developmental reading disorders (Nation, Marshall, & Snowling, 2001), how the phonological deficits that are causally related to reading problems in dyslexia relate to these children's oral language development is less well understood. We have been exploring the early language precursors of dyslexia in a longitudinal study of children at genetic risk by virtue of having a first degree affected relative, from 4 to 8 years (Gallagher, Frith, & Snowling, 2000). Our preliminary findings indicate that more than 60 of the high-risk group develop literacy problems. These children showed a pattern of oral speech and language delay in the preschool years and poor phonological awareness at age 6 with concomitant...

Why Doesnt Everyone Agree

You may at this point be wondering, why there is disagreement among dyslexia specialists. First, it may be that disagreement is more apparent than real. Some theories that I have not dealt with here, such as the magnocellular deficit or the cerebellar deficit theories do not reject the evidence for the phonological processing problems of dyslexia. Rather, they seek a biological cause for these deficits. It falls to these theorists to demonstrate that their theories explain both a necessary and a sufficient cause of dyslexia. Arguably, at the present time, the phonological deficit hypothesis provides the only clear-cut evidence of causal links with reading failure. Second, it may be that different researchers are working with rather different groups of children, and selection biases may be operating to distort results. Researchers working in close liaison with speech and language therapists are far more likely to find children with broader language impairments in their samples than...

The Issue of Comorbidity

Some of the apparent differences among researchers of different orientations hinges on the issue of what is known as comorbidity. Comorbidity refers to the fact that, given any developmental disorder, there is a high probability that it will co-occur with at least one other disorder. Commonly co-occurring with dyslexia In cases of children with comorbid disorders, it is easy to mistake a behavioral symptom of one disorder for that of the other. Many dyslexic children are clumsy, but not all are by any means. It is important therefore, not to build a theory of dyslexia on the assumption that motor impairments play a causal role. Similarly, one of the key cognitive features of ADHD is a difficulty in inhibiting automatic responses, an aspect of executive function. However, there is evidence to suggest that children with comorbid ADHD and dyslexia show phonological deficits rather than executive deficits (Pennington, Grossier, & Welsh, 1993). The implication of this finding is that the...

Where Do We Go From Here

The field of dyslexia research has burgeoned in the last 20 years, and the problem is now well understood. Equally, public awareness of dyslexia has increased to the benefit of dyslexic children. But there remain some challenges. The first of these is to clarify how dyslexia manifests itself in different languages (Goulandris, 2003). In turn, this research must build on a solid foundation of knowledge about the normal development of reading in readers of different orthographies (Harris & Hatano, 1999). The cross-linguistic study of dyslexia is really just opening up and there are many questions to be answered. Already, there is good evidence that the language in which a child learns has a strong effect on the development of their decoding and metaphonological skills. It follows that more sensitive tests will be needed to detect dyslexia in readers of transparent (e.g., Dutch, Spanish) than of opaque orthographies, such as English and Danish. 1. Don't assume every child that is...

The Consequences Of A Magno System Deficit

One problem that constantly bedevils the hypothesis that dyslexics have impaired mag-nocellular function is that people find it very difficult to understand how a system devoted to detecting visual motion could possibly be relevant to reading. After all, we don't usually have to track moving targets when reading the page is usually kept stationary. In fact, the retinal images of print are not stationary, and many dyslexic children complain that letters seem to move around when they are trying to read, i.e. their visual world is highly unstable. This is because during reading visual images are actually very far from being stationary on the retina, and dyslexics fail to compensate for this . We believe that their unstable visual perceptions are the result of the insensitivity of their visual magnocellular systems (p. 111). They are not the only authors to implicate eye movements. Borsting et al. (1996) suggested an abnormal saccade mechanism could adversely affect reading (p. 1052). It...

The Hormonal Hypothesis

Female foetuses in much smaller amounts, are associated with increased rates of left-handedness, and dyslexia. This was intended to explain not only an association between dyslexia and non-right handedness, but also the higher incidence of dyslexia and other learning difficulties in males than females. Furthermore, by acting on the thymus gland, involved in responses of the immune system, high levels of testosterone would account for a reported association between dyslexia, left-handedness and immune disease. According to the most recent version of this hypothesis, the left planum is usually larger than the right because of greater prenatal pruning of cortical connections on the right side. In the presence of too much testosterone, this process is arrested leading to symmetry of the plana on the two sides (Geschwind & Galaburda, 1985). Although there is some research linking testosterone from the mother's umbilical artery to infant patterns of handedness (Tan & Tan, 1999, 2001) and...

Saccadic Eye Movements in Reading

Generally speaking, with more difficult reading material or with less expert readers, the number of fixations is increased, the duration of fixations is increased, and the number of regressions increases. The reading eye movements of people with severe reading difficulties are, therefore, somewhat atypical. A key question is whether these atypical eye movements are the result of the poor reading skills or whether they are underlying causes of the poor reading. This question has been addressed in two main ways (Evans, 2001). First, many researchers have studied the sequential horizontal saccadic eye movements of dyslexic readers in nonread-ing tasks. The second approach has been to compare the reading eye movements of people with dyslexia with those of younger good readers. Although a large body of research has used these paradigms, the results have been contradictory and there is still a lack of agreement in this area (e.g., Stark et al., 1991 cf. Biscaldi, Fischer, & Aiple, 1994)....

Higher Visual Processing

There have been many attempts to classify dyslexia, although it should be noted that one large study failed to support the concept of clearly defined subgroups (Naidoo, 1972). Nevertheless, many authors have classified dyslexia into three subgroups and a good example is the classification of Boder (1971). Her system is based upon three reading-spelling patterns. Dysphonetic dyslexia is characterized by people who read words globally, as instantaneous visual wholes from the limited sight vocabulary, and as a result cannot cope with new or unusual words. The opposite is dyseidetic dyslexia, exemplified by the analytic reader who cannot perceive letters or words as visual wholes and who consequently reads laboriously and cannot deal with words that are irregularly spelled or pronounced. The final group, mixed dysphonetic-dyseidetic dyslexia-alexia, exhibits the combined deficits of both groups and are usually the most severely handicapped educationally. The type of high-level cognitive...

