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Dyslexia

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Title:
Dyslexia the bewildering paradigm
Creator:
McOwens, Sina Lillian
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English
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92 leaves : ; 28 cm

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Dyslexia ( lcsh )
Dyslexia ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 89-92).
General Note:
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
Statement of Responsibility:
by Sina Lillian McOwens.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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47108006 ( OCLC )
ocm47108006
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Full Text
DYSLEXIA: THE BEWILDERING PARADIGM
by
Sina Lillian McOwens
B.A., University of Colorado, Boulder, 1975
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Humanities
2000


This thesis for the Master of Humanities
degree by
Sina Lillian McOwens
has been approved
by
Date


McOwens, Sina Lillian (MH, University of Colorado at Denver)
Dyslexia: The Bewildering Paradigm
Thesis direct by Assistant Professor Barbara Walkosz
ABSTRACT
The primary purpose of the paper is to aid, assist, and teach dyslexics as well as
non-dyslexics about the dyslexic culture. The thesis is written by a dyslexic to help
other dyslexics understand they are special people with special gifts. The main focus
of the thesis will be on dyslexia history, types, subtypes, genetics, brain chemicals,
the central nervous system and dyslexic brain malfunctions.
The purpose of the thesis is to give an overview of dyslexia, which will enable
dyslexics to interpret their erratic behavioral patterns. The paper will also provide
information explaining how to work with the dyslexic individual enabling him or her
to function in society.
The scope of this thesis will discuss three models the (1) language based, (2) the
brain based, and (3) the philosophical based models in order to illustrate the facts of
this learning disorder. As a means of defining, each model will prove that definitions
of dyslexia do not adhere to a formalized set of rules and standards. The thesis will
also explain by examples that in order to comprehend dyslexia, one has to study all
three models independent of one another to understand the nature of their
interrelationships.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I
recommend its publication.
Signed
111


DEDICATION
I dedicate this thesis to my mother Sara Jane Brown McOwens, Joseph Christendom
and to all individuals with the gift of Dyslexia.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
My thanks to my advisor, Assistant Professor Barbara Walkosz, Professor Myra
Bookman, Annette Beck of the University of Colorado Graduate School, LaVeme E.
Buchanan-Donaldson, manager of the Combined Computer Access Center, and her
staff Lucy N. Lopez, Steve Ross. Without their support this thesis would not have
been possible.


CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
Purpose of the Study.....................................1
Scope of the Study.......................................1
Arrangement of the Thesis................................4
2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATUE....................................13
A Historical Review of Dyslexia and Diagnosis...........13
Myths about Dyslexia..............................18
Characteristics of Dyslexia.......................18
Diagnosis.........................................21
Summary...........................................22
Dyslexia Definition and Historical Overview.............23
Summary.................................................28
Types and Subtypes of Dyslexia..........................29
Brain Based Model.......................................34
The Central Nervous System and The Dyslexic Brain.37
Important Brain Chemicals.........................41
Genetics .........................................44
Summary...........................................48
VI


Language Based Moded
49
Philosophical Based Model..............................52
Derridian Model..................................52
Freudian Model...................................58
Piagetian Model..................................60
Summary..........................................63
3. METHOD OF RESEARCH....................................... 66
Pedagogical Routine.................................. 66
Teaching Methods.......................................67
The Tomatis Method...............................69
The Cultural Method..............................75
The Brain Based Method...........................76
Metacognitive Teaching Method....................79
Mind Mapping Technique...........................81
4. CONCLUSION OF STUDY.......................................83
REFERENCES...................................................89
vii


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
I think therefore I am.
Descartes
Purpose of the Study
This thesis will focus on a genus of dysfunction catalogued as dyslexia and will
discuss the major schools of thought which state (1) dyslexia has a biological
basis and is hereditary; (2) dyslexia is a dysfunction of linguistics; and, (3)
dyslexia is a product of an auditory and brain miscalculation. The fundamental
research question asked by this thesis is: Is dyslexia definable? Through structured
analysis, the study of dyslexia through selected readings, combined with analytical self
study by the dyslexic originator of this thesis, a hypothesis will be drawn to prove
dyslexia to be a indefinable, unordered, learning disability if understood, a wonderful
consecration, not a curse.
This thesis will also act as a tool for implementing new procedural techniques for
the development of a new teaching gestalt that will enable educators to understand
the challenges they face when instructing students with this unusual phenomenon. This
thesis will also enable dyslexics to understand why their behavior patterns, mood swings,
word blindness, hearing sensitivity, three dimensional sight, and word reversal, are all a
1


part of who they are. This dis ease is nothing to be contrite about, but a unique way of
life.
Dyslexia is a pervasive condition in the United States. The U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services states that as many as 15 percent of American students
may be dyslexic and this does not include the number of misdiagnosed or behavioral
disadvantaged minority children. The United Way estimates that more than $2 billion
is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because they have reading problems;
these numbers present a national crisis.
The cost of illiteracy to business and the taxpayer is $20 billion per year and as
many as 50 percent of American adults are unable to read an eighth grade level book.
Further, approximately 50 percent of the nations unemployed youth, age 16 through
21, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are functionally
illiterate. At least 60 percent of Americas prison inmates are illiterate and 85 percent
of all juvenile offenders have reading problems, as noted by the U.S. Department of
Education. What is more alarming is that 15 percent of the population have specific
reading disorders and of these 15 percent, as many as one third may show a change
brain structure. This has been catalogued by Albert Galaburda, M.D.,Beth Isreal
Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
The link to dyslexia and illiteracy within the United States is substantial. The study
of dyslexia can be frustrating because (1) most individuals do not know they are dyslexic,
2


and (2) the United States pays no particular attention or comprehends dyslexia as a way
of life for individuals with this gift.
The Scope of the Study
The thesis first examines the stereotypes attributed to individuals with dyslexia
and discusses their impact on self perceptions and self-identity. Certain segments of
this document will refer to the thesis writer who is dyslexic and did not know this
gift (Davis, 1994) had been a component of her psyche until one year ago.
This thesis will include a discussion of the historical background, initial
classifications, types and sub-types, rudimentary classifications, genetics, testing
procedures of what dyslexia appears to be, and will address why it continuously
confounds the scientific communities that have scrutinized it over the past centuries.
This presentation also investigates the brain and the auditory system and will present
an exegesis as to how these two systems and their components operate together to
facilitate and balance the everyday biography of the dyslexic individual.
The thesis will further examine the internal dimensions of the brain with specific
locus on the neurological functions of the dyslexic and formulate a proposed
methodology as to why dyslexia, although in the past conceived as just a simple
reading problem is more than just a reading problem alone; and an explanation of
Developmental Musical Dyslexia(DMD) will be offered. DMD is a form of
3


dyslexia (Oglethorp, 1996; p.18) known to progenerate itself within the brain of
individuals described as natural musicians, (Hubicki, 1990) or individuals who play
instruments and who sing without the written (Tomatis, 2000) form of musical
composition in front of them. The exegesis of this form of dyslexia will be offered.
This thesis will also fracture the myths associated with the unusual inheritance of this
disorder. A philosophical argument, using the impetus of Descartes, Derrida,
Freud, and Foucault, is developed to examine false implications placed on what are
conceived to be inferior hegemonies, dyslexics, and how those hegemonies, dyslexics,
deemed inferior by other dominions different from themselves, non- dyslexics, can learn
to dismantle, deconstruct, and function in a society that unknowingly ignores dyslexics,
or any individual with a disability. Further, the sociological implications of
this gift called dyslexia,(Davis, 1997; p.97) will be addressed. Finally, teaching
methods used by myself, and cited by others to help individuals to accrue a better
understanding of aiding others with this semblance of dis-ease, examine the hindrances of
learning caused by this dis-ease, and give educators a stronger overview of what they will
be facing in the classroom because of this paragon.
The Arrangement of the Thesis
The thesis is arranged to review applicable literature regarding dyslexia, its
historical background, with an overview of the normal and dyslexic brain functions.
4


It will also examine different research methods employed by neuropsychologists.
The examination of the applicable literature will appear to be unrelated and disjointed
because Dyslexia illustrates unrelated and disjointed appearances that seem unattached;
however these unrelated and disjointed patterns, when fused together inside the brain
pattern of a dyslexic individual, formulate a distinct system that has the power to
manifest itself in the dyslexic individual. Outward behaviors of this system include
(Davis, 1997; Miles, 1991) clumsiness, depression, anxiety attacks, headaches,
alcoholism and mental disorders with bouts of extreme manic depressive tendencies if
the individual is not aware of how dyslexia functions within his or her spirit.
The conclusion will finalize all data and redefine, through the additional schemata, a
new found wisdom and some recommendations that will allow other dyslexics, who are
highly creative, and intelligent to march in the light of a neoteric birth, rather than in
the death promenade of depression and trepidation often brought forth by the stress
and anxiety of this inharmonious blessing. Moral principle must also be considered in a
discussion of dyslexic ethics. Thus, to be clear, dis-ease is not to be confused with the
word disease. Dis-ease will not refer to sickness, as interpreted by the dominate
hierarchy of medicine and instruction, rather dis-ease will refer to a interrogative state of
intelligence made by questioning the motivation of educational systems. A consideration
of these standard systems will be made in determining if they are suitably structured to
fit the needs of individuals who do not automatically adapt to the pedagogical box of
5


configurations put in place by these systems. This study will not discuss a system that
appears to contradict itself and has no compassion for individuals who are different, but
rather will focus on how individuals on both sides of the spectrum may have a better
comprehension of what each side has to face. Positive and negative viewpoints of
supporting methods that allow individuals to assimilate, understand, and re-adjust to all
new schools of thought that will be discussed.
Many approaches to teaching dyslexics have come from a base of power rather
than knowledge (Fink-Eitel 1992; Davis, 1997, Greenfield 1995) those individuals who
are afraid of the unknown wish to domesticate, lessen, command and organize
individuals deemed different from the dominant hierarchy and keep these individuals
silent. While doing research on Foucault, Fink-Eitel notated how Foucault had studied
the silencing of individuals through control of discourse. Per Fink- Eitel, Foucault felt
the way to totally diminish any individual different from the dominant hierarchy is to
dominate discourse, exclude individuals through language and establish boundaries
considered true or false.
Unknowingly, the dominant system of education has allowed this type of organized
discourse to perpetuate this type of discourse for years. Discourse of this type, has not
only alienated the dyslexic, but has now disunited the school system. Individuals are no
longer staying in school and the amount of functioning illiterates has reached an all time
high.
6


The word learn (Webster, 1986) means to increase information, to assimilate, or to
become proficient through experience or application. Learning means to become acquaint
ones self or find out through organized study information on data unfamiliar to the
individual. The above definition is a safe application; however, for dyslexics, learning
encompasses more than a dependable, screened, assembly line, mechanistic approach to
how humankind uses its neurological processes to encode and decode information within
its surroundings. Such an interpretation does not take into consideration all that dyslexic
learning encapsulates. A dyslexic will not fit into any mechanistic safety zone when it
comes to the learning process. He is at the mercy of his or her brain function at any set
moment in time. The brain does not fit into any comfortable category; because it has its
own set of regulated standards and because of this, dyslexia can become known as a
combination of many distinct systems or symptoms (Miles, 1991) working separately and
independent of one another trying to formulate a new system which may or may not exist.
Systems which may or may not exist, refer to the health of the individual because
dyslexia can give the appearance of other forms of disease. Problems can arise; an
anxiety attack can resemble a heart attack, behavior problems in dyslexic children
because of sensitivity to sound often result with drug treatments to control the individuals
behavior instead of searching for the primary source of the irregularity.
The lack of study regarding the relationship between the dyslexic and the non-dyslexic
in society, causes the dyslexic learner to continuously reinterpret circumstances daily for
7


individual dyslexic survival. Every day is literally a new life for the dyslexic; each day
is distinct from the day before because the individual has to figure out what approach can
work best for him or her while the brain is picking up new information. If one
formulation does not work, new sets of ideas or standards have to be set up while the
dyslexic is still in the primary learning stage. One example of this type of learning
procedure would be a dyslexic musician learning how to read music. Musical dyslexics
are bom (Tomatis, 2000) with the sounds of the pitches in their psyche, but cannot tell
distinguish the name of the pitch. In order to sing properly, they use their ear to hear the
sound. The ear of the dyslexic musician, for some reason, is innately attuned to higher
frequencies then their non-dyslexic musical counterpart. If a teacher puts the written
music notation in front of a dyslexic and says do not rely on sound, but read the music
and rely on brain interpretation, the dyslexic individual will not be able sing or interpret
the sound from the written music notation. The teacher has to allow the student match
his or her singing sound to the sound of the pitch the instrument being played for the
individual to hear. The teacher also has to allow the student visually see where the sound
is located on the instrument and let his or her brain associate the pitch and location on the
instrument and written page for itself. The student, on the other hand, has to let the brain
do what it needs to do in terms of processing, take his or her time in allocution, and
continue working on what needs to be done until all forms of study make sense. The
brain is literally figuring what processes it must go through to interpret the musical
8


