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Old 24.10.2017, 23:12
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

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I was diagnosed as both Dyslexic and Dysgraphic at a fairly early age. The older I get the more I'm convinced that either I was misdiagnosed (which given that I've had tests on 3 separate occasions, seems unlikely) or Dyslexia simply isn't a real condition. I was a slow developer as a child and was unable to read and write until much later on than my contemporaries. However since I "got it" I've never really been held back. Certainly now as an adult, I can't see any way in which I feel I've been disadvantaged by being Dyslexic. If anything, I see that it's given me unfair benefits (i.e. 25% extra time when sitting exams). I do wonder if Dyslexia isn't banded around a little too easily, or used as an excuse just because some kids are a little slow.
Like a lot of things, dyslexia is on a sliding scale - some forms (not sure that's the correct term) are more severe than others. My brother wasn't diagnosed with "mild" dyslexia until he was 19. He was at his first year at university and still stuggled with the masses of reading. He'd been labelled as a slow/poor/lazy reader all the way through school but was and still is gifted with numbers. He learned to compensate, and is an avid, albeit a steady, reader. He transposes ys and gs, ds and bs, mostly, and the names of certain colours :green and yellow for instance.

Dyslexia isn't in itself a cognitive disadvantage, it makes learning difficult, it's not a disability. And that 25% extra time is a massive boon. "Slow" is a pejorative term and implies low cognitive ability. Yes dyslexia can often come with other difficulties, but is often of itself. Dyslexia is not an excuse, it's part of the reason.


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Likewise, though I never knew until 25 years ago when I was discussing a friend's dyslexia with my mother (who is an expert on the subject) and she said "oh, by the way, you are dyslexic, but you compensate for it"

Exactly. Some kids naturally learn to compensate, some need to be shown how, some, because of all the rest of the stuff going on, always struggle. I once tutored two kids, separately but concurrently. Both dyslexic, both severe. One had developed some awesome strategies all by himself, was very bright, a cracking scientist, and just needed a bit of additional direction. One just couldn't. She had very poor literacy, very weak cognition. Neither of her parents could read and so she had no support at home.
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Old 25.10.2017, 02:02
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

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Dyslexia isn't in itself a cognitive disadvantage, it makes learning difficult, it's not a disability.
That's an interesting view. About half-a-dozen dyslexics I know spring to mind, most but not all of whom have succeeded in getting an education and hold a good job, one of whom has excelled in his medical field. Every single one of them regards his/her dyslexia as a disability. True, not a cognitive impairment, they know that, but definitely a disability. Looking on from the outside, I agree with their assessment. In this regard, to me they seem disabled. They have learned good management of their condition, but it is still there and impedes them.

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"Slow" is a pejorative term and implies low cognitive ability.
How sad. Some people are slow because they are cognitively deficient. Slow people can, however, also be methodical, attentive, creative, distracted or multitasking. I know a brilliant man who, when his creativity starts to race, inside, becomes very quiet, and very slow on the outside.

Perhaps my issue is one of language and classification. I think the word slow should not be taken as pejorative. Slow is a relative descriptive term, that's all. Let us use adjectives to mean what they mean. Tall, short, thin, fat, dysgraphic, epileptic, bald, white, black, left-handed, deaf, intelligent, blind, divorced, grey-haired or childless. They just are. And to the people who have that attribute, it seems to me offensive to habitually impute into any such descriptor a pejorative poison.

There is a movement within certain groups of people with disabilities to try to rid themselves of the word "disabled", for example, with slogans such as "Wir sind nicht behindert. Wir werden behindert." meaning approximately "We are not disabled [in ourselves], others disable us." This, too, is at least in part because the very word "disabled" has become a pejorative. As if it were a naughty thing to claim that a person in a wheelchair or with a walking-stick can't walk as well as someone who needs no wheelchair. Or that a dyslexic can't figure out print to read and handwrite as well or as swiftly as a non-dyslexic.

I sometimes think we need to re-claim these words. Let us use them to mean what they mean, and no more than that. Yes, they need not be trotted out as a poor-me excuse encompassing all sorts of bad behaviours that have nothing to to with the attribute, but where they are the reason for something, it is fine to say so. Returning to the plain meaning might contribute to rescueing children and adults from bullying and offence.