Screening And Assessment Of Phonological Skills

Dyseidetic Dyslexia Dysphonetic

The foregoing discussion has highlighted the importance of prediction studies that tell us a great deal about the knowledge and skills young children bring to bear on the task of learning to read. Research-generated phonological tasks might, if given to sufficiently large samples of children, provide norms for the purposes of screening young children, or against which individual slow starter youngsters might be compared. However, whether such studies can suggest a strategy for reliably identifying those specific children who go on to have persisting phonologi-cally based reading problems that necessitate special needs intervention is a rather more complex issue. When considering individual children, it is not always possible to conclude confidently that a child who obtains a low score on a measure of phonological awareness will necessarily go on to have significant reading difficulties. In Bradley and Bryant's (1983) longitudinal study of early readers, only 30 of those children who...

The M And P Visual Systems

A considerable amount of experimental work has accumulated to suggest that there is an impairment of the M system in dyslexia (for reviews, see Beaton, 2004 Lovegrove, 1991, 1996 Lovegrove, Martin, & Slaghuis, 1986 Stein, 2000 Stein & Walsh, 1997). Much of this work originated from William Lovegrove's laboratory in Australia and involved presentation of stationary stimuli such as gratings (patterns of alternating black and white bars). Differences between reading-disabled and control children were found in their ability to detect subtle differences in contrast between the luminance of the alternating light and dark bars (Lovegrove, Bowling, Badcock, & Blackwood, 1980 Lovegrove et al., 1982 Spafford, Grosser, Donatelle, Squillace, & Dana, 1995 but see Gross-Glenn et al., 1995). This is known as contrast sensitivity and it varies with the width of the light and dark bars (in technical terms, with spatial frequency). Differences between reading impaired and control children in contrast...

The Temporal Deficit Hypothesis

If skilled motor actions and language share neural mechanisms (Tzeng & Wang, 1984) associated with the control of serial order and or precision of timing mechanisms, this might help to explain the frequent co-occurrence of phonological and motor difficulties in dyslexia. Certainly, many of the deficits in motor function seen in dyslexia, such as in maintaining asynchronous tapping rates with the two hands, might be regarded as impairments in implementing motor control commands at the right time and in the correct order (Wolff, 1993). One of the most interesting but controversial of current theories surrounding dyslexia is that it involves a deficit of temporal processing. The theory owes much to the work of Paula Tallal and her collaborators carried out mainly with children diagnosed as having specific language impairment (SLI). Such children often, but not invariably, have difficulty learning to read. Conversely, many dyslexic On one level, the temporal processing deficit hypothesis...

Deficit of the Magno Visual Subsystem

Convincing research suggests that up to 75 of people with specific reading difficulties have a deficit of the magno visual system (Evans, 2001 Lovegrove, Martin, & Slaghuis, 1986). The fact that the parvo system appears to be normal in dyslexia may explain why many researchers have concluded that there are no visual correlates of reading disability since vision tests tapping the parvo subsystem have been used most frequently. Some researchers have suggested that the magno visual system deficit may reflect a general impairment of fast systems throughout the central nervous system in dyslexia (Livingstone, Rosen, Drislane, & Galaburda, 1991). An intuitive weakness of this hypothesis is that such an impairment might be expected to cause a more general deficit than the specific difficulty of dyslexia. Predictably, several theories have been proposed to transform this visual correlate of reading difficulty into a cause of reading problems. Although there is some evidence to suggest that a...

Biological Evidence In Support Of The Phonological Deficit Hypothesis

It has been known for many years that poor reading tends to run in families and there is now conclusive evidence that dyslexia is heritable. Gene markers have been identified on chromosomes 6 and 15 but we are still a long way from understanding the precise genetic mechanisms that are involved. What we do know is there is as much as a 50 probability of a boy becoming dyslexic if his father is dyslexic (about 40 if his mother is affected), and a somewhat lower probability of a girl developing dyslexia. What is inherited is not of course reading disability per se, but aspects of language processing. Results of large-scale twin studies suggest there is heritability of phonological ( phonic ) aspects of reading and that Studies of dyslexic readers using brain imaging techniques also supply a piece in the jigsaw. In one such study, we investigated differences in brain function between dyslexic and normal readers while they performed two phonological processing tasks (Paulesu et al., 1996)....

The Cerebellar Deficit Hypothesis

Nicolson et al. (1995) argued that A search for the underlying cause of deficits in balance, in motor skill and in automatisation would generally point strongly to the cerebellum (p. 43). In this paper, they report research based on previous findings with patients who had damage to the cerebellum. Ivry and Keele (1989) had found that in comparison with Parkinson's disease patients, cerebellar patients were impaired on a task requiring them to judge which of two auditorily presented intervals of time was the longer. Nicolson et al. gave the same task to dyslexic children and found them to be impaired relative to age and IQ matched control children. Like cerebellar patients, the dyslexics were not impaired on a comparable loudness-estimation task. In a replication of their earlier work, Fawcett and Nicolson (1999) tested a new sample of dyslexic children on a battery of tests which have been associated with cerebellar damage. The dyslexics were drawn from a school for dyslexics and two...

Ocular Health

Ocular diseases are rare in childhood and do not seem to be correlated with dyslexia. Poor ocular health will not necessarily cause symptoms, and some diseases cause a loss only of peripheral vision so that a child may be able to read a letter chart normally. Interestingly, people with ocular pathology that does interfere with vision often seem to automatically adjust their reading rate so that they would be unlikely to make as many errors as a person with good ocular health and dyslexia.


Research has shown that the average amplitude of accommodation of children with dyslexic difficulties is statistically, significantly reduced compared with control good readers (Evans, 2001). However, despite this average difference, the vast majority of children with reading difficulties have an amplitude of accommodation that exceeds the level that is necessary for clear and comfortable reading. The amplitude of accommodation is measured by bringing a target of small text toward patients until they report blurring. It can also be measured objectively by using reflected light (dynamic retinoscopy). Some optometrists include other tests of accommodative function in their assessment of children with reading difficulties. The two most common of these are tests of accommodative lag and facility. During near vision, the eyes are not usually precisely focused on the object of regard, but the accommodation lags a small amount behind the target. If the accommodative lag is low, then the blur...

