Greetings ladies and gentlemen, members of the board and other guests. Today we are going to discuss dyslexia. This a complex disorder with many theories and presentations of cognitive deficits. The chief deficit can be found in reading ability. This presentation is going to touch on three theories which hypothesize the causes of dyslexia; phonological deficits, naming-speed, and double-deficit theories. The presentation will conclude with recommendations to the board to provide more access to testing and evaluation for students.
Sternberg and Sternberg (2012) define dyslexia as reading trouble where people have deficits in deciphering, reading and comprehending text. These deficits can make the educational process very difficult for children and adults since dyslexia typically continues into adulthood. The lifetime range of the disorder is even more concerning since we live in a society where reading abililty is necessary to successfully navigate through life. It should be noted that having a dyslexia diagnosis is not indicative of having a low IQ.
While there are several kinds of dyslexia the two main types, developmental and acquired. Developmental dyslexia is most common, begins in childhood and will most likely continue through to adulthood. Children with developmental dyslexia will have difficulty learning the basic rules of letters and sounds, (Sternberg & Sternberg. 2012). Acquired dyslexia occurs when someone with normal reading abilities experiences traumatic brain injury which begins to negatively impact reading skills and abilities. People with developmental dyslexia have been found to have abnormal chromosomes and atypical brain activation.
This is and image which shows the brain activation sites in someone with normal reading ability versus someone with dyslexia when given a reading test. The brain of the dyslexic participation displays hypo-activation (under-activation) in regions of the brain where perception of letters, reading, comprehension and working memory occur. This gives a quick visual understanding of the difference in how brains of people with dyslexia function.
We will now move on to the three dyslexia theories I noted at the beginning of the presentation. Phonological deficits are well-recognized in people with dyslexia and contribute significantly to reading issues which are prevalent in dyslexia. The deficits are found to occur in phonological awareness, or the awareness of the sound structures in spoken language, this may be tested in children by having them read a word with one of the sounds missing. Another deficit occurs in phonological reading, where words are comprehended in isolation or context is needed; phonological coding where strings of phonemes are recalled in working memory. Finally there is lexical access which is the ability of someone to recall a word from long term memory. When describing phonological-deficit theory, Wolf and Bowers (2000) do not include naming-speed deficits in the definition. This will make more sense when we discusss double-deficit theory.
The next theory we are going to touch on is naming-speed deficit. What has been found in studying children with dyslexia and children who read normally is dyslexic children have slower times when identifying stimuli when compared to normally developed peers. These results are not solely isolated to words, but colors and objects as well. When describing naming speed-deficit theory, Wolf and Bowers (2000), do not include phonological deficits in the definition of naming-speed deficit. This will make more sense when we discuss double-deficit theory.
In this final theory which we touch on today, the deficits of phonological and naming-speed theories are considered as two independent sources of dyslexic dysfunction, and combined into the double-deficit theory to account for the short-comings in each of the individual theories.
This image is simply meant to give an idea of how someone with dyslexia may see when trying to read a word. This graphic gives a good representation for how dyslexia may manifest itself in different people.
Indiana schools do not and are not equipped to test for dyslexia since it does not fall under the realm of special education. We are not here to debate whether dyslexia should qualify a student for special education and all the services which fall under the special education umbrella. The point is by the time teachers, parents and other adults in the students life notice a problem it may be too late, leaving students and families to deal with a much larger and complicated problem. Early screening will identify concerns earlier in the child’s academic life and they can begin to receive supportive services before a critical point is reached, rendering new learning and study techniques obsolete.
This concludes my presentation. I hope some of the information on dyslexia theories and how this condition can differently manifest itself, gave you some information on the topic of dyslexia. I hope that my proposal to include early screening for dyslexia will be taken into consideration as we as a community try to develop plans to best help these children get the most out of their education. Investing in early screening and intervention methods will pay off as we educate a more literate and confident work force of bright thinkers. This topic is even more pressing since dyslexia follows children into adulthood, early intervention and support will keep a childhood learning hurdle fromm becoming a stumbling block as an adult.
A PRESENTATION TO THE INDIANA BOARD OF EDUCATION
WHAT IS DYSLEXIA?
A COGNITIVE DISORDER WHICH CAUSES DIFFICULTY WITH:
• DECIPHERING TEXT
• READING TEXT
• COMPREHENDING TEXT
(STERNBERG & STERNBERG, 2012)
WHAT IS DYSLEXIA?
