Today the Guardian has reported that a French scientist has discovered that dyslexia could be an issue with the eyes, a problem of optical origin rather than the brain.
The scientist claims to have discovered differences in the way that the eye work for those that are dyslexic versus those that are not and have found a way to help people with dyslexia read more easily using a special light.
"French scientists claim they may have found a physiological, and seemingly treatable, cause for dyslexia hidden in tiny light-receptor cells in the human eye.
In people with the condition, the cells were arranged in matching patterns in both eyes, which may be to blame for confusing the brain by producing “mirror” images, the co-authors wrote in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
In non-dyslexic people, the cells are arranged asymmetrically, allowing signals from the one eye to be overridden by the other to create a single image in the brain.
“Our observations lead us to believe that we indeed found a potential cause of dyslexia,” said the study’s co-author, Guy Ropars, of the University of Rennes."
Courtesy of The Guardian Website
A friend of mine made me aware of the article which is in itself an interesting read but I ended up writing an email back which I would like to share with you...
Thanks for sending this article to me.. Certainly an interesting read but with the little that I know about Dyslexia I think that the article is showing some ignorance about what dyslexia is. The article plays into the stereotype that all dyslexics have a problem with writing letters and words. Indeed the word Dyslexia is made up from the Greek which describes word blindness, but in more recent years the ‘stereotype’ has been classified as a condition called Meares Irlen Syndrome which covers all the issues with jumbled up words and text that happens when one reads and writes with that condition. Often this is sorted out with a specific coloured overlay (the colour being specific to the person).
Dyslexia now is thought to be more of a processing disorder in the brain whereby it affects the information that we absorb through reading but also through listening to language. In my case, I can read text clearly, but I need to read it a number of times to absorb the information, to process it. Equally if you give me five instructions verbally, I might only remember two because I can’t process it quick enough (ever wondered why sat nav is so popular?).
Both Meares Irlen and Dyslexia can occur at the same time but not always and the statistics show that 10% of the UK population has it with 4% severely so and I read that as probably having Meares Irlen too as well as a number of other aspects of conditions such as dyspraxia (problems spatially) , Autistic spectrum disorder, dysgraphia (problems with writing) etc etc.
So I wonder if this discovery is about Meares Irlen which will be brilliant if the research works out but sadly the article will be poo pooed because it is showing its ignorance as to what the latest understanding of dyslexia really is.
Apologies for the long email, but this is really interesting to me and I appreciate you pinging it over.
Fancy a coffee soon?
All the best,
So what are your thoughts on the article?
Personally, I think that it is great for news of discoveries with dyslexia being circulated, but the writer of the article has demonstrated a lack of knowledge about what dyslexia is. Now I am no expert but as a parent, I am concerned that articles like this confounds hope for those that are really struggling in having dyslexia or for that matter Meares Irlen (visual stress). Many people will view having dyslexia as a gift, so why cure it as it clearly gives as much to the lives of those that have it as much as challenges that so often comes with having both conditions especially when studying or working in a text heavy work environment.
Please do comment on this post below as I would love to know your thoughts.
Click here to read an article from the Irlen Institute that gives an excellent insight into the differences between Dyslexia and Meares Irlen Syndrome.
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