Illiteracy: Cause and Effects Essay

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Illiteracy is an unseen, widespread, problem that impacts our society every day. It is not limited to any race, region, or economic status. According to Pierre Thomas, Jack Date, Clayton Sandell   and Theresa Cook, authors of “Living in the Shadows: Illiteracy in America,” “7 million Americans are illiterate, 27 million are unable to read well enough to complete a job application and 30 million can't read a simple sentence” (abcnews.com Feb.23, 2009). Adult illiteracy costs society an estimated $240 billion each year in lost industrial productivity, unrealized tax revenues, welfare, crime, poverty and related social ills (Washingtoncountyliteracycouncil.org March 1, 2009). There is no one cause of illiteracy; but it leads to low self-esteem, unemployment, poverty, crime and can even affect one’s health.
Illiteracy can be caused by a number of different factors, both internal and external. One of the internal factors is different types of learning disorders. Dyslexia is a difficulty in learning to read despite traditional instruction, average intelligence, and an adequate opportunity to learn (mamashealth.com). Dyslexia affects about fifteen percent of the population and it is estimated that up to nine percent of school aged children may have it (organizedwisdom.com March 3, 2009). Research shows that out of one-hundred dyslexics about only five are recognized and receive treatment. Dyslexia is commonly overlooked in young children. Most dyslexics tend to act out and the behavioral problem is noticed before the actual disability. It is thought that sixty percent of individuals diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are also dyslexic; unfortunately treatment is usually focused on the behavior that comes with the disorder and the dyslexia gets unnoticed (organizedwisdom.com March 3, 2009). An undiagnosed child with dyslexia can develop low self-esteem become unmotivated and may begin to dislike school. Since schools are over packed it is not unusual for a...

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