The Australian Dyslexia Association characterises dyslexia as the mainstream term for disorders that involve hindrance in mastering to both read or interpret words, letters and various other symbols, but that do not impact conventional intelligence (Australian Dyslexia association, 2018). While there are diverse forms of dyslexia, surface dyslexia and phonological dyslexia to name a few, there are two distinct overarching umbrella terms that encompass these others forms of dyslexia (Castles, 2018). These two particular general umbrellas are known as acquired dyslexia and developmental dyslexia. Acquired dyslexia can be defined as a reading impairment in one who learned to read normally but then lost that potential after significant brain damage (Castles, 2018).
Developmental dyslexia, on the other hand, can be described as a reading impairment in one (often a child) who in no way learned to read in the first instance (Castles, 2018). Through intense research, it is known that despite appropriate conditions, ten to fifteen percentage of children nevertheless fail regardless of no obvious neurological or sensory impairment and a supportive environment (Castles, 2018). Therefore, in order to completely apprehend why these children, fail despite the set-up of a supportive environment and no apparent neurological or sensory impairment, we ought to first understand the process of reading and the manner in which it develops.
However, before determining whether a child is dyslexic, there are key symptoms that one can look out for. Children with dyslexia often have issues with processing language. The signs of dyslexia often become transparent when children progress through grades at school (WebMD, 2017). These children often lag behind other students in language skills as evident through their communicative skills, reading extremely slowly in comparison to other pupils of their age, issues with sounding words out, misspelling words and the inability to comprehend what they’ve read (WebMD, 2017).
The following contextual analysis will examine the manner by which surface dyslexia impacts a child’s learning. Surface dyslexia can be defined as a class of dyslexia whereby individuals are incompetent of recognising a word as a whole word and resort to retrieving its pronunciation from memory (Australian Dyslexia Association, 2018). MI, a ten-year old boy, had parents who were both highly literate and siblings who were high achievers. While his IQ measure was over 130 on the WISC scale, his reading and spelling were observed to be in the bottom quartile on standardised tests.
When his reading was reviewed in the light of specific component processes, it was found to be well within normal range for non-words (in fact on the upper end) as opposed to well below ordinary range for irregular words demonstrating that he had learned alphabetic phonic skills but for reasons unknown was encountering challenges acquiring whole word representations of words. MI would frequently read words as they sounded. He strictly adhered to reading principles whereby he would read words as they sounded instead of whole word recognition. The following data highlights some of the common errors that occurs as a result of his diagnosis with surface dyslexia.
From analysing this piece of data, it is apparent that he is making a regularisation error. A regularisation error occurs when one makes words regular instead of reading them as the irregular words that they are. However, reading aloud wasn’t the only problem that MI experienced. He additionally had significant problems with getting to the meanings of words indicating that he had a weak word meaning store. Further tests were conducted whereby MI was given the task of identifying words. The outcome in comparison to other pupils of the same age was found to be significantly worse. The following data exemplifies the obtained results.
In addition to the difficulties with reading words and identifying words, MI also encountered extreme difficulties with spelling. It is important to note that the following words are all irregular words. The obtained results with be presented below. Like previously mentioned above, there are distinct classes of dyslexia that one can be diagnosed with. As reading involves numerous procedures, one cannot anticipate that it generally will fail similarly for all (Castles, 2018). Contingent upon the sub-skill that has not yet completely developed, emerges the various types of dyslexia (Castles, 2018). To thoroughly comprehend, we have to investigate the way in which reading works and they manner in which it develops. Reading is anything but a single skill (Castles, 2018). It comprises of many separate abilities, even at the level of reading single words (Castles, 2018). To represent the means in the reading procedure, we can utilise the tool known as the Dual-Route model.
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