Facing Dyslexia In Recovery


This Web site is here for me and others to look at new information...admit we don't have all the answers and continue to take an honest inventory of ourselves. "We can't know what we don't know."

I believe that perhaps as high as 90% of all persons with addictive/compulsive backgrounds are affected in some way by some form of dyslexia. I have no scientific basis for this belief..however...even if I am wrong...I think we can all do well to take a look at this if nothing else for our children or grandchildren's sake. Look at the information I have gathered here and do research on your own..but most important...keep an open mind. My special thanks to the © Davis Dyslexia Association International for giving me permission to reprint some of their impressive work they have done on this important subject


One Explanation

Education vs. Child Development
How Dyslexia Happens

By Ronald D. Davis with Eldon M. Braun

© Davis Dyslexia Association International; Reprinted by Permission. From The Dyslexic Reader, the newsletter of the Davis Dyslexia Association International

Having been functionally illiterate for the first 38 years of my life, and having overcome the problem sufficiently to write a book and read it onto tape, here is what I've found out: dyslexia is not the result of brain damage or nerve damage. Nor is it caused by a malformation of the brain, inner ear or eyeballs. It is the product of a special mode of thought and a natural reaction to confusion.

Before the invention of written language, dyslexia didn't exist. People with the gift of dyslexia were probably the custodians of oral history because of their excellent ability to memorize and transmit the spoken word.

Dyslexics inherently perceive more and formulate mental concepts faster than other people. They excel in the arts, architecture, engineering, strategy and invention. They can perceive imagination as reality. This form of intuitive thought is the foundation of genius. It is a nonverbal mode of thinking, so it can cause difficulty in learning written language. Literacy problems are often compounded during the first few years of school. Our educational system relies mainly on reading and writing to convey information and measure achievement, so dyslexics are often seen as having low intelligence.

This is really a disability of our language and the educational process. From my experience in working with more than 1,000 dyslexics, this is how the syndrome develops during childhood.

  1. A child who is potentially dyslexic discovers how to mentally fill in fragmentary perceptions at an age as early as three months. This imaginative talent may later produce dyslexia.
  2. During early childhood, the child uses this talent to recognize objects in the environment and to develop artistic and kinesthetic talents. The child becomes a visual and conceptual thinker. There is little need for development of verbal thought—a slower mode of thinking characterized by an internal monologue of words.
  3. The child is expected to begin reading in kindergarten or early grade school. Written language—composed of phonetic symbols—is a puzzle. By this time, the child automatically disorients the perceptions to recognize and understand things in the environment. It works fine with the real world, but viewing printed letters upside down or reversed or in the wrong order makes them less recognizable.
  4. The child becomes increasingly confused, which produces more disorientation. The child suspects something is wrong. This is confirmed by the teacher, the other kids in the class, the school administration, and eventually the parents. Everybody gets upset, so the "cognitively challenged" child also gets upset. Now we may see behavior problems.
  5. Unless someone intervenes and provides appropriate learning methods, the child has no choice but to struggle through as much school as tolerable, possibly in a Special Education class or under the influence of drugs like Ritalin or Cylert.
  6. At the age of eight or nine, the child invents tricks like rote memorization, avoidance and reliance on others for reading and writing skills. In practical classes like science, music, art or shop, this child may excel, but classes that require much reading and writing are torture.
  7. Unless there is proper intervention by someone who shows compassion and respect, the dyslexic child's self-esteem will suffer.
  8. After escaping from school, the person begins to overcome or circumvent the "handicap" of being functionally illiterate. Dyslexics often excel on the job, even though they are functionally illiterate.
  9. By the time the dyslexic becomes an adult, the inability to read and write well is a shameful secret. The person is convinced that it is a sign not only of ignorance, but unworthiness. This unfortunate self-perception can make adult dyslexics secretive and hostile.
Restoring a person's self-esteem is truly the most important part of undoing dyslexia—and other learning problems, including ADD and hyperactivity. The procedures described in "The Gift of Dyslexia" © Davis Dyslexia Association International; Reprinted by Permission, generally enable a "learning disabled" person to gain basic literacy skills during a 30-hour program. After a few months of part-time home tutoring, most can read, write and study normally. Unlearning the lesson that they are stupid is the most valuable result of the training.

How can we prevent children from losing their self-esteem? As my colleague Dr. Ali has said, erase words like "dumb," "stupid" and "challenged" from your vocabulary. Never criticize them for mistakes or imply something is wrong with them. Gain an understanding of how dyslexics think and emphasize their strong points. Find appropriate methods to help them learn to read, write and study. Remember that some bright kids aren't ready to start reading until they're eight or nine. They will catch up faster without the burden of self-doubt.

In tutoring kids, treat symbols and words as games or puzzles to be solved. Make language fun.




Have you ever known someone who has dyslexia? Chances are you have and just may not know it. Dyslexia affects up to 15% of the population1. Most likely if you do know someone with dyslexia it is a male as the ratio of males to females with dyslexia is 4:12. Why is this? What is dyslexia? And how can a person with dyslexia be helped? These are a few of the questions that will be covered in the course of this essay.

Definition of Dyslexia

The first question we need to answer is, what is dyslexia? Dyslexia is "a developmental disorder marked by difficulty in learning to read despite adequate intelligence, conventional instruction, and sociocultural opportunity."3 This means, a dyslexic is a person who is severely below their expected reading level based upon their overall intelligence. This person has received a normal education yet still falls below expectation. This "expectation" can be determined by simply comparing the dyslexic's reading ability with those in his population who have received an equal education. If his ability falls dramatically below others than the child may be dyslexic. This test alone is only a sign of a difficulty that may or may not be due to dyslexia. For ex ample, if a child has a problem in all areas of education than that child has a problem that goes beyond the scope of dyslexia. Dyslexia is a term that is specifically geared toward reading. In fact, the word dyslexia comes from two Greek words: dys meaning "ill" or "bad"4 and lexical meaning "pertaining to the words or vocabulary of a language."5 Basically it means ill words or word difficulty.

Now that we know what dyslexia is, what causes it? The correct answer is, "We don't know," but since we don't like this answer people have proposed a couple of theories. One of the earlier theories was that it is a problem with the perception of words by the eye.6 One problem with this theory is that dyslexics do not have a problem with perceiving other objects. This leads to the next theory, that dyslexia is a neurological dysfunction. Most people have agreed that the problem lies in the encoding/decoding of the information that is received. The dysfunction lies in the parietal and occipital lobe where language is stored. Because of this it is important to note that dyslexia tends to run in families and thus points to a genetic disorder. Another item that needs to be noted is that there is a difference in the size of the hemispheres of a dyslexic from that of a normal person.7 In a normal person the left hemisphere is slightly larger than the right while in the dyslexic the two halves are equal. With the two sides being of equal size they may be fighting for control over language where if the left half were larger it would have control. This fighting is what some theorists contribute the cause of dyslexia to. One theory as to why the two halves are the same size is that the hormone testosterone may cause the left half to not grow as well during pregnancy. This may also explain why dyslexia occurs so much more frequently in boys than in girls.

