Questioning the concept ofDyslexia                              Olga Svobodova
WILL BE DISCUSSED① Historical context of dyslexia② Results of one study on dyslexia③ Why dyslexia is not a clinical entity...
HISTORYBefore the 20th century, medicine had a stranglehold on the explanation of learning difficulties:•1878 Kussmaul - “...
OUTSTANDING QUESTIONS                                           Definition is criticised for                              ...
DYSLEXIC?
STUDY SHOWED:                        (1) NO DOUBLE DISSOCIATION     All dyslexic children had also another          • Scie...
(2) THE “DYSLEXIC” READING MODE WAS OF THE SAME  NATURE AS THE MODE ADOPTED FOR OTHER TASKS     Example   Characteristic p...
AN ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATION  ADHD                                                                   writing                ...
SUMMARYFor respecting the two fundamental scientific criteria for acceptance of a newdisorder, the latter has to be:(1) di...
INSPIRED BY•   Bachelard, G., (1938) La formation de lesprit scientifique: contribution à une    psychanalyse de la connai...
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  • Dyslexia is a controversial concept.Here I propose to outline the main ideas about- Historical context of dyslexia- Why dyslexia is not a clinical entity but an artefact?- How it should be considered instead?- Analysis underpinned by the analysis of clinical examples
  • Instead of presenting the most recent findings in neurosciences, I will present a historical context of dyslexia, as it permits to understand the origins of the concept:Before 20th century, medicine was considered as the one able to explain learning difficulties: 1878 Kussmaul, German neurologist – term “word blidness”1887 Berlin, German ophtalmologist Berlin – term dyslexia 1900 Hinshelwood, scottish eye surgeon – patients with learning disabilities had a congenital defect in brain related to eyesight1925 Orton, American neurologist – first to recognise letter inversion in children with reading difficlties – term “strephosymbolia” amd “developmental alexia” were used for the first timeIn mid 30’s, transition from a medical to an educational perspective:Educational and psychological researchRefining concepts of child developmentChange in teaching strategies for children with learning difficulties1936 Gillingham & Stillman – different teaching method for children with learning difficulties, including those with dyslexia1968 Doman & Delacato experimental method – consisted in catching up on missed neurological developmental stageEarly 80’s – revolution of thinking about dyslexia – not a deficit but a difference1983 Gardner – theory of multiple intelligences1989 Galaburda – right hemisphere bigger in dyslexic children, but a normal variation of brain development, not a disorderFreed (1997), West (1997), Silverman (2002) – dyslexia as result of a different way of learning – visual learning style1996 Solity – origin of children’s difficulties are to be seek outside the children, in their environmentToday,dyslexia is officialy accepted as a cathegory of a learning difficulty.AJOUTER 5ssec
  • Questions on the usefulness of the concept, and its definition remain debated.Definition is criticised for containing only vague exclusion criteria and not enough specific inclusion criteria:Reflecting the World Federation of Neurology definition, Benton (1975) noted that criteriafor dyslexia and other LDs were vague and exclusionary. Children and adults could beidentified with dyslexia or LD based on a reading problem, a neuropsychological deficit,soft neurological signs, clumsiness, electrophysiological deficits, and even behaviorproblems, reflecting the historical origin of the concept of LD in neurologically basedbehavioral difficulties epitomized by the hyperactive child (Rutter, 1982).Since, tentative to establish some kid of etiology, typology of dyslexia, factors etc.Still not clear what it is and how it works.
  • No double dissociation – exampleTROP LENT
  • Paint a global picture about how the child deals with everyday life (eg. making shoe laces, playing games, doing a homework, drawing a picture, listening to someone to speak, speaking about something, reading).Example 1: A child with ADHD will have a problems with concentration on one task, or retaining impulsion –jumping from one thing to another impulsively, not being able to stay concentrated upon one thing for a longer period of time = reading too quickly, not paying attention of what is written and making premature conclusions.Example 2: A child with Children with ADHD made the same reading errors as children referred as “dyslexic”, but where later neuropsychological assessment indicated signs of hyperactivity disorder.Children with apraxia had the same mode of reading that children originally diagnosed only with dyslexia, , but where later neuropsychological assessment indicated signs of autistic spectrum disorder.
  • - DYNAMIC DIAGRAM(IQ, ADHD, Autism, Learning disabilities, Apraxia, Aphasia, Neurological deficit,
  • Importance of diagnosis- “Dyslexia” seems to be always co-present with another disorder - it cannot be distinguished as a different disorder, andIts mechanism is always of the same nature as Children with ADHD made the same reading errors as children referred as “dyslexic”, but where later neuropsychological assessment indicated signs of hyperactivity disorder.Children with apraxia had the same mode of reading that children originally diagnosed only with dyslexia, , but where later neuropsychological assessment indicated signs of autistic spectrum disorder.