Acknowledging the facts, calling a disability a disability, can be an important step towards getting on with finding adequate help or a suitable environment or just a fair attitude towards any of us who deviates from being that mythical normal person.
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Old 25.10.2017, 10:47
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

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That's an interesting view. About half-a-dozen dyslexics I know spring to mind, most but not all of whom have succeeded in getting an education and hold a good job, one of whom has excelled in his medical field. Every single one of them regards his/her dyslexia as a disability. True, not a cognitive impairment, they know that, but definitely a disability. Looking on from the outside, I agree with them....


How sad. Some people are slow because they are cognitively deficient. Slow people can, however, also be methodical, attentive, creative, distracted or multitasking...


Perhaps my issue is one of language and classification. I think the word slow should not be taken as pejorative. Slow is a relative descriptive term, that's all. Let us use adjectives to mean what they mean...

This, too, is at least in part because the very word "disabled" has become a pejorative. As if it were a naughty thing to claim that a person in a wheelchair or with a walking-stick can't walk as well as someone who needs no wheelchair. Or that a dyslexic can't figure out print to read and handwrite as well or as swiftly as a non-dyslexic.

I sometimes think we need to re-claim these words. Let us use them to mean what they mean, and no more than that. Yes, they need not be trotted out as a poor-me excuse encompassing all sorts of bad behaviours that have nothing to to with the attribute, but where they are the reason for something, it is fine to say so. Returning to the plain meaning might contribute to rescueing children and adults from bullying and offence.

Acknowledging the facts, calling a disability a disability, can be an important step towards getting on with finding adequate help or a suitable environment or just a fair attitude towards any of us who deviates from being that mythical normal person.
Not merely my view. You'll find it's the view of every teacher in the UK. Thus we do use the words we choose to mean what they mean. If your friends consider themselves thusly then so be it. However, if we went around every dyslexic, or dyspraxic etc, individual as disabled - or indeed differently abled - thsn that's a Pandora's lid we will never manage to close again. Labels stick, that's the issue. Education should be inclusive, not "well they do that, but they can't so they must..."

Some students, and often their parents, actively seek a label, a diagnosis, because it's something to cling to. An excuse. A reason to explain away other less positive behaviours. That then detracts from the legitimate conditions. More issues are then caused.

As for the term slow, context is again everything. And, like it or not, it is often used as a (mild, euphemistic) pejorative. Your friend I would describe as thoughtful and methodical, not slow.

It does not necessarily follow that every person with dyslexia reads or writes slowly either. Their "version" of dyslexia is as unique as the individual themselves.

Again, if I went around referring to my (myriad) dyslexic students as disabled, I'd be hauled swiftly in front of the Head and the governors (probably with a union rep by my side) to explain myself, just after they'd finished fielding irate phone calls from parents. And they would be correct to do so.

I think I understand your point about adjectives, but not in the context of special educational needs. I'm assuming you've never worked in that field.

Also in real life. I'd much rather be described, as my husband does, as petite and curvy, than as short and a bit wide.

Words have power. That power lingers, spreads, grows. Delicacy and care are called for, not a blunt "call a spade a spade" approach which is, to be frank, often a way of masking overt rudeness. The phrases "to be honest " and "I speak as I find" often lead the charge for the most breathtaking utterances.
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Old 25.10.2017, 11:16
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

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I think the word slow should not be taken as pejorative.
Yup. It might happen, finally one day - look at the fashionably retro push in a society, for "slow-life". Slow cooking, slow everything, and slowing down vs inefficient multitasking. One of the Ds emergency therapy ways really is slowing down, to decrease pressure. Limiting the scope of activities, working on more quality and less wide focus.

While we are at the restitution, "introverted" is another one I would root for. Looks like successful life skills over promote extrovertion on account of timid, quiet, discrete and mindful behavior. My experience is that quiet thinkers who manage to preserve their own thinking space and time, who resist the temptation to react constantly (that extrovers struggle with) actually often provide higher quality cognitive product. Being an introverted person can be a gift.
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Old 25.10.2017, 11:33
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

Always the confusion when it comes to understanding dyslexia.. and one of the causes of the confusion is the diagnostic problems and difficulties accurately measuring dyslexia, dyspraxia, or any of the Ds.

I do not have any diagnosis, nor need one. I manage fine and had years to figured it out myself. However, that can not be a measurement in itself as it is my personal experience. What is needed is clear diagnostic tools available and transparent criteria to refer kids on for assessments.