sound; because of the dyslexic glitch (Levinson, 1999) the brain has to figure out
alternate routes to enable it to interpret the sound. An hour lesson, which is usual the
amount of time for a lesson, is not enough. If the student tries to rush the process, he or
she will become frustrated and discontinue studying altogether because the incongruity,
which comes with trying to put mind over matter, in the case of the dyslexic, will cause
acute anxiety. Thus, the student becomes aggravated along with the teacher. In these
types of circumstances, the brain shuts down and the mind goes blank. The brain goes
into what is called a dyslexic fog(Levinson, 1999) and the student can no longer
concentrate or visually perceive letters numbers or symbols. In extreme circumstances,
the anxiety becomes so overwhelming, the individual is not able to interpret what the
teacher is saying nor will the individual be able to remember where they are or how they
got from one place to another. This type of circumstance happens in the classroom as
well. If the teacher or student is unaware of how his brain functions low grades are the
result.
Another explanation relates to how children are taught to cross the street. All
individuals are taught three statements: stop, look, listen. Those words have
become the trinity for many dyslexics. Simply stated, the dyslexic is bom with a
different brain schemata that effects everything he or she does in everyday life. If the
dyslexic does not stop look and listen, he or she can become a negative self-full
filling prophecy and become a deviant. Many dyslexics' become depressants because
9


they do not know how to adjust to the system around them and the system in turn, does
not know what the dyslexic needs; dyslexia is so evasive in terms of identification and
treatment, no one teaches the dyslexic how to handle problem situations, because mentors
do not know what to treat. (Miles, 1991) So, the dyslexic feels stuck and views certain
learning situations as hopeless. The dyslexic is pressured to feel he or she has to fit in but
the brain, because of its' special patterning procedures, will not let the individual do so.
The dyslexic continually battles what is called Surface Innovation versus Inside
Identification. The dyslexic brain has its own set of rules and regulations it follows
(Lashley, 1929) and so does society. Thus dyslexics are always in conflict with society
and themselves because of this tension between the two.
The dyslexic finds his or her behavior patterns disconcerting because the individual
knows that he or she is intelligent but at the same time cannot seem to pass a test after
diligent study, cannot concentrate, does not have a sense of direction, and cannot see
symbols or certain colors. Dyslexics are not always color-blind but can temporarily
become color-blind during a moment of anxiety. This is from personal experiences of the
During a anxiety attack, the brain cannot decipher certain images. This confusion
leads to distress with the results being one of two emotional responses by the dyslexic.
The Davis Association web site 2000 labels these responses are as under or over
reactions. The under reaction will cause the individual to withdraw and such responses
10


then need considerable amounts of encouragement in order to perform a task.
According to the Davis Association web site, dyslexics demonstrate a high need for
approval because the dyslexic individual is constantly being corrected, as constant
correction gives the individual or child extremely low self-esteem. This low self-esteem
carries into all parts of their life. In children, this lack of self esteem can lead to
bedwetting, reverse of maturity level, and depression. The anxiety of being forced to go
to school where the child will have to learn to read and write often results in
psychosomatic disorders.
The Davis Dyslexia Association web site 2000 stipulates further details how
individuals and children are affected. The other reaction is called the over reaction
and has the opposite outward retrogression. This individual or child tries to disguise their
inadequacy by being successful in other areas. Sometimes this is achieved by being the
class clown or by being the class bully. Either way this child or individual may resent
authority either by making fun of authority or fighting against it. This general aggression
carries beyond just the school and into life in general. Both under and over
reactions can cause the child or individual to leave school without the qualifications
needed.
11


In his book Dyslexia My Life, Girard J. Sagmiller says:
When talking to groups, I tell them that being dyslexic is like running a 100-meter
race. In your lane you have hurdles, but no one else does. You feel that its unfair
but you try running like the other competitors anyway. Then, you hit a hurdle and
fall flat on your face your parents and teachers are yelling at you to try harder, so
you run faster and faster and fall even harder. Then, someone takes the time to
show you how to run hurdles and like an Olympic runner, you outrun the others.
The key though, is that you have to do it differently, the way it works best for
you.
(Sagmiller 12)
The next chapter will provide a review of the relevant literature including a historical
overview of dyslexia, definitions, and the three models of interpretation: the language
based model fragment, the brain based model fragment and the philosophical model
fragment.
12


CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Good people can overcome a bad system, and good systems can prevail
over bad people. But bad people in a bad system points the way to
catastrophe. However good people in a good system work miracles...
-James Parker Hill
A Historical Review of Dyslexia and Diagnosis
Any culture, if it is to survive, needs to know its heritage and how it, the culture, came
to be. A historical review of this cultural Learning Disability provides a prospectus on
the evolution of diagnostic treatments developed and used today. Dating as far back as
the eighteenth century, (Dyslexia 2000) starting with the painter Leonardo da Vinci, who
was dyslexic, society learned of dyslexia. However, critical and comparative analysis did
not come forward until the latter part of the nineteenth century. In 1861, the neurologist
Pierre Paul Broca (1824-80) claimed that the aphasia of a particular patient, whose brain
was examined after death, was the result of a profound but accurately circumscribed
lesion of the posterior third of the second and third frontal convolutions. This particular
area has subsequently been designated Broca's area. The discovery of Brocas area has
rightly become famous, (Miles, 1991) although even at the time it was recognized by
some that the attempt to locate speech functions in a few restricted areas of the brain was
an oversimplification. Yet, it was also noted that some patients who had suffered a brain
13


injury or a cerebral vascular injury, or stroke, lost the ability to read and speak, a
condition known as aphasia.
At the same time, Kussmal, a German physican, (Miles, 1991; Hinshelwood, 1917)
ascertained that the ability to read might be lost independently of the ability to see or
speak. He called the condition alexia or word blindness. As more cases were reported,
two distinct types of world-blindness were unearthed. In one type, a person could not
read nor write, and in the other, the person was able to write but still unable to read.
When the brains of these patients were studied, they revealed lesions or hemorrhages in
the upper visual region of the brain. Candidly elucidated, meaning bleeding underneath
located in the lower central part skull just above the upper neck behind the ears.
In 1891, a case report by Dr. Dejeme, (Dyslexia 2000) described a patient who had
become aphasic, the total loss of the ability to express and understand ideas, alexic, the
loss of the ability to read, after a cerebral vascular accident. Cerebral of course, pertains
to brain and vascular pertains to the vessels that carry circulating blood to the different
parts of the brain. After several hours had passed, the patient regained the ability to read
and to speak but was still unable to write and lacked comprehension proficiency. A post-
mortem examination of several similar patients revealed a brain lesion, or injury, in every
case. This lesion, located in the posterior, or rear, temporal, meaning near the temples, or
sides, of the skull, region affected the left hemisphere, or left half of the brain where the
parietal, the upper central, and occipital, lower part of the skull, lobes, or rounded region
14


of bone located in the skull. Another case of dyslexia, was reported in a magazine called
the The Lancet in 1895. It described a fourteen year-old boy, Percy, who was
diagnosed with congenital, or heredity, world-blindness. Although Percy was described
as bright, healthy and skilled at arithmetic, he had difficulty reading and writing. In
1897, several cases similar to that of Percy were investigated and prompted several
publications of case studies involving individuals with the same types of enigma
emerged. One phenomenon suggested that cerebral damage may be caused word-
blindness and that birth injury was a predisposing component.
Later studies by Hinshelwood, (Miles, 1991) in the early twentieth century, described
word-blindness as a congenital defect. He stated that the disorder was one that
occurred in children with otherwise normal brains. Hinshelwood suggested that this
disorder was not an organic defect, meaning chemical imbalances in the brain, but that it
resulted from abnormal brain development particularly of the angular gyrus. This brain
abnormality affected visual memory of words, letters, and figures. Hinshelwood argued
that in place of the natural processing of letters dyslexics use the auditory system to
translate letters into visual memory. Dyslexic learners initially use a sound or analytical
coding systems and eventually attach meaning to written words. Hinshelwood, therefore
argued that most teaching procedures are inappropriate for dyslexics. He recommended
using the phonetic approach that would allow the reader to use auditory memory to form
words.
15


Another important contribution to the understanding of dyslexia was made by an
American psychiatrist and neurologist, Samuel Orton. (Miles, 1991) He observed
reading and writing disorders in ambidextrous children and found that most had a
tendency to reverse letters and transpose their order. He named this condition
Strephosymoblia (Miles, 1991; p.8) which means the "twisting of symbols." There are
two types of Strephosymoblia: the first type has the individual confusing the letters b
with d and p with q. These are called static reversals. The second type confuses the
words such as was and sees the word as saw or tomorrow as tworrom. Orton coined the
terminologys developmental word-deafness (difficulty recognizing spoken words,
delayed and confused speech) developmental motor aphasia (slow development and
disorders of speech) and developmental alexia an unusual difficulty in learning to read
with no accompanying physical or mental abnormalities), which served as precursors for
contemporary categories. "Dyslexia" was the first general term used to describe it.
(Miles, 1991; p.10) As of the twenty-first century, over seventy names are used to
describe various aspects of it.
The first half of the twentieth century saw a the development of a wide gambit of
intelligence tests. The concept of the intelligence quotient or IQ became more defined
The early formula had mental age over chronological age times one hundred. This
was superceded by the work of Wechsler (1949,1976,1992) by the concepts of verbal
IQ and performance IQ. These test were improved by detailed approaches; however,
16


problems still exist in diagnosis. Because of the specific knowledge and knowledge
that is required for at least some of the questions, children from minority backgrounds,
lower social class families, and/or different ethnic groups may be disadvantaged and my
have lower IQ scores. Unfortunately, they may not be called reading disabled, but
instead be labeled as slow learners and not be considered intelligent enough to benefit
from correction. Biases still exist and unless the individual learns to decipher these
differences, the results may be biased even with the best of intentions. Thus, extra
caution must be taken at all times in the diagnostic setting.
As one can observe dyslexia is tangible. Data found on this remarkable anomaly
is both unrelenting and precocious. We do cognize that it is something within a system
that keeps formulating new systems. It exists. Is it definable? Not one clear definition.
Is it hereditary? Possibly, yet no one really knows.
The biggest problem is the shortage of resources. What is central in a dyslexic
assessment is an accurate evaluation of the persons needs at the particular stage in
life he or she has reached. Tests are available but unfortunately biased, because
individuals do not always know what they are testing for. The performance in a
dyslexic can be uneven.; there are unexpected deficiencies that are a challenge because
the individual may have strengths in other areas. What then eventuates when the form of
inference based on the assumption develops is that if two things are known to be alike
in some respects, then they all must identical in other aspects, fails in interpretation and
17


in being? What happens when the adaptations brought on by the continuances are not
recognized by the exterior environment to be traditional and no longer conform to the
established rules of the governing forces? How do macrocosms, which have been
deemed abnormal, safeguard themselves and sanction them selves to flourish? One
certainty is that a number of myths or mis-connections develop. The next section
explores these myths.
According to the Scientific American Article on Dyslexia: November 1996, a number
of myths about dyslexia have been identified. The following discussion illuminates those
myths.
Myths about Dyslexia
There are many myths regarding dyslexia. Here is a small list of some which were
listed in the Scientific American Article on Dyslexia dated November 1996.
1. Mirror writing is a symptom of Dyslexia. The truth per Scientific American Article
on Dyslexia: November 1996 states backwards handwriting and that reversals of
letter and words are extremely common in the early stages of writing development
among dyslexic and non dyslexic children alike. Dyslexic children have problems
naming letters but not copying letters.
2. Eye training is a treatment for dyslexia. More than two decades of research have
shown that dyslexia reflects a linguistic deficit. There is no evidence that eye
training alleviates the disorder.
3. More boys than girls are dyslexic. Boys reading disabilities are indeed
identified more often than girls, but studies indicate that such identification is
biased. The actual prevalence of the disorder is nearly identical in the two cases.
4. Smart people cannot be dyslexic. Intelligence is in no way related to
18


phonological processing, as scores of brilliant accomplished dyslexicsamong
them Albert Einstein, Woopie Goldberg, Sina McOwens, George Patton,
Charles Schwab can attest.
5. Dyslexia can be outgrown. Yearly monitoring of phonological skills from
first through twelfth grade show that the disability can persist into adulthood.
Even though many dyslexics learn to read accurately, they continue to read
slowly have some problems distinguishing symbols when fatigued depending
upon the type of dyslexia they have.
6. Dyslexics are from poorer socioeconomic backgrounds. Background has nothing to
do with how the brain functions; it has to do with heredity.
7. Dyslexia is only rampant in the minority population. Dyslexia has no conception of
color; it has to do with the brain and how it operates.
8. All Dyslexics are mentally retarded because of genetics or the recessive gene they
have. No, the gene is autosomal, not genetic.
9. All dyslexics have attention deficit disorder. Some dyslexics do suffer what
appears to be ADD. It depends upon the dyslexic and their heredity traits when the
brain has a malfunction, the other senses take over. Many times the dyslexic is so
sensitive to the stimuli around his or her self they become withdrawn not hearing is a
way of survival. An individual does not have to have ADD to be dyslexic or visa
versa. Individuals always fear what they cannot understand. In order to make
themselves feel comfortable, counterfeit information is passed down through
hierarchies to make the unknown feel hated. When individuals do not know their
heritage, they can be destroyed. (pp. 5-6)
Characteristics of Dyslexia
An individual is identified as dyslexic when a significant incongruity exists
between intellectual ability and reading performance without any apparent physical,
emotional or cultural cause. According to dyslexia 2000, common findings in the history
include but are not limited to:
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1. Family history of reading problems;
2. A predominant occurrence in males; the ratio of males to females is 8:1;
3. A average or above average IQ and, not uncommonly, a proficiency in math:
4. No enjoyment of reading as a leisure activity.
5. Problems of letter and word reversals.
6. Developmental history of problems in coordination and left/right dominance.
7. Poor visual memory for language symbols.
8. Auditory language difficulties in word finding, fluency, meaning, or sequence.
9. Difficulty transferring information from what is heard to what is seen and visa
versa, (pp. 10-11)
Other problems may include reversal of words and letters, disorganization of
word order, poor reading comprehension, and difficulty applying what has been
read to social or learning situations.
According to Doug walker of dyslexia 2000 the above findings are just the
beginning of what individuals need to know about dyslexia; we are more aware
of the problem now and can do more to try to help solve the riddle, (pp. 12-13)
Meet the needs of the individual. The label dyslexic, may indicate different
requirements for different circumstances failure to recognize the differences will
result in the needs of the dyslexic not being met. The best way to deal with limited
resources, Caine, 1999; p.l 11) is to ensure that optimum use is made of those that are
20


