Repeating Polysyllables

Among the more difficult words at the end of the Schonell Word Recognition test (Schonell and Schonell, 1952) is the word preliminary. What I have found with dyslexic children and adults is that responses which I had not believed were relevant to the diagnosis suddenly 'hit me in the eye' as having a significance which I had hitherto not appreciated. In this particular case I do not know how many times I had given the later part of the Schonell Word Recognition test to my subjects before I...

Proponents Of Dyslexia Do Not Agree Among Themselves

Another point sometimes urged by critics of the dyslexia concept was that even among its supporters there was no agreement as to what dyslexia was. This never troubled me, since it was clearly untrue. For the record, however, it is worth pointing out that in the early 1970s Elaine and I held a meeting with Beve Hornsby (co-author of Hornsby and Shear, 1975) and Harry Chasty, of the Dyslexia Institute, to see if we could agree on some basic principles of teaching. We had no difficulty in...

Dyslexia Anomaly Or Normal Variation

It seemed to us that the first question we should try to answer from the data available from the British Births Cohort Study was whether something called dyslexia really existed. In the 1970s there were many people who asserted that it did not. Before any answer could be attempted, however, it was necessary to specify what exactly the question meant. An important clue to answering the question had been supplied to us by Dr Norman Geschwind (see the recollection at the end of this Chapter). It...

The Word Blind Centre

Early in 1962 I was surprised to receive a letter from Dr Alfred White Franklin, who was then chairman of the Invalid Children's Aid Association. It invited me to take part in a conference at St Bartholomew's Hospital on the theme of dyslexia or word-blindness the invitation had arisen because he had read my paper on the subject (Miles, 1961). Dr White Franklin held a senior post as physician at St Bartholomew's Hospital. I afterwards learned that he had been coming across a significant number...

Proposal for a Taxonomy of Dyslexia

The word 'taxonomy' means 'way of classifying' or 'classificatory principle'. Although the word has been used primarily in biology and medicine, there is no reason why it should not be used more widely. How to classify anomalies of development is very much a live issue at the present time. Classifications can be made for many different purposes. For a start, it seems to me helpful to draw a distinction between strong and weak taxonomies. I illustrate this distinction by a series of examples....

Gender Ratio In Dyslexia

It had been widely supposed from the time of Hinshelwood and Orton that there were more dyslexic males than females. However, quite a stir was created in the 1990s when some researchers in the USA challenged this view (see, in particular, Shaywitz et al., 1990). Head teachers of schools for dyslexic pupils in Britain had always planned for an excess of boys, and if they were now to have an increased intake of girls this would have all kinds of planning implications - more female staff, building...

References

Augur, J. and Briggs, S. (1992) The Hickey Multisensory Language Course, Whurr, London. Baddeley, A.D., Ellis, N.C., Miles, T.R. and Lewis, V. (1982) Developmental and acquired dyslexia a comparison. Cognition, 11 (2), 185-199. Black, S.R. (2001) Semantic satiation and lexical resolution. American Journal of Psychology, 114 (4), 493-510. Blanchard, P. (1946) Psychoanalytic contributions to the problems of reading disabilities. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 2, 163-187. See in particular...

The Bangor Dyslexia Test I

How, then, did the Bangor Dyslexia Test originate and what did I wish it to achieve In the first place I believed that dyslexia was a syndrome - a family of manifestations, having a constitutional basis. There was in the 1970s only circumstantial evidence for the constitutional basis the condition ran in families, which suggested a genetic basis, and, more speculatively, it was possible that there were analogies between the behaviour of the children whom I was assessing and the behaviour of...

Service for the County of Gwynedd

I had not been serving for long on the Word-Blind committee when the University College of North Wales, Bangor (as it then was) decided, as part of its expansion programme, to create a Department of Psychology and to appoint a professor as its head. I applied for this post and was successful. In those days funding came from the government via a body called the University Grants Committee. I remember shortly after my appointment that its chairman, Sir John Wolfenden, visited Bangor and made...

Times Tables And Subtraction

I had been asked at one point to teach spelling to a dyslexic boy from St David's College who, I was told, also had difficulty in learning his times tables - would I help I had no idea why the boy found his tables difficult, but I can never resist bait and therefore agreed to explore the matter. When I did so, it became immediately obvious that his difficulty with his tables was part and parcel of his dyslexia. I also noted that, although he was aged about 12, he still used his fingers for...

Final Thoughts

I now think that Brenda's difficulty in drawing the plan of her house and drawing a bicycle is atypical of dyslexics in general. Certainly I found that in later writings I had no occasion to use the expression 'constructional apraxia'. It is clear, however, that I was aware even at the time of some of the problems in determining a dyslexic child's intelligence, and this problem was one which very much came to the fore in subsequent years. Looking back, I am now aware that there were many...

Dyslexia In The Kannada Language

I was lucky to have the opportunity to collaborate with two colleagues, S. Ramaa whose Ph.D. I had examined and M. S. Lalithamma. Kannada is a Dravidian language spoken in some parts of India. We were particularly interested to discover if the manifestations of dyslexia were basically the same in a part of the world where there was a different writing system and where English was not the child's first language note 15.9 . For full details of what we did the reader is referred to Ramaa et al....

Dyslexics Oral Language

When I was giving the Picture Completion subtest of the Wechsler 1974 Intelligence Scale for Children - Revised, Eileen Stirling, who was sitting in with me as part of her M.Ed. course, noticed that when the children were asked to name the part which was missing from the picture many of them avoided the necessity for naming by pointing - correctly - to the missing part and saying, 'That bit.' It occurred to Eileen that this was something which might be worth studying in its own right how good...

Michael

Michael was referred to the Bangor Child Guidance Clinic at the age of nine years nine months. His extreme weakness at reading and spelling had already caused his parents concern, and they wished for further investigation. I myself was not responsible for his original testing, but as his teacher I had ample opportunity thereafter for observing his behaviour. Performance IQ 129 Wechsler, 1949 Terman-Merrill IQ 128 Terman and Merrill, 1937 Schonell Graded Word Reading test reading age 5.3...

Performance Of Dyslexics And Nondyslexics On The Rorschach Ink Blot Test

Ann Williams was a very experienced clinical psychologist whose home was in North America but whose family had had connections with Wales. She therefore Table 15.1. Frequency distribution of differences in dyslexia index between first and second assessments Table 15.1. Frequency distribution of differences in dyslexia index between first and second assessments came over to Bangor to study for her Ph.D. This was in the 1970s. At this stage we felt we knew a certain amount about the cognitive...

Foreword

In this fascinating autobiographical account, Tim Miles leads us through the history of his involvement in the field of dyslexia and in so doing completes an important part of the jigsaw of the history of dyslexia in Britain. Tim Miles is well known as a pioneer of dyslexia, and most would characterise his scholarship as straddling psychological and philosophical inquiry. Here we learn that Tim's inspiration came from the careful study of individual cases what unfolds is the development of an...

The Bangor Dyslexia Test II

Combining a clinical approach with a statistical one was not always easy. At an early stage in the research I presented a paper to my colleagues with the title 'How Do I Score the crikey ' The situation which I envisaged was one in which a subject, presented, for instance, with a request to say the months of the year, responded, 'Oh, crikey ' - and then proceeded to say the months of the year correctly. Was I to ignore the 'crikey' on the grounds that it was a one-off remark which could not be...