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Dyslexia Today: Characteristics, Etiology, and Interventions (Research Paper Sample)


A sample essay on dyslexia to test apa 7 formatting, english grammar and vocabulary skills and research skills. in the essay, I discussed the consensus definition of dyslexia, its presentation, and mitigation drawing from references in books and published, peer reviewed research papers. PAPER CONCLUDES WITH MY AGREEMENT WITH THE POSITION THAT DYSLEXIA HAS NO NEUROBIOLOGICAL BASIS


Dyslexia Today: Characteristics, Etiology, and Interventions
[Kinyua Muriithi]
[Freelancer, U of Hard Knocks]
[ Scientific Writing]
[No Supervisor]
[September 11, 2021]
Dyslexia Today: Characteristics, Etiology, and Interventions
From its Greek roots, dys (“impaired”) and lexia (“word”), dyslexia can be described as a disorder that affects how individuals process words when reading or writing (Mather & Wendling, 2012). However, the margins of the condition are blurred, and with every characterization, the identification, prevalence, and interventions change. In this essay, I associate with the consensus definition by the International Dyslexia Association (n.d) that recognizes dyslexia as an unexpected, specific learning disability characterized by difficulties in word processing— in reading, spelling and recognizing words. I then tackle its presentation, its causes, and its management.
The defining feature of dyslexia is problems with a written language which occurs without underlying intellectual deficits and proper teaching. Mather & Wendling (2012) expound that dyslexia affects single-word processing: with multisyllabic words a recurrent pain for sufferers who for instance, may say multiblication instead of multiplication; misread irregular words such as once as wunce or wuns; confuse letters b and d; confuse sounds /f/ and /v/ and spell irregular words as they sound such as nife in place of knife. Protopapas (2019) adds that dyslexic individuals may also show difficulties in processing word sequences.
The difficulty in reading may affect learning, literacy, and educational attainment. However, dyslexic patients achieve standard or higher scores in other intellectual areas that are not reliant on reading and writing, such as mathematics, sciences, and creativity. Some conditions co-exist with dyslexia, with 40% of dyslexic children exhibiting Developmental Language Disorder ( Moll et al., 2020); fine and gross motor difficulties (Reid, 2005); and 30-70% having dyscalculia (maths disorder, Landerhl et al., 2013).
Consensus on the cause(s) of dyslexia is still elusive. The preponderant expert opinion holds that dyslexia arises from disorders in phonology: the recognition, enunciation, and association of meaning to speech acts in written language (IDA, n.d; Snowling et al., 2020). While this explains the majority of cases of dyslexia, phonological deficits are absent in some dyslexic individuals (Snowling et al., 2020).
Another school holds that dyslexia is a neurobiological disorder – a harmful dysfunction of underlying neural processes that occur early in the development of children (IDA n.d.; Gonzalez, 2018). Critics oppose this explanation by pointing out that reading is a learned and not an innate skill hence special brain wiring for reading does not exist to underpin neuro-developmental errors (Protopapas & Parilla, 2018; 2019). Observations support a hypothesis that dyslexia has a multifactorial origin. These include: genetic defects (there is a 70% likelihood of occurrence in both individuals in an identical twin set); hearing and vision defects; disorders in the integration of visual and motor skills; dietary deficiencies of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids; and a loss of automatism occur in any combination to produce the disorder (Protopapas,2019; Reid, 2005).
Teachers and education psychologists target to build confidence in reading and spelling to correct the disability. Interventions start with instruction in processing phonemes, then progress to associating phonemes with graphemes - the smallest meaningful written unit - (Mather & Wendling, 2012). Blending (building of words from speech sounds) and assigning a speech sound to its alphabetic presentation follow lessons in phonetics to improve reading and spelling abilities. Mather & Wendling (2012) advise that learners tackle phonics (using analogies to decode new words from known words such as mat from cat where the rime (-at) sound is shared). The mastery of phonics also improves spelling by breaking a new word into phonemes and encoding these sounds with their respective letters. 
Finally, the learners improve reading fluency through the well-developed automaticity – quick recognition of frequently used words, especially irregular ones -, which ensures reading is fast, accurate, and smooth, taking care of intonations and rhythm to indicate changes in mood or punctuation (Mather & Wendling, 2012).
We have established that dyslexia is a multifactorial disorder with a continuum of reading and spelling difficulties that become most apparent at the onset of schooling. The reading disability is unexpected because it has no relationship with intellec

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