The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is THE reference book used by psychiatrists, psychologists, pediatricians and other medical professionals the world over. Removing Dyslexia from the DSM will have widespread consequences including mis- and underdiagnosis of possibly hundreds of millions of children and adults with dyslexia.
Dyslexia is REAL! It has been researched and proven to exist by scientists from many fields, including cognitive science, neurology, pediatrics and (neuro)psychology. A dyslexic has specific brain patterns. It is a physical, medical condition and not a result of bad education.
Studies have consistently shown that dyslexia effects up to 20% of the world's population. That means in a classroom of 30 students, 6 of them are probably dyslexic. Chances are, not all of them are diagnosed. If the current proposed changes are put into place, the chances of getting those kids diagnosed become even slimmer.
Dyslexia is the internationally recognized name for phonologically-based, developmental reading disabilities that are manifested as unexpected difficulties with word recognition, spelling, language comprehension, and reading fluency.
Please sign this petition, to make sure that dyslexia is not removed from the working language of medical professionals!
For more information go to the website of the International Dyslexia Association and read the Position Statement on DSM 5:
The following APA members are in the Neurodevelopmental Work Group of the DSM 5 Task Force of the American Psychiatric Association, and have the power to make this decision:
Swedo, Susan, M.D., Chair of the Work Group - firstname.lastname@example.org
Baird, Gillian, MA, MB, B Chir, FRCPCH, DCH
Cook Jr., Edwin H., M.D.
Happé, Francesca G., Ph.D.
Harris, James C., M.D.
Kaufmann, Walter E., M.D.
King, Bryan H., M.D.
Lord, Catherine E., Ph.D.
Piven, Joseph, M.D.
Rogers, Sally J., Ph.D.
Spence, Sarah J., M.D., Ph.D.
Wetherby, Amy, Ph.D.
Wright, Harry H., M.D.
Illustration from the book "Overcoming Dyslexia" by Sally Shaywitz, M.D.
On May 29, 2012, the Board of Directors of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) approved the statement of IDA's Scientific Advisory Board regarding the" Diagnosis and Treatment of Dyslexia: Comments on Proposed DSM-5 Criteria for Learning Disabilities." I share the IDA's concern regarding the deletion of the term dyslexia under the diagnostic category of Specific Learning Disability in the most recent draft of the DSM-5, and request the following:
a) reinstatement of the term dyslexia as the appropriate name for phonologically-based, developmental reading disabilities that are manifested as unexpected difficulties with word recognition, spelling, language comprehension, and reading fluency;
b) and inclusion of the definition, diagnostic criteria, descriptive information, and affirmation of known treatment protocols for this developmental reading disorder.