Symptoms of Dyslexia

There are a variety of symptoms given for dyslexia and, as with other topics, there are a variety of lists of symptoms. One of these lists is Miles (1974) quoted by Thomson:

1. Discrepancy between intellectual level and performances in spelling
2. Bizarre spelling
3. Confusion of b and d in either reading or writing, or both
4. Difficulty in distinguishing between left and right
5. Difficulty in repeating polysyllable words, such as preliminary, philosophical, or statistical
6. Difficulty in repeating digits in reverse order (and other defects of short-term memory)
7. Inability to do subtractions except with 'concrete' aids
8. Difficulty in memorizing tables
9. Losing the place when reciting tables
10. A history of clumsiness, late walking or late talking.8
A documentary on dyslexia by Innovation gives the following list of symptoms:
1. Letters will appear to dance
2. Forget sequence of letters
3. Reverse words
4. Insert/delete words (sometimes audio besides visual)
5. Reversal of b and d
6. Respond to words impulsively (of becomes from)
7. Leave endings off words. 9
Most of these symptoms are self defining but a few need a little more explanation.

Bizarre spelling can best be explained by example. Thomson gives the following list of examples: "raul/urchins; kss/snake; gars/gasket; mocke/smoke; hg/have; fuda/thunder; wueen/walking; tars/trumpet; iriteap/terrific; brioth/brown; ping/painting; teds/ maids."10

One part of the short-term memory that can be affected is in the giving of instructions. For example a dyslexic can be told to get the blue book from the third drawer in the tall dresser, upstairs in Mom's closet and the he will forget what he's getting half way up the stairs. The other interesting part about a dyslexic's difficulty with short-term memory is that they may be able to recite every little detail about an incident that happened three years ago. The difference between these two examples is not trauma or increased importance on the incident that happened three years ago but, simply that it is stored in long-term memory.

Miles' symptoms 7 and 9 can often be observed because of the dyslexic being required to use a finger (or some other pointing device) to keep track of where they're at when reading or using there fingers to do subtraction. A number of non-dyslexic people also use these tricks but the difference is that the dyslexic cannot do the reading/problem without them.

Letters will appear to dance. This symptom sounds similar to that of someone on an acid trip but this is not the case. When reading a sentence a dyslexic may report that the letters are moving up and down or left and right (thus causing the order of the letters to change). Sometimes entire words will do this. This is similar to reading while riding in a car that is going over a rough road. Often, the words don't make sense and need to be reread several times before the correct word(s) can be understood.

One symptom that is not on either of the above lists but is frequently mentioned is that of illegible handwriting. This symptom is logical. First, the letters that are written are in the wrong order and so there are frequent corrections. Second, most people do not put a lot of effort into something they don't enjoy or care about. This leads to some anxiety about being forced into doing something that one doesn't like to do so the person rushes to get the task done - thus causing the sloppy penmanship.

A second symptom that is not in the above lists but is commonly found is that the dyslexic may be extremely quick, bright, intelligent, or even considered a genius in other areas besides reading and writing. We've already hinted at this symptom when talking about the definition of dyslexia but it needs to be further studied because of its implications on the psychological aspect of a dyslexic. Often the dyslexic will find that although he may fully understand a subject (e.g. business management) when given a written test on the material he will score substantially lower than his knowledge would warrant. Dyslexics may excel in sports, arts, mechanics, or even all of the above but read and spell atrociously. This is often very confusing to both the dyslexic and those around the dyslexic.

There is a test that uses these symptoms along with a person's abilities to determine whether a person is dyslexic or not. This test is called the Bangor test. "[It] consists of twelve items. As well as determining the hand and eye dominance of the individual, testing for left/right awareness and inquiring into the family incidence of reading and spelling problems, there are also some interesting items tapping various aspects of memory."11

Psychological Effects

As was previously mentioned a dyslexic is often confused about himself because he knows he's intelligent but at the same time he can't seem to pass an exam. This confusion leads to anxiety which in turn will lead to one of two emotional responses by the dyslexic. These two responses are "'under' and 'over' reaction."12 If the child follows the 'under' reaction method he will withdraw. This type will need considerable encouragement in order to do a task. While performing the task the child looks for considerable approval and support in that what he is doing is right. One can see how this is directly the result of being corrected all the time. This constant correction also gives the child a low self-esteem. Their low self-opinion carries into all areas of life; sometimes even reversing their maturity level and so they start bed wetting, sucking thumbs, and other infantile habits. The child considers himself a failure and worthless and falls into depression. The anxiety of being forced to go to school, where they will have to read and write, can lead to trembling, sweating, and/or psychosomatic disorders.

A child who takes the second response, 'over' reaction, has the opposite outward action. This child tries to cover up their inability by being successful in other areas. Sometimes this is achieved by being the class clown. Other times this success is achieved by being the bully. Either way this child goes about it they end up resenting authority; by either making fun of it or fighting against it. This general aggression caries beyond just the school and into life in general. Both 'under' and 'over' reactions can cause the child to leave school without the qualifications needed.

Solutions to Dyslexia

As was mentioned at the beginning of this paper dyslexia is most likely a genetic disorder - therefore there is no "cure" for dyslexia only ways of dealing with the problem. There are three main ways to deal with dyslexia: (1) the developmental approach, (2) the corrective approach, and (3) the remedial approach.13 In the definition of dyslexia we said it was "a developmental disorder . . ." with this in mind it makes sense that the most common way of dealing with dyslexia is the first approach. This approach intensifies the normal learning. This is done partly by more individual attention to the student and partly by slowing down the class so that it is easier for the child to learn. Usually this class is made up of children with similar learning disorders. The second approach, the corrective approach, focuses upon the strengths and abilities of the dyslexic. The problem is in a sense ignored but at the same time some good is accomplished by giving the child some hope and self-esteem. The remedial approach is similar to the developmental except that it focuses very heavily on the deficiencies. This is very hard to do since each dyslexic has a slightly different level of deficiency. To accomplish this approach it would almost require a 1:1 ratio of student to teacher. The biggest step to helping the child is explaining the mystery of why they are having problems with reading and writing - that is telling them they have dyslexia and explaining what dyslexia is.


Dyslexia is a disorder that occurs in approximately 15% of the population. This disorder is most likely due to some neurological dysfunction of the brain, however it is not known as to what exactly causes this dysfunction. There are a variety of symptoms that can be observed in the dyslexic - many of which can be overcome through special education. No one symptom means that a person is dyslexic but a large combination of the symptoms can point to dyslexic tendencies. Without proper diagnosing and explanation to the child, the child can acquire several psychological problems that will continue on into adulthood. Even though there is no cure for dyslexia there are ways of dealing with and overcoming the obstacles of dyslexia. Dyslexia is not a disease that has no hope, it is a disorder that with some patience and determination can be conquered.


Why are some of the brightest people
also learning disabled?

Reading and writing are only one set of skills needed for success and accomplishment. Some researchers like Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner define as many as seven types of intelligence.

