User Tag List

123 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 33

  1. #1
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    MBTI
    Mine
    Enneagram
    1w9
    Posts
    1,770

    Default Dyslexia - an alternative perspective

    In this thread I'm going to try to gather together various information available on dyslexia and supplement it with my own thoughts to build a coherent, relatively concise theory on what constitutes the perceptual and neurocognitive basis of the condition. Contributions, insights, and constructive criticism are welcome, whether from people who have dyslexia themselves to any degree, have children or other friends/relatives with the condition, have been involved in teaching dyslexic children or adults, or are simply curious.

    I'm primarily interested in examining, and hopefully making progress towards explaining, the underlying causes of the condition and how dyslexic perceptions may differ from those of neurotpical people in certain respects - which helps to explain the wide array of observable symptoms associated with it. I'm not going to go by standard symptomatic definitions, which are primarily of use to those working in education to make categorical diagnoses of different dyslexia-related impairments for administrative and (not necessarily always sucessful) remedial purposes.

    Dyslexia is not necessarily a condition which consists entirely of negative symptoms, however, as I'm going to try to make clear. It's entirely possible, for example, contrary to popular belief, for those with dyslexia to acquire advanced skills in reading and other aspects, especially when older, as a result of having learned sucessful strategies for coping with the negative aspects of their condition. This is not the same as being "cured" of dyslexia, however; it's a lifelong condition and will probably continue to manifest in certain, telling, respects.

    It's also likely, though not certain, that they will have significant skills and advantages that people who are neurotypical (with respect to dyslexia) commonly lack; these skills are due to the the different dyslexic style of perception and brain organisation just as much as the deficits, and the positive and negative aspects need to be considered in tandem to gain a mature perspective. Whether they're able to make full use of these positive skills in their lives and careers is to a large extent dependent, however, on whether they're able to overcome or find ways around their specific difficulties in a culture so heavily dependent on the use of the written word and symbolic manipulation.

    I'm hoping my next couple of posts will help to explain the typical differences between dyslexic and non-dyslexic perceptive styles and why this may confer both advantages and disadvantages on dyslexic people as well as unique educational and learning needs. I'm planning to link some scientific evidence which underlines the essential differences in brain function later on, though those parts are not yet written. It's alll very hypothetical at this stage however, and subject to revision, which is why I'm now putting it out for discussion.
    Look into my avatar. Look deep into my avatar...

  2. #2
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    MBTI
    Mine
    Enneagram
    1w9
    Posts
    1,770

    Default

    I was thinking that perhaps it might be helpful to percieve this issue as being about the dimensionality of thought processes and how information is stored, retrieved and used by neurotypical vs dyslexic people. By dimensionality I mean something like this: perhaps it's the case that non-dyslexics percieve information to a much greater degree as essentially linear - a single line on which information is placed and ordered, corresponding to a single gemetric dimension. (I'm not trying to use this as a crude metaphor to imply greater or lesser intelligence as "one-dimensional" is often used; more trying to come up with a schema for understanding what might actually be going on in people's heads.) Information is stored in sequence along this line, and is also accessed sequentially in larger or smaller segments as required.

    Think perhaps, in relation to reading and other literacy skills, of a single line along which letters are placed, the line going through the centre, with the line itself representing the perceptual medium within which the data is stored. To access the information required, a segment, corresponding to a single word stored in memory as letters or phonemes, is cut from the line, and transmitted to awareness. Since the line only has a single spatial dimension, the sequence of information learned is generally preserved and accessed in exactly the same way each time, though there will of course be greater or lesser errors of process and recall, the human mind being the necessarily imperfect entity that it is.

    Better memory (and perhaps greater intelligence) in this context implies greater facility with accessing the information in its proper place on the line quickly and accurately through the strength of cognitive associations formed between different areas, and fewer incidences of damage occurring such as the obliteration of words or letters within the sequence. Also some will simply be able to store a greater quantity of information in this style, be more flexible in their access by being able to jump quickly to different points along it, perhaps by haivng formed multiple and looser associations which can be quickly intuited (though this might also affect the accuracy of recall at times), and recall longer segments of information in general, corresponding to longer words, and the skills required to construct complex phrases and embody thoughts within them. These would all correspond to more advanced intelligence or abilities in the non-dyslexic person.

    I'm not saying that information is percieved absolutely in this manner in most people, as we are all individuals with a range of skills and mental processes at our disposal, but that perhaps in people with no dyslexia related issues this will be commonly be the most developed from of information processing and retrieval, and the one naturally used when processing words and similar symbolic information.

