A new book claims diagnosis of dyslexia is questionable
The controversy centers on a book co-authored by academics on either side of the Atlantic:Julian Elliott, professor of education at Durham University in the U.K., and Elena L. Grigorenko, professor of psychology at Yale in the U.S. In The Dyslexia Debate, they argue diagnosis of dyslexia is often highly questionable, and the term has become a meaningless catch-all. Rather than wait until a child has been diagnosed – and then giving them the standard interventions offered to dyslexics – we should focus on making sure support is more closely tied to their needs. Children who struggle to read should not need a diagnosis before they get help.
According to Dr. Harold Levinson
there would be no debate were dyslexia properly understood and defined to begin with. All the reading and non-reading symptoms in dyslexia were discovered by Dr. Levinson due to a dysfunction within the inner-ear and cerebellum. And inner-ear-enhancing medications significantly improve all symptoms in 75-85% of treated dyslexics. Hence the need for a reliable diagnosis. Importantly, a diagnosis should not impede remediation and tutoring based on the impaired functions determined by neuropsychological and educational testing. These steps can be done independent of diagnosis, as the authors state. The real problem is reliable definitions and diagnosis of dyslexia. To date, existing definitions and concepts are incorrect and lead to confusion, such as the one reviewed within The Dyslexia Debate. Without proper inner-ear neurological findings and diagnostic tests proposed by Dr. Levinson, it would be difficult to separate and holistically treat dyslexics whose symptoms vary dramatically from one to another.
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 Center for Learning Disabilities in Long Island, New York. He is a well-known neuropsychiatrist, clinical researcher and author.
By Harold Levinson
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