Only with on-going clinical reviews can we set different classifications so kids/parents know what they’re dealing with. Diabetes, for example, is numbered from mild to severe, with dyslexia not even the professionals know the differences between mild, moderate to severe and often fail to agree on the definitions. So we are all left to guess and think around the subject as can be seen in this thread.

Much more needs to be done..
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Old 25.10.2017, 12:31
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

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I think I understand your point about adjectives, but not in the context of special educational needs. I'm assuming you've never worked in that field.
Yes, Rufus, you are, of course, right that I have never worked in the field of special educational needs. Indeed, when the abbreviation SEN was used earlier in the thread, I actually had to go and google it. However, I've had the privilege of a lot of formal education, and alongside me were, time and again, pupils, scholars and students with an array of disabilities.

Two of the most impressive learning experiences - about naming a disability when it is one - were in primary school. One child had a flipper instead of an arm, and the rest of his body was fine. Another suffered a head injury before school age, and functioned normally except when he had severe seizures followed by a phase of retrograde amnesia and confusion. The four parents, the teachers and the other children's parents, taught all the children that each of these boys had a disability.

They explained that they were coming along to school because they were going to learn many things despite their disabilities, and that it was everybody's responsibility (it takes a village, and all that) to be on the look-out for them. If one boy had a seizure, we knew to stay by him and whenever possible send another child to call an adult. We knew how to help bring him back into conscious awareness and orientation and, if no adult appeared, to lead him back home or to the right classroom. Once re-orientated, it was everyone's job to make sure he could catch up the work he'd missed. Likewise, the boy with one arm managed fairly independently most of the time, but we had to be observant and pragmatic about volunteering to help when he plainly wasn't managing what physically couldn't be done with one arm. He went on to ride a bicycle and play cricket.

The point about claiming a disability, that I'm making here, is that we were so quickly able to extrapolate. Therefore, we were told that the very timid and slightly autistic child, and the one who stammered and blushed, and the slow child, were all - just like the other two - facing their own version of their own kind of disability. Extra lessons, or remedial work, were, like the help the other two boys had, seen as pragmatic measures to help each child get ahead as best he or she could, despite being disabled in this or that regard.

Perhaps we understood this better, too, because we had a few golden children who excelled in all things, including social skills.

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Again, if I went around referring to my (myriad) dyslexic students as disabled, I'd be hauled swiftly in front of the Head and the governors (probably with a union rep by my side) to explain myself, just after they'd finished fielding irate phone calls from parents. And they would be correct to do so.
It's just that I've seen people who need help struggling because everyone around around them is so busy being "resource-oriented" and minimizing the disability, that they end up emptying out any hope the person had of a claim to get the help they truly need.

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Also in real life. I'd much rather be described, as my husband does, as petite and curvy, than as short and a bit wide.
Here, too, we differ. My point is that tall and thin and short and fat are neutral, and if they are not, then we ought to reclaim them as such. It's similar to being so afraid of the accusation of racism, that one becomes unable to answer a question like: "Oh, which one is Mr Smith, please?" with a plain: "He's the black man standing near the table."


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Words have power. That power lingers, spreads, grows. .
And words can be reclaimed, so their power is their being the truth, rather than an insult. That can be liberating.

I know a boy, about 10. He is funny, zany, a bit off the wall, thin, and correctly (in my opinion) diagnosed as hyperactive. I overheard a yard conversation with two other boys, slightly older. One child told him: "You are so crazy! Just crazy! You're so thin and you do everything the other way round from everybody else!" and he replied: "Yes, I know, you're right! I'm thin and that helps me climb trees quicly. And I'm crazy so it's fun to be with me! I'm hyperactive, so I'm always up to something.!" and a third child immediately concurred, saying: "That's true, when you're here, we're never bored, and you make us laugh."