Tracking Skills

The term tracking skills is sometimes used to describe subjective estimates of ocular motor function in relation to reading performance. Unfortunately, the term is vague and is used variously to refer to saccadic eye movements (e.g., performance when changing fixation between two pens), saccadation of pursuit (e.g., the presence of nonsmooth movements when following a slowly moving pen), or a remote near point of convergence (e.g., eyes appear unable to converge on a pen approaching the nose). These three types of eye movements are very different, but it is possible that all three types of observation may be related to lapses of concentration by the subject. Dyslexia is often associated with attention deficit disorder (with or without hyperactivity) and this might account for much of the controversy relating to the relationship between eye movement dysfunction and dyslexia (Evans, 2001). It should also be noted that even when subjects can converge to their nose, when asked to make the...

Behavioral Optometry

Behavioral optometry (BO) is a subdiscipline of optometry that has some practitioners in the United States and a few followers in the United Kingdom. The term covers a very broad range of activities, and the simplest interpretation of BO is that optometrists should take account of the whole person and his her environment. This is unquestionably sound advice that is likely to be followed by all good eye care practitioners. Many behavioral optometrists, like other conventional optometrists, concentrate on a very thorough orthoptic investigation as outlined above, and the treatment of anomalies detected in this way is not controversial. However, most behavioral optometrists seem to investigate unconventional areas of visual function. These practitioners often prescribe exercises and or glasses to the vast majority of children they examine, even when these patients would not be thought to be abnormal following a thorough eye examination by a conventional optometrist or ophthalmologist....

Meares Irlen Syndrome

This study did not investigate whether Irlen's claims about the high prevalence of Meares-Irlen Syndrome are accurate, although recent studies suggest that about 20-30 of typical (unselected) schoolchildren select and continue to use a colored overlay for a sustained period of time (Evans and Joseph, 2002). Interestingly, the condition appears to be almost as common in good readers as in dyslexia (Kriss, 2001), but it may be that the symptoms are more apparent to children who have reading problems (Evans, 2001). Three caveats should be stressed about this system (Evans, 2001). First, about one third of children who are issued with a colored overlay return for Intuitive Colorimetry. This suggests that the system of trying overlays first is a good method of differentiating the genuine cases from those who may simply want to try color for a novelty. Second, for sound optical reasons, the color of a person's preferred overlay is different from the color of their preferred lens. Spectacle...


While it is relatively easy to establish that visual factors are correlated with dyslexia, there is much less evidence to suggest that these factors are causes of reading difficulties. Unfortunately, there has been a tendency for many researchers to conclude that a visual correlate of dyslexia is necessarily a cause of dyslexia. Vision is clearly essential for reading, but this does not mean that all visual anomalies will interfere with reading. All of the optometric correlates that are listed in this chapter also occur in some people who do not have reading difficulties. Further, many people with reading difficulties do not have any visual problems. So the relationship between visual problems and reading performance is unlikely to be a simple causal one. The evidence for visual factors causing reading difficulties is rather less compelling than the argument that phonological factors are major causes of reading problems. The finding that the magno deficit is often present in children...


The use of a distance letter chart test for school screening would be very unlikely to detect any of the visual correlates of dyslexia described in this chapter. Some schools use screening instruments that include binocular vision tests, but these tests are generally coarse and create conditions very different from normal reading. This is in direct contrast with optometric binocular vision tests which have, in recent years, evolved so as more closely to resemble the normal situation when reading (Evans, 2002). Not all the children who require optometric intervention have symptoms. It therefore seems most appropriate for all children with suspected learning difficulties to receive optometric investigation. Optometrists receive a fixed fee for a child's eye examination. The value of this fee has reduced in real terms since its introduction and only the basic eye examination is usually covered by the NHS fee. Because of the various visual anomalies that need to be looked for in a person...


Ocular pathology is rare in childhood and is not a major cause of reading difficulties. Poor visual acuities and refractive errors are only rarely severe enough to interfere with reading, although longsightedness is often missed by school vision screening and can cause visual discomfort and blurred vision with reading. People with dyslexia tend, on average, to have a slightly reduced amplitude of accommodation for their age. In a few severe cases, this may cause eyestrain and blur when reading. Similar problems can result from binocular incoordination, which also has a higher than usual prevalence in dyslexia. If severe, both of these types of visual problems can be treated with eye exercises or spectacles. Ocular dominance is not currently thought to be one of the key issues in reading, and the Dunlop Test is widely recognized as being too unreliable for routine use. The type of binocular incoordination that this test is thought to detect may be identified by more conventional...

Beyond The Cortex

Anatomical investigations have suggested some form of abnormality in the cortex of dyslexic brains (Galaburda et al., 1985), yet other areas of the brain may play a part. The thalamus is almost certainly implicated in some aspect of language functions (Crosson, 1985) and has been shown to be under-activated in dyslexic adults in comparison with controls in some PET and fMRI studies (see Roush, 1995). Indeed, particular parts of the thalamus, the lateral and medial geniculate nuclei, have been said to be abnormal in dyslexia. To appreciate the significance of the findings, it is first necessary to consider the organization of the visual system.

Concluding Comments

This chapter has reviewed research indicating that anomalies in a variety of brain areas are associated with, or might even contribute to, developmental dyslexia. We should not forget, however, that experiential factors might be responsible for certain findings rather than the other way around. Research in the neurosciences is currently revealing how much experience and biology interact to determine functional and even structural properties of the brain. Different regions of the brain do not function in isolation what happens in one part of the brain can have effects at other parts far removed. For example, neu-roimaging studies reveal a close correspondence between activity in certain areas of one cerebral hemisphere and activity in the opposite cerebellar hemisphere (e.g., Junck et al., 1988). Conceivably, therefore, some aspects of dyslexia are associated with disturbances of cortico-cerebellar circuitry as opposed to functional impairment of the cortex or cerebellum alone (see...

Margaret J Snowling

Up until the 1960s, the study of dyslexia was primarily the domain of medical specialists. Foremost amongst them was Samuel T. Orton, whose insights into the condition that he described as strephosymbolia presaged much present thinking. Orton (1925) considered dyslexia to be a brain-based disorder with a hereditary component, with affected family members often reporting associated speech or language difficulties. Orton considered that the problems of dyslexia were amenable to intervention and, together with his colleagues Gillingham and Stillman, he pioneered a highly structured, multisensory approach to the remediation of reading and spelling difficulties that is at the root of most contemporary approaches (Snowling, 1996). As we shall see, although details of Orton's theory were incorrect, his characterization of the problem was broadly similar to that which is held today.