As pointed out in © Davis Dyslexia Association International; Reprinted by Permission. The Gift of Dyslexia, by Ronald D. Davis with Eldon M. Braun, many great geniuses such as Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein, Thomas Edison and Winston Churchill were dyslexic. They were labeled dummies or misfits as children, but later made achievements that changed the world. They were people of vision because they were visual thinkers.

Because they are visual thinkers, dyslexics are often confused by letters, symbols and written words. Often, their minds do not even perceive the print on the page accurately or consistently. As they do not "see" the letters and words correctly, they experience frustration when they try to learn to read and write.

Current teaching methods are not effective for many of our most talented children. Mistakenly labeled "slow," "inattentive," or lazy, they lose self-esteem in the early school years, and may become rebels. Many adult dyslexics succeed in life despite being functionally illiterate. Often, they invent elaborate subterfuges to hide their "shameful" secret.

"Evidence suggests that the conventional educational system may be focusing on the wrong kinds of skills and . . . weeding out many of those who might have the most to give. . . Perhaps in the future we might see the solution of difficult problems in statistics, molecular biology, materials development, or higher mathematics coming from people who are graphic artists, sculptors, craftsmen, film makers, or designers of animated computer graphics. Different kinds of problems and different kinds of tools may require different talents and favor different kinds of brains."

—Thomas G. West, "In the Mind's Eye" (Prometheus Books)


What is Dyslexia?

—May have all or part of this signs...

- Delay in learning how to tie shoes
- Left/Right confusions
- Slow reader/below
- Loses reading place
- Mixing the order of letters/ numbers
- Difficulty finding appropriate words
- Difficulty organizing ideas to write a letter
- Messy room, desk, locker or note book
- cant' manage words.
- Difficulty expressing oneself
- Difficulty learning the alphabet
- Difficulty names of people and places
- Hesitant in speech
- Low self-esteem due to past frustrations.

Dyslexia is a kind of mind. Very often it is a gifted mind, but it is a mind that is physiologically different. This brain difference is not a defect, but it makes learning language excessively hard

The manifestations of dyslexia are two-fold. On one hand a child with a dyslexic mind will have trouble from the very beginning learning to understand speech and make himself understood. Because his mind cannot easily recall words, the dyslexic child may have to describe what he wants--"Oh, you know, that thing we use to write with..." instead of "pencil." The mind of a dyslexic child will often have trouble sequencing, so the words will get twisted --- "basgetti, mellow, aminals" or spoken in the wrong order, "please up hurry!"

When a child enters school he may struggle with the positioning of letters that distinguishes a "p" from a "d" from a "b." "Was" becomes "saw," "pet" can be read as "bet." Even in upper grades, the dyslexic mind may read "nuclear" as "unclear." What makes dyslexia difficult to recognize is that many of its characteristics are a natural part of the maturing process of young children. It is when a child gets "stuck" in these stages and they last longer than normal, that parents and teachers need to recognize a potential difficulty.

On the other hand the dyslexic mind may have tremendous musical ability that allows a child to sing or play an instrument easily or at an early age. The child with a dyslexic mind may be able to build whole cities with tiny interlocking blocks and no directions, or solve three-dimensional puzzles without difficulty. Many of our most gifted athletes have dyslexic minds that can "see" the entire field of play and the relative position of all the players simultaneously.

Because it relies more on language skills than these other gifts, school very quickly becomes a nightmare of frustration for a dyslexic child. Because a dyslexic mind cannot learn whole words by sight, a dyslexic child has trouble learning to read by traditional methods. Organizing his desk or homework assignments or holding a pencil correctly will be hard work. The child sees his peers succeeding while he is failing. Because he is bright, he knows something is wrong. If parents and teachers fail to recognize and respond to his struggle, he becomes afraid. This fear can cause him to act out inappropriately.

Often the child appears to be lazy, not trying hard enough, or just slow. In fact, the dyslexic child's mind is working harder to fill in the gaps between what he actually sees, hears and feels in the outer world, and how he thinks about these things in his head and puts them into words. The dyslexic mind needs more help in sorting, recognizing, and organizing the raw materials of language for reading and spelling. Some "red flag" behaviors that may indicate that a dyslexic mind is at work are:

Avoiding difficult tasks, especially if they involve reading, writing or spelling.

Spending an inordinate amount of time on tasks or not finishing assignments.

Propping his head up when writing.

Guessing when she doesn't know a word.

Knowing a word one day but forgetting it the next.

Mixing cursive with manuscript letters.

Having a vocabulary which exceeds his reading ability.

Understanding math conceptually, but having difficulty reading and writing problems.

Having a wide spread between performance and verbal scores on standardized tests.

Acting inappropriately or demanding excessive attention.

The dyslexic mind is there for life; it cannot be "fixed" and will not be outgrown. It can, however, be taught with appropriate teaching methods, to compensate by using its strengths to overcome weaknesses. The most appropriate teaching approach for the dyslexic mind was pioneered by Doctor Samuel T. Orton and his associates and successors. It has proven to be both scientifically sound and practically effective. The essentials of this instructional approach include: using all the pathways to the brain---sight, sound, touch and movement, teaching the alphabetic-phonic system on which our language is based; using sounds of letters for both reading and spelling; explaining rules for dividing words into syllables and how different kinds of syllables affect vowel sounds; presenting information in a sequential manner that progresses from the simple to more complex, moving the student through the material step-by-step; and building on success.

Using all the elements of this proven approach to teaching reading, writing and spelling, Project ASSIST trained tutors and teachers are successfully unlocking the written word for children with dyslexic minds. With its strengths and creative abilities, a dyslexic mind that can read is a very powerful gift for the child who has it and for society as well!




Article by: Doug Walker...8.08.93

Dyslexia is a term that has been loosely applied to reading disabilities.

Specific definitions for dyslexia vary with disciplines. Those in medicine define dyslexia as a condition resulting from neurological, maturational, and genetic causes, while those in psychology relate dyslexia on the basis of the specific reading problems evidenced and give no reference to causation. All disciplines would probably agree that dyslexia is evidenced by persons of otherwise normal intellectual capacity who have not learned to read despite exposure to adequate instruction.


The diagnosis of dyslexia usually begins with an awareness by parents or teachers that a problem in reading exists. A physician is often the first diagnostician to explore the nature of the difficulty. The medical practitioner should investigate the cause of the 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.

The major purpose of the diagnostic process is to isolate the specific difficulties associated with dyslexia 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 of many different techniques.


An individual is identified as dyslexic when a significant discrepancy exists between intellectual ability and reading performance without an apparent physical, emotional, or cultural cause.

Common findings in the history include, but are not limited to:

(1) family history of reading problems;

(2) a predominant occurrence in males (males to females 8:1);

(3) an 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 reversal;

(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 vice versa.

Specific reading problems associated with dyslexia include difficulty in

pronouncing new words,

difficulty distinguishing similarities and differences in words (no for on), and difficulty discriminating differences in letter sound (pin, pen).

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.


Ocular Problems

Several reliable studies (Helveston 1969; Blika 1982; Keys 1982; Hiatt 1984) have found that dyslexic individuals have no greater incidence of eye problems than do individuals with normal reading ability.

