1.7 Dyslexia as a distinctive condition
1.7.1 Differentiating dyslexia from other reading difficulties
The idea that dyslexia is distinctive from other forms of reading difficulty is still debated. One viewpoint is that reading ability is a simple continuum, with exceptionally gifted readers at one end and people with dyslexia at the other. However, as we have already seen, dyslexia involves more than just difficulties in reading and writing. Reading difficulties must be specific and accompanied by a variable profile of cognitive abilities. It is the presence of other characteristics unrelated to reading that makes dyslexia distinctive.
If dyslexia were simply part of a continuum (i.e. it was dimensional), can you suggest how we might go about identifying people with dyslexia?
Section 1.2 mentioned that conditions that are part of a normally distributed continuum lend themselves to identification by statistical means, perhaps using the standard deviation as a boundary between ‘normal’ and ‘dyslexic’ readers.