accessible and that no individual is denied these resources for irrelevant reasons."
How is dyslexia diagnosed? How do individuals know if they are dyslexic? How do
educators identify Dyslexic individuals in a classroom situation? The next section will
offer some suggestions on this Bewildering Paradigm, and its detection. The next
section gives a historical review of dyslexia and the diagnostic traditions it represents.
Diagnosis
Classification should be of the individuals strength and weakness. Dyslexics
display certain patterns which are not obvious unless the individual has been alerted
and knows what to start looking for. Particular strengths and weaknesses vary from
one dyslexic to another a further purpose for dyslexia evaluation is to determine what
the exact needs in a particular case.
The diagnosis of dyslexia has to begin (Miles, 1991; Blagg et al. 1988) with an
awareness by parents or teachers that a problems exists. A physician is often
the first diagnostician to explore the nature of the difficulty. The medical practitioner
should investigate the cause of he reading problem by conducting a complete physical
examination and obtaining a comprehensive health history. If indicated, the child should
be referred for a neurological examination. If dyslexia is suspected, the physician should
refer the child for further evaluation and treatment by a specialist in psycho educational
diagnosis, (pp.11-12)
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The major purpose of the diagnostic process is to isolate the specific difficulties
associated with dyslexia (McLoughlin et al. 1994) and to suggest appropriate educational
intervention. Usually the diagnostician will employ a battery of assessment instruments
that explore the relationship of specific reading problems to the intellectual, achievement,
perceptual, motoric, linguistic, and adaptive capabilities of the individual. Based on the
results, an intervention plan can be implemented by a special educator or remedial
reading teacher trained in specialized reading techniques. No one remedial reading
method works for all reading disabled students. Therefore it is important that the teacher
have mastery over many different techniques. The following segment will give some
illustrations on the characteristics of dyslexia.
Summary
Philosophers, scientists, and teachers always want to have an explanation of the
unexplainable. The above definitions, historical background, language based, brain
based, philosophical model fragments, and scientific patterns of brain function all offer
some posits and illustrations of dyslexia. When all fragments are studied apart from one
another and interconnected, dyslexia the dis-ease begins to make sense in that it has no
boundaries, it is a mutation, and it cannot be classified. No one really knows how it came
to be, when it began or how it can be diagnosed. No matter how one tries to define it,
dyslexia does not fit into any phylum or classification as it is the sum of all its parts.
22


All any one individual, whether studied, or unstudied regarding dyslexia can say is
that dyslexia exists and is affecting the population; how it affects the masses will
depend upon acceptance and understanding of how dyslexia affects the individual.
Diagnosis has to be done individually, not by en masse symptoms of what it may be.
The next chapter reviews strategies that have been used to teach the dyslexic and offer
diagnosis to aid in the identification of this dis-ease. These strategies can aid in
facilitating educators what t look for, how to handle dyslexic individuals with this blatant
form of dis-ease.
Dyslexia Definitions and Historical Overview
According to the Medicine Net 2000 web-site, there are numerous definitions of
dyslexia including the following: Developmental dyslexia {is}: A learning disability
which initially shows itself by difficulty in learning to read and later by irregular spelling
and by lack of facility in manipulating written as opposed to spoken words. The
condition is cognitive in essence and usually genetically determined. It is not due to
intellectual inadequacy or lack of socio-emotional factors or to any known structural
brain-defect. It probably represents a specific maturational defect which tends to
lessen as the child grows older, and capable of considerable improvement, especially
when appropriate remedial help is afforded at the earliest opportunity. Critchley and
Critchley, World federation of Neurology (1978:149)
The British Dyslexia Association defines dyslexia as a specific difficulty in learning,
23


in one or more of reading, spelling, and written language which may be accompanied by
difficulty in number work, short term memory, sequencing, auditory and/or visual
perception, and motor skills. It is particularly related to mastering and using written
language- alphabetic, numeric and musical notation, In addition oral language is often
affected to some degree (Augur 1993:1) British Dyslexia Association. Another definition
per the dyslexia web site states that dyslexia is one of several distinct learning
disabilities. It is a specific language-based disorder of constitutional origin characterized
by difficulties in single word coding usually reflecting insufficient phonological
processing abilities. These difficulties in single word decoding are often unexpected
in relation to age and other cognitive and academic abilities; they are not the result of
generalized developmental disability or sensory impairment. Dyslexia is manifested
by variable difficulty with different forms of language, often including, in addition to
problems of reading a conspicuous problem for acquiring proficiency in writing and
spelling (Orton Dyslexia Society 1994:5)
Dyslexia is further defined as a difficulty in reading despite traditional instruction,
average intelligence, and an adequate opportunity to leam. It is an impairment in the
brains ability to translate images received from the eyes or ears into understandable
language. It does not result from vision or hearing problems. It is not due to mental
retardation. Numerous factors come into play regarding this unique learning disability.
As it encompasses more than the comprehension of what the individual is reading, many
24


other areas are affected. According to the Orton Dyslexia Society, there are at least 70
known definitions of dyslexia.
Another more formal definition recently proposed by the Orton Dyslexia Society
and adapted by National institute of Health is that dyslexia simply means difficulty.
The word for dyslexia is made of dys- poor or inadequate (learning or master of) and
lexia- verbal language. It is a specific language-based disorder of constitutional origin
characterized by difficulties in single word decoding, interpreting words, usually
reflecting insufficient phonological, or speech processing, abilities. These difficulties
in single word decoding are often unexpected in relation to age and other cognitive
and academic abilities; they are not a result of a generalized developmental disability or
sensory impairment.
The Dyslexia 2000 web site says a generic term for dyslexia has been generalized to
refer to individuals who have severe reading problems only. This philosophy, although
well meaning, is austere in its definition. Reading, has been localized as the only standard
incongruity in this phenomena; although one focus, lack of reading skills should not,
however, be the only focus.
The dilemma (s) associated with dyslexia are enormous and encompass a diversity of
sentiments, predilections, and myths. Dyslexia encompasses more than the
comprehension of what the individual is reading and many areas of the brain are affected.
Studying information on dyslexia one can say that dyslexia is indeed a Learning
25


Disability that includes a heterogeneity of characteristics; however, current
examinations have been limited in understanding the disorder due to inharmonious
terminology and mutable definitions. Tentative assumptions suggest a genetic
predisposition (heritability); in other words, congenital, neurochemical, or organic
differences, and the possibility of morphological anomalies. Morphological anomalies
refer to the neurological pathways to the brain and how these pathways affect learning,
behavior, and interpretation of an individuals external surroundings.
The Silverman (2000) web site makes the distinction of dyslexia labeled as visual
spatial. This type of dyslexic, refers to an individual who leams holistically, or by
personal experience rather than step by step academic manipulation. The individual
processes primarily in pictures rather than words meaning that the ideas are
interconnected. Linear sequential thinking which is considered the norm in American
Education, is particularly laborious for this individual because it requires a translation of
his or her usual thought processes, that take more time. In other words, the American
educational system teaches children in a cross wise fashion a b c d e f g. and so
on. A visual spatial learner (Silverman 2000) associates a picture with the letter and
visualizes in an up and down fashion. So the brain has to take a temporary time out
and make a picture both horizontally and vertical to make another picture. Here is an
example take the simple alphabet a, b, c, d. The visual spatial learner has to associate a
with apple, b with boat, c for cat, and d for dog. If the individual cannot associate letters
26


with a picture, nothing makes sense. The brain is continually associating pictures with
the letters of the alphabet and the brain gets tired.
Some visual-spatial learners (Silverman & Freed, 1996; Tamopol & Tamopol, 1977)
are excellent at auditory sequential processing as well. These individuals have full access
to both systems, so if they cannot get an immediate aha when they are looking at a
question, they can resort to trial and error methods of problem solving. These students
are extremely gifted with well integrated abilities.
Visual-spatials also have a heightened sensory awareness to stimuli; these include
extreme sensitivity to smell, acute hearing and intense reactions to loud noises.
Because they are constantly bombarded with stimuli, they get so much information,
they have difficulty filtering it out. Although their hearing is above normal, they can
be poor listeners and have inadequate listening skills. These individuals are highly
perfectionistic and usually do not handle failure well. The learning skills of these
individuals is an all or nothing focus and they do not like to resort to the trial and error
technique. Visual-spatials either see the amended conclusion or do not understand the
concept at all. This usually causes them to watch quietly, while pretending not to watch
or avoid the situation completely because it threatens their egos.
Visual spatial learners have innate abilities to read people. Because they do not
have or cannot rely on audition for information, they acquire remarkable visual and
intuitive skills which include reading body language and facial expressions. Many
27


are so adept at observance of others, they can literally tell what a person is thinking;
an individual, in a classroom situation, can sense a teachers anxieties and ambivalent
feelings towards them because these disciples are used to being unaccepted in what is
conceived as the normative classroom situation. (Silverman, 2000, abstract)
Medicine Net (2000) designates other types of dyslexia one is labeled direct
dyslexia This type of dyslexia refers to the ability of the sufferer to read words aloud
but lacking the ability to understand what they have read. According to Medicine Net
(2000) other dyslexics can understand what they read but are unable to pronounce those
same words. Primary dyslexia is considered to be another form of dyslexia that reflects a
dysfunction within the cerebral cortex, and appears to be hereditary. The condition of an
individual with primary dyslexia is not thought to change with age. Secondary dyslexia,
on the other hand, is thought to be caused during early fetal development and disappears
gradually as the individual ages. (pp. 3-4).
Summary
Individuals who comprehend anything regarding dyslexia know (Miles, 1999)
one has been instructed to conclude dyslexia is a just a process where individuals
cannot read. However, there are so many types and subtypes of dyslexia that it can be
confusing trying to figure the level of dominance each type has within the individual,
how the individual will react in behavior to the type he or she has, or if the individual is
28


indeed dyslexic or developmentally disabled. The ignorance about this learning
disability, within the medical profession, has led to disjointed and fragmented
information regarding its symptoms; information regarding dyslexia is accurate.
Further, society does not realize this learning disability is affecting individuals at an
alarming rate.
Regarding data on dyslexia (Miles, 1991) has not been possible to find definitive
criteria in their reading or written work on which these type distinctions can be based.
Keeping this thought in mind, here are some ideas on types and subtypes of dyslexia as
studied by Johnson and Mykelbust and illustrated by T. R. Miles.
Types and Subtypes of Dyslexia Truth or Fiction
The two main divisions are often designated as visual and auditory dyslexia.
According to Johnson and Myklebust (1967) who stated the deficit could either be
verbal or nonverbal (1967: 17). They supported this theory with dual divisions of
analysis. Both went on to discuss, in regard to verbal behavior, the processes
involved in speaking, listening, and in reading and writing. It is apparent, they said,
that deficiencies might be auditory and /or visual in nature (1967:20) Unfortunately
both, per the writer of this thesis, were only speaking about and focusing on deficiencies
in behavior but were not focusing on the functions of each brain of each individual.
Elaine Miles, (1998) feels that issues raised by this distinction are not valuable ones
because the subtype names put forward by Johnson and Myklebust elucidate something
29


constant and unchangeable. The distinctions, per Johnson and Myklebust (1967: 21) at
that time, are as follows: The child learns the spoken word and what the letters look like,
but he or she cannot associate these images with the way they sound (an auditory type of
dyslexia). The reverse can also occur. He or she learns what letters sound like but
cannot make the normal association between these auditory images and their appearance
(a visual type of dyslexia).
The auditory reception sub-test (Liberman 1983: p.4) is described as follows: it takes
the form of simple interrogatory sentences Do dogs eat? Do dials yawn? Do
wingless birds fly? The child answers yes or no. Problems arise if the child is not
familiar with its constituent words or does not have a full understanding of what he or she
is being asked."
The problem was this: (Miles, 1999; p.96) Johnson and Myklebust "were making
distinctions within the areas of oral behavior," and there were cultured indications in their
account of the educational treatment suggested that other factors are involved in the
differences between the two groups besides modality.
On the other hand, T.R. Miles and Elaine Miles studies found that it was the
members of the auditory dyslexic group not the visual dyslexics who may have to be
taken back to recognizing the essential consanguinity between speech and the written
language. Auditory dyslexics lacked some linguistic understanding and the
assumption has sometimes been made that all that is necessary for deciding whether
30


and individual is an auditory or a visual dyslexic is to see whether he or she does
worse on auditory or visual tests (Miles, 1999 p. 97). The point of reference is that
representations can be distorted and unintentionally misused if findings are not
interpreted correctly, or if individuals are harried in their interpretations of what they
think an object or essence does not fit into a formidable packet. Dyslexia is not a
typical dis-ease with a characteristic phenotype as it is constantly evolving and
extremely elusive.
Some teachers and people in the educational system have been giving diagnostic tests
to illustrate how dyslexia, classified as type or subtype can be modified. The problem
that arises here is (Miles, 1991; p.97) some teachers have continued to use the
distinction between auditory dyslexics and visual dyslexics but have been mislead by the
way in which a particular test is labeled." As was the case with Boder in her studies
regarding subtyping dyslexia (1973). Her observations were that dyslexics could be
catalogued as dysphonetic, or having a primary deficit in symbol-sound
integration,(Psychiatr Enfant 1993; 36(2):443-53) resulting in a inability to develop
phonetic word analysis synthesis skills. Dyseidetic, on the other hand is comprised of
children whose reading-spelling pattern reflected a primary deficit in the ability to discern
letters and whole words as configuration. Boders procedure is summarized as follows:
The child is presented with single words to read. If the word is recognized within one
second and entry is made in a column marked flash. If it is recognized within about
31