Such parameters as visual acuity, stereo acuity, ocular alignment and motility, fusion status (break point amplitude), and refractive error have not been shown to be significantly different in poor versus normal readers. Individuals with reading problems should, however, have a careful eye examination as part of an overall medical examination.

There is no scientific evidence that visual training (including eye muscle exercises, ocular tracking or pursuit exercises, or glasses with bifocals or prisms) leads to significant improvement in the performance of dyslexic individuals.

Language Problems:

According to Mattis (1978), the primary contributing factor to dyslexia is an auditory language deficit.

Approximately 86% of the individuals identified as dyslexic evidence an auditory language disorder that prevents the individual from linking the spoken form of a word with its written equivalent.

In light of this, any individual with reading problems should have a careful evaluation of his or her language capabilities and where indicated, appropriate speech and language intervention should be provided.



Another Definition

The highly verbal five-year-old who can't master the alphabet.
The bright, creative seven-year-old who has not grasped reading.
The teenager whose mediocre grades are blamed on "lack of motivation".
The college student who scraped by in high school and now finds herself in over her head.

What these otherwise bright, sociable young people have in common is a disability which makes learning in the "usual" way difficult. Dyslexia, characterized by problems with learning to read, remembering what was read, spelling, and organizing thoughts, may be noticed as early as kindergarten or may never be diagnosed. Because it interferes with the ability to learn in school, dyslexia can impose frustrating limitations on those it affects.

For many, dyslexia equates with the image of a person seeing words in reversed order, e.g., reading "was" as "saw." While this type of difficulty is a hallmark symptom, dyslexia cannot be explained as simply seeing letters backwards. Dyslexia is marked by difficulties understanding the basic correspondence between symbols (such as letters) and their sounds. It can be both a visual-perceptual and language-based disorder.

Dyslexia is defined as a disability that is "manifested by a significant discrepancy between intellectual functioning and reading and/or writing skills. The discrepancy is not the result of educational or environmental factors, but is presumed to be inherent." In other words, there is a wide gap between IQ and school achievement. Further, this gap is not the result of poor teaching at school, inadequate stimulation at home, or emotional factors, but instead may be the result of how that person's brain is organized. Frequently, the dyslexic's higher cognitive skills (the ability to abstract either visually or verbally) may be good, but the lower level skills - reading, spelling, and calculating—may be weak.

The cause of dyslexia is not known; however, a learning disability may be caused by subtle miscues in the organization of cognitive systems in the brain. These miscues are thought to be present at birth and influenced to some degree by heredity. Approximately five to ten percent of school-age children have a learning disability.

If undiagnosed or improperly addressed, dyslexia can produce years of frustration for affected children. Dyslexia can make a child feel "stupid" because the child sees contemporaries reading and working with numbers, and he can't keep up. The student encounters failure every day in school and his self-esteem takes a beating. Educators emphasize the importance of identifying a learning disability as soon as possible, so the child can begin to learn in alternative ways and achieve success in school.

Public schools, as well as the Institute, offer testing of children who are falling behind their peers and may be at risk for a learning disability. Candidates for testing include children with at least normal intelligence who are not doing as well in school as predicted by standard intelligence tests. The comprehensive evaluation for a learning disability involves a series of cognitive, linguistic, social/emotional, and academic tests. Once a diagnosis is made, an appropriate treatment plan can be developed.

Fortunately, the majority of dyslexic children, with the help of parents, teachers and tutors, are able to learn various techniques which allow them to stay in the regular classroom. The least restrictive environment is best but sometimes special education placement is necessary for the child to get the appropriate remediation that will help the child work with and around the disability.



Parents are often worried and disappointed when their child has learning problems. There are many reasons for school failure, but a common one is a specific learning disability. A child with a learning disability is usually bright and initially tries very hard to follow instructions, concentrate and "be good" at home and in school. Yet despite this effort he or she is not mastering school tasks and falls behind. Some learning disabled children also have trouble sitting still or paying attention. Learning disabilities affect as many as 15 percent of otherwise able schoolchildren.

It is believed that learning disabilities are caused by a difficulty with the nervous system that affects receiving, processing or communicating information. Some learning disabled children are also hyperactive and/or distractible with a short attention span.

Child and adolescent psychiatrists point out that learning disabilities are treatable, but if not detected and treated early, they can have a tragic "snowballing" effect. For instance, a child who does not learn addition in elementary school cannot understand algebra in high school. The child, trying very hard to learn, becomes more and more frustrated, and develops emotional problems such as low self-esteem in the face of repeated failure. Some learning disabled children misbehave in school because they would rather be seen as "bad" than "stupid".

Parents should be aware of the most frequent signals of learning disabilities, when a child:

  • Has difficulty understanding and following instructions.
  • Has trouble remembering what someone just told him or her.
  • Fails to master reading, writing, and/or math skills, and thus fails schoolwork.
  • Has difficulty distinguishing right from left--for example, confusing 25 with 52, "b" with "d," or "on" with "no."
  • Lacks coordination—in walking, sports, or small activities such as holding a pencil or tying a shoelace.
  • Easily loses or misplaces homework, schoolbooks or other items.
  • Cannot understand the concept of time; is confused by "yesterday," "today," "tomorrow."
Such problems deserve an evaluation by an expert on the whole child and his or her health and mental health. A child and adolescent psychiatrist will work with the school professionals and others to have the necessary comprehensive evaluation and educational testing done to clarify if a learning disability exists. After talking with the child and family, evaluating their situation, reviewing the educational testing and consulting with the school, the child and adolescent psychiatrist will make recommendations on appropriate school placement, the need for special help such as special educational therapy or speech-language therapy and steps parents can take to assist their child in maximizing his or her learning potential. Sometimes individual or family psychotherapy will be recommended, and sometimes medication will be prescribed for hyperactivity or distractibility. It is important to strengthen the child's self-confidence, so vital for healthy development, and also help parents and other family members cope with the realities of living with learning disabilities.


One-forth of all Americans are Dyslexic.© Davis Dyslexia Association International;
Reprinted by Permission.

As there are seven different types of Dyslexia, many go undiagnosed. Since schools teach the Rote-Memory System, most of these students struggle through school—if they make it at all. Many simply cannot read. Whenever they are given something to read, they put it aside and do their own thing. That brings another problem—lack of concentration or a weakened attention span. This leads to many being misdiagnosed as Attention Deficit Disorder. Some estimates indicate of all ADD labeled students, up to 90% may be Dyslexic.

In reality, Dyslexia may be an asset. For instance, since most Dyslexics have a difficult time reading, they tend to develop their other senses more. They can utilize the brain's ability to change and create perceptions. They are more visual -- thinking in pictures more than words. They are highly intelligent and very creative. As long as the extended development of their other senses continues and is not destroyed by the school system and/or parents, Dyslexia can be a gift beyond the ability to read. Look at all the famous DYSLEXIC GENIUSES!


