Do Non-English Speaking Kids Get Dyslexia?
    By News Staff | October 12th 2009 08:52 PM | 1 comment | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    Children in english-speaking, letter-driven languages are diagnosed with dyslexia more commonly than those in Asia so is it a function of our alphabet?

    English dyslexia consists of a 'phonological disorder',  meaning that people with the condition have trouble detecting or manipulating the sound structure of oral language, which in turn leads to problems in mapping speech sounds onto letters

    Chinese-speaking children get a form of dyslexia but the disorder is distinctly different, and perhaps more complicated and severe, than that of English speakers. Those differences can even be seen in the brain and in the performance of Chinese children on visual and oral language tasks, according to a report in Current Biology.

    Developmental dyslexia in Chinese is really two disorders: a visuospatial deficit and a phonological disorder combined, according to Wai Ting Siok of the University of Hong Kong.   Siok and her colleague Li Hai Tan say the difference can be traced to the characteristics of the two languages.

    "In English, the alphabetic letters that form visual words are pronounceable, so access to the pronunciation of English words is made possible by using letter-to-sound conversion rules," Siok said. "Written Chinese maps graphic forms—i.e., characters—onto meanings; Chinese characters possess a number of intricate strokes packed into a square configuration, and their pronunciations must be memorized by rote. This characteristic suggests that a fine-grained visuospatial analysis must be performed by the visual system in order to activate the characters' phonological and semantic information. Consequently, disordered phonological processing may commonly coexist with abnormal visuospatial processing in Chinese dyslexia." 

    The researchers asked normal and dyslexic Chinese readers to judge the physical size of visual stimuli and found that normal readers performed significantly better than dyslexic readers. Brain scans showed that, compared with normal readers, dyslexics exhibited weaker activation in a portion of the brain known to mediate visuospatial processing. Crucially, Siok said, most Chinese dyslexics with the visuospatial problem also exhibited a phonological processing disorder, as demonstrated by their poor performance in a phonology-related rhyme judgment task, suggesting the coexistence of two disorders. 

    "Our study for the first time demonstrates the coexistence of visuospatial and phonological disorders in dyslexics," which presents a challenge to current theories to explain developmental dyslexia, Tan said. "Our results strongly indicate the need for a unifying theory of sufficient scope to accommodate the full complexity of the observed dysfunctions and interactions of the brain systems underlying reading impairments."

    The researchers include Wai Ting Siok, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; John A. Spinks, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; Zhen Jin, Beijing Hospital, Beijing, China; and Li Hai Tan, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.


    This story is about a man who left school , with no qualifications and a reading age of a six-year-old he is now 50 still reads as a six-year-old what happened he could not sing or play football he was not on big brother at 40 he was unemployed Jew to a back injury and severe dyslexia things didn’t look very good for Gary but five years ago he stumbled on something what made a difference he had discovered people with learning disabilities had not developed internal speech and from this some of the top academics in the UK or even in the world are now working with him professor Rod Nicholson Sheffield University professor Angela Fawcett Swansea University they have been carrying out research over the last four years testing 2700 people .

    Gary tested 36 offenders all of them failed the tests what himself and Professor Rod Nicholson developed he believes when internal speech is missing analytical reason and logic skills are missing but even more when internal speech is missing internal conscience is not developed this could explain why 50% of the prison population and 70% of young offenders have learning disabilities it could answer why these percentages are so great and even more with this information they could help to reduce offending and reoffending .

    Watch the BBCs story on Gary with Professor Rod Nicholson also visit the web site if you need to contact Professor Nicholson I can arrange it if you need me to come to London for an interview no problem .