ten seconds the entry is made in a column marked untimed. A preponderance of
entries in the flash column indicates the child is reading by means of whole-word
Gestalten, entries in the untimed column will indicate that he or she is reading by
means of phonic analysis. Upon examining Boders key examples of the dysphonetic
type of pupil and a dyseidetic type one will find that the individual who scored well
was a fifteen year old boy with a Stanford-Binet IQ of ninety- two who had been in
special education class for three years and the other child was a much younger boy aged
eight and one half years old with an IQ of one hundred and forty-five. This illustrates
( Miles, 1999; p. 98) that it is unwise to use such cases as example of two separate
types of dyslexia when all sorts of developmental factors could be factors in the reported
differences, i.e. severity of handicap, intelligence, temperament, culture, and stage in
education.
Although test labels may serve some purpose as a short hand, ( Miles, 1999; p.99)
they can be gravely misleading if incautious users take for granted the label represents a
full account of the many different factors the test requires.
Brain researcher Dirk Bakker (Licht et al. 1988:Bakker 1990) used the
electroencephalogram, a device for measuring brain activity, to study the hemispheric
asymmetry in thinking processes. His objective was to discover which hemisphere
was being used more at a particular stage of development. Bakker started with
children in kindergarten when they had no reading experience. He attached
32


electrodes on each side of the skull at the places corresponding to the temporal and
parietal parts of the brain. Bakker found that the younger the individual the more
activity in the right hemisphere, however by the fourth year in school there was a
switch to predominant activity in the temporal area of the left hemisphere; this change
was related to reading performance. Bakker hypothesized that some children did
not switch over at the appropriate time to left-brain learning, and these he called P-
types or Perceptuals. He suggested that other children might rush into the linguistic,
left-brain activity to abruptly and these he called L-types or Linguistics. These
distinctions were based on documentation from brain damaged cases. Individuals
with left-hemisphere impairments tended to read slowly but accurately, whereas
patients with right-hemisphere injuries tended to read hastily but inaccurately.
There are thousands of accessible analogues; the above are just a few. As one can see,
dyslexia is not a dis ease that has one response or identification. It can resemble almost
any form of learning disability, and be misdiagnosed For the purpose of the beginning
part of this thesis, however, the main locus is to grasp the actuality that dyslexia,
although undefinable, is an implication of a determinant that is furtive. What makes
this dis-ease more beguiling is that there are three main divisions with subdivisions or
prototypes perpetuating different schools of thought that include the brain based model,
the language based model, and the philosophical model. These models, which would
appear to be separate entities are what make up the base of dyslexia. Researchers need to
33


understand dyslexia is composed of fragments of different dis eases and not just one.
These paragons will be discussed in the next section beginning with the brain based
model.
Brain Based Model Conclusion
The brain based model conclusion suggests that for the dyslexic (Dyslexia 2000) there
is some kind of brain damage which is innate and internal, from birth. This model
declares that autatomically the brain is divided into two halves or hemispheres. Dense
collections of nerve cells (neurones) are closely packed together inside the skull. (Miles,
1991; Duane & Gray, 1991). The skull itself, acts as no more than a protective covering.
The cerebral hemispheres are approximately, though not exactly symmetrical. In
particular, we have two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, two arms and two legs, and apart
from a number of exceptions such as the heart and the liver, there are few bodily organs
that are not found in duplicate. Despite the relative similarity of the two cerebral
hemispheres, it does not follow that "they both carry out the same functions. (Miles,
1999; p.79).
Certain skills have become possibly because the hemispheres have become
specialized, one of them, usually the left, being distinctively involved in the production
of language.
The precise role of the right hemisphere is uncertain. The commonly held view is
that it is concerned with visuo-spatial tasks and that it processes information at the
34


same time. It is also possible that many of the skills required for music are controlled
from the right hemisphere. Although the left hemisphere is the one normally involved in
the control of language, there are some individuals for whom this is not the case. (Miles,
1991)
T.R. Miles and Elaine Miles, feel it does make sense however to presume that the
balance between the two halves of the brain is distinct in dyslexics and because of the
presence of ectopias, intrusions of cells from one layer to another and dysplasias,
disorganizations of cells within a cell layer, it would follow that the brain mechanisms
available for interaction with the environment would be likely to be different."
A brain ( Young 1987; p.17) is "not an assertion about a simple perceptible or
touchable manifestation but about a system with definite organization, properties, and
actions." It is an organization built up partly by heredity and partly by learning,
uniquely characteristic of each individual..
Another conundrum fragment (Young, 1987; p.64) in the comparative analysis of
dyslexia is that "computers are made of materials quite dissimilar" to those of brains.
According to young they both use comparable principles but in innumerable ways are
less authoritative. A computer is an engine that can be operated by programs or disks fed
to it by an appropriate code. When a computer overloads, it shuts down. A computer is
an engine that can be operated by programs fed to it in an appropriate code.
In the brain, there is no clear separation between hard ware and software; everything is
35


provided by heredity. Each individual is provided by heredity with a brain that already
contains certain single programs; it also contains devices that enable it to learn many
more elaborate programs. Moreover, although the brain transmits information in a digital
code of nerve signals it does not store information by means of simple digits. One of the
main current problems of neurophysiology (Young 1987; p.18) is "to discover the units
in which the memory record is written in the brain." It seems that the code consists on
various types of units by heredity. So to limit the brain to a computer is some help
in understanding how the brain functions but not the only locus on brain function.
One of the problems in the educational system would appear to be that all intelligent
students think, study, act, and react the same way all computers do. It feels that all
students can be taught the say way. Students are not robots and their brains are not
programmed by disks. If this were the case, the amount of functioning illiterates within
the United States would drop considerably;, it is a fa9ade to think all brains to be alike.
The brain, per the brain based model fragment, is the primary facilitator for learning;
it does not, however, do all the labor by itself. The brain relies on what it interprets from
each of the five senses to sanction interpretations of its environment. The brain is far
from simple and connotations are always more elaborate than preliminary investigation
discern. The human brain, on the other hand, has brain waves and nerve impulses that
never rest; in a dyslexic brain the individual can continue to move but not short out
completely.
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Dyslexics are not computers who can be fed programmed information. When the
dyslexic brain shuts down, the other senses start to take over. Each dyslexic, because of
heredity, is distinct and remember no two brains are alike. To make the assertion that all
brains are alike, or are somewhat like computers, only further alienates the dyslexic
individual and will keep the individual from further progression within the educational
system. The next section discusses the central nervous system and how it functions to
understand how the dyslexic brain functions, one has to first understand the workings of
the "normal brain."
The Central Nervous System and the Dyslexic Brain
The central nervous system (Bickerstaff, 1980) nervous system consists of the
brain, which includes the two cerebral hemispheres, the brain stem, and the cerebellum.
The brain occupies the interior of the skull; each hemisphere is divided into lobes. The
most anterior, or front, is the frontal lobe. Injury to parts of this may produce personality
change; in its posterior part lies the cells controlling motor activity. Research in which
post-mortem (Geschwind and Levitsky 1968) examinations were carried out on the brains
of a number of individuals adjudged to be dyslexic showed that the planum temporale
which is the part of the surface or the temporal lobes on each side of the brain, showed
structural abnormalities, including ectopias, intrusions of cells from one layer to another,
and dysplasias, disorganization of cells within a cell layer.
The frontal lobe ends (Bickerstaff 1980;) at a well-marked sulcus named the
37


Fissure of Rolando, posterior to which lies the parietal lobe, which is of major
importance for the appreciation of sensation. Most posterior, or in the back, of all is the
occipital lobe where the stimuli of vision are received. In front of the occipital lobe but
below the parietal lobe lies the temporal lobe, separated to some extent from the posterior
part of the frontal lobe by another deep fissure, the Sylvian Fissure. Stimuli of taste,
sound, and smell are received by the temporal lobe and it also has the power of
converting crude visual impressions into recognizable pictures and scenes. The temporal
lobe, for whatever reason, is the lobe most effected in dyslexic individuals.
The areas where the frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes are joined is responsible
the function of speech. This is controlled by the left hemisphere in innumerable, but
not all, left handed individuals. All right handed individuals have their speech center
on the left hemisphere however (less than half) of individuals who are left handed
have it on the right (Bickerstaff 1980; Duane& Gray, 1991). At an early age, dyslexics
often use both hands when writing and display this ability. Some dyslexics cannot decide
which hand to use and will display confusion in their penmanship until the brain matures
and decides which hand it will use.
Deeply placed in the center of the hemispheres to either side of the midline are the
basal ganglia (or basal nuclei) of which the most important is the thalamus. These are
vital sorting stations where messages passing to and from the hemispheres are collected
38


and redistributed.
Below the hemispheres and connected to them by two thick bunches of fibers, the
cerebral peduncles, lies the brain stem. This is a single midline structure carrying all
the nerve fibers passing between cerebral hemispheres to the foramen magnum where
it is continuous with the spinal chord. All cranial nerves except the first enter or arise
from the brain stem. Its most superior portion is called the midbrain, and contains the
nerve cells controlling eye movement. Most dyslexics have problems with eye
movements when reading and become sleepy when reading. Below this lies the pons,
and below that the medulla oblongata, which controls many vital functions such as
swallowing, breathing and the action of the heart.
Above and behind the brain stem, but also joined to it, lies the cerebellum. This is
separated from the cerebral hemispheres by a tough, tent-shaped seep of menings
called the tentorium. This sheet divides the cavity of the skull into the anterior and
middle fossa above and the posterior fossa below. It has to have in it a large gap-the
tentorial hiatus, through which the brain stem can pass. The cerebellum has two lateral
lobes joined by a midline portion names the vermis. It is important in the control of all
muscle movements, including walking, talking and in the control of muscle tone and
balance. Dyslexics have problems with their balance and speak quickly because they do
not want to misremember what they were speaking of in everyday conversation.
This discussion about the brain is relevant because in dyslexics, (Dyslexia 2000) the
39


brain is found to have lesions involving the posterior lobe of the cerebellum and the
vermis; some individuals also had some lesions in the anterior cerebellum. Biochemical
differences are also found between the brains of dyslexic and normal individuals. A
difference in the ratio of choline-containing compounds like seretonin and other
neurotransmitters compared to N-acetylaspartate compounds in the left parieto-temporal
cortex: and a difference in the ratio of creatine to N-acetylaspartate compounds in the
right cerebellum. Also, the brain appears to be smoother on the surface of dyslexics.
Which means the neuro pathways are not defined enough for neuro-transmitters to pass
through. So different paths have to be established within the brain for a normal synapse
to take place. The brain literally makes up a new path for the neurotransmitters to follow
in dyslexics.
The hypothalamus (Young, 1987) is one of the most important centers of the brain; it
lies just below the thalamus and is a small lobe at the base of the brain. It regulates bodily
temperature, the amount of oxygen flowing within the body, sugar levels, the amount of
calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphate, and regulates behavior. This part of the brain
furnishes the neural system that monitor the levels of the substances and many more.
From the hypthalamic cells, nerve fibers proceed to many other areas including those
from which they receive them. The fibers control the body (Young, 1987) by chemical
means: the signal substances they produce (called releasing factors) are main regulators
of the multiple actions of the pituitary gland, which lies just below the hypothalamus.
40