Artists: Walt Disney
Leonardo da Vinci
Athletes: Bruce Jenner
Greg Louganis
Jackie Stewart
Inventors/Scientists: Alexander Graham Bell
Thomas Edison
Albert Einstein
Military/Political Figures: Winston Churchill
Gen. George Patton
Woodrow Wilson
Performers: Cher
Danny Glover
Whoopi Goldberg
© Davis Dyslexia Association International; Reprinted by Permission.


A lot of Reading If you want

P. G. Aaron, S. Phillips and S. Larsen, 1988, "Specific reading disability in historically famous persons"
Journal of Learning Disabilities vol. 21.9 pp 521-84

A. D. Baddeley, 1976, "The Psychology of Memory"
Harper London

B. Baker, 1982, "MinSpeak"
Byte, the small systems journal vol. September pp 186-202

A semantic compaction system that makes self-expression easier for communicatively disabled individuals.

C. Barlas, 1994, "The end of the word is nigh"
The Sunday Times vol. 4th December.(section 10, The Culture) pp 8-11

Just as printing killed the oral tradition, and changed the way we think, the computer will revolutionize the way we look to the future.

G. D. A. Brown and N. C. Ellis, 1994, "Handbook of Spelling: theory, process and intervention"
John Wiley New York

J. Clare, 1995, "Zoids Friends and other vital teachers"
The Daily Telegraph vol. 43412 pp 19

The sooner that dyslexia is diagnosed, the more effective the remedial action. Education editor John Clare reports on a computer breakthrough that could alleviate the misery of thousands of children - and their parents.

M. Coltheart, G. Sartori and R. Job, 1987, "The Cognitive neuropsychology of language"
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Ltd

M. Coltheart, B. Curtis, P. Atkins and M. Haller, 1993, "Models of Reading Aloud: Dual-Route and Parallel-Distributed-Processing Approaches"
Psychological Review vol. 100.4 pp 589-608

It has often been argued that various facts about skilled reading aloud cannot be explained by any model unless that model possesses a dual-route architecture (lexical and non-lexical routes from print to speech). This broad claim has been challenged by Seidenberg and McClelland (1989,1990). Their model has but a single route from print to speech, yet, they contend, it can account for major facts about reading that have hitherto been claimed to require a dual-route architecture. The authors identify 6 of these major facts about reading. The 1-route model proposed by Seidenberg and McClelland can account for the first of these but not the remaining 5. BEcause models with dual-route architectures an explain all 6 of these basic facts about reading, the authors suggest that this remains the viable architecture for any tenable model of skilled reading and learning to read. The dual-route cascaded model, a computational version of the dual-route model, is described.

M. W. Du and S. C. Chang, 1994, "An Approach to Designing Very Fast Approximate String Matching Algorithms"
IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering vol. 6.4 pp 620-633

A. D. N. Edwards, 1995, "Extra?Ordinary Human?Computer Interaction: Interfaces for Users with Disabilities"
Cambridge University Press New York

J. Elkind and J. Shrager, 1995, "Modeling and analysis of dyslexic writing using speech and other modalities"
in Extra?Ordinary Human?Computer Interaction: Interfaces for Users with Disabilities, Cambridge University Press New York ed. A. D. N. Edwards, pp We examine how dyslexia affects the writing process and how to improve the performance of dyslexics in computer supported writing and other text related tasks. We have studied transcription by dyslexic and non-dyslexic persons in several settings: writing longhand without computer assistance, using a computer text editor, using a speech recognition .i.prosthesis:speech recognition;prosthesis, and dictating to a typist. Here we develop a model of transcription activity and use the model to isolate points of difficulty for a dyslexic person. This analysis enables us to see clearly why the speech recognition prosthesis is less effective than expected in compensating for the dyslexic person?s disability. Finally, from these analyses and from observations of the collaborative setting in which the writer is working with a human typist, we produce several suggestions to improve the effectiveness of speech recognition as a prosthesis for dyslexic writing.

A. W. Ellis, 1984, "Reading, Writing and Dyslexia"
Lawrence Erlbaum London

R. Fields, P. C. Wright and M. D. Harrison, 1995, "A task-centered approach to analyzing human error tolerance requirements"
Second IEEE International Symposium on Requirements Engineering, York vol. 1995.pp

We put forward an approach to deriving and applying human error tolerance requirements. Such requirements are concerned with the response of the system to errors introduced by human operators. The approach provides a means by which operators tasks can be described and analyzed for likely errors and the impact of these errors on system safety can be explored. (...)

R. Frisch and A. Zamora, 1988, "Spelling assistance for compound words"
IBM Journal of Research and Development vol. 32.2 pp 195-200

U. Frith, 1980, "Cognitive Processes in Spelling"
Academic Press London

A. M. Galaburda, M. T. Menard and G. D. Rosen, 1994, "Evidence for aberrant auditory anatomy in developmental dyslexia"
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences vol. 91.pp 8010-8013

Abnormal auditory processing in dyslexics suggests that accompanying anatomical abnormalities might be present in the auditory system. Therefore, we measured cross sectional neuronal areas in the medial geniculate nuclei (MGN's) of five dyslexic and seven control brains. In contrast to controls, which showed no asymmetry, the left-side MGN neurons were significantly smaller than the right in the dyslexic sample. Also, as compared with controls, there were more small neurons and fewer large neurons in the left dyslexic MGN. These findings are consistent with reported behavioral findings of a left hemisphere-based phonological defect in dyslexic individuals.

P. B. Gough, 1972, "One second of reading"
in Language by Ear and by Eye, MIT Press Cambridge, Mass ed. J. P. Kavanagh and I. G. Mattingly, pp

T. A. Harley, 1993, "Connectionist approaches to language disorders"
Aphasiology vol. 7.3 pp 221-249

This paper reviews the impact of connectionism upon our understanding of brain-damaged language performance, and attempts to explain why it is of importance for the neuropsychology of language. Connectionism is an approach to modeling cognitive processes using networks of interconnected, simple, neuron-like units. Behavior emerges as the result of the interaction of these units. It has provided a new way of thinking about cognitive processing, emphasizing its low-level mechanisms. One supposed advantage of connectionism is its biological plausibility. It is possible to 'lesion' these systems by destroying some of the units or the connections between them. It is claimed that lesions to connectionist models of particular cognitive systems result in the appropriate acquired disorders. For example, lessoning a connectionist model of reading and word pronunciation results in surface dyslexia. Connectionist models of surface and deep dyslexia, and of word substitutions in aphasia, are described in detail. Some advantages and disadvantages of connectionism are discussed.

F. M. Hatfield and K. E. Patterson, 1983, "Phonological Spelling"
Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology vol. 35A.pp 451-548

A case study is presented of phonological spelling, an acquired spelling disorder in which the primary symptom is the occurrence of phonologically plausible errors (eg "flood" -> "flud"). Not all of the patient's spelling errors are as phonologically perfect as this example; but it is arguable that the errors primarily derive from a routine which segments the phinological code and assigns orthographic representations to these individual segments. This account of errors in phonological spelling is contrasted with an interpretation of oral reading errors in surface dyslexia. We conclude that errors in the two disorders do not reveal a precise parallel, and that the contrast is partly attributable to the differential role of comprehension in reading and spelling.