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Delicacy and care are called for, not a blunt "call a spade a spade" approach which is, to be frank, often a way of masking overt rudeness. The phrases "to be honest " and "I speak as I find" often lead the charge for the most breathtaking utterances.
In this I agree with you completely. It is not okay to go for it, hammer and tongues, degrading someone verbally, and then hide behind: "Oh, that's just me being frank!"
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Old 25.10.2017, 13:35
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

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And words can be reclaimed, so their power is their being the truth, rather than an insult. That can be liberating.
Not just liberating but precise. Exactitude and precision is what powers clinical research, which bounces us back to the OP. Whether the public moves away from the terminology since it can stigmatize when misused, is another problem. We should never ignore the research (thanks, OP), just like we cannot ignore the emergency and spontanneous coping strategies, which often take place because everything can take too long.. This is, imho, the value of clinical research - not only identify and precisely name the deficit but speed up the recovery and correct the compensatory strategies of the child (or adult, yay for cerebral plasticity indeed). Sometimes we get so busy perfecting our skills to certify and arguing over socially acceptable terminology, we lose kids in the proces. They have an uncanny gift to recognize that no matter how kind/exact the label is, they really are different, often they get tired of us tip-toeing around and taking too long.
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Old 25.10.2017, 14:18
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

I wasn't going to do this but I find myself driven to.

Autism and dyslexia and a missing limb are not interchangeable conditions of being.

Words are not neutral or else there would be no point having so damn many. It wouldn't be possible to insult or hurt or entertain or exasperate merely by selecting the right ones for any given situation.

Every child is individual. Every person is.

We are clearly coming at this from entirely different perspectives and experiences and I'm hoping some of it is an EAL thing. Some, to be blunt, is clearly because you've not worked in the field we 're discussing. You have a spectator perspective, not a practitioner' s.


Apart from the kids you describe as being flexible and understanding, I can't agree with pretty much any of the above two posts which is why I didn't quote them.

For the last time, and to get back OT, dyslexia requires a different way of learning. It is not, and should not be, labelled as a disability. It's pejorative. Narrow -minded.. Wrong. It makes someone the sum of one of their parts rather than the whole being.

I imagine that's why we have the Paralympics. The "disability games" would be downright insulting, given that the participating athletes can do more with their bodies than I'll wager the majority of us "abled" lot can.
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Old 25.10.2017, 14:25
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

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Always the confusion when it comes to understanding dyslexia.. and one of the causes of the confusion is the diagnostic problems and difficulties accurately measuring dyslexia, dyspraxia, or any of the Ds.
Curve ball...and apologies if this has already been covered.

Is there any connection between the Ds and the 4 modalities of learning styles?

Just asking because my mate was, and will soon be again, a police trainer, and she always says half of the task is assessing which of the modalities each recruit best responds to. She used to use me as her guinea pig for some strategies because I'm totally down the visual and kinesthetic routes of learning. She claimed that these strategies put recruits with any of the Ds on level playing field with their counterparts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_styles

For example... It doesn't matter how many times I read and heard the drink driving limits, what really taught me that lesson was when she brough a breathaliser home for our usual Friday night tipples.
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Old 25.10.2017, 14:38
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

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Curve ball...and apologies if this has already been covered.

Is there any connection between the Ds and the 4 modalities of learning styles?

Just asking because my mate was, and will soon be again, a police trainer, and she always says half of the task is assessing which of the modalities each recruit best responds to. She used to use me as her guinea pig for some strategies because I'm totally down the visual and kinesthetic routes of learning. She claimed that these strategies put recruits with any of the Ds on level playing field with their counterparts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_styles

For example... It doesn't matter how many times I read and heard the drink driving limits, what really taught me that lesson was when she brough a breathaliser home for our usual Friday night tipples.

Maybe. Maybe not. Depends on the person. AFAIK, we all have our preferred VAK learning style but like we do with our weaker muscle groups, we also have to work on the ones we are less comfortable with.
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Old 25.10.2017, 15:44
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

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Curve ball...and apologies if this has already been covered.

Is there any connection between the Ds and the 4 modalities of learning styles?

Just asking because my mate was, and will soon be again, a police trainer, and she always says half of the task is assessing which of the modalities each recruit best responds to. She used to use me as her guinea pig for some strategies because I'm totally down the visual and kinesthetic routes of learning. She claimed that these strategies put recruits with any of the Ds on level playing field with their counterparts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_styles

For example... It doesn't matter how many times I read and heard the drink driving limits, what really taught me that lesson was when she brough a breathaliser home for our usual Friday night tipples.
In an ideal world, eh? I know UK primary education use combination of methods/ VAK. The difficulty with differentiating in the class room is that one method can disrupt another child's ability to learn, so it is finding that impossible balance.. and enough resources/ staff/quiet rooms/space where groups of kids can have needs met etc. That is why primary education heads are screaming and pleading for funding/ resources as one class teacher, without specialist support, can not manage across the ability range never mind the disabilities/ learning difficulties in the class room.