The balance of interactions of many factors is indeed difficult to comprehend. However,
this is the balance that regulates our basic moods and desires; though these are moderated
by higher cortical intellectual activities; these are the pathways by which the cortex may
influence the hypothalamus. As a final turn of complexity, all the different parts of the
hypothalamus itself are interconnected.
In the dyslexic, brain parts of the hypothalamus may not interconnect properly
and temporarily cause lower cortical intellectual activities. Mood swings, improper
breathing, and fainting spells in dyslexics occur because the hypothalamus is not
producing the signal substances need for personality balances. For reasons unknown
it temporarily stops production.
All of the above is information regarding the "normal brain;" in order to understand
Dyslexia, the brain based model fragment of the normal brain needs to be comprehended
first and the other fragments will begin to inter connect later.
The next segment of the brain model fragment will offer a study on the different brain
chemicals and genetics that are innate in all individuals. In the dyslexic however, these
chemicals are not working in full capacity, because of this the dyslexic can suffer many
maladies without knowing why.
Important Brain Chemicals
There are chemicals (Dylsexia 2000) within the brain, as has been previously stated,
that are regulated to keep the individual sagacious, centered, and peaceful. In the
41


dyslexic, there are at least three chemicals within their nervous systems that are not
harmonious. These chemicals are serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine.
Serotonin is a chemical present in blood platelets, the gastrointestinal tract, and
certain regions of the brain. It plays an important role in blood clotting, stimulating a
strong heart beat, initiating sleep and fighting depression. Prescription drugs that treat
depression raise the brains level of serotonin. A dyslexic is usually an individual who is
a depressant which means the serotonin level in the dyslexic brain is low. Serotonin also
serves as a precursor for the pineal hormone melatonin which regulates the bodys clock.
When dyslexics are under stress, some can go up to four days on ten hours of sleep, they
cannot eat and may become extremely depressed. No sleep makes the body susceptible to
dis-ease, sickness, and drug dependency if the dyslexic is not careful.
Dopamine is an inhibitor dampening activity so we stay rooted. Dopamine travels
along pathways to the brain and plays various roles. Dopamine in the basil ganglia
(in the brains interior) are critical for executing smooth and controlled movements.
Dopamine moves into the frontal lobe regulating flow of information coming in from
other areas of the brain. The flow of dopamine may cause disrupted or incoherent
thought as in schizophrenia. In milder disorders, such as dyslexia, too much dopamine in
the limbic and not enough in the cortex may produce an overly suspicious personality
producing bouts of paranoia or may inhibit social interaction. With dyslexics it may be
manifested as claustrophobia, or severe anxiety attacks. A shortage of dopamine in the
42


frontal lobes may contribute to a poor working memory. To compensate, dyslexics learn
to make picture associations in their mind and usually photographic memories; however
the dyslexic individual has to leam how to use it.
Finally, acetylcholine is the most abundant neurotransmitter in the body and the
primary neurotransmitter between neurons and the muscles. The stomach, spleen,
bladder, liver sweat glands, blood vessels, and the heart are just a few of the organs
that this neurotransmitter controls. The bodys synthesis of acetylcholine is vital
because of the neurotransmitter role in motor behavior and memory. Low levels of
acetycholine, found in dyslexics, can contribute to a lack of concentration and
forgetfulness and may cause light sleep. Dyslexics cannot remember what they read and
cannot concentrate and oft times lose sleep worrying over test scores and test taking.
Acetylcholine also helps to control muscle tone, learning, and primitive drives and
emotion. This neurotransmitter also controls the release of the pituitary hormone
vasopressin, which is involved in learning and in the regulation of urine output. Many
dyslexics are usually chronic bed wetters indicating a correlation between poor muscle
tone and the part of the brain, the cerebellum, that controls the urinary process. Urinary
tract problems occur because the neuro transmitters cannot pass through the neuro
pathways slowing up the synapse. The slowing up of the firing of the synapse causes the
behavioral problem which, in this instance, shows up as bed wetting.
The above bed wetting findings regarding bed wetting have come from personal
43


observations of other dyslexics by the dyslexic writer of this thesis.
"Is Dyslexia genetic? The next section will discuss this using the biological model
of the brain fragment model or genetics.
Genetics
The Biological Model (Miles, 1991; Duane & Gray, 1991) also investigates the
role of genetics in the etiology of Dyslexia. According to T.R. Miles The presence of a
genetic factor cannot legitimately discuss the appearance of a hereditary factor in
dyslexia because social influences could be resorted to as an alternative or even
interacting cause.
In a classic case Hinshelwood (1917) felt that it would have to be assumed that social
factors allegedly leading to illiteracy were operative only in the case of four members of
the original family of 11 children and that the eldest child then re-enacted a pattern of
behavior which had been learned in childhood. In many families where illiteracy is a
problem, if one child starts to read on his or her own, and it is apparent they will become
good readers, the child is ostracized by members who cannot read. If the child is weak
willed, the child will stop reading in order to fit into the family network. In the words of
Fincucci et al. (1976:18), very good readers and very poor readers exist side by side in
sibships, in contrast to what could be expected if a child were copying the behavior of
older sibs.
The first systematic attempt to answer the question of genetics was made by Hallgren
44


(1950). He concluded that a gene transmission took place via a dominant gene that was
autosomal, or any chromosome that is not a sex chromosome. Human beings have 22
pairs of autosomes along with the two sex chromosomes, XX in the female and XY in the
male.
Most of the children investigated were children who attended a childrens guidance
clinic in Stockholm. He studied 116 dyslexics and 160 affected relatives, namely 96
parents 64 siblings. Of the 276 studied some were termed border line dyslexics.
If a dominant characteristic is transmitted entirely via the Y chromosome it can
never occur in females since all females are XX. Since there are dyslexic females,
this possibility in the case of dyslexia is ruled out because dyslexia appears more
frequently in men. Another principle is this: if a characteristic is transmitted by the X
chromosome only, the mating of an affected father with an unaffected mother cannot
yield any affected male offspring since male offspring would inherit only the Y
chromosome of the father. (Miles, 1991)
There were 50 families in which there was mating between an affected father and
an unaffected mother and 40 families in which there was mating between an unaffected
father and an affected mother. In the former case there were 50 affected sons and 26
affected daughters. The latter case showed 54 affected sons and 20 affected daughters.
Since there appeared to be no consequential difference between the two ratios, Hallgren
felt there was no evidence that transmission was by the X chromosome. Since
45


transmission via the Y chromosome had already been excluded, the only remaining
alternative was that the transmission was autosomal.
On the foundation of other documentation, in particular the extremely high
frequency in which dyslexia was found in the children of affected parents he felt
that the gene in question was dominant rather than recessive. This would imply that
the genes mode of transmission is autosomal and dominant.
Upon learning this data however, Hallgren felt that individuals must realize
that researchers need to know the number of dyslexics in the population. This task
is complicated to do with confidence. Second, there are feasible uncertainties over
diagnosis and what dyslexia really is. Third, dyslexia may present itself in the genotype,
or the genetic constitution of a person and it may not show itself in the phenotype or the
visible measurable characteristics of a person. Finally, depending upon the type of
dyslexia, (Miles 1999: Davis & Braun, 1997) some individuals simply outgrow it.
Feelings regarding dyslexia (Miles T.R. 1999; p.92) in this way. It is almost
certainly an "oversimplification to suppose that someday researchers will discover the
gene" for dyslexia."
One possibility is that the action either of a single gene or of several genes in
combination may produce effects on the biochemistry of the body and thus create
anomalies in the developing brain which could in their turn lead to the behavioral
manifestations of dyslexia. Much more will need to be discovered before it becomes
46


possible to pronounce on these matters with any confidence. (Miles, 1999)
In another view, Levinson, (Dyslexia 2000) a clinical researcher and neurologist,
declares that dyslexia is the result of the inadequate sensory filtering functions of the
inner ear because the cerebellum apparatus located at the base of the brain is not working
simultaneously with these functions. The cerebellum is that structure of the brain that
regulates and coordinates complex voluntary muscular movement located at the rear of
the skull. The chochela aids the inner ear in hearing, balance, and sensing sound. Per his
clinical analysis, dyslexia is the consequence of these two principal organs in the brain,
ear not working as a unit within an organized system; as a result, a gap or a glitch occurs
because the individual is not hearing sounds, or their frequencies correctly and as a
consequence the brain cannot interpret what is being said, and is unable to understand
incoming information. Levinson named this term CV or Cerebellar-Vestibular
Syndrome. He recognized that CV determined dyslexic reading errors and produced
mechanisms that are similar to the unconscious mechanisms shaping dreams and even
severe denial that are characterized both cerebellar and Freudian insights. Dr. Levinson
postulated that the cerebellum might play an important role in modulating unconscious
mental functioning. Ultimately, he was lead to formulate an amazing theory of mind and
mental functioning that was equally compatible with both science and religious
philosophies. In his second book, What is Dyslexia, Dr. Levinson states that the
cerebellum plays a tremendous role in dyslexia and has refuted the century old cerebral
47


cortical concepts of the disorder. In other words, the inner ear acts as a fine-tuner for
all motor (balance/coordination/rhythm) signals leaving the brain and all sensory and
related cognitive signals entering it.
As a result, normal-thinking brains will have difficulty computating the scrambled or
distorted signals received. So, the final manifestation of this LD, or learning disability,
will depend on: (1) the degree of signal-scrambling, (2) the location and function of the
varied normal brain centers receiving and having to process these scrambled signals, as
well as, (3) the brains compensatory ability for de-scrambling.
By comparison, the brain-damaged theorists (Duane& Gray, 1991; Bickerstaff, 1977;
McLoughlin, Fitzgibbon, Young, 1994) per Levinson, mistakenly believe that vital
processing cells scattered throughout the thinking brains of dyslexics are severely
impaired; and normally received signals cant be properly interpreted. Were this brain
damage true, then the IQs of dyslexics would be severely impaired and their prognosis
or outcome would remain hopelessdespite all efforts and therapiessince abnormal
processing cells within the thinking brain cannot be compensated for. Today, despite
escalating research efforts, this flawed one hundred year old brain-damaged theory has
lead absolutely nowhere in facilitating diagnosis of the dyslexic syndrome.
Summary
The above scientists have studied dyslexia thoroughly, and each has found
48


dyslexia to be a unique set of postulations. From these postulations one could state that
Dyslexia can apparently be made to fit into any medical category possible but the
complexity and adaptability of the brain means that precise forecasting of correlations
between mental events and physical processes is never possible. The fundamental
point, is that all mental events are associated with events in the brain and it is a
continuing task for neuroscientists to leam to follow the cerebral mental events of
the brain; which brings forward the second main model called the language-based model
fragment of understanding dyslexia and it will now be investigated.
Language-Based Model Conclusion
The second view of dyslexia is the language based model conclusion. This pattern is
more cognitive in its approach (Gillman & Stillman, 1969) and deals with the linguistic
side of dyslexia. The linguistic or phonological model says to understand (Dyslexia 2000
Medicine Net 2000) dyslexia one has to first consider the way in which language is
processed by the brain. This view is defined as follows: Dyslexia reflects a paucity in
processing unique linguistic units, called phonemes, that make up all pronounced and
composed words. Current linguistic models of reading and dyslexia now provide an
exegesis of why some intelligent individuals have difficulty learning to read and
performing other language related assignments. A consistent archetype of dyslexia has
emerged that is based on phonological processing. This phonological model is consistent
with both clinical symptoms of dyslexia and with what neuroscientists know about brain
49


organization and function.
The linguistic based model investigates the ways in which language is processed
within the brain. According to the dyslexia web-site on Phonological and personality
disorders (2000) the brain consists of two hierarchies the upper and lower level. At
the upper levels of the hierarchy, the brains components are involved in processing
semantics (vocabulary or word meaning), syntax (grammatical structure) and discourse
(connected sentences). In contrast, the lowest level of the hierarchy is the phonological
module, that is dedicated to processing the distinctive sound elements that constitute
language. The phoneme, is defined as the smallest meaningful fragment of language; it is
also the essential element of the linguistic composite and is considered the lower level of
the hierarchy.
Different conjunctions of just forty-four phonemes produce every word in the English
language. Take the word bat for example, this word consists of three phonemes:
buh, aah, and tuh. This indicates that in order for words to be mastered,
recognized, and stored in memory, and retrieved from it, they must first be broken down,
or parsed into their phonetic units by the phonological programming of the brain.
Although both speaking and reading rely on phonological processing, there is a crucial
crucial difference: speaking is natural, and reading is not. Reading is an invention and
must be learned at a conscious level. The task of the reader is to convert the visual
percept of alphabetic script into linguistic ones which means to recode graphemes
50


(letters) into their corresponding phonemes, or sounds. (Miles, 1991) In order to do this
the reader must first come to a conscious awareness of the innate phonological structure
of spoken words and realize that the orthography, or sequence of letters on the page,
represents this phonology. When an individual as a young child learns to read, this is
exactly what happens.
If a child, or adult is dyslexic, a deficit within the language system at the level of
the phonological module impairs his or her capability to segment the written word
into its underlying phonological component. This is the explanation of the phonological
model or as the phonological deficit hypothesis. Simply stated this means that two
hierarchies of processing exist within the linguistical part of the brain. However,
a gap, a glitch, or a deficit occurs which impairs the process of encoding involved in
comprehension and meaning; and although both are intact, they cannot come into play
because they can only be accessed when a word has been identified through phonemes.
Although each school of thought may differ in some areas, they all agree about one thing.
Dyslexia is a nebulous, complex set of circumstances that causes dysfunction and mal-
alignments with normative structures invoking fractures inwardly, enforcing negative
connotations outwardly, and perpetuating a form of disconnect from the environment in
which the individual needs to survive. Dyslexia could be considered a disability that is
philosophical because it severs the actuality of truth between the environment on the
outside of the dyslexic, the educational system, and the truth of the environment of the
51


inside of the individual, his brain. Individuals with dyslexia learn in order to survive the
social structures put upon them by society they have to continually dismantle their
thinking patterns as well as the thinking patterns of other individuals around them
in order to succeed in education and in everyday survival. The philosophical based
model fragment will illustrate how this process occurs.
Philosophical Based Model Fragment
Derridian Model
Dyslexics continuously deconstruct and restructure their lives every day. With
regards to the educational system and its testing procedures, if a dyslexic learns not to
leam to allow the system to forcibly adjust his or her learning mechanisms to their
structure, while in the primary stages of learning any new subject; the dyslexic will
progress within that system. If a dyslexic succumbs to the system he or she will digress.
The dyslexic has to leam there is no secure system or structure, i.e. education, that
cannot be ruptured, changed or made workable for the dyslexic individual. When the
dyslexic leams to deconstruct any system and allows the system to adjust to his or her
needs, freedom occurs and wisdom of the self is learned. Philosophicaly deconstruction,
in terms of dyslexia, can essentially mean "something replaceable in a chain of
substitution ,that can also be done from one language to another" (Wood & Bemasconi,
1988; p. 5). The above statement is extremely healthy for dyslexics, because dyslexics
52