Ocular Dominance

The concept of a dominant eye is simplistic and its relevance to dyslexia is probably overstated. One cause of confusion is that there are at least three different types of ocular dominance sighting, motor, and sensory ocular dominance (Evans, 2001). In a given individual, the right eye might be the dominant eye for a sighting task and the left for a motor task and it may even be the case that the right eye is the dominant eye for one motor task and the left for another motor task. It is not clearly known which, if any, of these types of ocular dominance is most relevant for reading. Sighting tests of ocular dominance were once used to determine whether an individual was crossed dominant (sighting eye on the opposite side to the dominant hand), and crossed dominance was thought to be related to reading difficulties. However, some studies have failed to support this hypothesis and the consensus now seems to be that sighting dominance is largely irrelevant to the assessment and...

Why Study Twins

Identical and fraternal twins are uniquely informative about the relative contributions from genes and environment to individual differences in reading across the normal range, and to the severe reading deficits found in dyslexia. Identical twin pairs are derived from the same sperm and egg (the egg is called a zygote, so identical twins are Monozygotic or MZ). Therefore, MZ twins share all their genes. Fraternal twins develop from two different sperm-egg fertilizations (i.e., they are Dizygotic or DZ). Therefore, they share, on average, half of their segregating genes (the small minority of genes that vary across individuals). Thus, DZ twins have the same degree of average genetic similarity as ordinary brothers and sisters, but like the MZ twins, they share their intrauterine environment, are born at the same time, and then share their family environment. Of course growing up in the same family, schools, and community does not mean that the environments are the same for twins in a...


Research has found dyslexia to be correlated with low fusional reserves and an unstable heterophoria (Evans, 2001). Together, these two visual anomalies characterize a condition termed binocular instability (Evans, 2002), and the symptoms of this, when reported, are similar to those of decompensated heterophoria. It should be noted that some people with binocular instability or decompensated heterophoria read very well, so these conditions are not necessarily causes of dyslexia. However, in some cases, these binocular vision problems can make reading very difficult and occasionally the label of dyslexia is used inappropriately when in fact the person's problems solely stem from a binocular vision anomaly. Decompensated heterophoria and binocular instability usually respond very well to treatment, either by exercises or spectacles.

Diseases and Developmental Role of TRs

The phenotype of patients with RTH syndrome includes the symptoms of elevated levels of circulating thyroid hormone and decreased response to thyroid hormone. Various degrees of attention deficit, learning disabilities and mental retardation, hearing loss, and delay in bone growth and, therefore, short stature have been reported (25) (see Chapter 8 by Yoh and Privalsky). However, the precise role of TR0 inducing these symptoms is unknown. Interestingly, so far there is no human inherited disease described that is correlated with mutations in the gene encoding TRa. Mice model systems using knock-out of TRa or TR0 reveal distinct roles of these receptors in animal physiology (26), (see Chapter 2 by Gauthier et al.). TRa is important for early development, including bone growth, maturation of the intestine, and proper development of the immune system (27). Also, body temperature and heart rate is controlled by TRa (28). TR0, on the other hand, is involved in the maturation of cochlea,...

Americans with Disabilities Act ADA

For people with learning disability, the ADA provides legislative support for accommodations within both educational and workplace settings. Unlike the federal legislation governing public education for children with learning disabilities, the ADA places a much greater burden of responsibility on the person seeking services or accommodations. The ADA also clearly protects educational institutions and employers from being required to provide accommodations that place unreasonable burdens or that represent significant lowering of educational standards. At the same time, the ADA also provides broad protection for children with learning disabilities in a wide variety of contexts.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD

ADHD and learning disability frequently occur together, but they are not the same. Learning disabilities include difficulty with receiving, organizing, processing, understanding, remembering, and offering information. ADHD involves difficulty with paying attention to information. Between 10 percent and 20 percent of all school-age children have learning disabilities. Of those with learning disabilities, between 4 percent and 12 percent of all school-age children will also have ADHD, making it the most common childhood neurobehavioral disorder.

The Effects of Early Injury to the Cortical Plate on Callosal Connectivity

Glenn d. rosen Dyslexia Research Laboratory and Charles A. Dana Research Institute, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Division of Behavioral Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Areas of focal microdysgenesis and microgyria are seen in individuals with developmental dyslexia (Galaburda et al., 1985). It had been hypothesized that these focal developmental abnormalities are related to the cognitive deficits of dyslexia, either because they directly provoke cerebral reorganization even at a distance or because their presence serves as an indicator of such reorganization stemming from an (as yet) unidentified common etiologic factor. The results outlined here lend some support to the first of these two possibilities.

Cortex limbic See limbic system

Council for Learning Disabilities A professional group for those interested in the study of learning disabilities that works to promote the education and general welfare of those who have specific learning disabilities by improving teacher-preparation programs and local special-education programs and resolving important research issues. Founded in 1967, the group publishes the quarterly LD Forum and a quarterly journal. For address, see Appendix ii.

Education for All Handicapped Children

Congress passed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act in 1975 to meet the special educational needs of children who are mentally retarded, hard of hearing, deaf, speech impaired, visually handicapped, seriously emotionally disturbed, or orthopedically impaired, or other health impaired children, including children with AIDS, or children with specific learning disabilities.

The following recommendations have been provided by the US Centers for Disease Control

Usually no symptoms 45-69 mcg dl Colic, anemia, learning disabilities 70 mcg dl Vomiting, anemia, critical illness See also dyslexia learning disability. learning disability (LD) A neurobiological disorder in which a person's brain works or is structured differently, affecting one or more of the basic processes involved in understanding or using spoken or written language. Such a disability may result in a problem with listening, thinking, speaking, reading, writing, spelling, or doing mathematical calculations. Experts believe that children with learning disabilities have a problem with the way the brain handles information that hinders the normal learning process. Learning disabilities affect one in seven people and represent a national problem of enormous proportions. In fact, learning disabilities constitute the most-often-assigned special education classification. Every year, 120,000 additional students are diagnosed with learning disabilities, a diagnosis now shared by 2.4...

Augmentative and Alternative Communication General Issues

The role an AAC system plays in a particular child's life will vary depending on the type and severity of the child's language disorder. Children who use AAC include those individuals who present with congenital disorders as well as those individuals with an acquired language disorder. Children with congenital language disorders include children with cerebral palsy, dual sensory impairments, developmental apraxia of speech, language learning disabilities, mental retardation, autism, and pervasive developmental disorders. Acquired language disorders may include traumatic brain injury (TBI) and a range of other etiologies (e.g., sickle cell anemia) that affect language skills.

