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Dyslexia has 'a consistent and recognisable pattern'

Symptoms of dyslexia fall into "a consistent and recognisable pattern" which can be clearly diagnosed, a spokesperson for a learning difficulty has said.

Dr John Rack, head of research, development and policy, for Dyslexia Action hit out at claims the learning difficulty, which can make reading and numeracy difficult, "lacked educational value".

We don't buy the argument that it is wasteful to try to understand the different reasons why different people struggle.

And for very many, those reasons fall into a consistent and recognisable pattern that it is helpful to call dyslexia.

Helpful for individuals because it makes sense out of past struggles and helpful for teachers who can plan the way they teach to overcome or find ways around the particular blocks that are there.

– Dr John Rack

Parents 'woefully mislead' about 'value' of dyslexia

Parents are being "woefully mislead" about the "value" a dyslexia diagnosis will have on the life and education of their child, an expert in learning difficulties has said.

In the book The Dyslexia Debate, Professor Julian Elliott said more should be done on getting children to read rather than focusing on diagnosing them with a specific problem.

In every country, and in every language, a significant proportion of children struggle to master the skill of reading and some will continue to find it difficult throughout their childhood and into adulthood.

It is very easy for teachers to identify such children. The hardship and difficulties that typically result are often incapacitating, undermining and distressing.

Typically, we search for a diagnostic label when we encounter problems because we believe that this will point to the best form of treatment.

– Professor Julian Elliott

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'Dyslexia' term should be dropped, claim experts

The term "dyslexia" should be scrapped because it is unscientific and lacks educational value, educational experts claim in a new book.

Experts have said the term 'dyslexia' should be scrapped as it lacks value. Credit: PA Wire

In the book The Dyslexia Debate, Professor Julian Elliott, a former teacher of children with learning difficulties, said more focus should be put on helping children to read, rather than finding a label for their difficulty.

Educational experts argue that resources are being wasted putting young people through diagnostic tests because the term is too imprecise.

However, the charity Dyslexia Action insists the term still has meaning and should not be dropped.

Dyslexia needs should be 'part of teacher training'

The Dyslexia Action charity is calling on the Government to introduce a national strategy to cope with the 1.2 million children thought to be dyslexic. They say dyslexia should become part of teacher training and more information should be given to help identify those youngsters who need help.

"Our main message to Government is that we don't have to wait; there are positive and affordable things that can be done now. We now need to work together and put an end to the suffering and sense of failure that is still felt by too many children with dyslexia and learning difficulties in our schools today."

– Dr. John Rack, Head of Research, Development and Policy, Dyslexia Action

Too many dyslexic children left with 'sense of failure'

Almost 60% of parents with dyslexic children say they've suffered a negative experience at school, according to a new survey. The report by Dyslexia Action calls for a national strategy to help children with the condition, including specialist training for teachers.

The report reveals:

  • 57% of parents said their children suffered a negative experience at school
  • 53% said their child sometimes did not want to go to school
  • 47% said their children had been bullied or picked on
  • 38% said their children believed no one at school listened to them or understood their problem

The Dyslexia Action charity says the Government needs to act to end the suffering and sense of failure felt by too many dyslexic children at school.

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The science and understanding of dyslexia

Writing in medical journal, The Lancet, American researchers say despite the identification of six genes that contribute to the disorder, very little is known about how they contribute to it. They add:

Further research is needed to reveal further undiscovered genes that may contribute to dyslexia... and to examine the effects of environmental risk factors such as the language and pre-literacy environments that parents provide for their children... and which environmental risk factors contribute to the development of poor reading and whether these are the same across demographic groups.

– Robin Peterson and Bruce Pennington, University of Denver

'Lack of expertise' to tackle dyslexia

We have long since known that dyslexia is biological in origin... This hidden disability is seen to run in families and a number of genes have been identified as possible causative factors... The biggest barrier to children with dyslexia is the lack of expertise within the education system... All of the UK leading literacy experts are calling for improved training for all teaching staff to ensure they are better able to identify those at risk.

– Kevin Geeson, Chief Executive, Dyslexia Action

'More must be done' to tackle child dyslexia

A report in the medical journal The Lancet says despite advances in the last five years, not enough is being done to understand the causes of dyslexia. It says:

  • Most children are only diagnosed after they have experienced serious difficulties in school
  • Diagnosis can come at time when it is much harder for children to master new skills
  • Doctors should not wait until children are formally diagnosed before offering treatment