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WE WERE impressed with the article about dyslexia and learning-disabled children [“Handling Dyslexia,” September]. It is important that the public know more about learning disabilities; and in describing the behaviors of the dyslexic child, more children who are experiencing the frustrations of being learning-disabled may be identified and helped. Furthermore, your article also gave excellent resources for obtaining services for diagnoses and remediation of problems that are exhibited by learning-disabled children.

After reading the article, we felt compelled to send you further information regarding the language behaviors described. To know and understand one’s own needs and desires and not be able to communicate those needs and desires can indeed be frustrating. This is what occurs in your example of “Words come out wrong: ’Please up hurry’ or ’basgetti and cheese.’” When a child cannot communicate his message to a listener without being able to change the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors of that listener, then he exhibits a pragmatic language disorder.

A child having a pragmatic language disorder may have all the pieces of the language puzzle, but he doesn’t have or chooses not to use the ability to put the puzzle together. This usually occurs as a result of one or more of the following reasons: (1) faulty habits, (2) a vocabulary deficit or (3) dysnomia. A child exhibiting the pragmatic disorder as a result of faulty communication habits is easily remediated after two to three months of therapy. The amount of therapy needed to remediate a vocabulary deficit depends on how great the deficiency is or how far behind the child’s vocabulary is in comparison to his age. The child with dysnomia needs extensive speech therapy mainly because dysnomia really never goes away, but changes as a function of age.

Janice Embrey, M.S.

Holly L. Sullivan, M.C.D.

Speech-Language Pathologists, C.C.C.

Dallas Clinic for Speech

and Hearing Services

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