Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dyslexia - A multi- billion US dollar business

Dyslexia is a multi- billion US dollar per annum business. Billions is spent on research into dyslexia, therapy, brain imaging, drugs, tuition, salaries for all the people working in all kinds of organizations involved in things related to dyslexia and many other things purportedly said to do with dyslexia. As such it is obvious as to why organizations will make dyslexia sound like a disease that can only be cured or treated with great expense.

As I have mentioned in my previous articles,I have written to many of these organizations and institutions and they don’t bother to respond. I keep reading articles in the internet; material on dyslexia which I believe is written at the request of some organization. Please read the following articles and look at the similarities before deciding for yourself if I may be correct. These are just a handful of the hundreds of article that are freely distributed over the internet. You can be assured of reading at least one such article per week. Surprisingly these articles are written by different authors as shown in the extracts below.You may read the whole article at the address given.

Also please note that most of these articles come with similar disclaimers.

1. http://www.energy--talk.com/general-interest/overcoming-dyslexia/1542

Dyslexia seems to be caused by faulty communication between the eyes and the brain; the eyes send the signals but the brain does not interpret these signals clearly. The result is that dyslexic people (dyslexics) see things differently. Dyslexics require special training to be able to interpret what they see in ways that let them extract the necessary info to be able to interpret them correctly.
There are symptoms of dyslexia that one can look for, such as difficulty with reading for understanding, or with reading aloud. But there is really only one way to know for sure whether a person has dyslexia or not and to what degree. That is through professional testing for dyslexia.

Disclaimer: This posting is based on information freely accessible in the popular press and medical journals that contend with dyslexia. Nothing herein is intended to be or ought to be construed to be medical health advice. For medical advice the reader should confer with his or her physician or other medical specialist.
Edwin Jones

2. http://www.homebusinessopportunityrus.com/blog/2010/05/30/testing-for-dyslexia

Dyslexia is a neurological condition that prevents the signals that are received from the eyes to be clearly interpreted by the brain. As a result, dyslexics (people with dyslexia) see things differently. Dyslexics require special training to be able to interpret what they see in the same ways as non-dyslexics would.

Disclaimer: This posting uses information freely accessible in the popular press and medical journals that contend with dyslexia. Nothing herein is intended to be or should be construed as medical advice. For medical advice the reader should talk to his or her physician or other medical specialist.
By- Joseph B. James


3. Dyslexics learn differently. Their eyes see things the same way but their brains seem to interpret the signals from their eyes differently than those of non-dyslexics. It’s O.K., many famous people have been dyslexic. But to reach their full potential they must be taught differently, according to their specific needs.

DISCLAIMER: I hope this helps, but please note that I am not a Medical Doctor. You should consult with your M.D. or personal Physician before taking any medical advice from anyone on the Internet.
Written by Charles Brantley

4. http://www.biggerbottomline.co.nz/wordpress/?p=451

The history of dyslexia has been one of long struggle in the darkness of ignorance, culminating in rapid and considerable progress in the last 25 years.
Dyslexics learn differently. Their eyes see the same but their brains interpret the signals from the eyes differently than those of non-dyslexics. It’s O.K., many famous people have been dyslexic. But to reach full potential they need to be taught differently, according to their needs.

Disclaimer: Nothing in the above explanations is intended to be or represented to be or should be construed to be any form of medical advice. The information herein has been gleaned from medical journals, news articles in the popular press and other freely-available public sources. It is presented here for informational purposes only. For any medical advice the reader is urged to consult with his or her licensed physician or other medical specialist.
Written by Howard Rodriguez

5. http://www.free-coffee-maker.org/buycoffee/overcoming-dyslexia-with-dyslexia-tests/

Dyslexia is a neurological condition that keeps the signals sent by the eyes from being clearly interpreted by the brain. One of the results is that dyslexics “see” things differently. Dyslexics require special training to be able to interpret what they see in the same ways as non-dyslexics would.

Disclaimer: Nothing in the above explanations is intended to be or represented as being or should be construed to be any kind of medical advice. The information herein has been gleaned from medical journals, news articles in the popular press along with other freely-available public sources. It is presented here for informational purposes only. For any medical advice the reader is urged to confer with her or his licensed physician or other medical specialist.

