Friday, September 02, 2005

academic silly season?

Row erupts over dyslexia 'denial'

Is there some sort of academic silly season going on? I think we should be told. First they claim that men are more intelligent than women, now an academic from Durham has claimed that dyslexia is an 'emotional construct'. Words fail me....

If he was saying that the various conditions which are collected under the heading of dyslexia are separate and should be given separate names, that would be OK but potentially confusing. However, he appears to be saying that the whole thing is indistinguishable from "other poor readers".

The underlying problem that causes dyslexia seems to be an inability to hold more than a small number of items in working memory - this makes it difficult to perform complex operations involving the manipulation of several items of data. This can include mental arithmetic, taking lecture notes (i.e. transferring aural stimuli to written form), remembering phone numbers, and so on.

Some dyslexia can be linked to proprioception and orthopaedic problems apparently, according to Orlando da Silva, a friend of a friend who has done some ground-breaking research in this area.

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