    This applies to other things that have to be sequenced in the brain such as chronology - as with the common dyslexic tendency to lose track of time and forget where they put things, for example. The non-dyslexic, dependng on the accuracy of their memory and attention, may be able to call on the same linear process to ask a question like "Where was I when?" and relate their activities to a specific point along the line of their temporal experiencing to recall the simple fact that earlier, I was in a particular place around X time, and did a particular thing. This kind of organisation too may naturally be much more difficult for dyslexic people, for reasons I'll shortly imply.
    Look into my avatar. Look deep into my avatar...

  3. #3
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    MBTI
    Mine
    Enneagram
    1w9
    Posts
    1,770

    Default

    I'd hypothesise that dyslexic people, by contrast, are those who naturally percieve and store information in two and perhaps three dimensions, and have much more limited abilities than non-dyslexics when it comes to linear storage. This may be a mostly inevitable exclusionary process relating to two contrasting preferences being necessarily unequal. I'd suggest that if this is the case, those with more mild or limited dyslexic symptoms may have a stronger capacity for linear information storage and processing, whilst still a preference for the multi-dimensional kind. The converse may apply to neurotypical people with the specific positive skills that are strongly associated with dyslexia.

    If information is stored and retrieved in an essentially non-linear way (whether or not this is defined as exclusively visual) it may be percieved more as a field, a two or three dimensional region within which information is located, but without the linear processing style, in no particular order. Or, at least, without an order that transfers directly to the linear process. Let's suppose that, restricting ourselves even to two dimensions, that the sequence of letters in a word is stored not in the linear pattern I previously suggested, but as though they were written on cards or scrabble letters placed on a flat surface. This is not to say that they're placed in their sequential order as the actual word (this would be an attempt to transpose into two dimensions the linear processing stylem which dyslexic people are probably not using) but that the various elements the person percieves as making up the word are present, in some form or other, scattered within a two-dimensional field, perhaps like a sequence of scrabble letters simply thrown down. Since the word was not learned and is not recalled in a sequential manner it may have other perceptual elements associated with it, such as letters that somehow seem like they "should" be there, or which the person adds to try to make what they percieve personally comprehensible.

    It is then up to them to create whatever order they can from this information thus scattered. It may be a different order each time, they may have a personal system for trying to turn what they percieve as elements in a field into sequential form (which may explain persisistent dyslexic misspellings of particular well-known words), but one thing that this kind of perception does not lend itself to is simply arranging and remembering things in one single "correct" linear sequence. If it did, the person would not be dyslexic, they would be a neurotypical person with stronger than usual visualisation or multi-dimensional processing capacity.
    Look into my avatar. Look deep into my avatar...

  4. #4
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    MBTI
    ENFP
    Enneagram
    7W6 sp/sx
    Socionics
    IEE
    Posts
    4,797

    Default

    As usual Rag there is much for me to comment on, only this time i can slice it open with the quote features
    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    I'm primarily interested in examining, and hopefully making progress towards explaining, the underlying causes of the condition and how dyslexic perceptions may differ from those of neurotpical people in certain respects - which helps to explain the wide array of observable symptoms associated with it. I'm not going to go by standard symptomatic definitions, which are primarily of use to those working in education to make categorical diagnoses of different dyslexia-related impairments for administrative and (not necessarily always sucessful) remedial purposes.
    Wise move, you may actually get somewhere if you avoid the current educational models.

    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    Dyslexia is not necessarily a condition which consists entirely of negative symptoms, however, as I'm going to try to make clear. It's entirely possible, for example, contrary to popular belief, for those with dyslexia to acquire advanced skills in reading and other aspects, especially when older, as a result of having learned sucessful strategies for coping with the negative aspects of their condition. This is not the same as being "cured" of dyslexia, however; it's a lifelong condition and will probably continue to manifest in certain, telling, respects.
    When thinking about this it is a good idea to look at the persons behaivour, interests and area's of strengh befor they started school.
    You will often find a particularly bright outside of the box thinker who could do things other same aged children found difficult in common dyslexia related strength's. This could also help identify dyslexia a lot younger and if the right help were then possible, it could be introduced at school when they first start.

    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    It's also likely, though not certain, that they will have significant skills and advantages that people who are neurotypical (with respect to dyslexia) commonly lack; these skills are due to the the different dyslexic style of perception and brain organisation just as much as the deficits, and the positive and negative aspects need to be considered in tandem to gain a mature perspective. Whether they're able to make full use of these positive skills in their lives and careers is to a large extent dependent, however, on whether they're able to overcome or find ways around their specific difficulties in a culture so heavily dependent on the use of the written word and symbolic manipulation.
    I think there are lots of very simple techniques that can be introduced, and a lot earlier, if they have not suffered too much within the education system already.

