quote:Dyslexic children across languages show impairments in tasks designed to measure their phonological awareness (Goswami, 2000). Dyslexic children find it more difficult than their peers to decide whether words rhyme, to count the syllables in a word, to delete sounds from the beginnings of words (spill to pill), and to make up spoonerisms (Bob Dylan to Dob Bylan). They also find it very difficult to decode nonwords like dem and fip. However, if the dyslexic children are being taught to read languages with highly consistent spelling systems, then a measurable deficit in terms of accuracy disappears very quickly. Instead, the dyslexic children’s phonological difficulties manifest themselves in painfully slow performance, even for nonword reading. Dyslexic children in Greece, Germany and Spain can read nonwords or perform phonological awareness tasks with a high degree of accuracy, but they do so extremely slowly. Dyslexic children in England rarely reach high levels of accuracy in nonword reading, and are both slow and inaccurate in phonological awareness tasks.
The argument as I understand it is that children with dyslexia have a harder time when they have to learn a more complex or inconsistent spelling system. It seems almost too obvious to question -- why is this a remarkable finding to researchers in this area? This is one of those time where I read something and think "What? No one thought of this until now?" The implication is that remedial educators are so heavily invested in the notion of institutional efficacy that any deficit in outcome must, in their view, be an institutional deficit.
The findings also vibe with my personal experience learning languages. As an ADD-Dyslexic, I find that I am always slow, but that the non-systematic nature of the spelling is probably the biggest factor of difficulty. Because my parents were ridiculous people, I was forced to take French rather than Spanish in middle/high school and so spent six years not remembering the difference between accent gue and accent grav and I still don't recall what they're supposed to do, whereas I became conversant in Italian in about three months. Italians had no trouble understanding me. As for learning Japanese....I don't even want to talk about it. It's easy to pronounce and the rules of spelling are super-consistent, but the grammar and syntax wer invented by intergalactic sadists -- it's heavily contextual and the rules of what order words go in are not clear or intuitive at all. So I've been able to catch the gist of a conversation and understand a question put to me for years, because I recognize the words, but opening my mouth to generate a sentence beyond the level of a three-year old remains a massive undertaking.
I'm a classic Dyslexic and also likely ADD.
Part of what is interesting to me about this research is that it appears that a big part of dyslexia is the auditory system, when historically I've always thought the research suggested it was a visual system problem. I remember in the first and second grade doing the Slingerland program (drawing letters in the air is what I remember).
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quote:Part of what is interesting to me about this research is that it appears that a big part of dyslexia is the auditory system, when historically I've always thought the research suggested it was a visual system problem.
I think it's generally seen as a language-processing problem. There are many variations, as well as high comorbidity with ADD.
For me it still manifests itself in peculiar ways. Sometimes I will hear a sentence, and then completely fail to grasp the meaning even though I recognize the words and understand that the syntax was perfectly normal. Then I play the tape in my head, as it were, about five or six times, until finally I understand.
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I grew up in a time where spelling was assumed to be something that could be leaned through repetition and memorization. No matter how hard I tried, no matter how many times I wrote a word over and over again I couldn’t spell to save my life. The result was that I was label as a ‘slow’ leaner and treated as such.
Today studies have shown that a spelling ability or disability is related to how a person ‘see’ a word on a page. I am not talking about the obvious case of dyslexia.
For me it turns out that he way I track letters across a page and connect meaning from them is not the same as the majority. Early on my brain had to adapt pathways probably due to some genetic factor.
How can we know that the blue that I see is the same as blue everyone sees? We can’t we just use the same word to identify what we experience
quote: Visual Perceptual Processing “Perception is an active process of locating and extracting information from the environment and learning is the process of acquiring information through experience and storing information. Thinking is the manipulation of information to solve problems. The easier it is to extract information (perceive) the easier our thinking process becomes.” (Forgus)
Visual information processing refers to the visual cognitive skills that allow us to process and interpret meaning from the visual information that we gain through our eye sight. Visual perception plays an important role in spelling, mathematics, and reading. Visual perceptual deficits may lead to difficulties in learning, recognizing, and remembering letters and words, learning basic mathematical concepts of size, magnitude, and position, confusing likeness and minor differences, mistaking words with similar beginnings, distinguishing the main idea from insignificant details, and poor handwriting.
Visual perceptual processing is subdivided into categories including visual discrimination, visual figure ground, visual closure, visual memory, visual sequential memory, visual form constancy, visual spatial relationships, and visual-motor integration.
Visual discrimination is the ability of the child to be aware of the distinctive features of forms including shape, orientation, size, and color. Visual discrimination, figure ground, and closure problems may result in a person confusing words with similar beginnings or endings and even entire words.
Visual figure ground is the ability to distinguish an object from irrelevant background information.
Visual closure is the ability to recognize a complete feature from fragmented information.
Visual memory is the ability to retain information over an adequate period of time. Obtaining maximum information in the shortest possible time provides for optimal performance and is essential for reading comprehension and spelling. Dysfunctions in visual memory may cause prolonged time in copying assignments, difficulty recognizing the same word on the next page, and difficulty retaining what is seen or heard.
Visual sequential memory is the ability to perceive and remember a sequence of objects, letters, words, and other symbols in the same order as originally seen