Dyslexia’s Puzzle

How a learning difference can lead to public humiliation in childhood?

Term Paper 2008 9 Pages

English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics



Learning is a life-long process and everybody knows that it is often very painful and difficult. Teachers are supposed to meet the individual needs of the students, to help him/her to gain insight into the academic world and to succeed in school. It is often difficult for teachers to fulfill these tasks but it can become even more difficult if there are other factors that play a significant role in the learning process such as a learning disability called dyslexia. Nowadays there are a lot of children, who get the diagnosis dyslexia, and they are still treated the same way as children without a learning disability.

It is often difficult for parents to accept the fact that their child might be dyslexic because they know how problematic the life of the whole family can become. These children have almost no chance to have a positive experience related to reading in school as a lot of teachers are still unfamiliar with teaching techniques that are appropriate for dyslexic children. Jackie Stewart, a Scottish race driver, who won 27 Grand Prix titles and has dyslexia, said once: “You will never understand what it feels like to be dyslexic. No matter how long you have worked in this area, no matter if your own children are dyslexic, you will never understand what it feels like to be humiliated your entire childhood and taught every day to believe that you will never succeed at anything.” (Wolf, 2008, p. 166) Society has to accept that idea that there are dyslexic children, whose needs are different from the ones of normal children. Teachers should use teaching techniques for dyslexic children in school such as multisensory instruction, phonemic awareness, and promote the idea of home schooling, as they would not influence normal students in a negative way. Consequently, dyslexic children as well as normal children would have a good chance to be successful.


The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and the National Institute of Health considers Dyslexia to be “a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin,” that “is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition, […]poor spelling and decoding abilities.” It is often called a learning disability but Fergusan (2008), the author of A Resource about Dyslexia for People in Hawaii, argues that it is only a learning difference, which could become a disability if the education of society and the dyslexic child itself is not appropriate for this situation because they have the chance to be successful with other teaching techniques than normal children.

According to Kathy Fergusan (2008), “Dyslexic persons are often creative thinkers who excel at multidimensional, “big picture” thinking” and Maryann Wolf, who is a professor in the Eliot-Person Department of Child Development at Tufts University and also published several books about dyslexia, supports her point of view as she believes that “an unusually large number of dyslexic people are talented,” who “cannot learn to read, despite all their intelligence and despite the critical importance of just their type of intelligence for the species.” (Wolf, 2008, p. 227) However, Noam Chomsky and Blaise, who are both linguists, think of dyslexia as a “language-based disorder” (Wolf, 2008, p. 173)

In fact, dyslexic children are often very creative as they have a connection between the left- and right-hemisphere, which is responsible for the high creativity and influences their ability to read. This seems to be the significant aspect regarding the differences between dyslexic children and normal children, as the internal connection of parts in the left-hemisphere are of significance for them. The brain of dyslexic readers employs left- as well as right-hemisphere structures, and the different areas and regions of the brain such as the visual association areas, but it is not possible for the brain to process it adequately, so that the frontal activation that takes place in normal readers does not happen or is delayed. As a result, children, who are dyslexic, do not have the natural ability to focus on the different parts of a word and produce the sounds, which make the word as they cannot remember the different sounds, so that they also cannot take the components of words and put them together into sentences.



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ISBN (Book)
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Hawai'i Pacific University
Dyslexia’s Puzzle



Title: Dyslexia’s Puzzle