J. Hinshelwood, 1917, "Congenital Word-Blindness"
H.K. Lewis London

G. E. Hinton and T. Shallice, 1991, "Lessoning an Attractor Network: Investigations of Acquired Dyslexia"
Psychological Review vol. 98.1 pp 74-95

A recurrent connectionist network was trained to output semantic feature vectors when presented with letter strings. When damaged, the network exhibited characteristics that resembled several of the phenomena found in deep dyslexia and semantic-access dyslexia. Damaged networks sometimes settled to the semantic vectors for semantically similar but visually dissimilar words. With severe damage, a forced-choice decision between categories was possible even when the choice of the particular semantic vector within the category was not possible. The damaged networks typically exhibited many mixed visual and semantic errors in which the output corresponded to a word that was both visually and semantically similar. Surprisingly, damage near the output sometimes caused pure visual errors. Indeed, the characteristic error pattern of deep dyslexia occurred with damage to virtually any part of the network.

J. Hochberg, S. M. Mniszewksi, T. Calleja and G. N. Papcun, 1991, "A Default Hierarchy for pronouncing English"
IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence vol. 13.9 pp 957-964

In this correspondence, we study the principles governing the power and efficiency of the default hierarchy, a system of knowledge acquisition and representation. The default hierarchy consists of clear and accessible rules, like an expert-made system, but trains automatically when exposed to data, like a neural network. The hierarchy has both general (default) and specific rules. In training, specific rules are learned only if they are exceptions to general rules; in using the hierarchy, default rules are used when no relevant specific rules are found. Our application of the default hierarchy to the task of pronouncing written English reveals interesting properties of the default hierarchy architecture. We find that the hierarchy performs best when there is free access to general rules, and that it is less than 1/4 the size of a comparable nonhierarchical rule set while no less accurate in pronunciation. Evaluating the hierarchy as a pronouncer of English, we find that its rules capture several key features of English spelling. Moreover, the default hierarchy pronounces English better than the neural network NETtalk, and almost as well as expert-devised systems (DECtalk and the Naval Research Laboratory's pronunciation system).

J. L. Horn, J. P. O'Donnell and D. J. Leicht, 1988, "Phonetically Inaccurate Spelling among Learning-Disabled, Head-Injured and Non-disabled Young Adults"
Brain and Language vol. 33.pp 55-64

We applied the Boder and Jarrico criteria to the WRAT spelling list and examined the phonetically inaccurate spelling error patterns of learning-disabled (LD), head-injured (HI) and non-disabled young adults. Phonetically inaccurate (PI) errors were reliably rated and were correlated significantly more strongly with dysphasic errors than with dyscopia. ANOVA showed that LD and HI, which did not differ, made significantly more PI errors than both noindisabled and HI. These results indicate that PI errors reflect an underlying language disorder. THe results also suggest that PI errors are more frequent in brain-related disorders. Finally, when group differences in cognitive ability are statistically controlled, PI errors are more common only among LD persons.

R. L. Kashyap and B. J. Oommen, 1984, "Spelling Correction using Probabilistic Methods"
Pattern Recognition Letters vol. 2.pp 147-154

A probabilistic procedure is suggested for the automatic correction of spelling and typing errors in printed English texts. The herat of the procedure is a probabilistic model for the generation of the garbled word from the correct word. The garbler can delete or insert symbols in the word or substitute one or more symbols by other symbols. An expression is derived for P(Y|X), the probability of generating a garbled word Y from a correct word X. The model is probabilistically consistent. using the expression for P(Y|X), we can derive an estimate of the correct word from the garbled word Y so as to minimize the average probability of error in the decision. One of the important features of the expression P(Y|X) is that it can be computed recursively. Experiments conducted using the dictionary of 1024 most common English word s indicate that the accuracy of correction by this scheme is substantially greater than that which can be obtained by other algorithms especially while dealing with garbled words derived from relatively short words of length less than 6.

R. B. Katz, 201, "Recognizing Orally Spelled WOrds: An Analysis of Procedures Shared with Reading and Spelling"
Brain and Language vol. 37.pp 201-219

Some investigators have suggested that recognizing orally spelled words is depended on the same procedures ordinarily used in spelling, whereas others have viewed it either as dependent on reading procedures or as an independent ability. In the present study, a single subject with dyslexia and dystrophies was examined on parallel tests of recognizing orally spelled words, reading, and spelling (writing), and a comparison was made of his performance on the three tasks. On both words and non-words, the patient's errors in recognizing orally spelled words and in reading were alike, whereas his spelling errors were of then different. The distinction between recognizing orally spelled words and spelling was further shown by his inability to recognize a set of orally spelled words that he could write correctly to dictation or ion the basis of word meaning. These findings suggest that the procedures normally used for reading can accept sequences of letter identities as input when orally spelled words must be recognized.

G. Kempen, 1987, "Natural Language Generation New results in Artificial Intelligence, Psychology and Linguistics"
Martinus Nijhoff Publishers Dordrecht

K. Kukich, 1992, "Techniques for Automatically Correcting Words in Text"
ACM Computing Surveys vol. 24.4 pp 377-439

Research aimed at correcting words in text has focused on three progressively more difficult problems: 1. non-word error detection, 2. isolated-word error detection and 3. co-text-dependent word correction. In response to the first problem, efficient pattern-matching and n-gram analysis techniques have been developed for detecting strings that do not appear in a given word-list. Some of them were based on detailed studies of spelling error patterns. In response to the second problem, a variety of general and application-specific spelling correction techniques have been developed. Some of them were based on detailed studies of spelling error patterns. In response to the third problem, a few experiments using natural-language-processing tools or statistical language models have been carried out. This article surveys documented findings on spelling error patterns, provides descriptions of various non-word detection and isolated-word error correction techniques, reviews the state of the art of context-dependent word correction techniques, and discusses research issues related to all three areas of automatic error correction in text.

J. J. Lazzaro, 1993, "Adaptive Technologies for Learning and Work Environments"
American Library Association Chicago, London

R. Lowrance and R. A. Wagner, 1975, "An extension of the string-to-string correction problem"
Journal of the Association for Computing Machinery vol. 5.pp 177-183

N. Martin and E. M. Saffran, 1992, "A Computational Account of Deep Dysphasia: Evidence from a Single Case Study"
Brain and Language vol. 43.pp 240-274

We present a case study of a patient, NC< who demonstrates the defining characteristics of deep dysphasia including semantic errors in repetition and an inability to repeat non-words. In addition, NC's single word repetition and lexical decision performances are influenced by the manageability of the word input. NC also demonstrates a severely restricted phonoloogical short-term memory (one digit, one word). Although his phonological discrimination is good in a minimal pairs judgment task, it becomes impaired when a delay is imposed or rehearsal is prevented between presentation of each member of a pair. NC's output is fluent but contains many formal paraphrases and neologisms. NC's total language profile is evaluated within the framework of Dell's (1986) interactive spreading activation model of language production. Adapting this output model to input processes, we account for all of NC's deep dysphasic symptoms as well as his patter of production in a way that is more parsimonious than other attempts to model this disorder. In particular, we suggest that the semantic and formal paraphasias in naming and repetition result from a pathological increase in the rate of decay of primed nodes in the semantic-lexical-phonological network. This rapid decay increases the probability that phnologically and/or semantically related lexical nodes primed by top-down and bottom-up feedback during the operation of lexical activation and retrieval will be activated and selected instead of the lexical target. The advantages of using this model to account for aphasic symptoms and the implications for other lexical theories are discussed.

