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  1. ITV Report

The dyslexia test that could help people get earlier diagnosis

Cardiff Metropolitan University is carrying out trials using new technology to speed up diagnoses for dyslexia.

It is estimated one in ten children in Wales live with the learning difficulty.

  • What is dyslexia?

According to Dyslexia Cymru, it is a ‘wiring difference’ within the brain that affected approximately 10% of the population, with 4% thought to be "severely disadvantaged" by it.

The condition may occur together with a range of other learning differences, the origins of which all seem to lie in the cerebellum.

The characteristics of dyslexia include problems with this like organisation, memory (short term/working), time (organising/understanding how long something takes), direction and sequencing.

This tool being used to help is known as RADAR and is believed to be able to detect dyslexia earlier and with greater precision.

Research scientist Panagiota Makrostergiou told ITV News, "RADAR is an acronym of the British words and stands for Rapid Assessment for Dyslexia and Abnormalities in Reading.

Former Wales international Lee Byrne was diagnosed with dyslexia in his early thirties

"This is a novel method for reading difficulties with a special focus on dyslexia. It is based on eye moving parameters and it can evaluate the reading capabilities of an individual and pinpoint the problematic areas of an individual during a reading process."

This unique test takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and researchers are looking for more children with a diagnosis to come forward to try out a screening test.

We are looking for children age between eight and 10 who have a diagnosis of dyslexia to try out this screening test to see whether there is a difference in the eye movements and whether we have enough evidence to support the fact that they're eye tracking is different to those children who do not have dyslexia.

– Dr Rhian Packer, Cardiff Metropolitan University

Former Wales international Lee Byrne struggled throughout school and was eventually diagnosed with dyslexia in his early thirties.

He said he believes an earlier diagnosis would have helped him.

"It would have given me more confidence in school I think and would have given me more self-esteem really at a young age.

"Reading in school was a big problem for me and probably did everything i could to get chucked out of the classroom so I didn't have to do it.

Everyone thought I was a disruptive kid really but it was because I was too embarrassed to get things wrong."

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