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AGATHA CHRISTIE'S LEARNING DISABILITY

AGATHA CHRISTIE'S LEARNING DISABILITY

Abstract

<p>Agatha Christie had a learning disability. It may seem paradoxical that a woman who was one of the most popular and prolific writers in the English language had a learning problem. In this paper I will review the evidence for this diagnosis of learning disability.</p><p>Based on a review of the data presented in her autobiography ( Christie, 1977 ) and biographies ( Feinman, 1975 ; Morgan, 1984 , Murdoch, 1976 ), I have concluded that Agatha Christie had a disability variously known as "developmental output failure," "dysgraphia," "writing backwardness," "arithmetic/written work disability," described in publications such as Kinsbourne and Warrington (1963) , Levine, Oberklaid, and Metzger (1981) , Rourke and Finlayson (1978) , Siegel and Feldman (1983) , Siegel and Heaven (1986) , and Spellacy and Peter (1978) .</p><p>This disability involves a number of characteristics including difficulties with some or all of the following: written work, spelling, computational arithmetic, fine motor coordination, rote learning (for example, memorizing the times tables or French verb conjugations), and shortterm memory, in spite of good oral language and reading skills.</p><p>Agatha Christie had great difficulty with spelling throughout her life. "Her spelling was always of the hit and miss sort that characterises people
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