J. L. McClelland, 1979, "On the Time Relations of Mental Processes: An Examination of Systems of Processes in Cascade"
Psychological Review vol. 86.4 pp 287-330

This article examines the possibility that the components of an information-processing system all operate continuously, passing information from one to the next as it becomes available. A model called the Cascade Model is presented, and it is shown to be compatible with the general form of the relation between time and accuracy in speed-accuracy trade-off experiments. In the model, experimental manipulations may have either or both of two effects on a processing level: They may alter the rate of response or the asymptotic quality of the output. (...)

J. L. McClelland and D. E. Rumelhart, 1981, "An interactive activation model of context effects in letter perception"
Psychological Review vol. 88.pp 375-407

M. D. McIlroy, 1974, "Synthetic English Speech by Rule"
Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc March 1974

A compact program produces synthetic speech from English text via a inexpensive commercial synthesizer. The speech is not inflected, but within that constraint is deemed adequate (that is, about as intelligible as can be obtained using the device) on at least 97% of running text. The program works almost entirely by rule, most of which have a stereotyped form. Since no large dictionary is needed, secondary storage is not used. The entire body of synthesis rules is given, together with examples of their behavior. Neither the program nor the output device pretext to produce natural speech, but it is intelligible to everybody who has heard much of it. Besides its modest cost and size, the prime virtues of the program are its accessibility and its readiness to speak anything, albeit far-fetchedly on occasion. The scheme should also prove useful as a method of last resort in concert with more sophisticated synthesis procedures.

T. R. Miles and E. Miles, 1990, "Dyslexia: a hundred years on"
Open University Press Buckingham

W. P. Morgan, 1896, "A case study of congenital word blindness"
British Medical Journal vol. 2.pp 1378

A. F. Newell, 1987, "How can we develop better communication aids?"
Augmentative and Alternative Communication vol. 3(1).March 1987 pp 36-40

Discusses principles for designing communication aids in relation to listener characteristics, input and output mechanisms, speed of communication, and individual differences among users. Problems in applying computer programs are identified, and it is emphasized that the design of communication aids needs to be an interdisciplinary process involving clients, therapists and psychologists, engineers, and manufacturers.

A. F. Newell, L. Booth and W. Beattie, 1991, "Predictive text entry with PAL and children with learning difficulties"
British Journal of Educational Technology vol. 22.1 pp 23-40

Nine case studies were conducted to evaluate the usefulness of a predictive text entry program within a classroom environment. The program, PAL, was found to be very successful in eight of the cases. For children with poor motor control, the key-saving aspects speeded up text creation. Of even greater significance was the extent to which children with severe spelling problems were helped. They were able to produce much higher quality written work with a substantial reduction in the number of spelling errors. This provided great motivation for the children, and teaching staff commented on their improved confidence and attention span as well as stimulation of language and vocabulary development. One of the children was on the verge of being classified as a non-reader and, although progress was slow, a significant improvement in the child's work was observed.

A. F. Newell and L. Booth, 1991, "The use of lexical and spelling aids with dyslexics"
in Computers and literacy skills, University of Hull Hull ed. C. Singleton, pp

A. F. Newell, L. Booth and J. L. Arnott, 1992, "Increasing literacy levels by the use of linguistic prediction."
Child Language Teaching and Therapy vol. 8(2).June 1992 pp 138-187

The Predictive Adaptive Lexicon, a predictive text input system, was introduced into a school environment with a group of 17 children (aged 8-19 yrs) representing a wide range of special educational needs. The group included non-speakers and children with severe spelling and language problems. In all but one of the cases, this system was successful in improving the quantity and quality of the written work that the pupils produced. Predictive systems can be used as an acceleration technique for physically disabled people. They can also be used as a prosthesis and training aid for children with a wide range of spelling and language dysfunction.

A. F. Newell, J. L. Arnott, L. Booth, W. Beattie and e. al, 1992, "Effect of the "PAL" word prediction system on the quality and quantity of text generation."
Augmentative and Alternative Communication vol. 8(4).December 1992 pp 304-311

Long-term case studies of over 50 adults and children (aged 7-68 yrs) show that a predictive word processing system (Predictive Adaptive Lexicon (PAL)) made valuable improvements to the quantity and quality of the written work of users with both physical impairments and spelling problems. In addition, some evidence has been found of the potential of orthographic predictive systems for assisting those with moderate to severe language dysfunction. It is argued that, in many clinical and educational situations, these effects can be more important than those indicated by simple measurements of rate enhancement and key-saving for such systems.

A. F. Newell, 1992, "Today's dream--tomorrow's reality."
Augmentative and Alternative Communication vol. 8(2).June 1992 pp 81-88

Explores the future of computer-based technology to assist disabled and disadvantaged persons. Discussion focuses on the development of an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) box that provides real and meaningful change (RaMC) and AAC users' communication and social interaction. Issues addressed include individual differences, conversational differences between sexes, and cultural differences in conversational patterns. To make the dream of the RaMC box become a reality, it is necessary to (1) study the functional use of current systems and (2) use the methodology of TV, film, and social sciences vs the more traditional data-driven methods of the "hard" sciences.

A. F. Newell, J. L. Arnott, A. Y. Cairns, I. W. Ricketts and P. Gregor, 1994, "Intelligent systems for speech and language impaired people: A portfolio of research"
in Extra Ordinary Human Computer Interaction: Interfaces for Users with disabilities, in press ed. A. D. N. Edwards, pp The capability of complex communication with others is the major characteristic which separates human beings from the rest of the animal kingdom. We use speech to make bonds between us and our fellow human beings, and without these bonds life can be a very isolated existence. Communication dysfunction is a seriously debilitating disability.

R. I. Nicolson and A. J. Fawcett, 1993, "Computer Based Spelling Remediation for Dyslexic Children Using the SelfSpell Environment"
in Facets of Dyslexia and its Remediation, Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. ed. S. F. Wright and R. Groner, pp 551-565

This chapter presents an overview of the SelfSpell hypermedia environment for spelling support, which represents a new and promising approach to this previously intractable problem [that alphabetic spelling is a bottleneck preventing smooth transition to the orthographic stage of reading and writing].

A. Olson and A. Caramazza, 1994, "Representation and Connectionist Models: The NETspell experience"
in Handbook of Spelling - Theory, process and intervention, John Wiley & Sons Chichester ed. G. Brown, pp 541

K. Patterson and C. Shewell, 1987, "Speak and Spell: Dissociations and Word-Class Effects"
in The Cognitive Neuropsuchology of Language, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates London ed. M. Coltheart, G. Sartori and R. Job, pp 273-294

E. M. Phillips and D.S.Pugh, 1987, "How to get a PhD"
Open University Press Milton Keynes

K. Rayner and A. Pollatsek, 1989, "The Psychology of Reading"
Prentice Hall International London

The past twenty years have marked a breakthrough in reading research. The authors carefully integrate the major findings from eye-movement research and those based on other new techniques with results from more traditional methods to offer you a comprehensive and in-depth examination of the processes involved in skilled reading.

