Reading problems are common among children in their first levels of learning but it has been seen to continue in some cases up to adulthood. Many of the people with reading disabilities have been associated with limited intelligence and these people have at times been said to have autism. However, associating reading disorder with autism and limited intelligence is all wrong. This is because there is medical and academic proof that dissociates reading disorder with limited intelligence.
Cell positioning during brain development is one of the reasons that medics have highlighted to explain the cause of reading disorder (Charles and Slowing 64). During pregnancy, the ectopic cells shift along with the development of the fetus. As the fetal brain develops, these ectopic cells are supposed to move on to the surface of the brain (Muijs and Reynolds 53). However, in people with reading disorder, their ectopic cells remain below the surface and this in turn influences the proper functioning of the brain.
The brain system responsible for controlling and interpreting images is smaller for people with reading disorder than it is for the normal people (Rauch 1). This system, known as the mango cellular, enables an individual to visualize, interpret and put into action, whenever necessary, an action or a series of images. Due to its small size in people with reading disorder, their ability to visualize and counter-react is limited (Charles and Slowing 73). For them, they interpret and visualize, but at a slower pace. When this concept is applied to reading, one is supposed to rapidly visualize each letter, form the word, interpret the word and speak out the work (Rauch 1). But due to the slower pace of interpretation, the task becomes hard for these kinds of people.
The brain normally uses its left side for learning activities. Be it reading, hearing, or speaking, this part is responsible for all these activities. However, people with learning disorders have their right-hand side performing these learning tasks (Jensen 153). For this reason, the nerves and neurotransmitters relaying the leaning messages have to be restructured before a reflex is attained. The brain takes longer to comprehend and get the information restructured due to having the interchanged roles of the brain sides (Charles and Slowing 74).
Brain development has also been associated with reading problems (Jensen 154). A child is born with the brain still growing. When the brains development is altered, the neuron migration is affected. Neurons and other cells can be developed in a different position from their intended location (Jensen 155). They are then transferred or migrated into their intended locations as the child grows. Failure of these nerve cells and neurons to migrate causes the brain to partially develop and hence affects the manner in which people read. When the nerves involved with transmitting either auditory or visual signals fail to arrive at their designated position in time, the child develops reading problems since the correct learning procedures cannot occur (Littleton, Wood and Staarman 432).
During a child’s development, knowing to speak is mostly determined by what the child hears (Jensen 153). The connection between the heard and spoken sentences influences the reading capabilities of an individual. However, there are times when a child’s ear is infected either due to frequent colds or other throat-related infections. This condition is mostly called “the glue ear”. When a child suffers this ear infection during his or her early academic development stages, the speech processing skills are partially impaired (Charles and Slowing 62). The impairment has been known to continue up to adulthood. A child with an ear infection experiences moderate hearing loss that’s mostly fluctuated. The ears receive inconsistent signals and these signals cannot be effectively comprehended by the brain. In addition, this condition makes a child to be disorganized and is therefore not attentive when receiving instructions.
Failure of the brain to process the auditory signals affects the speech processing skills (Littleton, Wood and Staarman 619). As a person hears words and other sounds, they are registered into the brain database from where language develops. When reading, the brain interprets the visual signals and matches them with the auditory signals hitherto heard. The brain then establishes the correct format of speaking the read word (Charles and Slowing 77). When the database is fed with the wrong words, the brain will have difficulties in connecting the written word with all those in the language database. Due to infrequent and inaccurate delivery of words into the database, the child automatically develops a problem with reading (Littleton, Wood and Staarman 619).
Inability to correctly break down the syllables of words is influenced by the hearing capabilities. An attentive and normal-hearing child will relate the spoken words, identify the pauses and manage to read texts without any problem. Therefore, whether by the glue ear or other ear infection, reading capabilities are affected when there is an impairment of hearing (Littleton, Wood and Staarman 620). Language is developed when reading, speaking and hearing are integrated. Perfecting on reading requires that all the other elements of language be fluent. When one fails, like in this case, hearing capabilities, it becomes hard for an individual to fully comprehend, interpret and speak written texts and hence the reason why there many people with this type of disorder (Littleton, Wood and Staarman 620).
