Steve Long Salinas17 at AOL.COM
Thu Mar 22 03:40:55 UTC 2001

In a message dated 3/21/2001 5:52:53 PM, bates at CRL.UCSD.EDU writes:
<< Because the disorder is defined entirely on behavioral grounds, by
relatively broad
criteria, it is entirely possible that some forms of developmental dyslexia
are really environmental (i.e. kids who can't read well for reasons that have
more to do with the family culture). >>

And this raises the issue of whether the different forms of "dyslexia" can be
defined by differences in behavior.

One alternative is that different causes (acquired or environmental) result
in similar, indistinguishable behavior.  The other is that observable
behavioral differences correlate to the different causes.  Then there is the
gray area in between those two alternatives.

In any case, it should be noted that "dys-" in "dyslexia" refers most
basically to a behavioral matter.  Physiological variances that are merely
innocent variances are not ordinarily thought of as dysfunctional.  The fact
that skin melanin varies does not make its lack "dysfunctional," although
more melanin is certainly an advantage in certain climates.

What the Italian-English-French study hints at is that, in certain linguistic
environments, the particular physiological condition studied is NOT
"dysfunctional," while in others it is.  So, to some degree, it's suggested
that it is not the underlying physiological condition that is "dys-" but
rather its expression in a particular environment (i.e., among learners of
English.)  And it is behavior that apparently changes from one language
context to another.  This is therefore, at least from the point of view of
dysfunctionally, environmentally determined.

In a message dated 3/21/2001 4:26:51 PM, krussll at CC.UMANITOBA.CA writes:
<< And this isn't even counting the kinds of dyslexics who are liable to see
"banana" and read "apple" or "yellow",... >>

Wouldn't it be interesting to somehow know if this happens significantly more
often in English than Italian (or vice versa)?

In an earlier post, Liz Bates wrote:
<<What we CANNOT conclude from this study is whether the temporal lobe areas
defective in dyslexics (on biological grounds) or whether that is just what a
healthy brain looks like when it is reading badly (so that I might show it in
a language I don't know well, and children might show it when they are
learning to read).>>

But wouldn't the initial impression from the research be, at minimum, that
statistically, if I do show the physiological signs, I will be more likely to
read badly in English as opposed to Italian?

Steve Long

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