As well as the course materials this essay will draw on research papers by Norwich et al. (2007), Taft et al (2009), Pamper (2010) Ridding (2010) and Zooplankton (2011) these papers will add discourse on more recently researched areas of Dyslexia such as early intervention, The inclusion education movement and the relationship between labeling and stimulation. Also looking at questioning how we view Dyslexia altogether, suggesting rather than a deficit Dyslexia is merely a different style of learning. Much research has been done in the area of Dyslexia and understanding has been greatly improved in many different ways.
One such way has been through technological advances helping discover the biological basis for some of the deficits experienced. Also empirical quasi experimental tests have highlighted the practical ramifications that these deficits have on a dyslexics everyday life. Brannon et al (2002) tested participants matched for age, educational level and IQ in three separate studies. He found dyslexics performed significantly rower in digit span tests and showed inhibition deficits particularly with distractions (GIFT) Using fem. scans it was physiological differences were discovered.
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Dyslexics showed a cerebral symmetry suggesting a failure to shift from word level to letter level processing. Non dyslexics would show an increased left hemispheric activation when processing language, so again Dyslexics cerebral symmetry highlights reading strategies of those with developmental delay are less phonemically based. It has also been found that children with reading difficulties have over a 50% chance of having at least another developmental difficulty suggesting these conditions both may have a underlying biological cause.
Kaplan et al (2000) Although disorders tend to present themselves very differently in different individuals so hard to pinpoint a single cause. Twin studies have also been very informative in the area of genetic research for AD showing twins can have up to a 74% chance of heritability of phonological difficulties linked to Dyslexia. Stevenson (1999) Evaluation et al (2004) undertook a longitudinal review of multiple studies spanning 40 years.
After detailed analysis they reached the conclusion that a phonological deficit was the probable cause of Dyslexia rather than a visual, syntactic or semantic cause. Evolution poetically discredits evidence claiming that Visa- spatial deficits are the cause of AD. However there has been emerging evidence that both reading and phonological problems arise both from poor visual (I. E. Orthographic) processing. A Dorsal stream deficit rather than the usual magna- cellular deficit gauge scion has instead been highlighted as the cause of a cascade of effects. Pamper et al (2010).
Despite these discrepancies longitudinal research is still extremely helpful as it allows changes in children to be seen over time also Evolution’s argument which highlights the importance of including ‘ poor instruction’ as a possible cause for reading difficulties, is still very valid. These individual differences are often missed in quantitative and biological studies. Zambia (2002) undertook a qualitative approach for this very reason and emphasizes the importance of looking at the individualistic differences in order to see the human experience of Dyslexia.
Traditional educational practices tend to use quantitative measures to diagnose such as the deficit model which quantifies how far from norm a child is. Thus highlighting a child’s weaknesses instead of their strengths. Criticisms of this method is that it can create deep emotional scars and feelings of inadequacy. This reductionism view is likely to be very different from a child’s actual experience. Her studies conducted in a Special Needs School calls attention to the emotional traumas experienced by children with AD and how these feelings often lead to avoidance and abstinently disruptive behaviors in the children.
These findings are further supported by studies in young offenders institutes, where it was found that 50% of the inmates had AD. (Reid et al, 2001) although it is important to remember that this evidence is simply correlation and does not show a direct causal relationship between dyslexia and delinquency. Dyslexic diagnosis is often criticized as there is still a strong belief that labeling can lead to stimulation and that it can give children and adults negative expectations. Furthermore it is suggested that the individual profile f the child is often neglected and a generalization of needs can occur.
Ridding (2010) discusses theses criticisms towards the labeling of children and argues that in fact labeling does not always necessarily lead to stimulation. The effects depend on many separate factors. EGG. The context it which the label is given, if the label is private or public can also influence the labels outcome. Moreover in support of the importance of labeling dyslexics evidence shows that it can lead to appropriate treatment and subsequent coping strategies. Also on a broader level it can act as a positive call to attention of dyslexia and help obtain better resources, funding and legislation.
A good example fifths has been the recent research into early indicators and interventions in AD by Zooplankton et al (2011) They propose that detection as early as preschool is needed. They report that interventions at this stage produce better results and contributes to elimination of emotional disorders. It is also claimed that these early interventions can initiate positive changes in the still plastic cerebral function, possibly enabling children to reach the average skill level of normal children.
However without getting the importance interventions have had, It can be argued that the awareness and coping strategies that a Dyslexic diagnosis can bring, are often the most significant treatments overtime. (Ridding, 2010) Another good example is the recent focus on the ‘Inclusion Education Movement’ (MIME) and ‘Dyslexic Friendly Schools’ (UDF) devised by the British Dyslexic Association. In a UDF all teachers are appropriately trained and aware of the impact cognitive difficulties of AD have on teaching their respective subjects. They also focus on the individual needs of students, as AD can present itself differently in ACH case.
Whilst focusing on building self esteem and dealing with parental anxieties. Deed’s have been criticized as not being inclusive enough and it is suggested that perhaps the idea should be widened to a more encompassing Special Education Needs framework (Norwich et al, 2007) Having considered the empirical evidence of studies, corresponding biological evidence and the theoretical stances towards Dyslexia, it is also reasonable to look at a very different approach. Taft et al (2009) argue that AD can either be considered a deficit or instead simply a difference in learning style.
They conducted a study of 26 Dyslexic primary school children matched with 26 non dyslexics. Tests of creativity, visual and verbal memory were used. Non AD outperformed AD significantly on verbal memory of words for abstract concepts. However AD scored higher than non AD in originality of thought and creativity. This highlights that not only is Dyslexia context bound generally but reminds us of its social context more specifically. In a society where literacy prevails, AD takes its place as a deficit. However considered in the context of a non literate society for example, this changes it’s place impolitely.