An operational definition of the clinical syndrome of specific reading disability is proposed. Its clinical symptomatology is described, with emphasis on the invariably present emotional concomitants. A scheme for differential diagnosis is outlined. Theories of etiology and the evidence on which they rest are briefly reviewed. The basis for a treatment plan is provided.
Throughout, emphasis is placed on the role of the pediatrician, both as a key figure in early diagnosis and prompt treatment, and as community leader in the development of adequate educational resources for the non-reader.
There is even reason to believe that methods for the early detection and rehabilitation of children with reading disorders may make a significant contribution to the problem of juvenile delinquency. The high rate of reading disability among delinquents suggests that at least some of the poor motivation for academic achievement among these children, and their reactive antisocial behavior, may have one source in the repeated experience of frustration and failure that accompanies their reading difficulty.
- Copyright © 1959 by the American Academy of Pediatrics