Here's the thing that gets my goat tho': even if we have new breakthrough helpful scientific findings, how does it filter down and get delivered to the kids who matter. Schools have very few specialised staff, and no funding for specialist training. Staff are then not adequately qualified to spot the signs and be aware of the assessment criteria, resulting in too few kids referred on for testing. Most kids have to wait till high school to get close to an assessment, mostly because the history, science, english and PE teachers can cross reference and say - hang on, something amiss here!! In primary it often is left to one exhausted teacher.

So, if a solid VAK programme is in place to help kids access the full curriculum, how is that being implemented? Is it successful? How is it it being measured? Any clinical reviews/input for SEN learning?

It seems to me, schools can look very good on paper to a parent with special needs kid e.g we have visual timetables, dyslexic support for reading, a flexible approach to learning etc. but a few SEN visually helpful pics beside all the other pics on the wall doesn't quite cut it. Helps when parents are visiting, tho, lol!

This is not a criticism of the schools either as they are clearly struggling to cope.
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Old 25.10.2017, 16:34
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

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I wasn't going to do this but I find myself driven to.

Autism and dyslexia and a missing limb are not interchangeable conditions of being.

Words are not neutral or else there would be no point having so damn many. It wouldn't be possible to insult or hurt or entertain or exasperate merely by selecting the right ones for any given situation.

Every child is individual. Every person is.

We are clearly coming at this from entirely different perspectives and experiences and I'm hoping some of it is an EAL thing. Some, to be blunt, is clearly because you've not worked in the field we 're discussing. You have a spectator perspective, not a practitioner' s.


Apart from the kids you describe as being flexible and understanding, I can't agree with pretty much any of the above two posts which is why I didn't quote them.

For the last time, and to get back OT, dyslexia requires a different way of learning. It is not, and should not be, labelled as a disability. It's pejorative. Narrow -minded.. Wrong. It makes someone the sum of one of their parts rather than the whole being.

I imagine that's why we have the Paralympics. The "disability games" would be downright insulting, given that the participating athletes can do more with their bodies than I'll wager the majority of us "abled" lot can.
You should not assume that people with different opinions must be without experience, that itself is a cognitive shortcut.

Ok, an opinion of a practitioner and a researcher.

If UK distinguishes between disability/disorder/difficulty, it of course makes sense, so do your passionate posts - it is a matter of degree, combination of complication, etc.

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In the UK, the term Learning Disability generally refers anIntellectual Disabilityand difficulties such as Dyslexia and Dyspraxia are usually referred to as Learning Difficulties.
Wiki.

We are not arguing with you at all whether kid's learning experience is unique, individual and personal or not. I had a lot of clinical psy, edu psy, dvlpm psy and psychopathology where non standard learning and info processing was ranged on a scale most times under learning difficulties/disorders/disabilities, according to a degree, theory and region. In fact, I am not arguing at all. There are degrees in everything and debating over it is a mental exercise I will enjoy some other time.

I like doropfiz's idea of resilience, of moving away from semantics to underlying principle, and owning it. She is voicing her ideas and not writing edu programs or teaching manuals, btw. Why do I like her ideas? Because those 23 years of Ds and special ed/non standard cogn experiences in pretty emergency trenches and in different countries have proven one point to me - kids don't care for labels, nor celebration, they know that they veer from the norm and by how much, they do not request to challenge the norm but they request to be given their chance to integrate within. Life after school requires independence and quite often kids quieten those adults who offer to celebrate the kid's difference. They lose trust in them if the help arrives late or only consists of celebratory rhetorics. The work for us is to help them, offer variety of stimuli, support their particular input they need in the form that works, develop successful strategies and correct some inefficient mind habits if that hinders them. Loosen up the idea of cogn success, absolutely. But if you offer a medal to all kids, the first ones to protest and return the medal will be the kids themselves. They want to make it within the regular criteria just like paralympic sportmen who have identical disciplines. The conditions adjust, sure, but they themselves want as minute adustments as possible. They don't care for positive labels but for tangible progress. They are more proud of minute progress within normal system, than big progress in their adjusted "special" environment. Considering the fact that Ds are more frequent with people of higher IQ, it make sense.

