Glue Ear Can Mimic Dyslexia

Glue Ear:

What is ‘glue ear’? This is a common condition in childhood. The tube can become obstructed by adenoids at the back of the nose, the air cannot enter the middle ear, and the cavity fills with fluid. The eardrum becomes dark looking. As time goes on the fluid becomes thicker until it has the consistency of thick glue. Often the only sign is deafness and children’s schooling may suffer and behavior may deteriorate.


Dyslexia is typically characterized by ‘an unusual balance of skills’. Dyslexia is a syndrome: a collection of associated characteristics that vary in degree and from person to person. These characteristics encompass not only distinctive clusters of problems but sometimes also distinctive talents. The syndrome of dyslexia is now widely recognized as being a specific learning disability of neurological origin that does not imply low intelligence or poor educational potential, and which is independent of race and social background. Dyslexia may overlap with related conditions such as dyspraxia, attention deficit disorder (with or without hyperactivity) and dysphasia. In childhood, its effects can be mis-attributed to emotional or behavioral disorder. By adulthood, many dyslexics will have developed sophisticated compensating strategies that may mask their difficulties.

Although dyslexia seems to be more prevalent amongst males than females, the exact ratio is unknown: the most commonly quoted figures are between 3:1 and 5:1. The evidence suggests that in at least two-thirds of cases, dyslexia has a genetic cause, but in some cases birth difficulties may play a related role. The majority of experts concur that about 4% of the population are affected to a significant extent. This figure is based on the incidence of pupils who have received normal schooling and who do not have significant emotional, social or medical implications, but whose literacy development by the end of the primary school is more than 2 years behind levels which would be expected on the basis of chronological age and intelligence. However, perhaps as many as a further 6% of the population may be more mildly affected (e.g. in spelling).

Dysphoneidetic Dyslexia

There are many types of dyslexia. One such type is known as dysphoneidetic dyslexia is the one we chose to discus in topic due to the relation of hearing.

Dysphoneidetic dyslexia is also known as auditory dyslexia as it related to how people hear sounds and mentally process them. This type of dyslexia refers to people who find it difficult to connect sounds and symbols. It becomes difficult for them to break words into individual sound parts. It is often associated with sequential difficulties in auditory processing. Individuals suffering from this disability find it difficult to sequence two individual words together. Sufferers of dysphoneidetic dyslexia find it difficult:

  • To sequence sounds into words
  • To remember individual sounds or sequence of sounds
  • To process fast auditory inputs
  • Apply phonetic rules
  • To follow phonetic patterns
  • To identify strange spellings

The symptoms of this disability are common to many other disabilities. The symptoms include poor reading, reading aloud, poor attention span, poor pronunciation, easy distraction, tiredness, and bad spelling.

In a lot of cases it will clear up by itself but in severe cases treatment will involve making a small hole in the drum, usually under anesthesia. A tube (grommet) may be inserted; then the adenoids may be removed. Adenoids usually disappear at puberty and most children with glue ear do not need treatment after this time. The hearing is usually restored to normal.

Glue Ear Can Mimic Dyslexia:

Glue ear can create a series of problems which mimic dyslexia. Children may experience school phobia and behavior problems, as well as feelings of stress and anxiety, because they are unable to follow lessons or don’t know what is expected of them in the classroom.

If glue ear is not treated, children may continue to have problems with talking, reading and writing.

There are several different ear tests available some work on high frequency notes. Therefore, it is important to go back to your doctor or health visitor and ask for another checkup if you feel there may still be a problem

Anecdotal Records:

Teacher’s keep anecdotal records, a written record of a child’s progress based on milestones particular to that child’s social, emotional, physical, aesthetic, and cognitive development. The teacher observes and then records a child’s actions and work throughout the day while the activities are occurring. The recording is informal and typically is based on notes or a checklist with space for writing comments.

The anecdotal record emphasizes what a child can do and his or her achievements, as opposed to what he or she cannot do. It is useful for reporting a child’s progress and achievements during parent-teacher conferences.

Comments are closed.