  • Dyslexia presentation blue

    1. 1. Questioning the concept ofDyslexia Olga Svobodova
    2. 2. WILL BE DISCUSSED① Historical context of dyslexia② Results of one study on dyslexia③ Why dyslexia is not a clinical entity④ How it can be understood instead?
    3. 3. HISTORYBefore the 20th century, medicine had a stranglehold on the explanation of learning difficulties:•1878 Kussmaul - “word blindness”•1887 Berlin – “dyslexia”•1900 Hinshelwood - patients with learning disabilities had a congenital defect in brain related to eyesight•1925 Orton - first to recognise letter inversion in children with reading difficulties – term “strephosymbolia” and “developmental alexia” were used for the first timeIn mid 30’s, transition from a medical to an educational perspective:•Educational and psychological research•Refining concepts of child development•Change in teaching strategies for children with learning difficulties•1936 Gillingham & Stillman – different teaching method for children with learning difficulties, including those with dyslexia•1968 Doman & Delacato experimental method – consisted in catching up on missed neurological developmental stageEarly 80’s – revolution of thinking about dyslexia – not a deficit but a difference•1983 Gardner – theory of multiple intelligences•1989 Galaburda – right hemisphere bigger in dyslexic children, but a normal variation of brain development, not a disorder•Freed (1997), West (1997), Silverman (2002) – dyslexia as result of a different way of learning – visual learning style•1996 Solity – origin of children’s difficulties are to be seek outside the children, in their environmentToday, dyslexia is officially accepted as a category of learning difficulties.
    4. 4. OUTSTANDING QUESTIONS Definition is criticised for containing only vague exclusion criteria and not enough specific“Reflecting the World Federation of inclusion criteria.Neurology definition, Benton (1975)noted that criteria for dyslexia and Questions on the usefulness ofother LDs were vague and the concept, and its definitionexclusionary. Children and adults remain debated.could be identified with dyslexia orLD based on a reading problem, aneuropsychological deficit, softneurological signs, clumsiness,electrophysiological deficits, andeven behavior problems, reflectingthe historical origin of the conceptof LD in neurologically basedbehavioral difficulties epitomizedby the hyperactive child.” (Rutter,1982)
    5. 5. DYSLEXIC?
    6. 6. STUDY SHOWED: (1) NO DOUBLE DISSOCIATION All dyslexic children had also another • Scientific literature does not specific disorder report an isolated case of16 dyslexia.1412 • In our study (Svobodova, 2007, final year10 thesis), we report the cases of 8 dyslexic children (N: 35), who Number of underwent thorough 6 dyslexic children 4 neuropsychological assessments. Analysis 2 revealed for each child the 0 signs of another specific disorder.
    7. 7. (2) THE “DYSLEXIC” READING MODE WAS OF THE SAME NATURE AS THE MODE ADOPTED FOR OTHER TASKS Example Characteristic problems Reading ADHD • Problems with • Not paying attention of child concentration what is written • Impulsivity • Making premature conclusions • Reading too quickly Apraxic Generally unable to make • Able to recognise separate child the right sequence of letters, but not able to movements: “assemble them into • Making shoe laces words” • Button the shirt • Make guess on what is • Problems with writing written and drawing
    8. 8. AN ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATION ADHD writing samenessDysphasia problemsDyspraxia echolalia concentration Autisticspectrum aggressiveness impulsivity disorderPsychopathy stereotypy sleeping problemsInfantilepsychosis Dyslexia Note: The list of disorders and manifestations is not exhaustive, serves only for illustration.
    9. 9. SUMMARYFor respecting the two fundamental scientific criteria for acceptance of a newdisorder, the latter has to be:(1) distinguished from other disorders – has to occur without other disorders, and(2) a unique ensemble of features which will caracterise it.It seems that “dyslexia” does not demonstrate neither of these two fundamentalcondition, per consequence it cannot be considered and studied as a disorder.Instead, we suggest, that dyslexia is a phenomenon belonging to a sociologicalexplanation, and might be understood in the context of the academic success/ failure.
    10. 10. INSPIRED BY• Bachelard, G., (1938) La formation de lesprit scientifique: contribution à une psychanalyse de la connaissance objective. Paris: Librairie philosophique J. Vrin.• Gagnepain, J., (1994) Leçons dintroduction à la théorie de la médiation, Anthropo- logiques 5. Louvain-la-Neuve: Peeters. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Thank you for your attention! Olga Svobodova, stud. n. 11793171, MSc RM Cog. Neuropsy. 2012/2013

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