International Case Studies of Dyslexia

International Case Studies of Dyslexia

International Case Studies of Dyslexia

International Case Studies of Dyslexia


Dyslexia is a disability that exists in all countries that have high expectations for literacy. The inability to read in spite of normal intellectual potential represents one of the most puzzling educational challenges for literate societies, regardless of the culture or language. This book examines medical, psychological, educational, and sociological data from comprehensive case studies of preteen dyslexic children, in order to profile the disability as it occurs in seventeen different nations. Interviews with the children and their parents reveal how children with dyslexia are identified and treated around the world, and provide a look at various perceptions of dyslexia and its challenges. Researchers and practitioners in education, psychology, and health-related professions will find this case book to be an excellent reference. Parents of children with dyslexia will find the advocacy recommendations helpful.


The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” —Scott Hamilton

International Case Studies of Dyslexia presents a compendium of case studies from 17 countries all around the world. In exploring the lives of these children with dyslexia, the reader will appreciate that so many issues peculiar to the phenomenon of dyslexia are shared worldwide. The book reminds us that family dynamics, especially when a less-than–supportive school system is involved, are remarkably similar and familiar across oceans, language, and culture. Equally important, the book identifies the distinct ways that dyslexia is enculturated and institutionalized in different countries. The international comparisons represent a kind of cultural anthropological approach to dyslexia. Both similarities and differences exist from one case to another. Factors ranging from linguistic and psychological processing to educational, social and political forces all play roles in defining the interface of dyslexia and culture in various countries.

These case studies provide evidence that dyslexia is a world-wide challenge. The personal stories framed in the cultural context and analyses provided by the authors transcend individual languages and cultures from Sweden to China. In other words, there are people the world over who, in spite of sound intelligence, struggle with reading for no visible reason. In spite of sharp cultural/social/educational/political differences in the constructs of intelligence and learning, dyslexia exists as a universally recognized phenomenon.

The stories of 17 children with dyslexia offer a number of positive messages. As a parent of a child with dyslexia, I have witnessed many of the challenges faced by the children in this book in my own family’s life. Of course, much of what unites persons with dyslexia the world over is pain and frustration, in many cases because of the ignorance and lack of sensitivity on the part of some schools. Sadness is inexorably connected to many of these stories. But the reader will not take away sadness as the central theme of this work. From my perspective as an ethnographer who has researched how persons with learning disabilities and dyslexia become successful, I

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