D. E. Rumelhart and J. L. McClelland, 1981, "Interactive processing through spreading activation"
in Interactive processes in reading, Lawrence Erlbaum Hillsdale, NJ ed. A. M. Lesgold and C. A. Perfetti, pp

G. F. M. Russell, 1982, "History of writing and its relevance for the linguistic disorder in dyslexia"
Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine vol. 75.August pp 631-640

The aim of this paper is to clarify the nature of the psychological deficits which underlie the learning disorders known as dyslexia. The presentation will be divided into three parts: The first clinical descriptions of disorders of reading; A review of the history of writing; An examination of possible linguistic deficits in dyslexia

C. Scott and S. Byng, 1989, "Computer assisted remediation of a homophone comprehension disorder in surface dyslexia"
Aphasiology vol. 3.3 pp 301-320

An information processing model of reading was used to identify the locus of a reading and spelling disorder. The patient was found to exhibit the symptoms of surface dyslexia with syrface dysgraphia, with a reliance on phonologica decoding of the printed word to achieve comprehension. As a result, many errors were made in comprehending homophones. A remediation program presented on a microcomputer was implemented to retrain the recognition and comprehension of a set of written homophones. The patient improved in her ability to both recognize and comprehend homophones, but not generalization of the improvement to spelling and homophones took place.

T. J. Sejnowski and C. R. Rosenberg, 1987, "Parallel Networks that Learn to Pronounce English Text"
Complex Systems vol. 1.pp 145-168

This paper describes NETtalk, a class of massively-parallel network systems that learn to convert English text to speech. The memory representations for pronunciations are learned by practice and are shared among many processing units. (1) The performance of the learning follows a power law. (2) The more words the network learns, the better it is at generalizing and correctly pronouncing new words, (3) The performance of the network degrades very slowly as connections in the network are damaged: no single link for processing unit is essential. (4) Relearning after damage is much faster than learning during the original training. (5) Distributed or spaced practice is more effective for long-term retention than massed practice. Network models can be constructed that have the same performance and learning characteristics on a particular task, but differ completely at the levels of synaptic strengths and single-unit responses. However, hierarchical clustering techniques applied to NETtalk reveal that these different networks have similar internal representations of letter-to-sound correspondences within groups of processing units. This suggests that invariant internal representations may be found in assemblies of neurons intermediate in size between highly localized and completely distributed representations.

M. Sharples, D. Hogg, C. Hutchison, S. Torrance and D. Young, 1989, "Computers and Thought A Practical Introduction to Artificial Intelligence"
MIT Press London

C. Singleton, 1994, "Computers and Dyslexia"
The Dyslexia Computer Resource Centre, Hull Hull

Dyslexia is a hidden handicap which can cause great frustration. Computer use is powerful way of helping dyslexic learners of all ages to fulfil their potential through success and improved self-esteem. Computers and Dyslexia provides an overview of the best in current technology and educational practice, and previews the most promising new developments in computer applications for dyslexia and special needs.

M. Snowling, N. Goulandris, M. Bowlby and P. Howell, 1986, "Segmentation and speech perception in relation to reading skill: a developmental analysis."
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology vol. 41.pp 489-507

G. Stanley and M. Watson, 1980, "Comparison of Wiring and Drawing performance of Dyslexic boys"
Perceptual and Motor Skills vol. 51.pp 776-778

A group of 10 dyslexic boys and 10 control boys matched for age and nonverbal IQ were asked to draw a person and to write about their favorite television program. The two groups did not differ on mean raw scores or time taken on the drawing but differed in the number of spelling errors and writing time. The ratios of spelling/number of words written and grammatical errors/number of words written differed for the groups. The former measure was reliable at 8-month retest for dyslexics and the latter was reliable at 8 months for controls. Correlations between measures showed a different pattern for the dyslexics and controls.

A. L. Swiffin, J. L. Arnott and A. F. Newell, 1987, "Adaptive and predictive techniques in a communication prosthesis"
Augmentative and Alternative Communication vol. 3.pp 181-191

F. R. Vellutino, 1987, "Dyslexia"
Scientific American vol. 256.3 pp 20-27

Mirror writing and similar problems are usually blamed on defects in visual perception, but in truth dyslexia seems to be a complex linguistic deficiency The remedy is proper instruction in reading.

R. L. Venezky, 1970, "The Structure of English Orthography"
Mouton The Hague

C. Wernicke, 1874, "Der Aphasische Symptomencomplex"
in Wernicke's Works on Aphasia, Mouton The Hague ed. G. H. Eggert, pp

T. G. West, 1992, "A future of reversals: Dyslexic talents in a world of computer visualization."
Annals of Dyslexia vol. 42.pp 124-139

Proposes that visually oriented dyslexics may be in an increasingly favorable position in future years because of the recent revival of visual approaches to scientific, mathematical, and technological developments. The same set of traits that has caused them so much difficulty in traditional verbally oriented educational systems may provide special advantages in emerging new fields that rely on visual methods of analysis: fields that use graphic workstations and supercomputers to visualize complex scientific data. Recent trends have led technical professionals to become aware that their own special talents seem to be associated with dyslexic traits. Similar mixed talents have been major factors in the accomplishments of a number of historical figures (i.e., Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci).

A. G. Wright and A. F. Newell, 1991, "Computer help for poor spellers"
British Journal of Educational Technology vol. 22.2 pp 146-149

About the introduction of PAL, the people who still had very poor spelling, and the decision to write Speller.

P. Wright, B. Fields and M. Harrison, 1994, "Deriving Human-Error tolerance requirements from Tasks"
The first international conference on Requirements Engineering, Colorado Springs vol. 1.pp 135-142

We show how an understanding of a dynamic system from the point of view of the tasks that it supports and an understanding of human error can guide a process of deriving human error tolerance requirements. (...)

And Always Keep In Mind The Most Important Factor

  "What we live with we learn,
and what we learn
we practice, and what we
practice, we become...
and what we become
has consequences"...
AND almost always, I have
found, who we become
has little to do with who
we were meant to be.

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(Est. 4.15.96)

DISCLAMER: Before you start to look at the material that I have assembled for you I want to make clear that I claim very little original authorship here. Even where I don't give credit I probably should because there are very few original words of wisdom left in recovery. I want to especially thank Terry Kellogg, whom I do believe has a lot of original stuff, John Bradshaw whom I believe has the ability to synthesize others material better that anyone I know, and I guess if we wanted to be completely accurate we should not quote the serenity prayer out of content nor without giving credit to the author. I also want to give permission to anyone to use anything on this site for the benefit of recovery as long as they do not make any more money off of it. This offer only extends to what I have the right to give.

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