Thursday, June 07, 2012

Dyslexia and the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)

By: LD OnLine (2012)

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is not well known to the general public, yet it is very influential manual used to determine how doctors, teachers and other professionals interpret educational and mental health issues, how the press reports on them, and what kind of treatments and therapies will be covered by health insurance companies.

The DSM, published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), includes codes for all mental health disorders currently recognized. The 4th edition of the manual was last revised in 2000; the DSM-5 is scheduled to be released in May, 2013.

Small changes in the DSM can have a major impact on how conditions are understood and treated. Revisions to the 5th edition include changes to the name and types of learning disabilities that are identified within the document. Specifically:
Learning Disorder has been changed to Specific Learning Disorder and the previous types of Learning Disorder (Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Disorder of Written Expression) are no longer being recommended. The type of Learning Disorder will instead be specified as noted in the diagnosis.
Source: American Psychiatric Association

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Spotting the Signs of Dyslexia in Children & What to do next?

According to the British Dyslexia Association the following signs can help us spot dyslexia in children:

1. Persisting factors.

There are many persisting factors in dyslexia, which can appear from an early age. They will still be noticeable when the dyslexic child leaves school.
These include:
  • Obvious 'good' and 'bad' days, for no apparent reason,
  • Confusion between directional words, e.g. up/down, in/out,
  • Difficulty with sequence, e.g. coloured bead sequence, later with days of the week or numbers,
A family history of dyslexia/reading difficulties.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Highly able children with dyslexia

Dr Carrie Winstanley explains the principle of dual exceptionality with dyslexic children

Children with high ability and a difficulty, deficit or impairment are known as ‘dually exceptional’. When the difficulty is a sensory impairment, physical disability or identified syndrome such as Asperger’s, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), there is a high likelihood that a psychologist has been involved and useful recommendations have been presented. With dyslexia, there are so many issues that it can be very hard to find the right balance between remediation and challenge.

Dyslexia causes difficulties in learning to read, write and spell. Short-term memory, maths, concentration, personal organisation and sequencing may also be affected.’

(Dyslexia Institute, 2002)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Steven Naismith: Sean Connery helped me with dyslexia struggle


STEVEN Naismith, the Rangers and Scotland footballer, has revealed how Sir Sean Connery encouraged him to speak out about his struggle to cope with dyslexia.

The sports star told how the Hollywood film icon got in touch to urge him to join forces with Sir Jackie Stewart, the three-times Formula One world champion, who has long campaigned to raise awareness about the learning difficulty.

Naismith said that while some of his classmates at school would “snigger” when he read, the condition may positively influence his decision-making on the pitch.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Childhood Dyslexia - More Needed To Be Done

Even though there has considerable progress in the scientific understanding and medical treatments for dyslexia over the past five years, a study published Online First in The Lancet states that a significant amount of research still needs to be conducted in order to completely understand the causes of the disorder and to improve the lives of children affected by it.

Usually dyslexia is not diagnosed until after children experience serious difficulties in school, however, at this time it is harder for these children to master new skills. According to the researchers, late diagnosis could prevent children with the disorder from achieving the best outcomes.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Living with Dyslexia: Anna Franz story


When Anna Franz, a 23-year-old UAB exchange student from Munich, Germany, was in elementary school, she desperately told her mother: “Mommy, I think there is only space for one word in my head.” She realized that she had much more difficulty learning how to read and write than most other children of her age.

Franz is one of several persons in her family to struggle from dyslexia, a reading and writing disorder.

Despite Franz’s fight with orthography and reading, she has been successful in school. Unlike many other people with the same symptoms, she graduated from high school in 2008 and is currently studying biology as an exchange student at UAB.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Schoolboy conquers Ben Nevis

A PORTISHEAD schoolboy and his dad braved snow and ice to raise more than £500 for charity.

 Steven Wait decided he wanted to raise some money for Dyslexia Action, a national organisation that helps to change the lives of people affected by dyslexia and literacy difficulties.

The 10-year-old has attended the St Barnabas dyslexia centre in West Hill, which is supported by Dyslexia Action, since being diagnosed with dyslexia two years ago.

His mum Caroline said: “Steven has made great progress with the expert tuition he has received and said he wanted to raise money to help other children in his situation.”

Steven, a pupil at St Peter’s Primary School, and his father Nick decided to take up the challenge of climbing Ben Nevis and asked friends and family to sponsor them. They completed the climb in seven-and-a-half hours on April 7.

Steven said: “It was quite tough and there was quite a lot of snow above 2,000ft but it was worth it.
Anyone still wanting to sponsor the pair can do so by emailing

More than six million people in the UK are dyslexic and Dyslexia Action aims to help remove barriers to learning and employment for people with dyslexia.

The Western Mercury