View Full Version : for those whom can't read

08-14-2000, 12:06 PM
Some people have problems learning to read,others have dislexia. Is this a mental problem, because if it has certain physical issues, what kind of other things to people with dislexia see backwards, etc?

I have and uncle that can't read (he's been through serveral specailized programs that just don't help) but he's a great mechanic. he can fix any car by looking at the pictures in the manual. how come he doesn't see the pictures incorrectly?

Do Asian (people's whose alphebet is based on symbols rather than letters) have dislexia?

Does anyone get my drift?

Please don't take this as a dig at anyone with learning disabilities.

08-14-2000, 12:32 PM
First things first: your topic should be "for those who can't read.

08-14-2000, 12:52 PM
I suppose you read "FOR WHO THE BELL TOLLS"??

08-14-2000, 01:00 PM
Main Entry: whom
Pronunciation: 'hüm, üm
Function: pronoun, objective case of WHO
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English hwAm, dative of hwA who
Date: before 12th century
-- used as an interrogative or relative; used as object of a verb or a preceding preposition <to know for whom the bell tolls -- John Donne> or less frequently as the object of a following preposition <the man whom you wrote to> though now often considered stilted especially as an interrogative and especially in oral use -- occasionally used as predicate nominative with a copulative verb or as subject of a verb especially in the vicinity of a preposition or a verb of which it might mistakenly be considered the object <whom say ye that I am -- Matthew 16:15 (Authorized Version)> <people... whom you never thought would sympathize -- Shea Murphy

People, here, often look for mistakes to call you on rather than imput something of use.

I call them the underappreciated scholars.

08-14-2000, 01:06 PM
Now that we've finished picking on the grammar, let's get back to the OP.

Dyslexia is not "seeing things backwards." It's the inability to process certain bits of information. It's not a "mental problem" in the sense that you're stupid. Think of it more like not having the ability to taste the difference between beef and pork, or to smell the difference between an apple and a peach.

The reason people think it's seeing things backwards, is because when you ask a dyslexic to copy something, he (they're more often male) may reverse the letters. But the reversed letter doesn't make any more sense to him than the original does.

There are all sorts of reading problems that can't be easily explained to someone who doesn't have one. Mrs. Kunilou has a student who can read individual words perfectly, but can't figure them out when they're grouped together in a sentence.

Processing pictures or diagrams uses a different part of the brain, so someone who is dyslexic might have no trouble at all with that.

And, while I wouldn't swear to this, I'm pretty sure that people who use other languages can have the same processing problems, whether that langauge is left-to-right, right-to-left, alphabet-based or symbol-based.

Hat Doggie
08-14-2000, 01:26 PM
F.Y.I., letters ARE symbols.

08-14-2000, 01:41 PM
Ok, ok, I'll partially validate the FYI. But in the art of language, form still follows function. The definition of "letter" also mentions the "message written, placed in envelope, and mailed" version, but no one though I was talking about this.

thanks kunilou, but that begs the question that a dislexic person looking at ancient eqyptian hieroglyphs would see the pictures correctly when looking at them abstractly, but then get confused when trying to associate them into language. assuming that they were ancient dislexic egyptians of course. Is this what i'm hearing, or am i off base again?

08-14-2000, 02:00 PM
Originally posted by metroshane
I suppose you read "FOR WHO THE BELL TOLLS"??

This is two different uses of relative pronouns.

"for those (who/whom) can't read"
"Those" is the object of the preposition "for". The rest of the phrase is a subordinate clause. "Who" should be used as it's the subject of the subordinate clause.

"for (who/whom) the bell tolls"
This is a rearrangement of an interrogative sentence: "The bell tolls for (who/whom)?" Here, "whom" should be used; it is the object of the preposition "for".

Using "whom" where "who" should be used is like using "me" for "I". E.g., "I use a wheelchair, for me can't walk."

08-14-2000, 02:37 PM
Metroshane, again, there is a whole galaxy of reading/perception/learning diabilities. Some people simply can't understand a rebus (where images are used to represent a sound, and the sounds are grouped into words.) Mrs. Kunilou has even used sign langauage as a tool to work with some students with language problems.

I've also heard of people who can not think abstractly. They can recognize what the Titanic or QE2 is, but the word "ship" has no meaning to them.

Perhaps in my earlier post I should have said that "people who use other languages can have SIMILAR processing problems." The issue is not what you're looking at, but what your brain does or does not interpret it as representing.

The direct answer to your second question would be, it's impossible to tell what an ancient Egyptian dyslexic thinks he sees when he looks at the hieroglyphics.

08-14-2000, 02:39 PM
What's wrong with that, Tarzan?

Can anyone help me with the actual question. I promise I'll repost as...

This post is for those having direct knowledge of reading or learning disabilities.

08-14-2000, 02:50 PM
I don't know much about dyslexia, but I know a little bit about dysgraphia - a more generic term for difficulty in writing. This includes much of the behavior typically referred to as 'dyslexia', i.e. writing backwards, organizing sentences, etc. This is not often considered to be a visual problem as much as it is a sequential information or rationalizing problem. This could explain why your uncle can process visual information so well, but be unable to read. Although those who do have visual processing problems often have trouble reading or writing, too.

I can offer a little bit of anecdotal information -- a relative of mine has been tested for a dysgraphia I likely share, that of processing information backwards or out of order. I know and can recite the alphabet much easier backwards than forwards, and occasionally have to read sentences several times before I understand them. In various un- and scientific tests I've taken, I've scored very high in visual aspects.

panama jack

08-14-2000, 03:44 PM
Thanks for your imput.

I guess what i'd like to know is, in a specific scenerio, could someone that has a problem reading english text be able to learn some other type of language (like sign language, heiroglyphics) or would they run into the grouping problem again once it's related to an extended meaning.

how did the sign language technique fare?

08-14-2000, 04:09 PM
Mrs. Kunilou sometimes throws sign langauge into a "total" approach -- the written word, the spoken word, a picture of the thing the word represents, acting out what the word represents, whatever. Her goal is to somehow connect in the student's mind what he sees on the page with what it represents and if it takes an intermediate step (like associating a word to a picture) -- then that's what it takes.

In more normal terms, think of it as learning how to read by sounding a word out. If you had never seen the word "fish", you would sound out eff-ih-s-hhh, gradually shorten it to eff-ish and then fish, and then learn to associate the sound with the word, then finally the word with the meaning.

Mrs. Kunilou will tell you there is no single way to attack dyslexia. Some students can never see letters or words as anything more than lines and circles that don't connect into a recognizable pattern.