Forum Post 16

Theories and definitions of dyselxia by Moira Thomson - Tuesday, 2 November 2010, 08:50 AM

Theories and definitions of dyselxia by Moira Thomson - Tuesday, 2 November 2010, 08:50 AM

by Alasdair Andrew -
Number of replies: 3

The number of different theories about the cause of dyslexia and the variations in the definitions have led to some people wondering whether dyslexia is a single condition or a group of different neurological differences that have yet to be fully explored and explained.

Do you think it is possible that this is why the characteristics of dyslexia vary so much for person to person?

Would it be easier for teachers to support students if their disabilities were called e.g. auditory processing difficulties or short term memory defict, which are more descriptive of the manifestations of their difficulties?


In reply to Alasdair Andrew

Re: Theories and definitions of dyselxia by Moira Thomson - Tuesday, 2 November 2010, 08:50 AM

by Janet Roland -

I think a single cause cannot fully explain the vast range of individual differences I've encountered when working with and screening dyslexic adults. Some students phonological skills are relatively well developed whilst their visual processing is problematic whereas others just can't do phonics at all. A range of possible and/or co-occurring causes seems much more plausible. 

Ultimately though we are working with the effects and the difficulties each student presents with. Labels are just labels aren't they and never fully explain or describe a condition.....

In reply to Alasdair Andrew

Re: Theories and definitions of dyselxia by Moira Thomson - Tuesday, 2 November 2010, 08:50 AM

by Tessa Price -

I think if education practitioners could have a much broader understanding that the word 'dyslexia' should be used much more as an umbrella term, then perhaps the expectation that it will effect different people in different ways would be more widespread. In the age of technology that we live in, it should be an every day process that a teacher would read a description or summary of how a student's dyslexic needs present themselves, or contribute to writing one if the educational setting does not have one shared on the staff intranet. So whilst a clearer label of a student's special needs may help, the broader term 'dyslexia' should not be met with a barrier by the teacher anyway, they should just expect to have to read on for further details of how they can meet that pupil's needs. 

In reply to Tessa Price

Re: Theories and definitions of dyselxia by Moira Thomson - Tuesday, 2 November 2010, 08:50 AM

by Tina Vincent -

I think that is it Tessa - educational professionals should have a basic understanding that dyslexia presents in many ways and then look at the specific ways in which a student reacts to information and what problems are presenting. Teachers can then decide how best to help and what access arrangements can be offered. This should be then be shared with all those working with the student.

It is quite common to meet students who exhibit processing and memory problems and are amazed when dyslexia is suggested as they 'can read and spell'.