have to continually change the language from the educational structure to the language
structure of the brain. If this is not done holistically (Miles, 1991) problems in
communication occur, the dyslexic individual withdraws from the system of learning, and
becomes passive. When two declarations are combined into one aggregate, i.e. dyslexia, a
new hermetic paradigm, or a new subculture is produced. Simply stated, the dyslexic can
produce higher grades and better grades occur when the dyslexic realizes there is no set
way to leam and the system allows the individual to study in the way that bests suits him
or her.
The best way to study is what works best for that individual. Language (Smith, 1998;
p.2) "bears within itself the necessity of its own critique and licenses the individual to
produce his, or her own meanings out of it by an activity of semantic freeplay. In
other words, with reference to dyslexia, the more an individual acquires the ability to re-
change and re-evolve his or her cognitive abilities within a system that continually
narrates the individual to be non-suitable or subordinate, the more one is forced to
understand the self, other people, and other systems diametrically opposed to the system
he or she is used to without having to resort to baleful methods of perfidiousness to
umbrella non-proficient behavior; this is precisely how a dyslexic has to live his or her
life every moment of everyday; and this is one of the many reasons dyslexics are so
creative; the mind never stops recreating and adjusting to new circumstances every
moment. Questions, regarding the IQ prowess of the dyslexic individual often arise
53


because the dyslexic has to readjust thought patterns to fit new situations especially in
the learning process such as in a classroom. To reiterate, if the teacher does not
understand the dyslexic mind, the educator will mistakenly assume the dyslexic is a
substandard student. A perfect example of this type of miscalculation by the teacher and
reformulation by the student presents itself when a dyslexic student has to study for a
test.
First, the dyslexic individual has to make certain what is to be studied is something the
eye cannot only see, but something the brain can phonetically understand as well. If the
individual is having a dyslexic day or a day where nothing can be understood because the
brain is mal-functioning, the dyslexic will either have to try to reformat his or her
thinking processes and take the test, or simply realize they cannot take the test on the day
appointed. If the dyslexic individual forces his or herself to take an exam when the brain
is not ready, they will usually have to either take the exam again or flunk the test.
Problems occur when the dyslexic individual keeps trying to reformat information and
the brain is not ready to do so. Anxiety and/or depression will usually be the end result
with the semantic internal voice replay of one is foolish to think one is intelligent.
Remember, dyslexics are depressants who often think they are unintelligent. Individuals
or educators who are not dyslexic do not understand this type of thinking and are
powerless to help. This thought process can become so definite the individual does not
comprehend that such negative contemplation is taking place. In order for the dyslexic
54


individual to understand his or her own strength within the educational system or any
circumstance where learning is involved he or she has to learn to replace that internal
voice with the change of one word. The new semantic replay becomes "one is foolish to
think one is unintelligent." The focus is on what the word think really means to the
individual, not the word unintelligent.
Philosophically speaking, Derrida would say dyslexia becomes the sign unfastens
itself that signifies beyond the cut, beyond the place of its emission [or putting into
circulation] or its natural appurtenance; but the separation is never perfect. (Wood &
Bemasconi, 1988 ) The difference, dyslexia, is never consumed. The cutting detachment
[le detachment sanglant: the biting or bloody cut] is always- repetition-delegation,
mandate, delay, reprieve, relay, attachment. The detached remnants fit or stick together
that way [par la], by the [par la] glue of differance, by the a [par l a]. The a of
gl/binding [agglutine] the detached differences. The structure of the A glutinous,
adhesive, sticky, gluey [gluant]. (Wood & Bemasconi, 1988; p.43) This duality does
not prevent it from producing conceptual effects and verbal or nominal concretions.
The dyslexic keeps proceeding and producing new concepts as to how he or she will
survive. In this model, the dyslexic now has a certain type of heritage and has now
oriented his or herself to a mastery of new consciousness to comprehend his or herself.
The dyslexic individual has now formed a new consciousness, grown apart from the
traditional, and formed a new alliance within his or her self. He or she may be unfamiliar
55


in the other world i.e. the environment; but in the individuals personal environment, he
or
she is alive and existing well be it difference or difference (Wood & Bemasconi,
1988; p.42). Therefore dyslexia becomes the differance that is never to be consumed
because of reinvention what is mutation or abnormality in the outer surrounding
environment is life and security in the internal environment of the individual.
The scientific and educational communities view dyslexia differently. The cutting
detachment or bloody cut refers to the structured scientific communities dissection of
this essencewhich repeats, delegates, mandates, delays, and reprieves to form
Attachment. While the scientific community continues its attachment so does the
dyslexic. The gluanf represents the lack of adhesion producing the difference which
binds the attached differences. The two parallel and form a paradigm producing tension
causing expansion which will remain continuous and on going (Wood & Bemasconi;
1988 p.43). However the tensions keep each community i.e. the dyslexic and scientific
community moving and growing neither community would survive with out the apparent
negative of the other being iniquitous going.
Attachment with regards to this paper, refers to each community adhering to its own
set of mles and systems. The tension regarding Attachment becomes apparent
when communities i.e. scientific and/or dyslexic does not dismantle the systems within
themselves but nevertheless "help" communities expand without totally understanding
the community or cultural differences within the community. When this happens,
56


complacency occurs; in other words, individuals who are being "helped" are not being
heard because no individual on the "inside," really focused on the needs of the individual
on the "outside." So the outsiders leam to fit into any circumstance that comes their
way. Outwardly, circumstances look fine, but if one thoroughly investigates, one will
see all is basically the same, if not worst; complacency leads to the destruction of the
individual.
Dyslexia presents various uncertainties to the community of the scientific minded
because their investigative research has advanced from one angle only. The
philosophical model would state that dyslexia falls into certain categories which make it
what it is. However, the more scientific individuals dissect this enigma, the more and
they discover what dyslexia is not. The philosophical model would appear to suggest
that dyslexia is a unique type of gift. In contrast, the scientific model would appear to try
to define dyslexia as a weakness and force it into a set of symptoms to be cured. Dyslexia
has no structure, is highly allusive, and continues to transform as it is being analyzed.
Derrida may say that dyslexia could be "difference, because dyslexia would be
considered as the economy of differential forces (Wood & Bemasconi; 1998; p.7-8).
Dyslexia could be the detour within our economy known as education; it is the
impossible presence, and irreversible draining of energy.
Dyslexia does not fit into one cosmos rather, it is a combination of many which make
it fascinating for deconstruction. It can be called a paradox. Dyslexia is an aporia
57


imminent to the generative of the production of differences (Wood &Bemascone;
1998; p.45). Dyslexia is the beyond. It is the sign that unfastens itself beyond the
place of emission. The scientific common ancestry presents the separation that is never
perfect.
The individuals who have dyslexia would probably understand Derrida to view, dyslexia
as a positive because the individual is constantly re figuring it, dyslexia, and his or her
self out. Difference would now be the outcome of the educational system
understanding dyslexics and dyslexics in turn, understanding the new educational system.
This would be positive because the dyslexic is now learning at a level which enables the
individual to learn at his or her own pace. So the gluan plus attachment has made
the "difference that is now proven to be positive. Individuals who are dyslexic can now
function within the dominant hierarchy, and not constantly be forced to re-identify
themselves with that system.
The Freudian Model Concept
The Freudian concept of the Philosophical model views dyslexia as a state of mind
where the individual becomes passive. (Bookman class notes on Freud Spring 2000) The
tension in this case (Gay, 1995; p.776 ) is that the ego is the sole seat of anxiety." The
brain, for the dyslexic is the ego, the dyslexic becomes the super ego or the outside
environment; the two are always at odds with each other creating inner tension for the
58


dyslexic. Anxiety per Freud is always the signal of trouble. Anxiety, which is a natural
part of the dyslexic makeup, can lead to neurosis and different types of phobias which
lead to sickness an dis ease. The roles of the id and superego reverse themselves with the
individual becoming an entire new universe within his or her self. At other times, the id
can become a representation of the superego with the superego being the society with
which the individual is a part. The role reversal here stem from the fact that dyslexics
hear what others do and watch what others say. Tensions resulting from the Freudian
model can often make the dyslexic individual feel there is no hope or become so anxious
with melancholia that poor health, a life of crime, or in severe cases suicide results
because they feel they are incapable of anything else, a life of crime. The tensions of
being a dyslexic throw every thing off balance and the individual stays depressed or has
to seek psychoanalysis to survive life. The love of live is replaced with the love of death.
Two forms of thought can produce two psychoanalytical results. As was first
mentioned, the Freudian model states that the individual is passive, and the id
or what an individual is bom with, and the superego, or outside environment makes the
individual who they are. In the Freudian model, the dyslexic individual just stays
quiescent and accepts the fact that they are doomed to a life of imbecility or continued
illiteracy if there is no outside analysis.
Sigmund Freud makes this comment on psychoanalysis it is used instead to induce
the patient to perform apiece of psychical work-the overcoming of his transference-
59


resistances -which involves a permanent alteration in his mental economy (Gay 1989;
p.12). In other words, the dyslexic must have psychoanalysis to enable his or her self to
function in society or a possible life of crime could be the result.
The Piagetian Model
Although Piaget dealt with the cognitive only, he could be considered an
environmentalist to the dyslexic because of the way the "gifted" dyslexic has to adapt to
the environment. Remember a dyslexic hears what other individuals do and watch what
individuals say, not the other way around as non-dyslexics do. The epistemology of the
Piagetian model for the dyslexic is an environmental position that says all knowledge is
the evidence of the senses. (Bookman, M. (1980) Piagetian Stages with Emphasis on
Formal Operations, p. 1). Thus, for the dyslexic, there is no knowledge at birth and a
persons environment and experience are the main sources of knowledge.
The Piagetian model states the individual goes through a series of six developmental
stages. The individual aggressively takes on change and understands the knowledge
coming from his or her understanding of his or her subliminal self. This form of self-
regulation is an adaptive mechanism consisting of the building of notions or ideas from
experiences both physical, i.e. inside the individual and social, the interacting
environment outside the individual; dyslexics have to do this every day. The higher order
which evolves from this condition (Arthur Koestler, 1972) is called the "integrative
60


principle." A spontaneous shift to a higher degree of order is now found. Prigogine &
Stengers, 1984) The dyslexic can now survive and has moved to a higher order. The
individual does not view himself or herself as inadequate; the individual will now
welcome any obstacles in terms of learning because the individual knows the propensity
for excellence is there.
The dyslexic, becomes a constructivist or an operational constructivist in the
Piagetian model. This model posits the necessary requirement of active regulation
between the environment and the knowledge by the knower. (Bookman, M. 1980
Piagetian Stages with emphasis on Formal Operations p.3) The dyslexic does not become
isolated as he or she moves on within the environment. Rather, the individual breaks
with convention and develops a theory of knowledge in which knowledge does not reflect
an objective ontological reality but rather exclusively an ordering and organization of
the world constituted by his or her own experience. (Von Glaserfield 1984, p.24)
The above epistemology parallels with dyslexic living. The dyslexic has no
knowledge of who he or she is, and the individual has to learn by interpreting the
environment around him or her. In a sense, the dyslexic is in a cognitive state of
continually being re-bom until the individual understands what his or her brain is
processing and the processes of the world around him.
In Piagets model, unlike to Freudian model, the dyslexic goes through different
stages to attain freedom. The first stage is the reorganization stage (Miles, 1991) or
61


