Dyslexia and Autism


Does Ron Davis believe autism and dyslexia are related?


I was born in 1942. As an infant I was considered a Kanner’s syndrome baby (Dr. Kanner was one of two doctors who eventually coined the word ‘autism’). According to my mother, I refused to be held as a baby, and did not speak or develop as my two brothers did.

My mother was pretty much in denial of my condition and refused to have the schools label me. Nevertheless, I was labeled “uneducatably mentally retarded” at the age of twelve years by the school system I attended. At the age of seventeen years, it was discovered that I had a higher than normal Intelligence (137 IQ), at which point I was treated by Dr. Meredith Evans, a speech and language therapist. I learned to speak normally, but could not be taught to read. My difficulty to learn to read was attributed to “brain damage”, which my mother claimed not to be true.

Dyslexia is not a form of autism, although disorientation is a factor in both conditions. It just turned out that I had both.

(Answer by Ronald Dell Davis)