View Full Version : Is there such a thing as non-dyslexia reading disability?


ursus
09-14-07, 02:21 AM
At least some of us (my daughter and I, for staters) have difficulty reading on demand, and reading some types of material. I do fine with novels (because I get sucked into another world) but technical reading or newspapers or non-fiction are hard. My eyes just seem to skitter off the page in mid sentence. I never really realized this until I started stimulant meds (at the age of 52). I picked up a newspaper and read a short article in a linear fashion from beginning to end. I was stunned. I not only had never done it before, but never even realized it was possible, or "normal" to read that way. I turned to my spouse and asked "do you guys all do this?" The look on her face when she realized what I was asking was priceless.

I don't think I'm dyslexic (at least the way I understand it) because I can read some things with ease, and can read really dense technical stuff in micro-bursts. I think it's a cognitive / distractability issue. [It's ironic because I have a PhD is science, yet have never read a journal article. (I pick bits and pieces out over time, look at the figures, read a caption or two, but (I swear) have never just sat down and read a paper through at one go).]

My daughter is in high school, and I see the same issue in her. Once I even watched her eyeballs bounce around when she was trying to read a few pages for history. She tried really hard to read a single paragraph for at least half an hour. Ended up in tears asking "why can't I read this, everyone else can?".

Does anyone else have this kind of reading issue? Does it ever get discussed as an actual reading disability? (We're putting her 504 plan together next week, which is why the topic is t.d.c. now.)

(apologies, I can't be the first one to have brought this up. I DID look for older threads on this without success. If they are there could someone please point to them? Other resources?)

Thanks in advance, gang, -u

boone1
09-14-07, 05:14 PM
It might be an ADHD thing. I don't consider myself dyslexic because I don't fit the criteria but I do have alot of trouble reading.

For example, when I start reading I see something else in the next paragraph so I automatically start to read that instead, then I realise and go back to the first paragraph and then just do it again. I also read one line at least twice before iv'e even noticed that im reading the same line again! I cannot read fluently and I also can't seem to retain anything I read unless it's purely factual. (Like statistics, data, information that I am gathering etc.)

I put this all down to lack of attention.

MissAdhd
09-14-07, 06:27 PM
dyslexia is not the only learning disability.. i'm not familar with other ones but i know my sisters step daughter went in for all kinds of testing and came back with different possibilities

busyhermit
09-14-07, 06:56 PM
Well, ursus - I don't know the explanation either but I can say that relate to your description to the letter. I got good grades all through college but never read a textbook. Not that I didn't want to - - I'd try, and like your daughter - after an hour spent trying to read just one or two pages of a biochemistry textbook I'd resign in frustration. Doesn't do a lot for the self-esteem either. However, if it was discussed at lecture, I'd absorb it without a problem - thus the good grades. Don't believe I've EVER read a newspaper.

Anyhow, I don't understand it entirely - but I think it could be a combination of issues with me:

Number one is interest vs. impatience. I can read a Steven King story without any trouble - except for once or twice when I thought it was a boring story. That's something that I usually find fascinating, so even though I bite my nails and jiggle my leg and get a headache, I can still hang in there and read. If I'm trying to get some information that I need from an online article, however - wow - it's really a struggle between the need/want to know and the impatience with having to read. I jump around and skip through as fast as possible trying to find the info because it's making me crazy. I wanna know NOW - someone just TELL me!! And feeling guilty that I'm not just reading it carefully like anyone else in world would in order to actually learn something... That part sounds like the ADHD in me.

All that aside, I really do have some kind of a cognitive malfunction when it comes to reading. The best way I've ever found to describe it is that if a sentence is quite long and complicated (like those in a biochemistry textbook, for example), by the time I've reached the end of the sentence, I don't what it's referring to because I've forgotten the beginning of the sentence. I just can't pull the whole sentence together into something that makes sense because I simply cannot keep that many balls in the air at once. It's extremely frustrating, and was always very confusing because I considered myself to be an intelligent person. Trying to read anything like this made me feel stupid. I experience the same frustration if I try to do any kind of a calculation in my head. I can only juggle about two balls - by the third step, I have no idea what the first step was...GRRRR.

Anyways, congrats on getting a PhD despite this difficulty - you'll be able to inspire your daughter that even though this problem makes you FEEL stupid, it doesn't mean you are. Just means were not good jugglers, I guess. I can live with that.

OH btw - I've never thought of myself as dyslexic. Athough I do mix up left and right a lot, I don't notice any other signs of it.

Crazy~Feet
09-14-07, 09:52 PM
Athough I do mix up left and right a lot, I don't notice any other signs of it.
Question: what are your math skills like?

busyhermit
09-15-07, 12:05 AM
Hi C~F. I saw your mention of dyscalcula (sp) earlier. Is this what you're thinking about? I can do math on paper and did OK in school, was even OK at algebra once I caught on. But I can't do a darn thing in my head. And even on paper I am slow and methodical and every detail must be written out, because I'm liable to lose track and won't know what I did or didn't do. I've also never been able to memorize the times tables. Once it gets up beyond the point where I can visualize the quantities (pretty much anything over what you'd see on a pair of dice), I have problems and just have to count it out. If I need to add a string of numbers (on a paper of course), I usually have to resort to counting them out with my pen, making dots beside the numbers kind of like dice, and keep saying the running total out loud so I won't forget it.