By Samantha Rhodes

8 comments:

CremeBrulee said...

Comparing this to your previous article that shows that 'dyslexic' people are very much capable of leading ordinary lives, it sounds very much like the FDAs misinformation regarding the H1N1 vaccine in the USA i.e. a concentrated effort by various 'medical experts' touting the dangers of H1N1 so they can move vaccine units. This is called FUD; the act of raising Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. Conspiracy theories abound!

Spread the word, good sir.

Luqman Michel said...

Thank you very much for your comment.I have a lot of circumstantial evidence of the "big boys" doing to Dyslexia what they had done to H1N1 as you said. But that would not be enough to convince the majority.Kind regards.

Liz Ditz said...

Hi Luqman!

Boy your picture of dyslexia in the US is certainly different than mine.

I think what you are seeing are "paper-mill" articles -- somebody, a "content provider" writes an article & it is picked up and repeated, and repeated and repeated.

What I see is not a unified "dyslexia industry" but a very very fragmented educational system, in which students may or may not get adequate instruction, identification if struggling with reading, or remediation. It can be maddening -- School District #1 may have a good early-reading program & relatively few struggling readers, while School District #2, only a few miles away, may have a mostly-ineffective reading program & a reluctance to identify or remediate struggling readers.

What you may not be aware of is that public education in the United States is hugely decentralized. Yes, there's a US Department of Education, but control of the schools resides (for the most part) with individual districts. Some towns (like the one I live in) have several districts.

I also dispute your idea that there's any sort of coordination or master-list of research projects relative to reading or dyslexia in the United States.

Certainly the International Dyslexia Association only funds a microscopic amount of the research into reading.

There's another aspect of dyslexia in the United States: that's the laws that govern education for students with disabilities. Like it or not, dyslexia (or specific learning disability -- reading) is defined by law as a disability, and so is covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

I am not sure why you haven't received responses to your letters of inquiry.

Anyway, those are my quick thoughts.

Luqman Michel said...

Hi Liz,Different perspective is what makes the world go around.My dyslexic students have no problem reading in Malay and romanised Mandarin- this is a fact.I have 6 research reports in my blog by researchers which also say that dyslexic students do not have a problem reading in Italian, Finnish, Spanish and many other languages. Why is no further research done on this? Is it possible that "The big boys" do not want to find a solution?

You wrote "a "content provider" writes an article & it is picked up and repeated, and repeated and repeated."

Did you notice that the authors of all the articles are different? Please tell me who is behind this? What is their motive?

I know nothing about the education system in US or UK. I only know that the education system is not tackling the problems faced by dyslexics.

Please let me know why a developed country like US has a problem as you described- "but a very very fragmented educational system, in which students may or may not get adequate instruction, identification if struggling with reading, or remediation."

What are concerned citizens like you doing about it?

I know why I have not had any response to my letters of inquiry.
If you really want to know you may write directly to me.

Wish you well Liz.

dolfrog said...

Hi Luqman

I agree with you about the big dyslexia industry in both the USA and the UK.
The dyslexia industry has ignored most of the international dyslexia research of the last decade, and only cherry picked and funded researchers who are willing to support the remedial programs that they promote and from which they derive their income.
If you dig deep enough you will find the tentacles of the dyslexia industry set up a non profit organisations, but that does not stop them earning substantial incomes, while trying to make out that they are the same as volunteer based charities.

The dyslexia industry depends on dyslexia being described as being a single condition, so that they can sell and promote their trade, if the dyslexia industry was describe dyslexia according the the research of the last decade or so as being a caused by a multiple set of cognitive deficits and disorders, then thye would have to change their marketing, and begin explain the complex cognitive issues which cause dyslexia and that there is no one size fits all remedial program.

The dyslexia industry does not care about real dyslexics only about how much money they can make out of dyslexia.

I was first diagnosed as bring dyslexic when I was 42 years old, and 7 years later I was diagnosed as having Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) which is the underlying cognitive cause of my dyslexic symptom. Since then all of my 3 sons and my wife have all been clinically diagnosed as having APD, which causes us all to be dyslexic to some degree. The real issue is that most of the so called dyslexia industry remedial programs do not provide the help we need.

I have been campaigning for greater APD awareness for the last 10 years, and the biggest problem we face is the mess that is dyslexia.

