Cynicism won't help dyslexics 4

September 17, 2004

I was dismayed but not surprised at the opinions expressed by Peter Shaw regarding the legitimacy of students with learning disabilities (Features, July 22).

There is a substantial body of research to support the practice of allowing students with learning disabilities extended time, and recent studies have documented real differences in brain functioning in areas that are used to take in basic information between students with and without learning disabilities.

While some psychologists may succumb to an easy diagnosis of learning difficulties, this accusation could be made of every professional in the medical and psychological fields regarding any diagnosis. Every university in the world has a few students who are problematic, unmotivated, spoiled and so on. It is not a disability-related issue, and to accuse students with learning disabilities of being "lazy" and "illiterate" is not only slanderous, it is, from an empirical standpoint, entirely erroneous.

Nicole Ofiesh
University of Arizona

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