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Learning Disabilties
In an earlier post, I pointed out how over the course of millions of years of human evolution, reading and literacy have occupied only the last 5000 years of human existence.  Consequently, our brains did not evolve any brain regions specifically for reading, but must make use of preexisting structures of the brain to make...
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When I was a kid I used to enjoy Mad Magazine, which I loved for many reasons, the irreverence, the hilarity, the satire, and more. One feature that I remember in particular involved cartoons that spelled out nonsense words as sound effects. For example:  ”Glomp!” “Flaaack!” ”Pffft!” ”Sproing!” (above – a page from Mad with...
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Estimates are that 15-20 percent of the population have some degree of dyslexia, which sounds like an exotic disease, but really just means ”trouble with words.” Increasingly, scientists are getting closer to an understanding of why certain people have such difficulty in decoding the printed word.  There seems to be a consensus that the difficulties...
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Any time you mandate that kids must do something, ANYTHING, you’ve automatically created a special category for those kiddos who don’t or won’t – and that’s how labels are born.  Before reading was mandatory for kids, there weren’t any reading disabilities.  Before we descended into this ”short attention span culture” of ours, we didn’t have...
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The concept of neurodiversity emerged in the 1990’s as a way for autism advocates to affirm their identity as people with neurological differences rather than as disabled individuals.  The idea has spread as other advocates (including myself) have sought to articulate the ”diversity rather than disability” message to a broader segment of the population than...
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