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Semi-mis-take on dyslexia

Posted Sep 25 2005 12:00am

According to an organization that describes itself as Citizens Commission on Human Rights (yes, it omits the possessive apostrophe) but that is a product of the Church of Scientology, psychiatrists misrepresent and mistreat dyslexia. I have reservations about psychiatry that is founded on intrapsychic bologna, but the take that the scientologist have seems askew to me.

Unable to find a real cause for dyslexia, psychiatrists claimed it was a “specific reading disorder,” characterized by distortion or substitution of words, omissions in oral and silent reading and “errors in comprehension.” Pediatric neurologist Fred Baughman Jr., says, accepting dyslexia as a brain-based problem “is doing incredible damage to these individuals and to the country.”

The problem is that there’s ample evidence of differences between the brain functions of individuals who have dyslexia and those who read normally. For a general introduction, see Sally Shaywitz’s fine book, Overcoming Dyslexia. (There’s also evidence that those differences can be changed, but that’s content for another post.)

This description is followed by a potpourri of causes, including dysteachia. So, they get it only partially right. Ah well….As Liz Ditz notes in her analysis of another site’s reference to this, there are lots of problems with scientology.

Link to the CCHR entry. (Thanks to Liz, I Speak of Dreams, for the starting place!)

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