    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    I'm hoping my next couple of posts will help to explain the typical differences between dyslexic and non-dyslexic perceptive styles and why this may confer both advantages and disadvantages on dyslexic people as well as unique educational and learning needs. I'm planning to link some scientific evidence which underlines the essential differences in brain function later on, though those parts are not yet written. It's alll very hypothetical at this stage however, and subject to revision, which is why I'm now putting it out for discussion.
    Great OP! i will be replying to more posts very soon. I will a while think a little.
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  5. #5
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    MBTI
    Mine
    Enneagram
    1w9
    Posts
    1,770

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GemPOPGem View Post
    When thinking about this it is a good idea to look at the persons behaivour, interests and area's of strengh befor they started school.
    You will often find a particularly bright outside of the box thinker who could do things other same aged children found difficult in common dyslexia related strength's. This could also help identify dyslexia a lot younger and if the right help were then possible, it could be introduced at school when they first start.
    This reminds me (in particular) of one of my elder brothers when he was young. There seems to be an unusually high proportion of dyslexic people in my family (it is after all, the evidence suggest, an at least partially inheritable condition) and he's one of those who has an adult still has significant difficulties. So far as I can tell he can read ok (at least enough to find out information when required, I can't imagine him ever reading for pleasure) but avoids writing when he can possibly avoid it and seems to have a mortal horror of writing anything that someone else might potentially read and judge him on (like forms and official correspondence, which he would rather hide and hope it goes away). His dyslexic difficulties, therefore, are still quite serious and have a significant impact on his life.

    At the age of 11 there was apparently great difficulty in getting him into a "normal" school; he had been doing so poorly in comparison to the other children that the authorities insisted he was mentally subnormal to a significant degree, and would not be accepted in mainstream schooling, but had to attend a special education facility. I went to the same primary school myself years later so I'm fairly familiar with the place from personal experience. I doubt they provided any meaningful help to him or even noticed the specific nature of the difficulties he had - it appeared not to be in their working culture. Perhaps they didn't even know what dyslexia was, or considered it not to be a valid definition.

    My mother was confused and surprised by this information about him. Although with a number of children to cope with and some difficulties in her own life, she had not paid much attention to his progress at school or literacy abilities (this inability to give sufficient attention may have been part of the problem, not least by causing his specific difficulties to go unrecognised for some time) she had no particular reason to see him as slower than the others. At that time she knew very little about dyslexia and may not have been aware that this was the nature of his problem. One thing in particular she remembered, however, from when he was very young, around the age of three or four, well before he started school or had recieved any educational attention at all:

    He seemed to be very aware of the concept of money to a much greater degree than her other children. Before he had any kind of mathematical instruction (or even knew how to count properly) was able to work out how much exactly how much it would cost to buy something that he wanted, how long it would take to save up for it from his very limited pocket money, what more he would need to make it up to the desired amount, the time period over which he would be able to accumulate enough to get what he wanted, what else he would be able to buy in the meantime, the effect this would have on his overal finances, etc. Essentially, at the age of three or four and without having been shown "how" to he was able to budget, manage finances, relate them to his life, and to a timescale well enough to plan ahead for weeks or months at a time, and perform relatively complex calculations in his head.

    I think standard developmental models would categorise these as conceptually advanced skills not expected to be acquired until much older, and needing to be taught via formal instruction. Some adults indeed seem to lack them. Apparently he never failed to arrive at the correct conclusion, and always knew precisely how much he had to spend at any given time, how this would affect his overall finances and future plans,etc. This memory more than anything else convinced her that the school and authorities were mistaken, and caused her to decide to take him out and home educate him for a term. With the increased attention he made quite good progress and was in fact ahead of his peers in certain respects by the time she finally found him a place in a standard school.

    Telling, isn't it? But this was getting on for thirty years ago, when we might have expected awareness to be lower. What I find particularly troubling is that very few improvements have been made in recognition or agknowledgement of the condition since then, and that this kind of thing can easily happen in the present day - as you yourself will know.

    I think there are lots of very simple techniques that can be introduced, and a lot earlier, if they have not suffered too much within the education system already.
    I had a few further ideas on this (as you know!) which I was planning to get into later. I'm sure you have ideas and knowledge of your own on this though - is there anything that springs to mind that you might want to mention?
    Look into my avatar. Look deep into my avatar...

