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På tal om dyslexi: En studie av hur barn, föräldrar och lärare berättar om och ger betydelse åt diagnoser som dyslexi och specifika läs- och skrivsvårigheter
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Child Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2000 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Speaking of dyslexia : A study of how children, parents and teachers talk about and give meaning to diagnoses like dyslexia or specific reading and writing difficulties (English)
Abstract [en]

The main purpose of this study is to understand how children diagnosed as dyslectics use and ascribe meaning to the diagnosis given to them. The theoretical starting point is social constructionism, implying that dyslexia is a word that signifies a phenomenon, in this case children's problem with reading and writing, which in turn is mediated through a cultural, social and historical context.

Twenty children in the age of 10-13 yr. took part in the study. The children were interviewed at home. In order to activate children's narration of their lived experiences, the interviews were informal and semi-structured. In order to grasp how parents and teachers concerned talked about dyslexia in relation to the specific child these parties were interviewed as well. In the analysis of the interviews narrative inquiry were important.

In the debate about dyslexia, prominent in the 1990's, a controversy arose over the extent to which a diagnosis like dyslexia labels the child as abnormal or emancipates the child from the guilt of failure.This study shows that the children's ways of using and ascribing meaning to the diagnostic word is complex and multifaceted and cannot easily be defined as either a label or an emancipatory device. It seems as if the word dyslexia is a purposeful discursive tool in varying degrees for respectively children, parents and teachers. Children use diagnostic words in a complex interplay of meanings and signification, closely connected to their way of interpreting the moral judgement made when their performance is articulated as "wrong" or "odd". In the parents' narration the diagnosis seems to be taken up in an interpretative framework, thus providing a way for parents to clarify and emphasise their responsibility concerning the child's progress and good. The teachers use the diagnosis in various ways, not only todefine the problem but also to obtain resources and clarify moral and social aspects. However the teachers' ways of talking about the children is to a large degree related to a moral judgement of thechildren as pupils. This moral dimension appears to be independent of the teachers' ways of talking about the pupil's abilities or disabilities. Therefore, the diagnostic term does not seem to have the sameimpact in the interpretative framework of teachers, as in the case of the parents'.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Tema, SweCult, Linköpings universitet , 2000. , 277 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 209
Keyword [en]
Dyslexia, Specific reading and writing difficulties, Social constructionism, Discourse, Narrative, Identity, Children, Parents, Teachers
Keyword [sv]
Dyslexi, specifika läs- och skrivsvårigheter, social konstruktionism, diskurs, identitet
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-29707Local ID: 15100ISBN: 91-7219-698-XOAI: diva2:250524
Public defence
2000-04-14, Hörsal Planck, Fysikhuset, Universitetsområdet Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2014-08-27Bibliographically approved

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Zetterqvist Nelson, Karin
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Department of Child StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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