Thursday, April 26, 2007

Article offers good information about managing dyslexia

There was a recent New York Times article about dyslexia which clearly illustrated the plight of a child struggling through, and ultimately learning the resources and tools to manage this disability. It also emphasized a point I’ve often cited, that a person with a disability does not function in a vacuum. In this case, the parents of the young lady with dyslexia were also impacted, having to learn the limitations of her disability and assist her, as she grew into an understanding and acceptance of her dyslexia and what it would take to succeed despite the dyslexia.

Aptly titled
A family’s experience with dyslexia,
The article aemphasizes some statistics about dyslexia and specific tools that this family used to manage the limitations.

Some of the statistics highlighted:

*Studies have shown that dyslexic students have significantly more academic and behavioral problems than children without learning disabilities.

*One 1996 study found that 2 percent of those with learning disabilities go on to a four-year college.

*Studies have also found that adult dyslexics have a lower satisfaction with health and friends, and exhibit more psychiatric problems than non-dyslexics.

*Fewer are employed and, even if employed, hold jobs that are part-time, minimum wage and unskilled.

Some of the tools discussed for managing dyslexia included the traditional electronic speller and word processer. However, the article also praised the use of tools such as recorded textbooks from
Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic
And also using the
Computer Program.

Aside from providing a good discussion of the progression of understanding dyslexia and what it would take for the young lady to manage it, the article paints a clear picture of what advances the skills and tools brought her in terms of comprehension and the decrease of time needed to complete her reading and writing projects.

The article offers a good general discussion on dyslexia and research currently underway to understand the cognitive functioning that goes on during reading. It also shows what a strong will and determination can bring when augmented with the right tools.

Personal footnote:
I believe the PDF Equalizer I wrote about yesterday would be another great tool to put in the tool box for a person with dyslexia. This program’s ability to convert pdf files into mp3 files would serve the same function for a student reading pdf documents as those served by the RFB&D textbooks. There seems to be a growing use of pdf documents, especially for official government reports and the like, and this would only empower students’ when researching information for class projects and papers.

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