Linking glue ear and dyslexia
Dr Lindsay Peer CBE
My research with a sample group of one thousand young people shows that the number of dyslexic people with a history of ear infections and Otitis Media (OM) is significantly higher than in other groups of the population. I believe that this link is highly significant when considering functioning within a learning situation for a sub-group of dyslexic people. It would appear that the existence of OM in early childhood has a major impact upon the development of language and literacy as well as on the emotional stability of the individual. These effects may have an impact well into adolescence and beyond, even when tests at a later stage show that levels of hearing have returned to within normal limits.
Indicators of Glue Ear (Otitis Media)
1. Ear-ache (with or without discharge)
2. Frequent colds
3. Waking at night
4. Breathing through the mouth
5. Hearing difficulties (’What? Pardon? Eh?)
6. Seeming to ignore requests or instructions
8. Learning difficulties
9. Socially inept behaviour
A major research finding is the extraordinarily high incidence of severe OM (70%) in dyslexic multilingual children. This has strong implications for theory and practice. From a theoretical perspective, one intriguing possibility is that, rather than reflecting some underlying brain abnormality from birth, the difficulties in phonological processing, in auditory magnocellular performance and in vestibular function are actually acquired later in life. If a child suffers from OM in the early years, normal development of all of these functions just will not take place.
Downloads and links to relevant research and articles, along with book recommendations.
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