A paper from the Annals of Dyslexia in 1998 throws an interesting light on the perception that boys are more prone to dyslexia than girls and the idea that dyslexia is simply a reading problem.
The paper is a review of previously published research and examines why some research shows a marked difference in incidences of dyslexia in boys and girls and why some research finds that it occurs almost equally across the genders. The study found that when dyslexia was diagnosed as simply a reading problem, then the numbers of boys and girls diagnosed were almost equal. However when the diagnosis looked beyond reading and tested the ability to tell left from right and auditory recall. The boys were far more likely to be diagnosed.
“The data presented in this paper are in agreement with traditional accounts in finding a preponderance of males when clinically based criteria for dyslexia are applied. These criteria include not only poor reading and spelling in relation to general intelligence, but also such clinical indices as uncertainty over left and right (a phenomenon first noted by Dr. Samuel Orton) or difficulty in the recall of auditorily presented digits. On the other hand, if a diagnosis of dyslexia is based solely on measures of reading and intelligence, making what we argue to be an unwarranted equation of dyslexia with specific reading retardation, we also found the gender ratio to be closer to 1:1“
Read the full paper: Gender ratio in dyslexia. The arguments on the difference between poor readers and dyslexics was central to ‘The Dyslexia Myth‘ program.
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