exploratory stage. The dyslexic individual is finding out the nature of his or her learning
problem, i.e. "Why cant I do this or that? Am I stupid? What is wrong with me?"
The individual questions himself or herself and feels inferior to others. In stage two, the
individual goes through dis-equilbrium and starts to wonder what it will take to reach
a higher level of thinking. This is the Pre-operational stage. Stage three allows the
individual to think oh now I get it, or the ah ha stage. This is who I am, this is how
I operate. Stage four allows the individual to understand how he or she will have to
operate and that their operation will be at a level different from others. The first four
levels involve harsh judgement of the self and of others. Stages five and six are the top
level of the hierarchy; the individual adapts to his or her own personal environment.
There are no harsh judgements of oneself or of others on this level. The dyslexic
individual is free to process incoming data at the rate most comfortable for that
individual. The individual is comfortable within his or her self and the outside
environment. The dyslexic individual is the active participant in what he or she knows.
This would account for the fact that dyslexics are highly intelligent individuals because
their levels of interpretation exceed those who are considered normal human beings.
Remember, this is how most dyslexics interpret life, not by what is said, but by what is
done.
Upon allowing oneself to be the Brahma bull in the china closet dyslexic
individuals can allow others to cross that same road by ascertaining dyslexia for what it is
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"an ability to see the all the sides to all things, realizing the uniqueness of the self in
all things, and respecting that self for what it is, something beautiful and wondrously
made." King James Bible
For individuals to understand how the tension between responsibilities and rights
sustains the dialectic of human (Gilligan, 1999; p.174) development is to "see the
integrity of two disparate modes of experience that are in the end connected." This
statement, originally focused on women, can give a dyslexic freedom because it allows
the individual to understand that he or she is still connected to their environment but n a
different way or voice. It also indicates that humankind may need to stop looking at
the obvious and look for what is not displaying itself. The apparent negative,
dyslexia, is the positive waiting to reveal a new disparate of ideas.
Summary
Philosophically, a dyslexic fits into the brain based, language based, and philosophical
based categories because he or she has the ability of being able to adapt into any
environment and can give the appearance of being interrelated and interconnected. Like
the celestial universe, the dyslexic individual leams to dismantle and formulate new
learning systems enable to survive. In so doing, the dyslexic can excel within the
traditional system of education.
The capability of knowledge is a purely spiritual endowment (Joachim, 1968;p. 19)
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individual, self-identical and complete. Thoughts continuously realign themselves
forming new metaphors and grammatologies without the use of writing apparatus to
configure the above hypothesis. In other words, thoughts are nebulous and have an
infinite quality. This is another reason why dyslexics are highly intelligent and creative.
What they can not literally see with the naked eye, they have to leam to interpret by
using their mind. Dyslexics have what Descartes would call an intellectual vision, a
single natural power of discriminating the actual from the erroneous (Joachim, 1968; p.
20). A dyslexic has to have the above qualities or the individual will not survive. In
order to survive, the dyslexic becomes a new creation.
Within every macrocosm, the educational system, new systems, dyslexics, are
constantly being reborn making new structures with which to support themselves; this
form of continual replication and adjustment to outside interference helps all systems to
survive within an environment, which at one point in the continuance, could have be seen
as an adversary.
This type of adaptation, can be seen in any kind of behavioral analogy, whether
physiological, humankind verses the physical body, psychological, humankind verses the
unconscious, or analogical, humankind verses the machine. It can be seen in cultures,
with the advent of new cultures within cultures, in the gene pool with new ethnicitys
being created through interracial marriages, in the multitasking computer systems used
daily by all cultures, in the educational system which is always defining and redefining
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the learning process, and within the innate computer learning system known as the
brain.
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CHAPTER 3
METHOD OF RESEARCH
"We acquire knowledge-we leam-by processing experience..
John Dewey
The first two chapters gave an introduction on dyslexia by giving documentation
illustrating its illusive nature, its chemical effects on the brain, and how its illusive
nature has not only stymied the medical profession, but baffled the teaching profession as
well.
Chapter Three will offer proven, workable methods available to aid educators
that will prove compatible and enhance the learning techniques for the dyslexic
individual in all educational and /or selected instructional settings. It will present a
textural analysis approach to teaching the dyslexic student and also offer a review of
these methods using sentence analogy and pedagogical procedures to support these
techniques.
Pedagogical Routine
Direct transliteration from what is known (Caine, 1999; p.5) as "the neurosciences into
pedagogical routine is unrealizable; it is a form of synthetic categorization which may be
advantageous in designing research projects, but it can misconstrue ones understanding
of learning.
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How an individual comprehends circumstance and how the brain interprets the
meaning of those circumstances cannot always be formulated to fit the expectations of
educational order without the intrinsic benefits of the anthropological species suffering as
a result. Brain research challenges the belief that teaching (Miles, 1991) can be
separated into the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains. Such artificial
categorization may be helpful in designing research projects, but it can actually distort
our understanding of learning.
Teaching Methods
There are various teaching methods available. Some are focused philosophically on
the Piaget Model which enable the individual to follow the six steps of cognition cited in
chapter two. In this model, the sixth step enables the dyslexic individual to free him or
her self from boundaries. As was stated in the Piagetian model in Chapter Two, the sixth
stage allows the individual freedom, there is no judgement of self of others. The
individual is free to process incoming data at the rate most comfortable for that
individual. At this stage, the individual is the active participant in what he or she knows
within the environment and has no problems coping with any circumstances deemed
negative or positive. To recount, individual makes no judgements or excuses about
the environments in which they live or the dyslexic brain they have. Simply put, the
individual dismantles the environment (Miles 1991) and leams to live comfortably by
learning to accept through repeated interrogation of the environment, how to live in the
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environment without physically destroying his or her self. Remember, dyslexics can
become manic depressants, alcoholics, and drug users as the outward manifestation of
dyslexia.
Some methods applying to step number six include some form of deep breathing
exercises, listening to classical tapes and being around others who understand what the
dyslexic individual goes through. The inclusion of these methods act as an enabler for
the dyslexic because the teachers who use them, have an understanding of how holistic
teaching helps the dyslexic. However, these are surface methods only that do not get into
psychological or physiological issues the dyslexic has to face.
Other methods include becoming more aware of nutrition, more mental exercises
including teaching the brain to re-read. The procedure goes as follows: often dyslexics
become tired after reading over a short period of time and can fall asleep after only
twenty minutes of reading. When the individual becomes aware of this feeling the
individual can take short breaks at different intervals which include walking around
the area for a minute or so, or changing to another book to read for five minutes. For
whatever reason, this tends to shock the brain into focusing on the material originally
presented to it.
Any individual can do this, however for the dyslexic it is a small method of exercise
that will enable him or her to expand focus and attention spans. It also builds the multi-
task oriented "gift" most dyslexics have but never use. Remember the dyslexic brain
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takes in so much information that it can overload if not taught how to handle the
dyslexic glitch The aforementioned methods are called personal methods of learning
about ones self and how to survive in this environment.
The ensuing methods approached in this chapter will illustrate step by step processes
which include, and further expound the brain based, language based and the
philosophical methods of teaching previously discussed in chapters one and two and
studied in the social sciences and scientific communities.
The Tomatis Method
To start one language based approach used by Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis of
San Francisco, California (Dyslexia 2000; Tomatis,1957)) slowly progresses into the
brain based approach. Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis has developed a new approach to treatment
of dyslexia learning problems; his main area is that of the musical dyslexic. His ideology
is based on the premise that individuals have not been taught to listen properly. He feels
that to listen well, the ear must analyze the sounds correctly and that natural sounds are a
mixture of high and low frequencies. The human ear must be able to distinguish them.
To listen well, the ear must be able to identify and analyze sounds accurately.
According to Dr. Tomatis, natural pure sounds do not exist. Natural sounds are a mixture
of high and low frequencies. The Dyslexic brain is inundated with so many sounds and
pitches that it can not always distinguish what it needs to listen to. Once the brain is
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taught to hear what it needs to and block out other disturbances it can function. If it
cannot distinguish sound, it will not be able to literally "see" what it needs to interpret
when reading musical notation. Once the brain is taught the technique of mind mapping,
which will be explained further on in this chapter. It will naturally begin to read music
on its own, hear pitches in the order they are arranged in musical notation, and interpret
the music through the instrument the individual has been given to work with. Therefore
selectivity or discrimination of certain sound frequencies in certain individuals, which
is normally closed to certain sounds in the alphabet like z ,p, and be opened with regards
to hearing language sounds. Individuals do not hear the difference between sounds like s
and z, p and b; but, with the Tomatis Method the individual is taught to associate graphic
sign with a sound in a single time frame. This can be difficult when the sounds are not
clearly distinguishable for the student.
Lateral dominance, per Dr. Tomatis, is the key to good listening. All individuals
know they have a dominate eye, but few realize they also have a dominate ear. Dyslexic
Musicians need to know this information. Ideally, the right ear, per Dr. Tomatis, should
be the dominate ear. Sounds captured by the right ear are directly transmitted to the
language center of the brain. Sounds captured by the left ear go to the right brain first
before being transmitted to the left brain. The latter circuit is longer and some
information can get lost along the way making recognition of sound more difficult.
Dr. Tomatis asserts than an optimal transmission of sounds is only possible if the
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muscles of the hammer and the stirrup, both located in the middle ear are functioning
properly. This means any tension or weakness of one or both of those muscles will
result in poor listening. Again, remember dyslexics are inundated with sounds and
frequencies because the ear of the dyslexic is sensitive to what it hears. The brain does
not know how to interpret it. Once the sounds reach the inner ear, they enter the
chochlea. The chochlea contains 24,600 hair cells (cells of Corti), which analyze the
sounds before transmitting them to the brain. In addition, the sounds stimulate the brain
and provide energy. People who do not hear well often lack energy. Dyslexics are usually
high energy individuals; some, do not know how to direct it and are often diagnosed as
hyperactive, which is correct, but as has been mentioned in the previous chapter, because
of the obvious, but not the true cause. Dyslexia in this case, is viewed as a disease which
can be cured with a pill .and the diagnosis is iniquitous.
Dr. Tomatis declares dyslexia to be a language based problem and not behavioral.
Language based problem here refers to the brain not interpreting letters or sentences. The
brain cannot form a mental picture of what needs to be seen; therefore, the brain does not
know what to do. In terms of behavior, the dyslexic cannot figure out what to do, so the
individual, in terms of behavior, cannot react because the individual does not know how
to react or what to react to. Remember, the dyslexic leams by interpreting the pictures
the brain interprets; if no pictures are seen there is no interpretation. If the dyslexic
musician is bom with perfect pitch, the individual will have to hear the sound before he
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or she sees the music. Usually dyslexic musicians are termed natural musicians because
they instinctively know where the pitch is to go. They can literally see a pitch and each
pitch is associated with a color a sound or however the dyslexic associates the sound;
remember, no two brains are alike.
Dyslexic singers,and musicians are usually high energy individuals (Levinson, 2000)
because they are aware of sound twenty four hours a day, whether they realize it or not.
Dyslexics, who are not Musicians, are also high energy as has been stated, and the tests
Dr. Tomatis uses have proven to be affective for dyslexic individuals because he adjusts
the environment to the individual not the individual to the environment.
The Tomatis method starts with a listening test that measures frequency responses,
ear dominance and selectivity. A thorough interview with individuals or parents of
children with the problem completes the first phase. A program is tailored to meet
the needs of the individual. This is known as holistic (Caine, 1999) teaching and an
example of brain based methods of obtaining positive results.
Program training involves listening to audio-tapes electronically filtered by an
electronic listening device. This device retrains the ear by switching constantly
between two channels. In the first one, the low-pitched sounds are emphasized; in the
second one, the higher frequencies are accentuated; this type of continued switching
forces the ear to adjust continually to sounds. These sounds are transmitted through
earphones and a bone conduction device. The sounds force the muscle of the middle ear
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to focus to the frequencies that were not previously perceived. During this phase of
the program, the ear leams to adjust to high pitched sounds in progression. The
sounds closely resemble those heard by the unborn child. This is based on the premise
that the fetus responds to to sounds and pitches coming form the outside world, especially
those of the mother. Her voice, however, is filtered through the amniotic liquid, which
absorbs low pitched sounds. As a result, the fetus, according to Dr. Tomatis hears high
pitched sounds. The Tomatis method states that the desire to wish to communicate
begins within the mothers womb in utero. A tape of the mothers voice has been filtered
to remove all the low and medium range frequencies. Clinical experience shows that
using the mothers voice opens the ear faster and speed up the changes that are needed.
High pitched sounds stimulate the brain and the desire to communicate. If the mothers
voice is not available, filtered music is used.
Listening skills are sharpened though exercises done with the Electronic Ear.
The individual repeats words or sentences or reads aloud. The Electronic Ear
enhances the higher harmonies of the voice, before feeding it back to the ears. At the
same time the Electronic Ear increasingly prepares the right ear to take the leading
role. The exercises in Self-Listening increase language mastery and improve the
quality of the voice and reading skills. As the exercises become more difficult the
individual becomes more confident in thinking, and using language skills. Reading aloud
exercises are also practiced at home on a daily basis. The program is discontinued after a
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last assessment and interview with the family to evaluate the learning curves of the
individual.
The fascinating part of this particular learning program is that no subliminal messages
are involved nor does it involve teaching or tutoring. The main goal is to restore the
listening function making it possible for the individual to leam, read, and communicate in
ways appropriate with the demands made by our modem society.
This is a wonderful way for a musical dyslexic to leam to function in society because
it offers a non-threatening way of learning. The dyslexic individual is allowed to take
his or her time and leam at his or her own pace without others judging their abilities.
Musicians, have to study music their entire lives, but their hearing is never tested.
Teaching a dyslexic the importance of sound in his or her life can make life easier for
them. Teaching them to understand how sound frequencies effect their inner ear and
balance can enable them to understand sounds which have been foreign to them. Sounds
such as puh, buh, and so on cannot be produced if a person can not hear them.
Developmental musical dyslexics cannot always see the written music on paper.
Therefore, the teacher has to show the individual by positioning a pen up or down so the
individuals eyes can coordinate the movement of the music notation. This procedure
takes time and patience; it does work. Once both hemispheres in the brain start to work
together the dyslexic mind starts to view the music as mountains and valleys or peaks and
valleys; either way the brain starts to associate movement, with pictures. Remember,
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dyslexics see pictures, once these pictures start correlating in the music genre the
developmental musical dyslexic will start understanding music notation. Comprehension
depends upon the enthusiasm of the teacher and the persistence and tenacity of the
student. The next section will illustrate what will be called the cultural model of
individual learning.
The Cultural Model
Extensive studies in language (Dyslexia 2000) show each language has its own
frequency; in other words, each culture not only has its own rules and regulations it goes
by; but it also has its own pitch. Here are some of the frequency bands used
preferentially in a few languages: French has 1,000 to 2,000 herts, British English has
2,000 to 12,000. North American English has 800 to 3,000 and Spanish has 100 to 500,
