Reading Disability in Children-Reply

Sally E. Shaywitz, MD; Jack M. Fletcher, PhD; Michael D. Escobar, PhD; Bennett A. Shaywitz, MD
JAMA. 1991;265(6):726. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460060055024.
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In Reply.—  Dr Coles' comments do not seem to address any of the elements of our study (the sample, statistical analysis, or conclusion): his disagreement with us seems to be primarily philosophic. Dr Coles apparently believes that reading disability is the result of "defective school practices." In addition to neglecting the most basic body of literature relating to brain function, Dr Coles' notion fails to explain why, in contrast to the overwhelming majority exposed to the same educational practices, only a small minority of children in any particular class fail to learn to read.Abundant evidence from many lines of investigation supports the belief that reading disability, or dyslexia, results from a disturbance in the function of specific brain regions, particularly those affecting language. The intimacy of the reading process to language has been demonstrated repeatedly. Poor readers have an increased incidence of delayed speech and, even later on, disabled


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