Developmental specificity of visual functions in humans

The retina) is more affected by visual deprivation than is development of the W- and X-cell pathways (Sherman and Spear, 1982). Investigators have also reported that the effects of congenital visual deprivation (due to cataracts) are more pronounced on peripheral than foveal vision (and by implication on the dorsal pathway) (Mioche and Perenin, 1986 Bowering et al., 1997). Moreover, in developmental disabilities including dyslexia, specific language impairment, and Williams syndrome, visual deficits are more pronounced for dorsal than ventral visual pathway functions (Lovegrove, Garzia, and Nicholson, 1990 Eden et al., 1996 Atkinson et al., 1997). An additional hypothesis that may account for the greater effects on peripheral vision is that in development the effects of deprivation and enhancement are equivalent within all cortical regions. Those areas with less extent to begin with (e.g., MT, peripheral visual representations) would display the largest proportional effects of both...

Language Disorders in School Age Children Overview

Several populations of school-age children are at risk for language disorders. These populations include children with developmental disabilities, such as children with mental retardation, autism, or a pervasive developmental disorder, and also children in whom only subtle cognitive deficits are implicated. Among the latter are children with learning disabilities or disorders as well as children with attention deficit disorder, characterized by frequent instances of inattention and impulsiveness, and children with disruptive behavior disorder, marked by aggressive behavior or the violation of social norms. Children with hearing impairments are also at risk for language disorders. Although most school-age language disorders are developmental, children may have acquired language disorders resulting from closed head injuries, seizure disorders, or focal lesions such as stroke or tumors. Taken together, children with language disorders constitute a large group of students for whom...

Language Problems in Children with Reading Disabilities

Children with reading disabilities have also been reported to have other deficits in phonological processing (Wagner and Torgesen, 1987). Poor readers have problems in phonological retrieval (i.e., rapid naming), phonological memory, and phonological production (reviewed in Catts and Kamhi, 1999). Although these difficulties in phonological processing often co-occur with those in phonological awareness, there are notable exceptions. For example, one current theory proposes that phonological awareness and rapid naming are somewhat independent, so that poor readers may have deficits in either area alone or in combination (Wolf and Bowers, 1999). However, it is proposed that children with deficits in both areas, or what is termed a double deficit, are at greatest risk for reading difficulties.

Epilepsy Quality of Life

Videotape presents case studies on four children with epilepsy Aaron, Danny, David, and Sabrina. In each case, the video describes how a reevaluation of treatment improved the quality of life of the individual. In the case of Aaron, who experienced complex partial seizures, new drugs that treated his partial seizures rather than generalized seizures more effectively controlled his epilepsy. Danny's case represents the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to epilepsy treatment. In Danny's case, his difficulty coping with epilepsy had caused him to have stomach problems and learning difficulties. Part of his treatment involved switching schools to one where a learning disabilities teacher was able to work with him. In the case of David, his medications were causing him to have personality changes and made him speak and think very slowly. A change to a new medication greatly improved his personality and quality of life. In the case of Sabrina, her epilepsy had never been properly...

Epilepsy The Child and the Family

Medications regularly to maintain steady levels of the drug in their blood. Common AED side effects include staggering, sleepiness, learning difficulties, and behavior problems. Drug allergies may cause aggression, rash, blood changes, or liver changes. There is no evidence that chronic AED use leads to experimenting with illegal drugs, though teenagers may rebel against regular use of AED's. Parents should communicate with the physician and explore their child's feelings about epilepsy. Parents are encouraged to discuss epilepsy frankly with other children, babysitters, grandparents, and teachers. School problems such as inattention or difficulty with certain subjects should be addressed they may or may not relate to epilepsy. Children with epilepsy are encouraged to lead normal, active lives. Parents are cautioned to avoid seizure triggers and not overprotect their children.

Minimal brain dysfunction

Historically, minimal brain dysfunction (MBD) was the term used to define and classify learning and behavioral difficulties now classified under the category of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It generally includes hyperactivity, impulsivity, and any of a number of learning and language disabilities such as dyslexia and problems with math. Students with identified learning disabilities can waive the tests, although some schools suggest that these students take the tests anyway in the freshman year. If the student fails the entire test, he could then take it again with modifications as stipulated in his individual education plan. Students with learning disabilities as a senior can waive the tests.

Rebound headaches See headaches

Individuals with dyslexia or specific reading disabilities have problems with receptive language, involving deficits in both oral language and processing sounds (phonological processing), and significant problems in decoding and understanding texts. Some individuals with these problems still have relatively strong oral expression, although most will have problems with written expression due to problems with reading written language.

Memory and Processing Capacity

Investigators have examined short-term or working memory abilities in children with varying profiles of language and cognitive deficits, including children with Down syndrome, Williams' syndrome, Landau-Kleffner syndrome, learning disabilities, and specific language impairment (SLI). Of special interest are children with SLI, who demonstrate significant language deficits in the absence of any clearly identifiable cause such as mental retardation or hearing loss. One theoretical camp views SLI in terms of limited processing capacity. There are various formulations of limited capacity accounts of SLI, including hypotheses about specific deficits in phonological working memory and hypotheses regarding more generalized difficulties in information processing and storage that affect performance across modalities (cf. Leonard, 1998). Difficulties discussed here are limited to poor nonword repetition, reduced listening span, and poor serial recall.

Types of Muscular Dystrophy

Tually the muscles involved in breathing weaken, which can be fatal. Typically, children with Duchenne MD live only to about age 20 years. Although most children have average intelligence, learning disabilities (especially those involving verbal learning and reading comprehension) are more common in boys with Duchenne than in other children.

Spina Bifida Adoption Referral Program

The most severe form of spina bifida is mye-lomeningocele, which is what most people think of when they hear the term spina bifida. This abnormality is characterized by the protrusion of nerve and tissue from the spinal cord into a sac, which may or may not be covered by skin on the outside. Symptoms include muscle weakness, loss of sensation, paralysis below the defect, and incontinence. In addition, a malformation at the base of the brain stem can lead to a hydrocephalus (a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid) which must be relieved via a shunt to avoid brain damage, including blindness, deafness, seizures, and learning disabilities.