and depending upon what kind of dialect 1,500 to 2,000. Not only do different countries
have different frequencies related to pitch, but so do different cultures within the United
States. Educators need to know this when teaching individuals from other countries and it
will aid in the teaching of dyslexics from other countries as well as their American
counterparts.
Therefore, when individuals are proven to be gifted with dyslexia, the teacher
needs to be somewhat studied in dyslexia and its background, (Miles, 1991) understand
the background of the student regarding his or her culture or ethnicity, and realize that
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each culture hears sounds differently than others. A perfect example of this would be
most Afro-Americans feel that cultures other than themselves speak in a higher pitch.
Other cultures feel the Afro-American culture speak with deep or darker colored voices.
Vietnamese feel Americans speak with a flat tone; while Americans find the Vietnamese
language guttural, dicky, and low. Some times neither culture can understand the
phonetics of the other. If the teacher does not understand the importance of hearing and
how the ear functions while the beginning process of learning is taking place,
understandable miscalculations regarding student intelligence can take place. We are a
system which is already feeling some of the effects in the beginning of the twenty first
century. Look at the number of functioning illiterates in this country, not to mention
young children at age twelve who cannot read past a third grade level. Think of the
cultures who misunderstand each other because they cannot hear what the other is saying.
The educator needs to educate himself or herself in language pitches because
dyslexics hear at different frequencies (Caine, 1999) and so do non-dyslexic cultures. If
an individual cannot hear what is being said how can the individual understand what to
do?
Brain Based Method
The straightforward brain based method (Caine, 1999; p.l 1) states that schools
should integrate the curriculum to facilitate all individuals. The brain based model of
teaching becomes holistic, adjusting to the students brain, when used in the school
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environment, and is one of the most effective ways to teach individuals is through
simplicity. The teacher brings an object to class, the students are asked to discuss the
object, draw the object and an historical analysis is made on the object. This procedure
allows the student to be comfortable, enables the student to use his or her thought
processes at his or her own pace. It also aids the student in reading, writing, math, and
facilitates stronger motor skills; to use this dis-ease as an enabler, the individual, can lead
a healthy life. The problem is not the definition of dyslexia, or dyslexia being a state of
dis-ease. The sieve is how do individuals stay individuals in a society which warrants
cohesion in its diversity? In other words, it is safe to be diverse, as long as one is diverse
within the safety zone of diversity standards placed upon him or her by outside forces.
To genuinely expand our knowledge and understanding of an issue, (Caine, 1999; p.5)
mentors will have to "avoid the tendency to reduce the inconsistency of the well-known
and the complacency which can result from becoming to comfortable with circumstances
as they are, and being apprehensive to change possible archaic practices." Not wanting to
disturb the system can cause irresolvable impairment if society in the role of educator,
keeps repeating its inclination to abate entities, which are already known and to practices
that are familiar and comfortable. To expand our knowledge and understanding of an
issue, we need to avoid the tendency to reduce the new to something we already know
and to practices that are customary. (Caine, 1999; p.6)
As educators and interpreters of the educational system, those individuals who
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have been given the extra right of entry to knowledge, may need to refamiliarize
themselves and begin making preparation to begin to acknowledge and comprehend
the conundrum of learning and to move beyond constricted definitions and customs to
genuinely rectify education on a commodious scale. From the point of view of
educational theory and methodology, much of what has been studied and brought
forth from the educational community has been said or done before. What is needed,
(Caine 1999 et.al) is a range of vision for a more heterogeneous form or learning that
makes it possible for all to organize and make sense of what individuals as teachers,
and students, already know. In addition, such a range of vision has to have bottom-
line ethicalness. The integration of human comportment, perception, emotions, and
physiology, culture, ethnicity, socio-economic background, an understanding of
religiosity, and how that religiosity effects the tradition (s) of the advancement of
knowledge within the culture (s) it permeates. In otherwords, make the appropriate
connections to teaching and the human brain and learn to assess the brains potential
not as we perceive it. Because the learner is constantly searching for connections
on many levels, educators need to orchestrate the experiences from which learners
extract understanding. (Caine, 1999; p. 161)
Mentors or teachers can be enablers to students by designing a thematic unit.
These units engage emotions, social relationships, and complex cognitive processing.
A teacher can look at the curriculum guide and organize what is to be taught by
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finding an object, picture, or a work of art that represents the subject matter on a
broad level. If the teacher will be teaching on history, begin by finding a painting
regarding that time in history and questions of the students as to how their lives
would be different if they were living in that time frame. The teacher can engage the
students imagination and understanding and allow them to reconstruct this time period
though individual projects such as drama music projects art exhibits etc. This allows for a
certain type of integration of subject matter to brain matter allowing the student to
focus on all aspects of history on a personal level. The student internalizes the theory
of learning and it becomes a mental model (Senge 1990) that drives the decisions they
make as individuals. Brain based methods adjust to the student and his or her
environment; it is not the other way around. Another illustration of brain based teaching
is called the Metacognitive method which will be discussed in the next section.
Metacognitive Teaching Method
Metacognitive teaching, (Caine, 1999) which is also considered a form of brain-
based teaching, is a more sophisticated approach is including students in a process and
asking what was done later on. The objective is to create the exact circumstances of a
concept that is being taught. Teachers are asked to discuss how their values interact with
the process of designing a lesson and to explore the values implicit in their choices.
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Teachers often find themselves denying that they have values or claim that their
teaching is free from value judgement. By allowing the teachers to come to terms with
their values, the teacher can plan to give students in their classrooms abundant choices; it
also enables the teachers to recognize that giving students a choice is part of their, the
teachers, value system.
The key is for educators to appreciate what must actually take place for students to
learn effectively. All models of teaching must be used with those fundamental ethics
involved. Once that happens, educators will begin to discover and create procedures
that suit them, assist their students, and make both learning and teaching an enjoyable
learning process for all involved. It is important to remember that the acquisition of
natural knowledge is the result of what calls immersion. Immersion(Caine; 1999, p.6)
is "the result of shifts in learning where learning is neither directed by the teacher nor
controlled by the learner i.e. student, the learning just happens." This type of brain
based learning is critical in helping the dyslexic brain to make maximum connections
because it enables the brain to proceed smoothly in an atmosphere that is safe and at
the same time sufficiently challenging. The key word is safe; as long as the dyslexic
individual feels safe, he or she will leam and there is no anxiety. Where there is too
much memorization, (Caine; 1999), there is no provision made for fundamental
shift or development for natural learning and dyslexics will fall by the wayside.
The need to feel safe is mandatory for a dyslexic individual. On what is called a
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dyslexic day, as stated in chapter two, an individual cannot audibly make out what is
being said to him or her; stress can make circumstances worst where some dyslexics pass
out, become ill to the point of regurgitating food, or become claustrophobic. So
environments set up to understand the dyslexic can actually keep them in good health.
The key points to remember is no two brains or individuals are alike. Teaching has to be
approached with this thought in mind or the system will continually create an assembly
line of misfits who can neither read or write proficiently.
Mind Mapping Technique
Mind mapping is a technique originally devised for laying things out in space,
such as flow charts and mind-maps (Buzan 1989) T. R. Miles found that mind maps
enable students to get their ideas on paper and organize them logically- after the
manner of a tree and its branches- and form there it is possible for them to find a
structure for putting the essay in linear form. The same mind-mapping procedure can
be used for note taking ;it forces the student to focus on the key concepts and think
about what follows each. It is based on how the brain interprets language and would
be considered language based by some visionary or cognitive by others. However, not all
dyslexics like this type of language model and usually prefer going to computer software
that help them plan essays in a linear fashion. The brain is taught to think in modules or
sections which cause the dyslexic to picture different boxes filled with information within
the dyslexics mind. Each module has a visionary connection to the head of the
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dyslexic; this enables the dyslexic to think of thoughts as being free flowing and nothing
to be afraid of. The above methods for teaching are samples of the various methods
now being employed to enable the dyslexic to be comfortable in the learning
environment.
Chapter Four will offer a summary of all procedures learned, complete this
thesis by scrutinizing all methods studied, and give a formalized overview of
thoughts internalized by the writer.
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CHAPTER 4
CONCLUSION OF STUDY
"Have courage to use your own reason! That is the motto of Enlightenment."
Society of the Friends of Truth 1736 (3)
The purpose of "dyslexia the bewildering paradigm is to aid dyslexic others in their
understanding of what dyslexia has to propensity to do to the individual that has it and
how it has the ability to destroy the teacher student relationship if allowed to advance
unnoticed. It is a thesis written by a dyslexic for dyslexics to let them know they can
make it in a Master's Degree program; it will take more time and energy, but it can be
done. The key is to remove the negative analogies of dyslexia and accept the visionary
gifts dyslexia has given the dyslexic individual
To individuals who are not dyslexic, this thesis will appear to be unstructured
with too many focal points; the dyslexic mind will focus on the seemingly unstructured .
and formulate new ideas of his or her own. This paper will offer new hope and
understanding for the way the dyslexic has to interpret his or her environment without
feeling uneasy about his or her interpretations of the investigations that were studied
in this thesis. Individuals ever changing beings and there is nothing praetorian about
being dissimilar.
The three main models Brain based, language based, and philosophical based were
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purposely labeled as separate conclusions to allow for the reader to focus on each one
independently of the other. Once this was accomplished, one can see how when fused
together, the three models are no longer function separately, but are an integral part of
each other forcing the reader to stop, look, listen, at how powerful this dis-ese has
become. .
Dyslexia transcends race, ethnicity, and color; it has no perimeters. It cannot be
categorized because it has no borders. It can, however, be used in a positive way as a
bridge way to form new patterns of excellence in understanding how the brain functions.
In the area of neuro psychology and neurology, new genres could help facilitate more
information regarding the brains abilities. Not only that but, individuals who know they
have this gift, need to come forward and help others who do not have a knowledge of
what this gift is and also iterate that individuals with dyslexia should not be ashamed
of this gift.
Dyslexics come from all facets of life and all educational backgrounds. Unfortunately,
society has put so much emphasis on perfectionism, that individuals who are deemed
subordinate tend to want to stay silent. Silence is not the answer rather continuous
communication on the part of the educator and student is.
All hegemonies have caste systems and these caste systems form structures. These
structures have the ability to destroy other structures or systems viewed as in opposition
to themselves. Cultures, religions, sexes and the educational system have unknowingly
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done this for years. Focusing on the past does not help; the past cannot be changed; the
future can be.
Educators need to become learned not only in their fields of expertise, but also in the
understanding of how the dyslexic brain operates. The more the educator understands the
brain, the easier it will be to understand what is happening in a classroom environment
and the easier it will be to introduce the necessary changes within the classroom
environment; the student must also do the same. Society has been motivated to use a
system of external rewards and punishments that have caused us to still operate within the
limits of our own internalized social suggestive-systems.
Instructors and students need to be aware of how cultures relate to other cultures in
and out of classroom situations; however educators, it must be noted, alone can never
remedy all problems in education alone. Education restructuring needs to be done;
holistic teaching which adjusts to the individual and not visa versa needs to be
incorporated into every type of teaching method, or illiteracy will continue to develop at
alarming rates. The numbers stated on illiteracy are changing daily; the numbers given
were not completely accurate because the number of dyslexics is not known; however
change is a risk and can lead to drastic measures which will not be comfortable for
anyone. The strength will come in working with small groups first and see what
happens. Team work will be essential and it is an effort that will have to start at the
school and slowly move forward. The process would have to be developed slowly and
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consistently over time. The educators will have to have the convictions in their type of
teaching will work. Like dyslexia, they will have to go against the system and like
dyslexia know they will survive. Dyslexia is a Herculean malady and educators will have
to take a Herculean stance and work it and befriend it.
The educational profession unknowingly, has had the extraordinary capacity for
insouciance of the new and turning back to the traditional methods of teaching. This
could be interpreted as a clear gauge of what is known as a down-shifting of the
profession depending upon the culture each individual comes from. In other words, new
teachers are to continue new teaching but students with learning disabilities comprehend
nothing. So what is to be done? Have a teacher who is enthusiastic and creative about
the teaching process, fit in with the teaching methods already encapsulated and add new
methods. Study cultures, leam everything thing one can about disabilities, and mix with
those considered less fortunate.
There should be a move toward developing a way to assess teachers on a national
basis but how can that be done if the research is only beginning to define what education
can and should be. The pitfall is that standards could be biased on outmoded conceptions
of what it means to be a good teacher. The same type of standard could be set up for
students, not is a biased way but in a way that enables the student to understand how he
or she is improving. This paper is not to imply that all is lost. It just feels enthusiasm has
been lost by some and ignored by others. Communication is the key that will unlock the
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door to misunderstandings and remove all boundaries.
Education has been viewed by some, as a closed system which is unfair to the system
and it should not be. Success is a state of mind and look how far the educational process
has come. Tensions are needed for growth, but tension should not be looked upon as the
enemy.
This paper is meant to be about understanding, and communicating, not about the
perfection of the individual brought about by outside forces that have no intention of
helping the individual progress. It is important that whatever type of growth the educator
needs to see and create in his or her students, the educator needs to see and create in his
or herself. We are all connecting threads within this great tapestry of life; educators and
students working together within all cultures and disabilities is what is making
opportunities work regardless of dis-ease. This paper is being written for everyone to
enjoy and hopefully enhance the learning processing of the brain and the learning
processes of the dyslexic individual.
Educators and students alike have become aware of their own internal biases and
belief systems and be aware of how these systems transfer into their everyday life in this
past century. None of education is one sided and all individuals are willing to take risks
and know they have the support of each other when circumstances go out of order in this
day and age.
There needs to be even more sense of community of support and a freedom that new
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ideas and can be tried with the feeling of excitement naturally incorporated if things go
wrong. No individual is perfect, all individuals make mistakes but through these
mistakes come strength endurance and respect.
Change takes time because all learning is developmental and personal, including the
learning of the educators. Many changes that are needed will appear in unexpected ways
and from unanticipated sources. When the right conditions are established the transitions
occur. Setting out for the new adventure regarding change will and is exciting,
provocative and rewarding.
When the new ideas are in motion gifts like dyslexia will no longer need to be
defined because they will no longer have to be named. When not named these new ideas
will not be put into a box and will be allowed to expand just to see where they can go. As
was ascertained by Carol Gilligan, in her book called In A Different Voice, all of us can
leam to look for what is unapparent, and work with it. One can only ascertain what
levels one can aspire as dyslexics and non dyslexics leam in a truly free teaching society
that is no longer alienated or bound by tradition that is outdated.
88


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