An estimated 8 to 15 per cent of students are believed to be affected by dyslexia – a learning disability that can include problems in reading, spelling, writing and pronouncing words.
A recent study of dyslexic children raised in two different cultures – English and Chinese – was featured in the Time magazine. http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1728593,00.html . It reports the surprising finding that dyslexia affects different parts of children’s brains depending on whether they are raised reading English or Chinese.
“This finding was very surprising to us. We had not ever thought that dyslexics’ brains are different for children who read in English and Chinese,” said lead author Li-Hai Tan, a professor of linguistics and brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Hong Kong. “Our finding yields neurobiological clues to the cause of dyslexia.”
Ultimately, this could mean that therapists may need to seek different methods to assist dyslexic children from different cultures. This also, perhaps, gives rise to the question whether other mental disorders and learning disabilities are also influenced by culture.