Dyslexia As Myth


    Do not think about, write about or deal with  human behavior without determining the effects of incentives.

     In an article about the concept of dyslexia, Elliott and Grigorenko examine the usefulness of the concept of dyslexia.

   One of the arguments for the value of the concept, not endorsed by the authors, is that dyslexia provides a useful way to get extra assistance for children. Alas, this argument may have value if the “help” were effective. Unfortunately, the “help” is almost always more of the same, sometimes in a one-to-one setting. Sometimes, the student is treated to Reading Recovery which is another version of the method which didn’t work the first time the student was exposed to it.

   Another problem with dyslexia, as with all other hypothetical causes, is that it’s regarded as a category, not a continuum, as the authors point out. In other words, the ability to read is distributed unevenly across people, as are all abilities. Thence, dyslexia is not present or absent, but present (or absent) in some amount.

   Another argument for hypothetical entities in education, or psychotherapy, or rehabilitation, or any activity where behavior change is the purpose, it that attention shifts from effective programs to endless discussion about the hypothetical entities.

   An argument for the usefulness of “thorough testing” is that it will lead to more effective intervention. This assumption, based on the undeniable importance of diagnosis in medicine, is assumed, but never demonstrated, in education. There are opportunities, whose usefulness have been demonstrated many times, to find weak components in the ability set and strengthen these skills by programming and directed practice. These components can only be discovered by dynamic testing, watching the behavior of the student while he is being taught. 

Government Job or Respect–Which’ll It Be?
Cheerio and ttfn,
Grant Coulson, Ph.D.
Author, “Days of Songs and Mirrors: A Jacobite in the ‘45.”
Cui Bono–Cherchez les Contingencies


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