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Term "Dyslexia" Not Used In Schools Per Federal Guideline Adopted by Florida

Wednesday, November 13th,2013

Dyslexia makes it very difficult for children to read, write, and spell. According to the National Institutes of Health, it's the most common learning disability in our country, so it might surprise you to learn that Florida Public Schools don't use the term at all.The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the handbook that healthcare professionals use to diagnose patients, dropped the term dyslexia when they published a revised edition in May. Now it includes the same title school districts use, "Specific Learning Disorder with Reading Impairment." Dyslexia is noted as an alternative term, but does not have it's own heading. "We never use that word in the school system," said Bay District School Psychologist Dr. Mimi Bozarth. "Dyslexia is a medical term, a medical diagnosis. In the school system we use educational categories. The child has the same problem, we call it something different," she explained.

According to Dr Levinson, "You need to be both a psychiatrist and a dyslexia expert with lots of clinical experience to understand the confusion going on. The first of many misassumptions is to define the medical disorder dyslexia as only a severe reading impairment, rather than a syndrome of many symptoms of varying severities, with reading being only one; and some having abnormal reading mechanisms yet normal or above reading test scores. Since many still view dyslexia or learning disorders to be of educational origin, and thus cured by educational techniques which may normalize reading test values, changing the name is irrelevant. Thus"curing"the score is misassumed to cure the disorder rather than improving a symptom. Schools and official diagnostic criteria recognizing one name for the same disorder but not another makes sense only when using neurotic-like reasoning. This illogic would be similar to defining diabetes as a high blood sugar disorder. And then redefining it under Eating or Nutritional Disorders, since the blood sugars may normalize or even drop below normal with proper diets. Even worse, who now would consider diabetes cured once the blood sugars are stabilized while not recognizing it to be a syndrome affecting many body-brain organs?"

About Harold Levinson, M.D.

Formerly Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York University Medical Center, Dr. Harold Levinson is currently Director of the Levinson Medical Center for Learning Disabilities in Great Neck, New York. He is a well known neuropsychiatrist, clinical researcher and author. His "highly original" research into the cerebellar-vestibular (inner-ear) origins and treatment of dyslexia and related learning, attention-deficit/hyperactivity and anxiety or phobic disorders has evolved over the past four decades. Levinson's concepts encompass the collective insights derived from the examinations, follow-up and successful treatment of over 35,000 children, adults and even seniors and have led to new methods of screening, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. His expanded theories appear capable of encompassing and/or explaining all reported symptoms as well as most other concepts and experimental data, thus resulting in a truly holistic perspective.

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