I am glad to work in a system that seem to have had a slow start..compare to other places, in certification, acknowledgment of learning difficulties and deficits and the rest of the Ds family. It picked up and goes far, imho, and not just because there might be more resources. And with respect to what kids request (there is quite a lot of credit given to kids themselves) - to make it within the system and without much fuss. Confront it, learn and move on, learn more, move on, live.. I think one of the benefits of early streaming is the fact it reminds the criteria, the existing norm and helps the diagnostics, data that is quickly integrated in ongoing research. Research is indispensible and it needs a great chunk of data to be efficient.

The semantics and terminology is a separate issue. Nobody I know really considers Ds to be stigmatizing anyways anymore, they are that frequent.

In terms of what helps an edu "practitioner" the most, for me personally, I am not really falling back on teoretical and applied psy and didactics I took but on practical experiences and neurology, info processing, cogn sci I have been taking here. It explains a lot, even attitudes and behavior, that automatically accompany cognition and its quirks.
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Last edited by MusicChick; 26.10.2017 at 10:33.
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Old 25.10.2017, 17:06
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

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It seems to me, schools can look very good on paper to a parent with special needs kid e.g we have visual timetables, dyslexic support for reading, a flexible approach to learning etc. but a few SEN visually helpful pics beside all the other pics on the wall doesn't quite cut it. Helps when parents are visiting, tho, lol!
Absolutely.

It might boil down to lacking resources. It is cheaper to feed the nation with the "absolutely every child learns their own way" than investing in a few extra TAs. Well, probably a couple of thousands TAs. For those who learn so much their own way that they happened to need more assistance.
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Old 26.10.2017, 01:06
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

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We are clearly coming at this from entirely different perspectives and experiences and I'm hoping some of it is an EAL thing.
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Please, what is EAL? I found "SEN" but not EAL. Sorry.

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Some, to be blunt, is clearly because you've not worked in the field we 're discussing. You have a spectator perspective, not a practitioner' s.
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Yes, exactly, I did say I've never worked in this field.

However, the family and neighbourhood in which I grew up and the educational and employment systems in which I have moved demanded of me to hone my awareness of the disabilities of those around me, to be alert to their individual needs, to listen to what they themselves say, and to contribute pro-actively and appropriately to the disabilitiy, to the care and empowerment of the person with that disability.

As such, no, my perspective is not that of a spectator. It is that of a participant.

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dyslexia requires a different way of learning. It is not, and should not be, labelled as a disability. It's pejorative. Narrow -minded.. Wrong. .
I'm not sure, but it seems to me that you find the word "disability" in itself pejorative. I don't. My persisting in using that word, here is not to offend you, Rufus, because I do respect that you don't find its use appropriate, and as I learnt from Musicchick's earlier post, in the UK, some distinguish between "difficulties", "disorders", and "disabilities", fair enough.

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It makes someone the sum of one of their parts rather than the whole being. .
I don't agree with this, either. Naming the disability, acknowledging the truth of which parts of the person render them less able or unable in that area, is the first step towards gaining sufficient clarity to identifying steps which can be taken to cope with it, and if possible move forward despite it.

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I imagine that's why we have the Paralympics. The "disability games" would be downright insulting, given that the participating athletes can do more with their bodies than I'll wager the majority of us "abled" lot can.
Interesting that you mention the terminology "paralympics" vs "disability games". Funnily enough, in my earlier post, I almost used that very same example, though of course from the other perspective.

This is because I once listened to the long, impassioned rant of a very, very fit competitive athlete with disabled legs and who raced in a handbike (though not at world-class level) and who was raving against the use of whatever euphemistic term was being used for his sporting event, I think it was called "participatory" or "inclusive". His point was that it is offensive to him to call the event anything other than "disability sports" because only the word "disability" told it like it is. The able cyclist can carry his own bicycle to the start. The disabled cyclist cannot, and needs an assistant. This sportsman said that using other words denies his brutal reality of needing this help. He found the very word "paralmpics" absurd because, he said, the competition was not above and beyond, not beside or alongside, not abnormal or incorrect, nor did it resemble [very much] an original. It was simply an Olympics for people with disabilities.

Yes, just as you said, each person in an individual. Each dyslexic needs, and may develop, themselves or with help from outside, strategies to cope with and manage that deficiency. That's true for each wheelchair rider and each hearing-impaired person, too, etc., etc.