It sure feels the same as the reading thing - - that sensation of taking a step, and simply losing the idea or thought that occurred just two steps before. It just falls away - vanishes - and there's no retrieving it without starting over.

Crazy~Feet
09-15-07, 12:32 AM
Yes Hermit, that sounds to some extent what I am talking about. On the screener I took, difficulty with telling right from left was mentioned (I do not have this componenent). Counting on the fingers, or possibly with dots (I do that, too) failure to memorize the times tables, etc.

Like I said, I answered yes to 18 of 22 questions :o...I have a lot more going on in addition to what I mentioned above. My results on addition and subraction were inconsistent right from the beginning, I began having serious difficulty around the time division was introduced and I was washing out when we got to fractions. Algebra was hell on Earth, because the concept of "equations" eludes me. I just don't get them at all.


I could not tell time until I was 8 or 9 years old (clocks baffled me). I stink at strategic games like Monopoly or chess (step by step to a goal...sounds like math to me!). I am actually quite frightened by the mere thought of doing any type of math at all, and prefer to use a calculator for even simple addition and subtraction.

ursus
09-15-07, 08:37 PM
Well, ursus - I got good grades all through college but never read a textbook. Not that I didn't want to - - I'd try, and like your daughter - after an hour spent trying to read just one or two pages of a biochemistry textbook I'd resign in frustration. Doesn't do a lot for the self-esteem either. However, if it was discussed at lecture, I'd absorb it without a problem - ........

The best way I've ever found to describe it is that if a sentence is quite long and complicated (like those in a biochemistry textbook, for example), by the time I've reached the end of the sentence, I don't what it's referring to because I've forgotten the beginning of the sentence. I just can't pull the whole sentence together into something that makes sense because I simply cannot keep that many balls in the air at once. It's extremely frustrating, and was always very confusing because I considered myself to be an intelligent person. Trying to read anything like this made me feel stupid. BH - this all sounds like exactly what I am talking about.

The question for the group is: Does this ever get acknowledged as a disability at the level of school districts, etc.? If so, what is it called?

I ask because my daughter is at a stage where formal recogintion of this, and providing accommodations for it, could change her path through life in the near-term.

(Too late for me, all I can do is look back and say "ah-hah! so that's it! I've got two papers I'm coauthor on, and I can't even read the drafts to see if what they say I said makes sense!)

-u

(BH, this is the second time I've felt like you (whoever you are) and I live in very parallel worlds).

busyhermit
09-15-07, 11:02 PM
It's wild, isn't it? - finding people who share these things after so long of feeling alone... Sorry, I don't know if it's acknowledged by schools or if it's even named. I'd love to hear about it if anyone knows, though - my son is just in kindergarten now, so I don't know yet if he might have inherited this problem.

QueensU_girl
09-15-07, 11:26 PM
It could be a visual LD. My Mom has one of those (diagnosed at age 62).

It makes things like reading labels, difficult.

Some people also have problems with contrast against backgrounds. e.g. scotopic sensitivity syndrome.

You might want to look up visual perceptual LDs.

meadd823
09-16-07, 01:19 AM
In case any one is interested in the various learning disabilities LD info Zone (http://www.ncld.org/content/view/447/391/)


Types of Learning Disabilities (http://www.ldaamerica.org/aboutld/teachers/understanding/types.asp)



Size and type of text may have some baring but also the amount of information presented may also play a part.

With complex information that I am trying to memorize it takes me a lot longer to read than it does most people. When one combines short attention spans to long boring pieces of stuff that has to be memorized frustration often results. Before medication I am unsure how I learned any thing. What actually made it through the dyslexic brain was short lived due to the non-existent ADD distraction threshold. I am not even touching the trouble I had with sitting long enough to read which was about an average of 30 seconds.



Also some people are better auditory learner than they are visual learners.

What's YOUR Learning Style?
(http://www.usd.edu/trio/tut/ts/style.html)

Multiple Intelligence Inventory
(http://www.ldrc.ca/projects/miinventory/miinventory.php)

I think I have done the multiple intelligence one before. I got a graphic thing that looked like an umbrella. My learn style is almost always without preference. I am guess that means I confuse the test. :o

Any way I hope one of these hyperlinks helps.

busyhermit
09-16-07, 09:09 AM
Interesting, Mead - going to have to take more time to read thru all of this. Glanced at it and must say the Memory section seem to apply most to this problem in my case. "Working Memory" most of all - it's virtually non-existant in me. The impatience certainly plays it's part, though.

(from the first link):
“Working memory” refers to the ability to hold on to pieces of information until the pieces blend into a full thought or concept. For example, reading each word until the end of a sentence or paragraph and then understanding the full content.
That's what I meant by "can't juggle".

