The following paper discusses learning disorders, specifically, dyslexia, that are present within school age children between the ages of seven and twelve. During this age, most average children have the ability to read, write, spell, think, listen and do mathematical problems with minimal difficulties (Silver, 1993, p. 109). On the other hand, children with learning disorders, specifically dyslexia, struggle to grasp these concepts because they have visual perception problems. When a child lacks visual perception skills, the child is really lacking the ability to organize or position the way something is seen. Furthermore, the child may confuse shapes, order of letters, and may not be able to focus on a specific object for a long period of time.
For example, a child experiencing these difficulties may confuse the shape of a triangle for a square or see the word 'bat' and read the letters backward which results in them actually seeing 'tab.' Finally, as many as fifteen to thirty percent of children within the United States undergo this problem and are said to have a reading disorder, caused by and known as dyslexia. Many studies have been conducted to find out more about this disorder; however, they all seem to suggest that dyslexia runs throughout families and is passed on to many children genetically. Dr. Larry Cardon, a statistical geneticist, found evidence that 'a gene for dyslexia sits on chromosome number six, which is one of the twenty-three chromosomes,' (Cardon, 1994, p. 271). Secondly, another expert finding was presented by Dr.
Glen Rosen, a Harvard neuroscientist, as he explained that nerve cells within the left hemisphere of the brain tend to appear smaller than in the right hemisphere. Dr. Rosen believed this difference in size of nerve cells could possibly be enough to 'throw off the timing of the brain and disrupt its crucial word processing skills,' (Alexander & Gorman, 1994, p. 61). Following this, Dr. Albert Bala burda, a neurologist from Harvard, showed that the brain of dyslexic people are 'bombarded with tiny lesions and out-of-place cells which explains that the core of the problem may live in the machinery that controls prenatal development,' (Nash, 1996, p.
62). In conclusion, even though all of these findings pose somewhat different views, they all have a biological and genetic cause for dyslexia in common. Dr. E. Boder (1973) a neurologist and researcher of dyslexia broke down the disorder into three different subtypes, in order to establish a technique to teach children with different degrees of dyslexia (Masutto & Brava r, 1994, p. 520).
The first subtype is known as dysphonetic dyslexia. When these children read, they tend to insert or delete letters and syllables. Following this is dysedetic dyslexia, where children can not recognize words as a whole and seem to read very slowly. Lastly, there is mixed dyslexia and children with this subtype experience both dysphonetic and dysedetic dyslexia; furthermore, mixed dyslexia causes these children more academic failure than any other subtype. After Boder developed definitions for the above subtypes, Dr.
D. Bakker analyzed them further and classified these subtypes based on how fast or slow a child reads and the ability the child has to read well and without many mistakes. Bakker's three subtypes were linguistic, perceptual, and mixed dyslexia. Linguistic dyslexia referred to a child's ability to read fast; however many mistakes were present because the child omitted and added letters and syllables.
This is similar to Boder's dysphonetic dyslexia. Secondly, perceptual dyslexia exists when a child reads accurately yet slowly; but nonetheless, proportional to Boder's theory. Lastly, Bakker's third subtype, mixed dyslexia, is comparable to Boder's mixed dyslexia in that they both are a combination of the first and second subtypes. Children who are dyslexic should be tested at early ages by either educational specialists or psychologists in order to evaluate exactly what kind of treatment program is necessary for them since each child is unique and an individual. The child's educational strengths and weakness, estimated scholastic aptitude, behavior patterns, and learning styles should be considered when determining a treatment plan (Orton, 1993, p.
3). Lastly, it is also important for the specialist or psychologist to know exactly what biological causes have been suggested for the child's case of dyslexia. There are three approaches for treating dyslexic children and they include the developmental, corrective, and remedial approach. The developmental approach suggests that teachers should instruct in small groups or individually because extra time and attention may be necessary for some dyslexic children. The corrective approach also takes place in small or individual groups; however, it allows the child to explore special interests so that the child can rely on his or her own special abilities in order to overcome difficulties. Finally, in the remedial approach 'it is considered essential to determine the skills that are most difficult and then apply individualized techniques to remedy deficits in those skills.
In conclusion, there are many expert opinions on how dyslexia results; however, not one specific cause has been established. Even though dyslexia causes different types of reading disorders, each one is treatable. Lastly, it is imperative to diagnose dyslexia and other learning disorders in children at young ages in order to begin teaching them helpful skill that make the disorder easier to handle and understand.