Luqman Michel said...

Hi Dolfrog, You wrote: "The dyslexia industry has ignored most of the international dyslexia research of the last decade, and only cherry picked and funded researchers who are willing to support the remedial programs that they promote and from which they derive their income."

I believe you have hit the nail on the head. My next two articles will add credence to what you have said.

Thank you for your comment Dolfrog.

davek said...

Luqman - thank you for assembling these quotes for us. It is enlightening to see what people are thinking. I'm not sure where they are from, but they do not represent research on dyslexia. Those writing the comments you cited would be hard pressed to find a single article that supported the "disconnect between the eyes and brain" in the Journal of Learning Disabilities, Annals of Dyslexia, Scientific Studies of Reading, the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, or any other of the many scientific journals that publish research on dyslexia and other reading difficulties.

We have known since the 1970s that the visual-spatial-perceptual skills of dyslexics are no different than typical individuals, so why this "visual" explanation of dyslexia persists to this day is a puzzle to me. The October/November 2009 issue of the Journal of Learning Disabilities had several articles highlighting how the findings of researchers in this area has not made it's way into public education (and certainly the popular understanding, which these quotes show).

There is a .6 to .8 correlation (i.e., a very high correlation) between the most sensitive phonemic awareness tasks and reading, and a .1 (i.e., extremely low) correlation between visual-spatial-perceptual skills and reading. How is it that dyslexia involves this alleged visual pathway disruption when visual skills do not even significantly correlate with word reading skills? It turns out, that such views are based on intuitive guesses about what seems to be happening and not based on what researchers in education, psychology, linguistics, and neurology have found on this topic.

So, it is important we get an accurate understanding of what dyslexia is before we can adequately address it. Researchers have this understanding, but the general public and the broader educational establishment do not.

Check out the Journal of Educational Psychology 1996, Vellutino, Scanlon and colleagues from the State University of New York and Johns Hopkins. They prevented most cases of dyslexia, and there was no visual training involved. Also check out Journal of Learning Disabilities 2001, Torgesen and colleagues from Florida State University who corrected the most severe cases of dyslexia, again with no attention to visual skills whatsoever.

I've done over 1000 evaluations of students with reading difficulties (mostly dyslexia) and long ago gave up on using any visual-spatial-perceptual testing because it was a waste of time (helpful for understanding math problems, but useless for word reading difficulties). However, with the most sensitive phonemic awareness tests, about 90% of the students with reading problems (virtually 100% of dyslexics) do poorly on it.

Keep up the good work. The success you have with your students is living proof that dyslexia can be overcome!

Anonymous said...

This is all very interesting to me. I know my daughter has dyslexia (as does my husband) but she did not have trouble learning to read up to 4th grade. She has great phonemic awareness and made wonderful grades up to the 4th grade where the curriculum in the US suddenly changes from a differentiated curriculum using all the senses to an all linguistic/lecture style curriculum with abstract concepts.....and she does not read correctly. Her sight word reading is great but she has a hard time with unknown words that she cannot sound out. In fact on a test where she was given cold words that she asked to spell she spelled them all phonetically rather than by the English rules. cawordle , identifi, manshun. Her writing is immature because she avoids words she knows she can't spell. I've seen her change a whole sentence just to change one word she was stuck on. Her teachers kept telling me she has a comprehension problem. However, said her comprehension is evident when reading selections she finds interesting (I assume she picks those selections to read because she has background knowledge on it). They also tell me that she reads on grade level. But I know she doesn't read accurately...just happens to read fast enough to make up for the errors that are marked by her word skipping. I told the teacher I felt she had dyslexia and she scoffed at me and told me it was too broad. So I researched all the things that could possibly cause dyslexia and took her to the audiologist where she was diagnosed with a mild Auditory processing disorder. I only did that to prove to them that she had dyslexia and needed to have accommodations on standardized tests. The standardized tests are all they care about here in the US. If you fall below they put you in remediation classes on the computer that are made by none other than the company that makes the standardized tests. Our kids with dyslexia won't get any help unless they have profound issues and even then I would be skeptical of the curriculum they use. My friends step-daughter is in high school, she also has dyslexia and has been in remediations classes every year since 4th grade and still stumbles over her 2nd grade sisters books.