The Education of the Dyslexic Child: Relating Remedial Strategies to Diagnostic Considerations

Kodama, Ronald
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Within the past decade, since the early 1960's, special educators have turned increasing attention to the child of normal intelligence who is unable to learn in school. Among these children are a number frequently diagnosed as dyslexic, that is, as having major primary difficulty in learning to read. At the same time that a general disaffection with public education has been growing nationally, confusion has mounted regarding how best to help children with reading problems. A study on the problem of dyslexia and related disorders reports that incidence in the United States of public-school children who are seriously underachieving in reading is estimated to be between 10% and 20% of the white middle-class population, with an even higher incidence or failure reported among the economically depressed groups or our society (Zedler, 1967). According to this study, there may be as many as 8,000,000 to 20,000,000 of our school population who have reading problems. Issues are complicated by the financial plight of the school in the face of economic uncertainty and taxpayer reluctance to vote additional taxes to support the controversy-ridden schools (Schiffman, 1971). The militancy of teachers has increased as a result of their frustrated efforts to improve their economic position and secure a voice in decision making in education. Competition for the still immense, even though limited, funds available for the education of children has increased among groups within the educational structure itself, as well as among groups outside the schools. Amid all of this confusion the decade of the seventies has been designated by the United States Office of Education as the period for the “Right to Read” campaign. The goal is that by 1980 no child in the nation who has reached 10 years of age will be achieving in reading at a lower level than is consistent with his general ability.
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