Is dyslexia actually a mental illness? The history of dyslexia [Part 2]

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Is dyslexia actually a mental illness? The history of dyslexia [part 2] with Dr. Laura Hanson

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In our last episode we started the conversation about dyslexia and I jumped right in with sharing the history of the dyslexia diagnosis. If you listened to that episode, you’ll know that there was so much information to cover that I couldn’t even fit it into one episode. So in today’s episode, we’ll be continuing our history lesson on dyslexia and then looking at the question, “Is dyslexia really a mental illness?”. This episode is just as jam-packed as the last one and I’m going to throw a lot of information at you.

We’re going to start off by looking at the disagreement that occured between the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) over how dyslexia was categorized and what went on at their secret meetings. We’ll look at the controversy surrounding dyslexia today. Unfortunately, when it comes to dyslexia, there is a main narrative that has been given over and over again for years. Yet when we look at the history, we will see that there are conflicting ideas about what causes dyslexia and whether or not it should actually be classified as a mental illness. There are other reasons why children with different types of developmental delay would have problems with skills such as reading and spelling and I believe there are many pieces to the puzzle that have been lost. If we take a step back and look at how kids are developing right from conception, we might be able to catch these problems earlier and help our kids be who they are intended to be.

In this episode, we cover:

  • A recap of part 1 of the history of dyslexia
  • The result of the disagreement and secret meetings held between the APA and the IDA
  • The controversy around dyslexia today
  • Other parties involved in the dyslexia narrative
  • Why we need to consider alternative perspectives on dyslexia
  • The link between development and dyslexia
  • Why developmental milestones should be taken seriously
  • Who is controlling the narrative on dyslexia?
  • Differences in brain structure and function in persons with dyslexia
  • Helping our kids go in a better direction
  • What causes dyslexia?
  • Why our conventional approach to dyslexia needs to change
  • Is your child actually dyslexic?
  • What if dyslexia isn’t a mental illness?

Resources mentioned:

More about Connect My Brain:

Why is this happening to my kid and what can I do about it? If you’re the parent of a developmentally delayed child, you’ve probably asked this question more than once. That’s where I come in! I’m Dr. Laura Hanson and I specialize in identifying the “why” and telling you the “what.” Join me every Thursday for a deeper look at how our brains are wired and how to get the most out of your mind. Are you looking to break negative patterns, overcome mood disorders, or optimize your potential? Maybe your child struggles with ADHD, OCD or other learning difficulties. Tune in to Connect My Brain, where I explain concepts like biofeedback and neurofeedback, brainwave frequencies, and much more. Let me help you change your life by changing your mind! Contact me HERE.


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