I have been surfing the net for definitions and the following is what I have unearthed.
I have copied the following from Dyslexics.org.uk
Myth: Dyslexics form a special and identifiable (diagnosable) category of poor readers.
Facts: There is no scientifically valid way of differentiating 'dyslexics' from other poor readers. What was for a great length of time the most used definition of dyslexia (the 'IQ discrepancy' definition where reading age was considerably lower than IQ would predict) was discredited a long time ago. 'It is perhaps strange that this notion of a discrepancy definition survived as long as it did' (Miles p114) NO operational definition or scientifically acceptable way of sorting 'dyslexics' out from a group of poor readers has appeared to take its place. As there is, at the present time, no infallible way of separating the 'dyslexics' out as a special group, either ALL poor readers are 'dyslexic', or none are -see What is dyslexia?
Myth: This is the BIG one; dyslexia is a specific brain weakness; a genetically-based, neurological difficulty with phoneme awareness and processing skills (the ability to detect and process the smallest perceptible speech sounds).
Facts: Phoneme awareness is un-natural; it is only necessary when learning to read and spell involves using a phonetic alphabet and has to be taught. This is confirmed by the research which found that people who read and write using non-phonetic writing systems lack phoneme awareness (Kerr p103-4); studies 'show the strong impact of the type of writing system and type of instruction on the development of phonemic awareness -an environmental effect, and restates the point that you do not acquire this aptitude unless you need it' (D.McGuinness WCCR p135) As a consequence of normal genetic variation, not a brain defect, some children fall low on the bell curve of ability for learning to consciously hear and work at the level of the phoneme. The opaque English alphabet code exacerbates that lack of talent, as does whole language / mixed methods teaching. Fortunately, modern synthetic phonics programmes have been specially designed to render the English alphabet code transparent for initial teaching.
Myth: Children who fail to discover how to read from embedded phonics instruction by the age of 7-8 yrs., and remain phonologically unaware, are likely to have a specific learning difficulty, dyslexia. Those who continue to struggle despite receiving conventional remediation (described as 'treatment non-responders') have the most severe form of the condition.
Facts: Unless the child is profoundly deaf, mute, or grossly mentally disabled the most likely reason why they can't read is 'ABT (ain't being taught!) (Miskin) or dysdidaxia (a problem with the teaching) (Macmillan p134). 'We know that the intellectual crippling of children is caused overwhelmingly by faulty instruction -not by faulty children' (Engelmann&Carnine 1982.Theory of instruction). '(F)ailure to read is often to do with the nature of the teaching rather than the nature of the child' (Rose 2009 p60) 'The reason that so many children fail to read and write is because the wrong teaching methods are used. The education establishment, rather than admit that their eclectic and incomplete methods for instruction are at fault, have invented a brain disorder called dyslexia' (Stringer). They need to be taught the Alphabet Code and the skills of segmenting and blending, FAST.
There is more to read from this organisation here:
Now let us contrast the above definition with definitions of other dyslexic organisations:
The British Dyslexia Organisation –
Definition: Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty which mainly affects the development of literacy and language related skills.
You may read more here:
Canadian Dyslexia association:
It is a difficulty with the alphabet, reading, writing and spelling in spite of normal or above-normal intelligence, conventional teaching methods, and adequate sociocultural opportunity. Dyslexia is thought to be genetic and hereditary.
You may read more here:
The question is : Why is there such a disparity between the definitions of Dyslexia associations in UK itself ?
I believe that some of these definitions are more than one hundred years old. In one of my blogs I have linked many research reports from various countries. Research reports that date back to more than 10 years which support my findings.
Yet, why does the definition that dyslexia is a learning disability still keep surfacing.
I hope readers of my articles will comment. Give your views.
Click here for lesson 3.