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Subject: Re: David Adams on dyslexia
From: "David M. Adams" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:TYPO-L Discussion of Type and Typographic Design <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 17 Jul 1997 03:05:42 -0100

text/plain (46 lines)

At 04:57 PM 7/16/97 -0500, you wrote:
>David Adams ([log in to unmask]) pulls out his dictionary:
>>Dyslexia - Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English
>>Language - n. Pathol. an impairment of the ability to read due to a brain
>>defect.  Ergo, anyone reading this is not dyslexic.
>>David Adams in Maryland
>I am sending David a reply *privately* - referring him to a well-known
>organization which has an excellent web-site dealing with dyslexia - as I
>know they share David's (and my) strong interest in educational issues
>relevant to literacy.

David replies: (from a reply to a private email with additions in parenthases)

I don't need any further definition (of the term by "professional"
organizations).  I am a "professional" and have several degrees in the
areas of language pathology and special education and I know what the term
means.  It has been misused for years, partially as an excuse for the
profit and proliferation of those who would create a "specialty" in that
which can be better handled by others.
(But also as the excuse for any personal failures, minor crimes and serial
murders.  I would not in ANY way detract from the efforts of those who DO
have problems learning to read and applaud their efforts to overcome their
problems.  But neither would I allow that "label" to excuse a lot that may
or may not occur AFTER this disability has been remediated.  It's sort of
like saying that one has a sore throat from tonsillitis so the tonsils are
removed and the person continues to say that their sore throat is due to
Reading ability (speed, fluency, accuracy, etc.) vary considerably in
individuals and some should certainly NOT aspire to be proof-readers or
speed-readers !  However, having had the "tonsilectomy" and having learned
to read, even with great difficulty, removes dyslexics from the ranks of
the dyslexic and dyslexia as the excuse for any further difficulties in
other areas of their lives unless of course they make a very unwise or even
foolish career choice.  For example, like a double arm amputee wishing to
become a hand type-setter ! <g>  It could possibly be done with tweezers in
the mouth, but really shouldn't be encouraged (or subsidized !) because
it's so much slower than the other way !  We all have limitations, physical
as well as mental which we should be realistic enough to accept, adapt to
and work around without using them as a perennial excuse.

David Adams in Maryland

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