Assessment of and Intervention with Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

The purpose of communication assessment of children with educationally significant hearing loss differs from the purpose of assessing children with language or learning disabilities. Since the diagnosis of a hearing disability has already been made, the primary goal of communication assessment is to determine the impact of the hearing loss on language, speech, auditory skills, or cognitive, social-emotional, educational and vocational development, not to diagnose a disability. It is critical to determine the rate of language and communication development and to identify strategies that will be most beneficial for optimal development.

Developmental Impairments of the Central Executive

Studies of adult participants have established links between complex working memory capacity and many high-level cognitive abilities, including following directions, note-taking, writing, reasoning and complex learning (see Engle et al., 1999). It might therefore be expected that children with compromised central executive function will be educationally disadvantaged at school. There is accumulating evidence that this is indeed the case. Children who performed below expected levels of attainment in National Curriculum assessments in English and maths at 7 years had significant deficits on central executive tasks relative to their normally achieving peers (Gathercole & Pickering, 2000). These data indicate that the consequences of compromised central executive function may be far-reaching for young children. More severe central executive deficits may lead to significant learning difficulties. Gathercole & Pickering (2001) found that central executive measures were highly effective in...

Sensory integration dysfunction 447

Research clearly identifies sensory integrative problems in children with developmental or learning difficulties, and independent research shows that a sensory integrative problem can be found in some children who are considered learning disabled by schools. However, sensory integrative problems are not limited to children with learning disabilities they can affect all ages, intellectual levels, and socioeconomic groups. Learning disabilities As many as 30 percent of school-age children may have learning disabilities. While most of these children have normal intelligence, many are likely to have sensory inte-grative problems. These children are also more likely than their peers to have been born prematurely, to have had early developmental problems, and to have poor motor coordination. Early intervention can improve sensory integration in these Many studies indicate that children with learning disabilities are at risk for later delinquency, criminal behavior, alcoholism, and drug...

Developmental Amnesia

A further case of developmental amnesia, Julia, was reported by Temple (1997a). Julia was born at 40 weeks' gestation. She smiled at 6 weeks, walked at 13 months and could dress herself at 2 years, indicating good milestones. There was a family history of convulsions and specific learning difficulties with language and reading. All of the family was right-handed but Julia was left-handed. Both memory difficulties and delayed language development were noted in the preschool years. At the age of 3.9, naming skills were at the first centile for age. At the age of 6, temporal lobe epilepsy developed. CT scan was normal. Difficulties with both word recognition and word finding were noted in the speech therapist's report at this time. When she was 7, Julia's class teacher noted that she sometimes has difficulty remembering words or what a word actually means . Assessed at the age of 12, on the WISC-R, there was a wide scatter in subtests with half in the 7-10 score range, i.e. within 1 SD...

Principles of Substance Abuse Treatment

As stated earlier in the chapter, Hispanic women may underreport their alcohol use because of the austere cultural proscriptions they face when drinking. Clinicians must stress to all Hispanic female drinkers of childbearing age, whether known to be pregnant or not, that there is no known safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and that they should abstain completely if possible. Some are tragically unaware that although they may deliver apparently healthy babies without physical signs of fetal alcohol syndrome, myriad neuropsychiatric problems are attributable to gestational alcohol intake, such as speech and language delays, learning disabilities, and emotional instability, which sometimes do not become evident until well after birth. It is helpful for clinicians to present balanced points of view to their Hispanic patients when the media sensationalize a particular drug issue. For example, the past media reports of low to moderate alcohol ingestion reducing cholesterol...

Materialspecific Impairment Of Memory

Bishop et al. (2000) described material-specific memory impairments in Turner's syndrome (TS). TS is a genetic disorder in females, in which the second X chromosome is absent or abnormal. Intelligence spans the normal range but there is a set of specific learning difficulties. Cerebral glucose metabolism studies of brain activation and MRI studies suggest bilateral, parietal and occipital lobe involvement in TS (Clark et al., 1989 Elliott et al., 1996 Murphy et al., 1993 Reiss et al., 1993). However, Murphy et al.'s (1993) study also indicated bilateral involvement of the hippocampi. In a MRI study of monozygotic twins discordant for TS, Reiss et al. (1993) concurred with the parieto-occipital locus on the right with a parietal-perisylvian locus on the left. However, in addition, they found marked discrepancies between the twins in right prefrontal areas. As Maurer (1992) pointed out, many learning disabilities can be recast as disorders of material-specific memory. Exploring this...

The Approach Look For The Rare But Remember The Ordinary

I do not provide information on the diagnostic tests and the clinical signs and symptoms of the many genetic disorders mentioned in this chapter, nor do I discuss the essential genetic counseling and psychosocial issues for each condition. I do mention several situations where obtaining a medical-family history poses special challenges (such as obtaining a history from a person with profound hearing loss, or from an individual with severe learning disabilities). There are many excellent and comprehensive tomes delving into the medical and psychosocial intricacies of hereditary disease (see Appendix A.5 The Genetics Library). Unusual birthmarks (particularly if associated with seizures, learning disabilities, or dysmorphic features)

Speech Sound Disorders in Children Description and Classification

The DSM-IV-TR (American Psychiatric Association, 2000) classification represents the most streamlined classification of children's speech disorders and one that is perhaps more familiar than others to a broad range of speech pathologists, who use it for billing purposes, and non-speech-language pathologists who come in contact with children with childhood speech disorders. Within this classification, Phonological Disorders 315.39 (formerly Developmental Articulation Disorders) is nested within Communication Disorders. Communication Disorders, in turns, falls under the relatively large category Disorders Usually First Diagnosed in Infancy, Childhood, or Adolescence. This category includes, among others, mental retardation, learning disorders (learning disabilities), and pervasive developmental disorders.

National Foundation for Brain Research A

National Networker A national support group for learning-disabled adults, for professionals, and for others interested in problems of learning disabilities. The group seeks to educate, to compile statistics and provide information about LD, and to provide a peer counseling network to help members develop themselves as leaders in this field. Founded in 1982, the group publishes a quarterly newsletter. See also council for learning disabilities LEARNING DISABILITIES ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA NATIONAL CENTER FOR LEARNING DISABILITIES ORTON DYSLEXIA SOCIETY TIME OUT TO ENJOY (TOTE).