  6. #6
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    MBTI
    ENFP
    Enneagram
    7W6 sp/sx
    Socionics
    IEE
    Posts
    4,797

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    This reminds me (in particular) of one of my elder brothers when he was young. There seems to be an unusually high proportion of dyslexic people in my family (it is after all, the evidence suggest, an at least partially inheritable condition) and he's one of those who has an adult still has significant difficulties. So far as I can tell he can read ok (at least enough to find out information when required, I can't imagine him ever reading for pleasure) but avoids writing when he can possibly avoid it and seems to have a mortal horror of writing anything that someone else might potentially read and judge him on (like forms and official correspondence, which he would rather hide and hope it goes away). His dyslexic difficulties, therefore, are still quite serious and have a significant impact on his life.
    Yes this is pretty much the same for my brother. He is actually very good at managing, and maths was not a particular difficulty for him, although i am aware that (at least at the lower levels) maths can be a great difficulty for some with dyslexia. He really does have a great deal of difficulty remembering where he left his keys, phone, charger, bike! (when he had a bike). His writing, when he can't avoid writing, would resemble that of a typical 10 or 11 year old but he reads avidly, and has great political knowledge and world affairs, also history.

    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    At the age of 11 there was apparently great difficulty in getting him into a "normal" school; he had been doing so poorly in comparison to the other children that the authorities insisted he was mentally subnormal to a significant degree, and would not be accepted in mainstream schooling, but had to attend a special education facility. I went to the same primary school myself years later so I'm fairly familiar with the place from personal experience. I doubt they provided any meaningful help to him or even noticed the specific nature of the difficulties he had - it appeared not to be in their working culture. Perhaps they didn't even know what dyslexia was, or considered it not to be a valid definition.
    Sadly in many cases schools, including the special help such as 1-2-1 workers still have absolutely no idea. On a more positive note there are exercises that he can do, if he is willing-although it may just seem like opening a can of worms and therefor something to avoid. As long as you look in the right places at the more alternative approaches. It's almost laughable that the models/programs that have the highest efficiency are also considered by most as alternative and far fetched. Especially when there is evidence to show how well they work.

    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    My mother was confused and surprised by this information about him. Although with a number of children to cope with and some difficulties in her own life, she had not paid much attention to his progress at school or literacy abilities (this inability to give sufficient attention may have been part of the problem, not least by causing his specific difficulties to go unrecognised for some time) she had no particular reason to see him as slower than the others. At that time she knew very little about dyslexia and may not have been aware that this was the nature of his problem. One thing in particular she remembered, however, from when he was very young, around the age of three or four, well before he started school or had recieved any educational attention at all:



    He seemed to be very aware of the concept of money to a much greater degree than her other children. Before he had any kind of mathematical instruction (or even knew how to count properly) was able to work out how much exactly how much it would cost to buy something that he wanted, how long it would take to save up for it from his very limited pocket money, what more he would need to make it up to the desired amount, the time period over which he would be able to accumulate enough to get what he wanted, what else he would be able to buy in the meantime, the effect this would have on his overal finances, etc. Essentially, at the age of three or four and without having been shown "how" to he was able to budget, manage finances, relate them to his life, and to a timescale well enough to plan ahead for weeks or months at a time, and perform relatively complex calculations in his head.
    This dosn't surprise me at all, my son has always been very good at managing his money, infact it seems that if he is focused on the organisation of one thing (esp a concept) he manages it very well. Specifically in relation to money my son is incredibly good at managing his own. He is only 10 yet he has a money box and makes numbers out of plasticine which he puts on the outside of it so he knows exactly how much he has. He also budgets and is very good at saving. Another friend of mine who has dyslexia is one of the best budgeters i know, has his own business and runs it very smoothly without the need for much reading and writing.
    I think it's worth adding here that because people vary so much in thier dyslexia that this is not always the case. My brother for example, although exemplary at running the budget for the large shop he runs, is pretty bad at managing his own budget.

    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    I think standard developmental models would categorise these as conceptually advanced skills not expected to be acquired until much older, and needing to be taught via formal instruction. Some adults indeed seem to lack them. Apparently he never failed to arrive at the correct conclusion, and always knew precisely how much he had to spend at any given time, how this would affect his overall finances and future plans,etc. This memory more than anything else convinced her that the school and authorities were mistaken, and caused her to decide to take him out and home educate him for a term. With the increased attention he made quite good progress and was in fact ahead of his peers in certain respects by the time she finally found him a place in a standard school.
    I think she did the best for him at that time, with obvious hard work she achieved what the schools could not. It speaks volumns. I did the same thing for my son (pretty much).