Despite being a non-professional in this field, I have had close dealings with many disabled people throughout my life. I cannot recall ever having met a person with a disability who felt better when the problematic, troublesome deficit with which they needed assistance was called something less than a disability. I have known a few who tried to hide their disabilities, if not plain for all to see anyway, but who later experienced great relief once "out". There's a strength and self-assertiveness in being able to name and claim.

I think the main reason why substituion of other words in the place of "disability" bothers me so very much, is that I have been closely involved in cases in which it was the very euphemisation of the disabilities (like one of the dyslexics I know whose parents were told that she simply liked to doodle, while she sat there timidly, wanting to scream out that she knew, inside, that she was trying her best to write, but that something was dis-abling her from doing so) that robbed the disabled people themselves, and those around them, from access to the help they need.

Last edited by doropfiz; 26.10.2017 at 02:40.
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Old 26.10.2017, 01:55
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

Oh, Rufus, just found this Video which captures something of several perspectives about whether or not dyslexia is a disability, or even a plus in life.

https://youtu.be/op1HNsN9SMA
Is Dyslexia a Disability? - Dyslexia Connect
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Old 26.10.2017, 08:46
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

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Slow people can, however, also be methodical, attentive, creative, distracted or multitasking. I know a brilliant man who, when his creativity starts to race, inside, becomes very quiet, and very slow on the outside.

Perhaps my issue is one of language and classification. I think the word slow should not be taken as pejorative. Slow is a relative descriptive term, that's all. Let us use adjectives to mean what they mean. Tall, short, thin, fat, dysgraphic, epileptic, bald, white, black, left-handed, deaf, intelligent, blind, divorced, grey-haired or childless. They just are. And to the people who have that attribute, it seems to me offensive to habitually impute into any such descriptor a pejorative poison.
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It all depends on the context, no? I tease my OH with this word sometimes and he's used to it, no offence taken when none was intended. He takes hours to do the same things I do much faster. You should see him ironing or cooking, it's so cute. Anyway, he's an adult and knows very well who he is and what his strengths are.
A child doesn't. If he or she is labeled "slow", want it or not others kids will pick this up and use it to amuse themselves, to be cruel. Things like this i.e. being different (in whatever way) don't go unnoticed, unfortunately. However, if kids are given a bit more complex and concrete explanations (they love learning big words and being treated as adults in some circumstances, most of them) - x has a condition called y that impedes him to perform some tasks the same way as we, the majority do, and he needs z methods to overcome it and come to the same result, they will cling to this and will be much more helpful, as you mentioned in a previous post. I wonder if it's any different than kids knowing somebody is extremely allergic to nuts, or gluten, or they have whatever other condition. The truth is we can be optimistic, but we don't really know. I would simply use caution with labels. (unless they are used in a jokingly way of course.. )

Last edited by greenmount; 26.10.2017 at 09:11.
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Old 26.10.2017, 11:56
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

Doropfiz, the vid link says nothing new to me to be honest. It's balanced though, for a sales pitch.

EAL is English as an Additional Language. Google it as EAL education acronym and there are various links.

Dyslexia isn't referred to as a difficulty "sometimes" in the UK, but by all means don't take my word for it. I've only done well over a decade in the field after all.

Difficulty = obstacle
Disability= impairment

Learning disability tends to equate to an individial with an IQ of less than 70. 100 would be "average". I would wager that most dyslexics do not have a low IQ. Dyslexia coupled with another condition or conditions is a different kettle. As is a physical impairment and no cognitive difficulty.

The teacher dismissing dyslexia as merely a predilection for doodling clearly either hadn't got a clue or couldn't be bothered. You can't tar an entire profession etc etc. You can throw in all the anecdotes you like, they won't sway me. The fact is, you've not really got first or even second-hand experience. "Difficulty" is not a euphemism. It is a rather catch-all broad term precisely because specific labels can be inaccurate, or need to change, or be wrong, or or or. They can be a handy starting point. Or they can be a crutch. Some times they are offered as a reason but in my experience there is something else accompanying this.

Your cycling friend who needs a support team... you'll find most pro sports people do too. Particularly those time trial cyclists who have their feet clipped to their pedals. Or the teams with physios and folk to carry bags etc. The support just has to be adjusted.

As for the description of my postings as "passionate", MC, in perhaps an attempt to imply emotion over reason... Thank you very much. You bet I'm passionate about this. It's important. I can be passionate with a reason however. The reasons I've been stating repeatedly. As for the cognitive shortcut crack... really? I would hope that as a fellow practitioner - believe me, I'm still in the trenches - you could do better than a cheap shot.