    the web site . BBC Midlands today

    The sentinel


    12:00 - 27 May 2005

    Up to 1,000 Stoke-on-Trent

    are acting as national guinea pigs for research which could revolutionise the way schools help children overcome reading difficulties. The study will investigate whether 'internal speech' the ability to process and understand words without having to mouth them out loud - could be the missinglink in developing fluent reading skills.Children with dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are among the large numbers of people who are thought to have problems hearing words in their heads when they read silently.And this lack of an inner voice could also be contributing to pupils misbehaving, with them acting out in frustration when they struggle in class. The research is bein carried out by psychologists from Sheffield University,who have linked up with Stoke-on-Trent dyslexia campaigner Gary Chevin to test the theory. An unnamed Potteries high school has agreed to give the questionnaires to up to 1,000 of their pupils. If the results show pattern, more trials will be carried out at another Stoke-on-Trent school and further afield.Ultimately, researchers say the work could have major national implications and even influence the way children learn to read. The Potteries pupils will work through a series of tasks twice - once under normal'conditions,the other time while clamping their tongues between their teeth and lips.The two sets of data will be compared to see if there is an impact on their ability to read and interpret text when they prevent themselves mouthing or muttering the words. Mr Chevin, who lives in Sneyd Green and recently stood as a candidate in theStoke-on-Trent mayoral election, said:"We first need to get a clearer picture of the problem.After that, we can look at developing programmes which schools could useto improve children's reading and communication."He is convinced people can overcome difficulties if they practise hard enough and use the right mental pointers, including step-by-step memory techniques.

    The Rt Hon Lord Laird of Artigarvan..

    Lord John Laird is a proactive Lord in the field of dyslexia he has campaigned in the House of Lords over a number of years for changes he has a unique insight into this condition because he is dyslexic himself and knows the consequence of the disadvantages dyslexia creates. I have known Gary Chevin, for 7 years. He contacted me at the House of Lords; being dyslexic myself we spoke about the problems and issues that dyslexics find on a day to day basis the problems with education and employment. I find Gary, most enthusiastic and passionate about his work and the development of his program also the Authors of the research which were carried out by Professor Rod Nicolson, Professor Angela Fawcett, and Gary Chevin himself as the author of this incredible book, the research was carried out at Sheffield University, and the success it reached with 2,700 people. The four year research was based on the lack of inna-speech also the lack of inna-conscience which could explain the large percentage of prisoners who suffer greatly with Learning Disabilities. This proved to be the most intracal part of the findings of the research primarily the inna-speech that dyslexics apparently don’t have and how it is needed for reading, spelling, and the very basics of simple remembering hence Visually Deaf Auditory Blind.The book goes on to discuss the teachings on how to spell and remember numbers even the embarrassment which we all suffer from some ones name with a fantastic result. With the research being so successful and the proof of the outcome of the research which also reached the USA and his book now being opened in the USA. Gary came up with Visually Deaf Auditory Blind and the book goes on to explain in detail what it is, how it works, and the program he developed which was also successful in 300 schools across the country uk .

    The Rt Hon Lord Laird of Artigarvan..

    The House of Lords

    London England..


    Prof Rod Nicolson

    I have known Gary Chevin for four years now, and have had the pleasure of working closely with him in attempting to investigate his conviction that dyslexic adults (and children) suffer from a lack of‘inner voice’ – the language of thought. When most of us think, it is in some form akin to abbreviated language. Having learned to speak out loud in their first two years, children spend another four years or so learning to ‘internalise’ the speech, that is to be able to ‘talk in their head’, and this forms the basis of thought. Quite how this happens, and what format inner speech takes remains a mystery even now – in my view one of the most important issues for cognitive psychology. When I quizzed Gary about his own inner speech, he said that he had none until recently when he trained himself to develop a rudimentary form.When he thinks, he ‘sees a blur of images, over lapping the internalisation process by encouraging the reader to read silently, though normally some inner speech is in place before silent reading occurs. Nonetheless, if a child has not developed an effective inner speech before he or she is taught to read, this may well have an adverse effect on the learning process. It is surprising that this key issue has been ignored in the science of reading instruction. If Gary is right, it would have a major impact on educational theory and Practice. I could not imagine how anyone can cope without inner speech, and we have spent the past few years developing tests for inner speech, so as to identify how widespread this problem is. Gary is convinced that the problem is particularly associated with dyslexia and with attention deficit.The process of learning to read ‘scaffolds’ is right, it would have a major impact on education theory and practice.A lack of inner speech would also lead to a difficulty in remembering what was said. Imagine a child is being told off by a teacher or parent. The teacher makes a remark that the child needs to qualify or correct. Lack of inner speech prevents retention of the response, so the child has to ‘use it or lose it’. There is no opportunity to wait until it’s the child’s turn to speak. Hence the child interrupts, causing further aggravation, or listens dumbly, unable to comment or clear himself (or herself). Gary considers this analysis provides a key insight into the apparently disrespectful behaviour of young offenders.A further important concept that Gary introduces is that of ‘confusion’. We are all familiar with this state. Imagine not being able to recall the name of a good friend when having to introduce them, or perhaps trying to hold a conversation in a noisy café with several non-native English speakers. For some reason the brain is working inefficiently or one just can’t take in all that’s happening.

