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Asia Pacific Journal of Developmental Differences

Vol. 5, No.2, July 2018, pp. 247—271


This paper questions current views of the phenomena of ‘developmental dyslexia’, and offers a discussion of the various models of disability that are currently used in society, and whether they are suitable to use when discussing ‘dyslexia’: The Medical model, the Social model, the Affirmative Model, the Psych-Emotional model, the Psych-Social/Bio-Psycho-social model, the Social-Relational model are all discussed, each with their own perspectives. Valeras‘s model (2010) is offered as an alternative to understand ‘hidden disabilities’ like dyslexia, diabetes and epilepsy etc. The term ‘bi-abilities’ is introduced to understand how such groups can have strengths in both the disabled and non-disabled worlds, and that such groups often reject any affinity with disability as they argue they are ‘able-bodied’. The paper then investigates how dyslexic individuals whilst experiencing trauma at school can also experience growth from such experiences, through a discussion of ‘Post-Traumatic Growth-PTG’ to understand positives coming from experienced trauma e.g. school-based trauma, arguing Valeras’s ‘bi-ability’ model to be more relevant to the dyslexic experience. The paper concludes by applying the ‘bi-ability’ model to dyslexia. The main themes are:


Should ‘developmental dyslexia’ be understood  as a disability or a difference?