I've also noticed that things don't get stored in long-term memory very well either. For example - I needed to swap out our old stereo system for a new one yesterday. There are quite a few components in our set-up (TV, DVD, Phono, VCR, Tivo, Stereo and a hub). I did all of the previous wiring myself a year or so ago and understood perfectly then what I was connecting to what and why. But yesterday? Not a clue. I had to start from the cable coming in through the floor and follow all the wires and draw a picture with boxes and lines and labels so I could understand it again. Mind you, this is not the first time - I have to do this every time. Now wouldn't you think someone would just REMEMBER something instead of having to RELEARN it every time? I could list many more examples of this.

ursus
09-17-07, 02:36 AM
The question for the group is: Does this ever get acknowledged as a disability at the level of school districts, etc.? If so, what is it called?


OK - after reflection, and in the absence of people leaping at the chance to answer this question (the motivation for this thread), I'll try to answer my question.

"Ursus, it's called AD(H)D. It a recognized learning disability, which is why 504 plans get written specifically for ADHD. It's a disability for several reasons, including distractiblity, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity. The specific reading issue you bring up is part of the spectrum of things all lumped under AD(H)D, and does not have it's own name. It's a flavor, or subspecies or something. -u"

sunrise1408
10-08-07, 06:10 PM
My 8yr old son has just been diagnosed this week with Mearles-Irlene Syndrome. It is also known as Scotopic sensitivity Syndrome. I had never heard of it until this week, truly. Frustratingly, it has taken us almost 5 yrs to find answers. As well as everything QueensU_girl said, it also messes with your perception of depth because everything can appear jumpy, snowy or moving, even patterned furnishings! This would explain the few near misses my boy has had with trying to jump distances or wanting to tight rope a car park wall that has a 2 storey drop the other side! There is quite alot to this condition and I am still looking into it. I always thought he had dyslexia, so I was quite shocked when I was told. He is 24mths+ behind in every aspect of his life and education. Its worth a look if you are searching for answers.



It could be a visual LD. My Mom has one of those (diagnosed at age 62).

It makes things like reading labels, difficult.

Some people also have problems with contrast against backgrounds. e.g. scotopic sensitivity syndrome.

You might want to look up visual perceptual LDs.

QueensU_girl
10-08-07, 07:05 PM
Serious Visual LDs or Serious Working Memory disabilities (ADD) can cause problems with reading skills, for sure.

In the first case, the person can't read labels b/c they can have problems with Visual "perception" (the way their eyes literally interpret the stimuli they are viewing). My Mom has a Visual Perceptual LD which affects "Visual Closure". For example, this affects the seeing of Shapes or Letters on a Label. It could be compared to reading Braille with your Fingers, while having calluses on your FIngertips. The info can't get INSIDE (be "perceived"; getting to the retina/optic nerve to the brain). It it an input and decoding problem at the Sensory (and then Perceptual) levels.

I believe that Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (affects Rods or Cones in eye) is another Visual Perceptual disorder that can cause Reading problems. The issue is the contrast of text against background, IIRC. (Long time since i took the Psychology of the Sensory and Perceptual system, or whatver that course was. LOL).

A second Visual LD can involve "visual processing". It can be impaired or so slow that the info gets lost.

Can't have understanding if you can't get the word to TRAVEL to the brain. Processing is like the nerve signal speed or "modem speed" of a computer. Impaired processing, means it doesn't get into the brain, or it is so garbled, that it is as good as encrypted.

Imagine reading a whole sentence when you only get to see one word or letter at a time? How good would your memory (and Comprehension and "decoding" and "word attack") be for what the whole page you just read, if you had to read several paragraphs like this? See?

Some non-dyslexic readinng problems can be with Comprehension (no working memory means "not remembering" what you JUST read, when you get to the end, right?) and Vocabulary (working memory for definitions cannot move to LT memory), etc.

NB If you are 52 years old, you may be having wavy sight changes up close due to age related eye changes. I'd see an Eye Doctor if you can. (e.g. presbyobia; astigmatism; glaucoma are all good to get "ruled out".)

ursus
10-12-07, 03:21 AM
Thanks QU_g

It's been interesting learning about the myriad LDs out there. Makes me feel relatively lucky - or at least like I shouldn't complain. I had a pretty long discussion with a dyslexic friend as well - got her to describe what it was like being inside her head.

In my case I think it's more cognitive than mechanical. My doc says my eyes are fine. I can drive and throw darts and thread a needle etc. And my comprehension is OK - my technical reading is fairly complicated and my recreational reading runs towards Nobel laureate novelists. It's just that most times I don't read words in order - always too interested in seeing what's way over there on the page instead of the word immediately after the word I just read. The end effect is that my eyes just skate around on the page. But I don't think it's muscle control or anything - it's just not clicking in cognitively.

(Novels are different - I just get totally sucked in and am hardly aware of the words themselves)

Hmmm - Up until now I thought the reason I didn't read owner's guides and software manuals and instruction guides was because I was a guy!!! Maybe it just the ADD. (I think that was a joke).

-u
(btw I don't seem to be spending much time on these forums recently - hopefully it's just another busy period for me. I miss you all, individually and as a community) woof.