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The Types of Dyslexia
Dyslexia is a neurological condition that causes difficulties in learning. The condition most often affects reading, writing, and spelling, causing difficulties with word recognition and decoding abilities. These difficulties can lead to reading comprehension problems, which can delay vocabulary skills and general knowledge that comes from positive reading experiences. Dyslexia can additionally affect mathematical abilities.
Three main types of dyslexia are dyseidetic dyslexia, dysphonetic dyslexia, and dysphoneidetic dyslexia. Dyseidetic dyslexia is associated with the functioning in the brain in the angular gyrus of the left parietal lobe. A student with dyseidetic dyslexia has poor sight-word recognition abilities and has problems remembering whole irregular, or eidetic, words. Since dyseidetic dyslexics phonetically sound out, or decode, and phonetically spell, or encode, these students often read better than they spell. Dysphonetic Dyslexia is associated with the functioning of Wernicke’s Area of the left temporal lobe. A student with this type of dyslexia is unable to sound out phonetically regular, or phonetic, words. Students with dysphonetic dyslexia learn words through memorization, and unknown words are often substituted or skipped while reading.
Dysphoneidetic Dyslexia is a combination of deficits in functioning in the angular gyrus and Wernicke’s Area. A student with this type of dyslexia often has weak visual-motor skills. Dysphoneidetic dyslexia is the severest form of the condition and often the most difficult to treat.
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Diagnosis of Dysphoneidetic Dyslexia
Before any one of the types of dyslexia can be treated, they must be diagnosed. Formal assessment is necessary before a student can qualify for special services from his school. Testing for dyslexia is usually done by an educational psychologist. Parents of children experiencing learning difficulties who attend public school in the U.S. are legally entitled to request evaluation through the school district. The condition can be assessed through a profile that shows whether a student has a typical pattern of strengths and weaknesses, while other assessments rule out other possible causes of difficulties, such as vision or hearing problems.
After diagnosis, a student with dysphoneidetic dyslexia usually requires individualized therapy, which may include cognitive processing therapy, phonological processing therapy, and direct multi-sensory instruction. This therapy usually involves weekly sessions. The therapist meets with the student's parents and explains what was taught and what was practiced during the session. Home therapy is often assigned for the student to practice skills outside of clinical therapy.
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Accommodations to Help
Students with one of the types of dyslexia will need academic accommodations to ease difficulties experienced in the classroom. Some accommodations can include:
- Audiotapes/CDs of textbooks so student can follow the text while listening.
- Peer reading groups.
- Use of highlighter or highlighting tape to indicate important information.
- Chapter summaries.
- Use of colored transparency.
- Vocabulary review before reading.
- Access to preview questions.
- No requirements to read aloud.
- Alternatives to written assignments (posters, oral or video presentations, projects, collages).
- Oral and written directions to assignments.
- Individual time with teacher to check for understanding.
- Designated note taker.
- Oral responses to assignments.
- Assignments graded on content only, not spelling or handwriting.
- Dictation of answers to essay questions.
- Reduced written work.
- Unlimited time as needed to complete tests.
- Tests read aloud and oral responses allowed.
- Typed test materials, rather than tests written in cursive.
- Student responses on tape, on a computer, or by dictating answers to a tutor for assessment.
- Isolated testing in a room with few distractions.
- Reduced reading assignments.
- Limited amount of time to spend on homework.
Dysphoneidetic dyslexia will pose lifelong challenges for a student. With intensive intervention and academic accommodations, a student can achieve his maximum potential.
- Region 10 Education Service Center, (2010).
- What is dyslexia? The Dyslexia Center of Princeton, (2009).