And I cannot agree that there are benefits to early streaming. What benefits? Kids develop at different rates. Streaming is only really sucessful if there are regular checks and opportunities to switch lanes, otherwise it creates different issues: teaching to the middle; supporting lower ability without stretching.

And can we please take semantics out if it? Or at least clarify what you mean. Reslience -whose? ... semantics - in what context? ... underlying principles - of what? ... owning it? Owning what? You're attempting to argue with / patronize/ slap down, call it what you will, the wrong one here: I'm a lit and lang teacher, that's literally my bread and butter. A string of fancy-sounding words is just that. A little empty without context support and explanation. A bit like I feel after this thread.

Last edited by RufusB; 26.10.2017 at 12:23.
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Old 26.10.2017, 13:10
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

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Absolutely.

It might boil down to lacking resources. It is cheaper to feed the nation with the "absolutely every child learns their own way" than investing in a few extra TAs. Well, probably a couple of thousands TAs. For those who learn so much their own way that they happened to need more assistance.
Teaching Assistants, absolutely not. Specialist input, fully trained staff/support teachers to degree level are needed to support SEN education across primary education.

Primary schools are packed full with cheap TAs who do not have the expertise or knowledge to know how to manage or support kids. Some TAs are fab, lovely people and are great with TLC etc. but in the long run, their lack of skills/training does not help kids develop the tools they need to overcome their difficulties in the learning environment.
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Old 26.10.2017, 13:42
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

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And I cannot agree that there are benefits to early streaming. What benefits? Kids develop at different rates. Streaming is only really sucessful if there are regular checks and opportunities to switch lanes, otherwise it creates different issues: teaching to the middle; supporting lower ability without stretching.
Hallelujah!

100% with you there. My brother didn't utter a word until he was 4, and he hasn't stopped talking since. He had all the tests under the sun at the time, all without conclusion. He didn't read until he was 6, but by age 8, he was reading at age 10 level. Testing as 13/14 showed he has, what was known as, a photographic memory. In hindsight, he had, and still has, many of the indicators for autism, but in those days the tests were for deafness, dyslexia, etc... Streaming at such an early age would have limited him incredibly and to his detriment. Good teaching practice and peer examples brought him up to the mean level of his class, then let him fly.
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Old 26.10.2017, 15:21
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Re: Breakthrough in origin of DYSLEXIA discovered

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Doropfiz, the vid link says nothing new to me to be honest. It's balanced though, for a sales pitch.

EAL is English as an Additional Language. Google it as EAL education acronym and there are various links.

Dyslexia isn't referred to as a difficulty "sometimes" in the UK, but by all means don't take my word for it. I've only done well over a decade in the field after all.

Difficulty = obstacle
Disability= impairment

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Rufus, please, I didn't mean the video to teach you! I posted it because I found to be a succinct, accessible summary of this aspect of the discourse, and that I found helpful.

By no means am I calling your professional knowledge and experience into question. As I understand, you are an expert in this field. As we both know, I am not.

Even so, my perspective comes from some education, too, plus many years of working alongside, in some phases sharing accommodation with, in other contexts being taught by and in yet other contexts training people with disabilities... a whole range of them.

I used to believe that that's just life, that since there are, after all, are a lot of people with impairments, deficits, obtacles, difficulties, problems, challenges and disabilities, whether innate, developed or caused by external forces, so therefore everybody knows someone or is themselves a member of one or other category, right? Yet over the years, I have been amazed to learn how many people think they don't actually know anyone "like that". That may be wilful blindness, or may be lack of knoweldge, and all too often I have seen denial through fear of peering down into the dark abyss.

Espcially when I am closesly involved in the case, it frustrates and angers me every time I see a need not met primarily because it was not acknowledged in the first place. It is so terribly sad with the person who already has "it" has to waste energy which ought better to go towards good methods, just to fight for the thing to be seen at all.

You and I approach this particular matter from different angles and probably divergent cultural contexts. Yet we share a very deep passion for wanting to do what it takes to find out what a person needs, and then contribute towards mobilising appropriate resources, within and without. Therfore, I salute and bless you for working towards this aim.

Last edited by doropfiz; 26.10.2017 at 15:23. Reason: typo
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