Disabilitystudy2.1_A.Moran

Disabilitystudy2.1_A.Moran - Ashley K. Moran RHE...

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Ashley K. Moran RHE 379C-Overcoming Reading Difficulties Disability Study: Dyslexia November 15, 2007
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As a Stepmother of a darling, sensitive and articulate eight-year old boy who since May of last year is now described as a child “exhibiting the characteristics of dyslexia,” the prospect of a disability study on dyslexia is innately personal. As I ponder how I, as a future secondary History teacher will be able to meet the needs of students with dyslexia in my classroom, I cannot help but think about the great difficulty my Stepson encounters when trying to master second grade content let alone the kind of difficulty he, like my future students with dyslexia, will have as they grapple with much more complex content in the higher grade levels. Honestly, at times it feels overwhelming. When I turn to the Fourth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (1994) for some much needed insight into this “disorder,” I cannot help but feel their definition of a reading disorder, i.e., dyslexia is severely deficient. The DSM IV (1994) considers dyslexia as a subcategory of a family of learning disorders whose “essential feature…is reading achievement, as measured by individually administered standardized tests of reading accuracy or comprehension, [that] is substantially below that expected given the person’s chronological age, measured intelligence, and age-appropriate education” ( p. 48). Furthermore, the DSM IV (1994) states that this discrepancy described above must “significantly interfere with academic achievement or activities of daily living that require reading skills” (p. 48). The DSM IV (1994) also stipulates that “symptoms” of the disorder are described as an “inability to distinguish among common letters or to associate common phonemes with letter symbols” (p. 49) and that this inability is characterized by “distortions, substitutions, or omissions” in oral reading that is often, as Moran, 2
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with silent reading characterized by marked slowness and with “errors in comprehension” (p. 48). Heward in the Eighth Edition of Exceptional Children: An Introduction to Special Education (2006) suggests a similar but more precise description of the reading difficulties associated with dyslexia. Torgesen’s and Wagner’s 1998 work (as cited by Heward, 2006, p. 185) states that dyslexia involves “a dysfunction in the awareness of the phonological structure of words in oral language” as evidenced in “poor reading accuracy, fluency and ability to decode single words” and may also be compounded by a secondary problem coined by Wolf’s & Bower’s 2000 commentary (as cited by Heward, 2006, p. 185) regarding “a significant deficit in visual naming speed…compared to a typical reader.” However, unlike the DSM IV , Heward, as well as Mortimore in Dyslexia and Learning Style: A Practitioner’s Handbook (2003) and The International Dyslexia Association website suggests that dyslexia is far more than simply a
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2010 for the course UTL 341R taught by Professor Lagrone during the Fall '09 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Disabilitystudy2.1_A.Moran - Ashley K. Moran RHE...

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