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Child's IQ Does Not Determine Dyslexia, Says Study

by Kathy Jones on  October 01, 2011 at 5:17 PM Child Health News   - G J E 4
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Historically psychologists have relied on a child's IQ to define and diagnose dyslexia, a brain-based learning disability that impairs a person's ability to read.
 Child's IQ Does Not Determine Dyslexia, Says Study
Child's IQ Does Not Determine Dyslexia, Says Study

If children with poor reading abilities aren't diagnosed as dyslexic, they don't qualify for services that a typical dyslexic does, and they're not taught strategies to overcome specific problems in the way they view and process words.

But researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have said that this approach is not correct and claimed that IQ should not determine diagnosis of dyslexia.

Using an imaging technique, they have found that the brain activation patterns in children with poor reading skills and a low IQ are similar to those in poor readers with a typical IQ, and that their reading problems were not related to their general cognitive ability.

The work provides more definitive evidence about poor readers having similar kinds of difficulties regardless of their IQ.

These new findings provide "biological evidence that IQ should not be emphasized in the diagnosis of reading abilities," said Fumiko Hoeft, MD, Ph.D, an instructor at Stanford's Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research, and senior author of the study.

"Convergent psychological, educational and now neurobiological evidence suggests that the long-standing and widely applied diagnosis of dyslexia by IQ discrepancy is not supported," the researchers stated.

Hoeft and her colleagues also point out that these and other findings indicate that, "any child with a reading difficulty, regardless of his or her general level of cognitive abilities (IQ), should be encouraged to seek reading intervention."

The study will appear in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science.

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I am glad to see another study about dyslexia and IQ not being related. I say another because there have been dozens of larger and better studies done going back over 10 years. The need for most MRI and dyslexia studies generally is limited to verification of already proven facts combined with the media and public's fairly common perception that they are more valid than interviews and paper testing. MRIs lack the resolution to determine individual results as normal dyslexia testing does but since much of the public won't believe anything about dyslexia until it is "proven" by MRI let's shout this old news from the roof tops. The importance of the concept of dyslexia and IQ not being related is that lower IQ children have often improperly been excluded from consideration as being dyslexic and so are missing out on the opportunity of help that comes with being diagnosed dyslexic. Please read that long run-on sentence again. Presently dyslexic children with lower IQ's who could benefit from interventions as well as the smarter dyslexics are not being given the chance to be considered as dyslexic because of their lower IQs. That must be changed. MRI studies are actually not the gold standard for information about dyslexia. Consider that all the children in MRI dyslexia studies are actually put into the different groups determined by standard pen and paper testing combined with oral tests. I am at a loss as to why the media puts these MRI dyslexia studies as a source of primary information when they are really just supporting previous research conclusions. I posted an article in Aug/2006 that was based on years of earlier studies that basically said that dyslexia and IQ were not related. There were also some good studies that identified lower IQ dyslexics and determined that they benefited from dyslexia intervention as much as the higher IQ dyslexics did. Yes , those studies have already been done where lower IQ dyslexics have been diagnosed and given dyslexia interventions with the results that their improvements from interventions were similar to the higher IQ dyslexics given the same interventions. Here is the article I wrote in 2006 dyslexiaglasses.com/dyslexia_myths_revisited.html . It was based on information available from many years before 2006.
hayesatlbch Sunday, October 02, 2011

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