Genetic and Family
Reading disorder has been found to be prevalent along a family tree (Sadock, Kaplan and Sadock 1159). When of the relatives has reading disorder, there are chances of identifying the same disorder either down the tree or up the family tree. For this reason, reading condition is considered are heritable (Goldstein and Reynolds 111). A child can develop the disorder from either one or both of the parents. In such situations, it becomes quite hard, though not impossible to modify the situation.
There are no genes which are associated with reading. These genes are however multitasked and it’s their arrangement that brings out the differences (Goldstein and Reynolds 112). The genes are arranged in certain unique manner in each individual. This arrangement is influenced by the parents and as the fetus develops, it takes the gene arrangement as that of its parents (Goldstein and Reynolds 113). The genes have specific tasks and these tasks exert some effects during an individual’s development process.
Different persons have different and unique leaning characteristics. The manner in which an individual decodes the phrases, syllables, and other language elements is unique for each individual. In addition, phonemic awareness and single-word reading are other characteristics that are noticeable in language development (Goldstein and Reynolds 114). These components are heritable. The methods and capabilities of decoding written and spoken words are passed on from parents to the children. It is therefore common to find a child developing reading skills but using the single-word reading behavior (Sadock, Kaplan and Sadock 1160). In such situations, the single-word reading behavior is influenced by the gene formation passed on from one generation to another.
Reading involves visualization, comprehension, and interpretation of the read characters to produce the correct sound (Sadock, Kaplan and Sadock 1159). Speech skills are influenced by the manner in which individuals align their letters, and the speed of forming words from the written letters. Syllables and other language elements are influenced by an individual’s background since it’s the arrangement of various cells that influence these capabilities. The cells’ positioning is influenced by the genes which are in turn influenced by the parents of that individual (Charles and Slowing 74).
Hereditary mutation during a fetus development may impair the capabilities of the child. There have been many situations where people with dyslexia, the worst scenario for reading disorder, have been associated with coming from left-handed families. Left-handedness is genetic and it’s a result of cell arrangement in the brain. In the event that one family member develops a mutation in brain parts associated with learning, this individual passes these traits to the latter generations. If for example it was in the positioning of the ectopic cells in the brain, gene mutation alters completely the operations of the cells and the defect is passed down along the family line (Charles and Slowing 74).
People can develop reading disorder due to a combination of two, three, or all of the above factors. A child with gene-related problems may develop hearing problems, may be due to colds or throat infections and this could worsen the situation (Charles and Slowing 23). Although heritable disorders can be slowly modified, combination of two or more of these factors may affect the recovery process. In other situations, the development of the brain may be affected by a gene mutation and this would aggravate the condition (Muijs and Reynolds 151). When a child is born with mutated brain cells, the condition can be worse and recovery may be impossible even with prolonged learning durations.
In conclusion, the above elements are totally different from the intelligence factor. Genes, brain development and hearing problems are the most plausible causes of people developing reading disorders. Intelligence involves many other aspects and cannot therefore be narrowed down to brain disorder as some people believe.
Charles, Hulme and Margaret, J. Snowling. Developmental Disorders of Language Learning and Cognition. West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons, 2009. Print.
Goldstein, Sam and Cecil, R. Reynolds. Handbook of Neurodevelopmental and Genetic Disorders in Children. New York, NY: The Guilford Press, 2010. Print.
Jensen, Eric. Different Brains, Different Learners: How to Reach the Hard to Reach. London, UK: SAGE, 2009. Print.
Littleton, Karen, Clare, Wood and Judith, Kleine. Staarman. International Handbook of Psychology in Education. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing Group, 2010. Print.
Muijs, Daniel and David, Reynolds. Effective teaching: evidence and practice. London, UK: SAGE, 2005. Print.
Rauch, Daniel. “Developmental reading disorder: Dyslexia”. PubMed Health. 2008. Web. 23 February, 2011.
Sadock, Benjamin. J, Harold, I. Kaplan and Virginia, A. Sadock. Kaplan & Sadock’s synopsis of psychiatry: behavioral sciences/clinical psychiatry. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2007. Print.