chapter  1
9 Pages

Introduction to the Study: Peggy L. Anderson and Regine Meier-Hedde


The earliest research devoted to children with dyslexia was based on case reports that were published in medical journals. There are probably few professionals in this fi eld who are unfamiliar with the case of Percy F., the 14-year-old who could not read in spite of the fact that he was “always a bright and intelligent boy, quick at games, and in no way inferior to others of his own age” (Morgan, 1896, p. 1378). These early case reports of dyslexia proliferated in Europe and quickly spread to America (Anderson & Meier-Hedde, 2001) where the method was eventually supplanted with case study collections based on the clinical work of Fernald, Monroe, and Orton as well as many others (see Hallahan & Mercer, 2002). The shift from single case reports to case study collections was a logical progression that fostered the evolution of dyslexia research. These single and collective case reports are of particular interest as they provide an historical link between our present understanding of dyslexia and the scientifi c foundation of this disorder. Although today the large-scale group comparison method that relies on statistical analysis of data is the predominant research method for studying characteristics and treatments for dyslexia, case studies continue to have legitimacy especially for areas in which there is a limited knowledge base. As Miles and Miles (1999) suggested, there is particular value in examining individual case histories as a starting point, which is certainly where we currently stand with respect to international dyslexia research. Although there is a growing body of literature devoted to crosslinguistic orthographic aspects of dyslexia, there is a paucity of international research that focuses on the lives of children with this condition and their families. The goal of the current study is to attempt to bridge this gap in the literature and to provide some

understanding of how dyslexia variously impacts children and families around the globe.