Speech Disorders in Adults Psychogenic

Purely psychogenic speech disorders, the subject of this chapter, are rare in clinical practice. With psycho-genic speech disorders, the communication breakdown stems from a conversion disorder. Conversion disorders are included within a larger family of psychiatric disorders, somatoform illnesses. These tend to be associated with pathologic beliefs and attitudes on the part of the patient that results in somatic symptoms. The American Psychiatric Association (1987) defines a conversion disorder as an alteration or loss of physical functioning that suggests a physical disorder, that actually represents an expression of a psychological conflict or need. An example might be a woman who suddenly loses her voice because she cannot face the psychological conflict of a spouse's affair. Here the symptom (voice loss) constitutes a lesser threat to her psychological equilibrium than confronting the husband with his infidelity. A partial list of psychogenic speech disorders includes partial...

Jewish Association for Retarded Citizens JARC

Children with perceptual errors often miss the real transpositions while identifying others. The test may be given to individuals or groups and is scored by hand. Scores are sometimes used as a kind of developmental screening test or diagnostic assessment for children believed to have learning disabilities.

Speech Disorders in Children A Psycholinguistic Perspective

Psycholinguistic Model Repetition

In a medical perspective, speech and language problems are classified according to clinical entity. Commonly used labels include dyspraxia, dysarthria, and stuttering. Causes of speech difficulties can be identified (e.g., cleft palate, hearing loss, neurological impairment) or an associated medical condition is known (e.g., autism, learning difficulties, Down syndrome).

Speech Disorders in Children Motor Speech Disorders of Known Origin

When the cause of a childhood motor speech disorder is known, it is typically because a physician specializing in pediatric neurology has diagnosed it. If this neurological diagnosis (e.g., cerebral palsy, Mobius syndrome, muscular dystrophy) is made during the prelinguistic period, there is some expectation that if neuromuscular dysfunction was observed in earlier nonspeech activities (e.g., sucking, chewing, swallowing, control of saliva, facial expressions) of muscle groups that are involved in speech production, speech development will also be delayed and disrupted (Love, 2000). Congenital supra-bulbar paresis, or Worster-Drought syndrome, which has been classified by Clark et al. (2000) as a mild spastic quadriplegic type of cerebral palsy resulting from damage to the perisylvian areas of the cortex, often is not diagnosed until the child is older, if at all. Early diagnosis of this condition is important to speech-language pathologists (Crary, 1993 Clark et al., 2000) because it...

Physical Birth Anomalies And Variants

Physical anomalies that are recognized at birth or in infancy are categorized as major or minor. Major anomalies (such as an omphalocele, most congenital heart defects, or a facial cleft) are of medical and or cosmetic significance. Table 4.2 gives examples of major congenital anomalies. Minor malformations (usually involving the face, ears, hands, and feet) affect somewhere between 4 and 15 of the population. (Cohen et al., 1997 Cohen, 1997 Robinson and Linden, 1993). Minor anomalies do not have substantial medical or cosmetic consequences. A minor anomaly seen without other physical differences may represent the spectrum of normal variation, and it may be inherited. Learning disabilities and mental retardation are often associated with syndromes involving birth anomalies. Before a minor variation is considered significant, the parents (and other family members) should be examined to see if the characteristic is simply a normal familial variant. For example, it is common for...

Genetic Sovereignty

M. Rumsey, J. M. Maisog, R. P. Woods, and T. A. Zeffiro, Abnormal Processing of Visual Motion in Dyslexia Revealed by Functional Brain Imaging, Nature 382 (1996) 66-69 C. Frith and U. Frith, A Biological Marker for Dyslexia, Nature 382 (1996) 19-20.

The Atomization of Human Behavior

Iorally and clinically distinct types of prosopagnosia are known, stemming from lesions in different areas of the brain. Another condition that sometimes entails a specific deficit in brain function is dyslexia, a neurological disorder first noticed as reading and language difficulties in children. A biological marker for developmental dyslexia recently was identified in the form of distinctive brain activity patterns localized to a small area of cerebral cortex.39 Anosognosia is another example of a condition entailing a specific deficit in brain function, in this case involving damage to the right parietal lobe. Patients are paralyzed on the left side of their bodies but steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the disability.40 Disruptions of neurological function occasionally may arise from genetic mutations also. Some forms of dyslexia someday may provide empirical examples because they tend to run in families. The term genocopy has been suggested for any genetic effect that mimics a...

A 10Year Old Boy with Pain Induced Seizures

A 10-year-old male with a history of learning disabilities, developmental delay, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) suffered a nonfebrile seizure after he hit his knee while getting into the shower. The patient had no prior history of seizure, but his mother had experienced multiple pain-induced seizures. The patient was in no apparent distress and his respiration, pulse, and blood pressure were normal. He denied headaches or visual problems and had no evidence of a head injury. An EEG and head CT were normal. STAT serum chemistry tests revealed hypercalcemia (Table 31.1). The following values were found

Nondominant hemisphere The brain hemisphere that is not dominant for speech

Nonverbal learning disabilities (NLD) A form of learning disability that primarily affects social functioning in areas such as interpersonal skills, social perception, and interaction. Also called right-hemisphere learning disorders, this problem often goes unrecognized for a large part of a child's schooling. since abnormalities of the right brain hemisphere interfere with understanding and adaptive learning, experts believe that nonverbal learning disabilities are more debilitating than verbal disabilities. Experts suspect that nonverbal learning disabilities are caused by a problem in the right hemi sphere of the brain, either from brain injury or damage before birth. The damage primarily affects visual-spatial perception, processing, and reasoning. Individuals with NLD often display significant strengths in verbal areas and may develop reading and speaking skills earlier than their peers consequently, their nonverbal learning difficulties may be overlooked. Nonverbal learning...

Self Efficacy Gender and Academic Achievement

Earlier, we discussed Bandura s four sources of self-efficacy mastery experiences, social modeling, social persuasion, and emotional states. A recent paper by Nan Zhang Hampton and Emanuel Mason (2003) suggests that students with learning disabilities may have lower self-efficacy mainly because they have less access to these four sources of self-efficacy. In this case, for example, repeated failure to master academic experiences leads to low self-efficacy in students with learning disabilities. This, in turn, leads to the vicious cycle of trying less and failing even more. Perceptions become rehiforced by experience. Even social modeling is lowered hi students with learning disabilities because these students do not identify with successful students. Previous research on self-efficacy and learning disabilities has ignored possible mechanisms that might explahi their relationship between these two factors. By including gender and sources of self-efficacy, Hampton and Mason hoped to...

Inclusion Models for Children with Developmental Disabilities

During 1998-99, 5,541,166 students with disabilities, or 8.75 of the school-age population ages 6-21 years, received special education and related services under Part B of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (U.S. Department of Education, 2000). IDEA specifies 13 disability categories based on etiological groupings. The largest single category of disability served is specific learning disabilities (50.8 ), with speech and language impairments the second largest category (19.4 ). Children with mental retardation account for 11.0 , while children with autism, considered a low incidence disability, constitute 1 of those receiving special education and related services. Since the original passage in 1975 of IDEA's forerunner, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, the categorical model has served as the basis for determining who qualifies for special education in accord with two premises. First, each disability category represents a separate and...

Speech and Language Disorders in Children Computer Based Approaches

Computer software for use in speech and language intervention has progressed significantly from the early versions, which were based primarily on a drill-and-practice format. Cochran and Nelson (1999) cite literature that confirms what many clinicians knew intuitively software that allows the child to be in control and to independently explore based on personal interests is more beneficial than computer programs based on the drill-and-practice model. Improvements in multimedia capacities and an appreciation for maximally effective designs have resulted in a proliferation of software packages that can be effectively used in language intervention with young children. As with any tool, the focus must remain on the target linguistic structures rather than the toys or activities that are used to elicit or model productions. In addition to therapeutic benefits, computers offer reasonable compensatory strategies for older, school-age students with language-learning disabilities (Wood and...

Specific Language Impairment in Children

Children with SLI are at greater risk for reading deficits than children with typical language development. This observation can be explained in part by the fact that children with SLI and those with developmental dyslexia are overlapping populations (McArthur et al., 2000). For example, prospective study of children from homes with a positive history of dyslexia reveals significantly more difficulties with spoken language than children with no such family history (Scarborough, 1990).

Attention Deficit Information Network Inc A

Autism significantly impairs a child's ability to communicate and socialize with others. While severity and symptoms vary according to age, the disorder is significant and sustained. The mildest forms of autism resemble a personality disorder associated with a perceived learning disability. The most severe cases are marked by extremely repetitive, unusual, self-injurious, and aggressive behavior that may persist and prove very difficult to change, posing a tremendous challenge to those who must live with, treat, and teach these individuals. In a few cases, disorders such as fragile x syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, untreated phenylketonuria (PKU), and congenital German measles cause autistic behavior. Other disorders, including tourette's syndrome, learning disability, and attention deficit disorder often occur with autism but do not cause it. While people with schizophrenia may show some autistic-like behavior, their symptoms usually do not appear until the late teens or early...

Otitis Media Effects on Childrens Language

Whether recurrent or persistent otitis media during the first few years of life increases a child's risk for later language and learning difficulties continues to be debated. Otitis media is the most frequent illness of early childhood, after the common cold. Otitis media with effusion (OME) denotes fluid in the middle ear accompanying the otitis media. OME generally causes mild to moderate fluctuating conductive hearing loss that persists until the fluid goes away. It has been proposed that a child who experiences repeated and persistent episodes of OME and associated hearing loss in early childhood will have later language and academic difficulties. Unlike the well-established relationship between moderate or severe permanent hearing loss and language development, a relationship between OME and later impairment in language development is not clear. This entry describes the possible effect of OME on language development in early childhood, research studies examining the OME-language...

Language Ability and Stuttering in Young Children

The scholarly literature reveals a relatively longstanding view of the child who stutters as more likely to have language learning difficulties or impairments than typically developing peers. Through analysis of spontaneous language sample data, a group of scholars has empirically evaluated the expressive language abilities of a large cohort of young children who stutter (Watkins and Yairi, 1997 Watkins, Yairi, and Ambrose, 1999). The Illinois Stuttering Research Project has prospec-tively tracked a group of young children who stutter, beginning as near stuttering onset as possible and continuing longitudinally for a number of years to monitor persistence in versus recovery from stuttering. This work has focused on expressive language abilities, comparing the performance of young children who stutter with normative expectations on a range of language sample measures, such as mean length of utterance (MLU, a general index of grammatical ability), number of different words (NDW, a...

Trisomies For Chromosomes 13

According to Klinefelter Syndrome and Associates2 Klinefelter males occur at a surprisingly high frequency of 1 500 to 1 1000 live births. Like XX females, XXY males undergo X inactivation during early embryonic development. Thus, half their somatic cells have inactivated one of their two Xs and the other half of the cells have inactivated the other. Klinefelter males often have small, nonfunctional testes, are sterile, and have some external feminization, such as breasts and hips. Because the testes have atrophied, not a lot of testosterone flows through their bodies. In many of these men, there is almost an even amount of estrogen and testosterone in the individual's system. It has been found that some Klinefelter boys and men have social problems and learning difficulties. Two other types of genotypic abnormalities of the sex chromosomes, which fail to have fancy names, are XYY males and XXX females. Although XYY men do not exhibit any characteristic set of abnormal phenotypes,...

Sensory integration dysfunction 281

Research clearly identifies sensory integrative problems in children with developmental or learning difficulties, and independent research shows that a sensory integrative problem can be found in some children who are considered learning disabled by schools. However, sensory integrative problems are not limited to children with learning disabilities they can affect all ages, intellectual levels and socioeconomic groups. Prematurity As more premature infants survive today, they enter the world with easily overstimulated nervous systems and multiple medical problems. Parents need to learn how to give their premature infant the sensory nourishment their child requires for optimal development, and how to avoid harmful overstimulation. Developmental disorders Severe problems with sensory processing are a hallmark of autism. Autistic children seek out unusual amounts of certain types of sensations, but are extremely hypersensitive to others. similar traits are often seen in other children...

Intermodal transfer during the second semester after birth

This weakness also appears in studies examining the risks linked to populations of children presenting mental handicaps, neuronal damage or learning difficulties (cf. Freides 1974). Rose, Gottfried and Bridger (1978) studied the influence of social and biological factors on intermodal transfer in twelve-month-old babies born prematurely (at birth the gestational age was 32.6 weeks, the weight was 1650g) and full term twelve-month-olds, from a low socio-economic class. The authors re-used the three transfer tasks already