    It’s as though the brain gets filled with ‘noise’ that stops normal memory processes working. One normally has to wait until the confusion clears In Gary’s view, confusion is the typical state for dyslexic children in a classroom, with the effect that their learning processes become very significantly impaired. I believe that confusion is also an important concept that has been under-researched. The third key contribution made by Gary is in his efforts to overcome the difficulties caused by lack of inner speech and by confusion. Naturally he has hit upon a visual strategy for remembering information. His mnemonic strategy based on linking the appearance of a letter (or number) to its name or meaning is a particularly powerful method, of value whether or not one’s inner speech is strong, but of particular value when inner speech is weak. Gary is strongly dyslexic. He has high creativity and very weak reading ability. I encouraged Gary to write this book because I felt he had much to contribute. Consider the difficulties he faced: he writes by dictating to ‘speech to text’ software. He reads the text via text-to-speech software. His weak inner speech means that he cannot remember what he has just read It is therefor not surprising that the book lacks structure in some parts, and that the organisation is limited. The strength of the book is its very immediacy. Gary ‘tells it like he saw it’, with an emotional rawness, a creativity, and a directness that I found very engaging.It’s a book to be read as quickly as possible, from beginning to end. There is something in this book for everyone. Inspiration for an individual with dyslexia and insight for us all.

    Prof Angela Fawcett

    I have been researching into dyslexia for over 20 years, since our son Matthew was diagnosed with Dyslexia at the unusually early age of 5. I was driven by my need to find out more about the causes Of dyslexia and how it impacted on the lives of people with dyslexia and their families. Over this period, I have met many people with dyslexia, and became aware that my husband David and most Of his family was dyslexic. The author of this book, Gary Chevin, who came to a conference on dyslexia to challenge our academic preconceptions, may well be the most colourful character I have Met in the dyslexia world. Gary has developed his own theory of dyslexia, based on his recognition That he lacked an inner voice which others seemed to use to help them in reading.

    Gary challenged us to work with him to research these ideas and our research to date suggests that young children in The early stages of reading acquisition may need be dependent on this inner voice in order to read. In this book, Gary presents a compelling story in his own words of his struggle to achieve literacy, and allows us a rare insight into the spectrum of difficulties which characterise dyslexia, far removed from the reading problems which have been the major focus of research in the area. I recommend this book to all those who seek a deeper understanding of what it means to be a dyslexic adult.

    David Fawcett

    I picked up Gary's book with some trepidation, because as an adult with dyslexia,it is years since I have read a complete book. For one of the times in my life, I found this to be a book which I could not put down. I read the whole book in just two weeks and was fascinated by the insight that Gary has into the whole condition of dyslexia,an insight which few so-called experts in the field would share. Not only did I find his whole story compelling, but I feel strongly that it should be published in as near the same format as presented to me in draft. Any attempt in 'correction' or attempt at clarity' would to be my mind be a grave mistake, because the text as it stands demonstrates the immense effort undertaken by Gary in producing such a book. Whilst appreciating and understanding his sentiments and the difficulties the condition has presented for him,. However,this book should be compulsory reading for all educational psychologists and teachers since they will all encounter people like Gary and myself, and it would help if they understood that the condition involves more than just reading and spelling

    Dr Gerald Lombard

    Chartered Psychologist

    Gary is a life-long student and researcher without formal qualifications or the rigour of academia but with the understanding and creativity of an innovator. I have listened to his theories based on empirical research from respected scientists, read his contributions and watched the application of his eclectic approach with teenage students who were unable to read - and I do believe he is worth listening to, to enable some young people with written communication who could benefit from his approach. I am most impressed that this is a cognitive motivational approach rather than being purely repetitive/functional or programme-based. I hope a wider ranging research project will follow.