2 MAIN TYPES:
• DEVELOPMENTAL-EVIRONMENTAL AND BIOLOGICAL CAUSES
• ACQUIRED-RESULTING FROM TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
(STERNBERG & STERNBERG, 2012)
IMAGE OF BRAIN ACTIVATION IN SOMEONE WITH
DYSLEXIA VERSUS A NORMAL READER
(IMAGE RETRIEVED FROM: https://courses.csail.mit.edu/6.803/globe.html)
PHONOLOGICAL DEFICIT THEORY
PHONOLOGICAL DEFICITS IN DYSLEXIA
• PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS-SOUND STRUCTURE OF SPOKEN
• PHONOLOGICAL READING-UNDERSTANDING WORDS IN ISOLATION OR
• PHONOLOGICAL CODING-WORKING MEMORY FOR CONFUSING VERSUS
• LEXICAL ACCESS-RETRIEVE WORDS FROM LONG TERM MEMORY
(STERNBERG & STERNBERG, 2012)
• CHILDREN WITH DYSLEXIA HAVE UNEXPECTED AND SEVER PROBLEMS
WITH NAMING STIMULI (FAWCETT & NICOLSON, 1994)
• STIMULI NAMING TIMES DIFFERENT FOR CHILDREN WITH DYSLEXIA AND
NORMAL READING CHILDREN (WOLF, 1997)
• CO-OCCURRENCE OF PHONOLOGICAL AND NAMING-SPEED DEFICITS
(WOLF & BOWERS, 2000)
• PHONOLOGICAL AND NAMING-SPEED DEFICITS REPRESENT
INDEPENDENT SOURCES OF DYSFUNCTION IN DYSLEXIA (VUKOVIC &
WHAT SOMEONE WITH DYSLEXIA MAY SEE WHEN
TRYING TO READ
(IMAGE RETRIVED FROM: http://www.kars4kids.org/blog/dyslexia-defined-an-unexpected-difficulty/)
PROPOSAL-EARLY SCREENING FOR
• WE HAVE EXAMINED THREE OF THE THEORIES WHICH ATTEMPT TO
EXPLAIN THE CAUSES OF DYLSEXIA
• DYSLEXIA CAN PRESENT DIFFERENTLY IN DIFFERENT CHILDREN, MAKING
IT DIFFICULT TO IDENTIFY WHO SHOULD RECEIVE SUPPORTIVE SERVICES
“FOR THE KIDS THAT HAVE DYSLEXIA, IT’S NOT THAT WHAT THEY’RE
DOING IN THE SCHOOLS IS BAD, IT’S JUST THAT IT’S CONFUSING TO THEM
SOMETIMES, AND IT GOES TOO FAST.”
-ROSIE HICKLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DYSLEXIA INSTITUTE OF INDIANA,
(QUOTE OBTAINED FROM:
THE END. (IMAGE RETRIVED FROM: http://dyslexia.yale.edu/Stu_stories.html)
FAWCETT, A.J. & NICOLSON, R.I. (1994). NAMING SPEED IN CHILDREN
WITH DYSLEXIA. JOURNAL OF LEARNING DISABILITIES, 27, 641-646.
MOXLEY, E. (PRODUCER). (2012, SEPTEMBER, 22). WHY PARENTS OF
STUDENTS WITH DYSLEXIA SAY INDIANA SCHOOLS NEED TO RETHINK
READING [AUDIO PODCAST]. RETRIEVED FROM:
VUKOVIC, R.K. & SIEGEL, L.S. (2006). THE DOUBLE DEFICIT HYPOTHESIS A
COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS OF THE EVIDENCE. JOURNAL OF LEARNING DISABILITIES,
STERNBERG, R.J. & STERNBERG, K. (2012). COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY (6TH ED.).
BELMONT, CA: WADSWORTH
WOLF, M., BOWERS, P.G. (2000). NAMING-SPEED PROCESSES AND
DEVELOPMENTAL READING DISABILITIES: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE
SPECIAL ISSUE ON THE DOUBLE-DEFICIT HYPOTHESIS. JOURNAL OF
LEARNING DISABILITIES, 33(4), 322-424. RETRIVED FROM:
WOLF, M. (1997). A PROVISIONAL, INTEGRATIVE ACCOUNT OF
PHONOLOGICAL AND NAMING-SPEED DEFICITS IN DYSLEXIA:
IMPLICATIONS FOR DIAGNOSIS AND INTERVENTION. IN B.
BLACHMAN (ED.) FOUNDATIONS OF READING ACQUISITION AND DYSLEXIA:
IMPLICATIONS FOR EARLY INTERVENTION. (PP. 67-68). NEW YORK: RUTLEDGE