    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    Telling, isn't it? But this was getting on for thirty years ago, when we might have expected awareness to be lower. What I find particularly troubling is that very few improvements have been made in recognition or agknowledgement of the condition since then, and that this kind of thing can easily happen in the present day - as you yourself will know.
    This is exactly the problem. One thing i find extreamly troubling as you have mentioned yourself is the focus on phonics programs in schools for children with dyslexia. They really do not help, infact they exacerbate the situation and add to the childs feeling of not fitting in, not being good enough and general confusion...as a mother of a dyslexic child when ever i hear educational reps talking about phonics programs i immedaitely feel like this


    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    I had a few further ideas on this (as you know!) which I was planning to get into later. I'm sure you have ideas and knowledge of your own on this though - is there anything that springs to mind that you might want to mention?
    EDIT: Realised after this may not be what you are asking, below i am just speaking of a way in which i believe dyslexics will learn in a highly effective way.

    Well i believe that when learning the alphabet initially, it should be done in a multisensory way. Through making the letters out of clay, one at a time until the whole alphabet is learned. The exact way to do this i won't expound on right now but the idea is to have a fixed visual image of each letter so that it can then be applied to seeing it in print but only once it is learned through touch, 3d sight, and visualisation.
    IMO, no reading alaphabet letters in print until they have first been learnt this way.
    That is just the beginning, thats is just the alphabet, we can move on to whole words, sentances and paragraphs later in a dyslexia friendly way and NOT in the conventional way.
    Last edited by Betty Blue; 09-19-2010 at 08:42 AM. Reason: clarification
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  7. #7
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    MBTI
    ENFJ
    Posts
    6,707
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  8. #8
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    MBTI
    ENFP
    Enneagram
    7W6 sp/sx
    Socionics
    IEE
    Posts
    4,797

    Default


    Very interesting article. I certainly do know that which language you speak does affect dyslexia. The more phonetically correct the language the easier it is for dyslexics. Take spanish for example, it is a language in which much of the words sound as they are spelled. As a result there are much fewer dyslexics (or at least dyslexics having difficulty with reading and writing) in Spain.
    Of course Dyslexia affects much more than just phonetical decoding, it is just part of it. But i am willing to entertain that people with dyslexia may appear to have much less difficulty over all in countries where the language itself is phonetically correct, or as in the case of the article-in symbols.
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  9. #9
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    MBTI
    ENFP
    Enneagram
    7W6 sp/sx
    Socionics
    IEE
    Posts
    4,797

    Default

    Here is another article referring to the difference in languages and how they affect dyslexics.
    A very good read
    Dyslexia has a language barrier | Education | The Guardian


    Cited from the article....

    Research by Frith's team shows that small variations in brain organisation are due to orthography, with Italian making more demands on the phonemic system, because it is regular, and English making more demands on the naming system because words cannot be read correctly using phonic rules and have to be named - for example: colonel, yacht, pint. We assume the part of Alan's brain that deals with phonemic analysis is not working efficiently, which causes a problem reading English, compared to Japanese.
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  10. #10
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    MBTI
    ENFJ
    Posts
    6,707

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GemPOPGem View Post
    Very interesting article. I certainly do know that which language you speak does affect dyslexia. The more phonetically correct the language the easier it is for dyslexics. Take spanish for example, it is a language in which much of the words sound as they are spelled. As a result there are much fewer dyslexics (or at least dyslexics having difficulty with reading and writing) in Spain.
    Of course Dyslexia affects much more than just phonetical decoding, it is just part of it. But i am willing to entertain that people with dyslexia may appear to have much less difficulty over all in countries where the language itself is phonetically correct, or as in the case of the article-in symbols.
    Not really, apparently there are different proportions of types of dyslexia in Spanish/French as there are in English. Fascinating stuff.

    For what it's worth, the only reason I can remember where anything is is because I remember exactly how I put it where I put it, visually. It becomes very frustrating when the data in my brain is actually old data, from years ago, and the thing is not there, because I know I put it there, but I have no idea when that happened
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

Similar Threads

  1. [ENFP] LL's observations on my husband, who is an INTP, from an ENFP perspective
    By Little Linguist in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 63
    Last Post: 06-14-2012, 09:28 AM
  2. An alternative to capatilist profit based Economy
    By bluemountaintree in forum Politics, History, and Current Events
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 04-22-2012, 06:02 PM
  3. May I suggest an Alternative Solution?
    By Alternative Solution in forum Welcomes and Introductions
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 05-31-2010, 11:02 PM
  4. [NF] Living Fe from an Fi perspective
    By sculpting in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 12-09-2009, 07:43 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO