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Anger as Experts Claim Dyslexia is a Myth
The Guardian (UK) ^ | September 3, 2005 | Sophie Kirkham

Posted on 09/07/2005 10:40:01 PM PDT by anymouse

Dyslexia, the learning disability thought to affect one in 10 Britons, does not exist and is no more than an emotional construct, education experts will claim in a television documentary to be aired next week. In the programme, which looks at the causes and treatment of poor reading, at least three academics call into question the value of separating those with difficulty in reading into dyslexics and "ordinary poor readers", when the treatment is the same for both groups.

Experts say many children are being diagnosed with the condition to save embarrassment over their reading skills and in order to get extra help at school.

But the suggestion has angered many dyslexic people and dyslexia organisations, who say the argument is damaging and unhelpful.

The widening gulf between academics and those who teach dyslexic people has resulted in a call for the term to be consigned to medical history books and a rethink on the treatment of all people who have difficulties reading.

The Channel 4 documentary will present the argument that dyslexia is a myth. The programme's producer, David Mills, said yesterday that the assertion that people with poor reading skills but high IQs should be diagnosed differently from other poor readers was wrong.

"You cannot separate a group of poor readers and say they are dyslexic, but if we clump all poor readers together you are then labelling 20% of kids with a disability."

One of the programme's contributors has written about the condition in this week's Times Educational Supplement. Julian Elliott, professor of education at the University of Durham, said that despite 30 years in the field he has little confidence in his ability to diagnose the condition.

"Dyslexia persists as a construct largely because it serves an emotional, not scientific, function. Forget about letter reversals, clumsiness, inconsistent hand preference and poor memory - these are commonly found in people without reading difficulties, and in poor readers not considered to be dyslexic ...

"Public perceptions often link reading difficulties with intelligence and, in our culture, an attribution of low intelligence often results in feelings of shame and humiliation.

"It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the widespread, yet wholly erroneous, belief that dyslexics are intellectually bright but poor readers would create a strong, sometimes impassioned demand to be accorded a dyslexic label.

"Yes of course, some children will require special resources and dispensations, but we certainly don't need spurious diagnoses of dyslexia to achieve such ends."

It is thought that about 375,000 schoolchildren suffer from dyslexia, which requires skilled specialist teaching.

Those with a diagnosis are often provided with teaching aids and are given extra time in exams, leading to claims that parents want a diagnosis to get an unfair advantage.

About 4% of the population are thought to suffer from a severe form of dyslexia.

A spokeswoman from the British Dyslexia Association said it had been inundated with calls from people worried about their own condition.

"This is very damaging and insulting to the people who are trying to overcome their dyslexia - a condition which is widely known to be a neurological disorder," she said.

John Rack, head of research at the Dyslexia Institute in York, said the scientific basis for dyslexia was well established.

"We know which of the chromosomes are involved and some of the genes that are involved, as well as some of the brain differences you observe when looking at a dyslexic child," Dr Rack said."

But Michael Rice, a dyslexia and literacy expert from the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge University, said the term dyslexia could soon be a thing of the past. "People feel a sense of justification when they are diagnosed, and it becomes almost defining of who they are. It gets them off the hook of great embarrassment and feelings of personal inadequacy," Dr Rice said.

Well-known people who are dyslexic include Sir Richard Branson, Jamie Oliver and the swimmer Duncan Goodhew, who said: "I don't think it is very helpful to argue about terms when we should be looking at the solutions. It is a neurological problem, a neurological deficit which ruins many people's lives."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Technical; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: cary; disorders; dyslexia; emotion; myth; neurology; reading; school; science
If you can't read this, thank a social worker. ;)
1 posted on 09/07/2005 10:40:02 PM PDT by anymouse
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To: anymouse

Dyslexics of the world, untie!


2 posted on 09/07/2005 10:41:27 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: anymouse
...does not exist and is no more than an emotional construct...

That explains why Tom Cruise has it.

3 posted on 09/07/2005 10:41:59 PM PDT by msnimje (CNN - Constant Negative Nonsense)
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To: anymouse

Hear about the dyslexic insomniac agnostic? He lies awake at night wondering if there's a dog.


4 posted on 09/07/2005 10:42:57 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: msnimje

...does not exist and is no more than an emotional construct...

That explains why Tom Cruise has it.

... and Cher.


5 posted on 09/07/2005 10:43:16 PM PDT by television is just wrong (http://hehttp://print.google.com/print/doc?articleidisblogs.blogspot.com/ (visit blogs, visit ads).)
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To: anymouse
And here's how "dyslexia" looks to the dyslexic:

dyslexia
sdylexia
sedylxia
sexdylia
sexdayli
sexdaiyl
sexdaily

Dyslexics of the world UNTIE!

6 posted on 09/07/2005 10:43:41 PM PDT by Prime Choice (E=mc^3. Don't drink and derive.)
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To: Larry Lucido

Did you hear about the frustrated suicidal dyslexic?

He kept throwing himself behind the bus.


7 posted on 09/07/2005 10:44:34 PM PDT by Restorer (Liberalism: the auto-immune disease of democracies.)
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To: anymouse

It's about time. Can they tackle ADD next? Then Adult ADD?


8 posted on 09/07/2005 10:46:12 PM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: anymouse


Thank Dog I don't have it.


9 posted on 09/07/2005 10:46:24 PM PDT by msnimje (CNN - Constant Negative Nonsense)
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To: Larry Lucido

I am mo sad I could juts pits!

Jack.


10 posted on 09/07/2005 10:47:45 PM PDT by Jack Deth (Knight Errant and Disemboweler of the WFTD Thread)
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To: Larry Lucido

Then there's the dyslexic traffic cop. He kept handing out IUDs.


11 posted on 09/07/2005 10:48:18 PM PDT by Dave Olson
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To: anymouse

Except for the article this is a pretty nuffy theard.


12 posted on 09/07/2005 10:49:29 PM PDT by RGSpincich
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To: anymouse
Anger as Experts Claim Dyslexia is a Htym
13 posted on 09/07/2005 10:51:43 PM PDT by Ken H
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To: Jack Deth

Mean does he what by that?


14 posted on 09/07/2005 10:52:27 PM PDT by ALASKA (I might have been born yesterday, but I stayed up all night..........)
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To: anymouse

Dyslexia, unlike ADD/HD DOES exist. How do I know? I've had it all my life.

My case mostly manifests with numbers; for instance, I see the number "57" written down as "75".

So what do I do about it? I always check my math TWICE. No psycotropic drugs or special ed classes required.

The real shame is that is is yet another excuse for psychobabble "victimhood".


15 posted on 09/07/2005 10:53:36 PM PDT by clee1 (We use 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile, and 2 to pull a trigger. I'm lazy and I'm tired of smiling.)
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To: Deb
It's about time. Can they tackle ADD next? Then Adult ADD?

Look, I know for a fact Adult ADD is real and I will tell you why.....
What was I talking about?

16 posted on 09/07/2005 11:06:31 PM PDT by msnimje (CNN - Constant Negative Nonsense)
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To: Prime Choice

You, my friend, need help! LOL. Oh, and that was funny as heck. Thanks for a 1am laugh.


17 posted on 09/07/2005 11:10:47 PM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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To: msnimje

I'm attention defi--

I'm attention de--

I'm att--

HI THERE!


18 posted on 09/07/2005 11:17:56 PM PDT by Prime Choice (E=mc^3. Don't drink and derive.)
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To: clee1
When I grew up, it was made very clear that having a problem was not a badge of honor and did not earn you special treatment. You were supposed to work harder and overcome problems, not be defined by them.

Sure...I had problems. Still do. Who doesn't? The difference is that sane people don't define themselves by their defects.

19 posted on 09/07/2005 11:20:34 PM PDT by Prime Choice (E=mc^3. Don't drink and derive.)
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To: Prime Choice
I'm attention defi-- I'm attention de-- I'm att-- HI THERE!

HAR! I was thinking about you today. Have you done a cartoon of Blanco and Nagin as Dumb and Dumber Yet? If so, can you point me to it?

20 posted on 09/07/2005 11:30:07 PM PDT by msnimje (CNN - Constant Negative Nonsense)
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To: Prime Choice; speedy; bitt; Joe 6-pack; NYTexan; hispanarepublicana; Victoria Delsoul; Liz; ...

I issue think some Freepers take will with article this.

I ping will my mesozoic fiends.


21 posted on 09/07/2005 11:30:16 PM PDT by The Spirit Of Allegiance (SAVE THE BRAINFOREST! Boycott the RED Dead Tree Media & NUKE the DNC Class Action Temper Tantrum!)
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To: anymouse
But the suggestion has angered many dyslexic people and dyslexia organisations, who say the argument is damaging and unhelpful.

Dammit, I want to be a victim!

22 posted on 09/07/2005 11:32:45 PM PDT by vbmoneyspender (this is great! the only people I can offend are people who can't read my offensive comment)
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To: anymouse

!tnemetats suolucidir a tahW


23 posted on 09/07/2005 11:35:01 PM PDT by ZULU (Fear the government which fears your guns. God, guts, and guns made America great.)
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To: Blurblogger

I dno't konw waht yuo're tlaknig aobut. Ervyetinhg mdae pefrcet sesne to me.


24 posted on 09/07/2005 11:39:09 PM PDT by Prime Choice (E=mc^3. Don't drink and derive.)
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To: ZULU
Hey! Who turned my keyboard umop episdn?
25 posted on 09/07/2005 11:40:37 PM PDT by Prime Choice (E=mc^3. Don't drink and derive.)
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To: anymouse

The BBC never makes sense. Split it up into 5 or 6 parts and let those who pay the 'TV tax' decide which channel[s] to send their portion to.


26 posted on 09/07/2005 11:49:55 PM PDT by GeronL (Leftism is the Cult of the Artificial)
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To: msnimje

You think YOU got problems?


27 posted on 09/07/2005 11:56:49 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (You get more with a gun and a smile than just a smile itself!)
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To: anymouse

Obviously these jerks have never dealt with it 1st hand.

I used to sell auto parts and when we changed over to computer inventory control I was screwing up hourly with the new part #'s, sometimes I would just get 1 or 2 digits swapped and other times I would flip the whole # backwards. It didn't help that we also went from Alphanumeric to numeric at the same time.

28 posted on 09/07/2005 11:58:50 PM PDT by ChefKeith ( If Diplomacy worked, then we would be sitting here talking...)
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To: clee1

I do the exact same thing; it has gotten slightly worse in the last few years. I also transpose letters when typing, sometimes whole words, and now occasionally I transpose words when actually speaking.

But the idea that I would have ever needed special ANYTHING is stoopid. Or stoodip.

:-)

I think it's brain damage from all the drugs I took long, long ago.


29 posted on 09/08/2005 12:05:21 AM PDT by little jeremiah (A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, are incompatible with freedom. P. Henry)
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To: anymouse
Image hosted by TinyPic.com

Dyslexia? Naw....

30 posted on 09/08/2005 12:27:12 AM PDT by Old Seadog (Birthdays start out being fun. But too many of them will kill you..)
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To: Blurblogger

I always thought you were a bit wardsback, Rebloggblur.


31 posted on 09/08/2005 12:36:05 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Larry Lucido
As far back as the fifties in 'Why Johnny Can't read and what you can do about it' Rudolf Flesch was saying that Whole Language Instruction is causing dyslexia. If you were taught with the see Jill run books then that was Whole Language or Sight Word Instruction.
32 posted on 09/08/2005 1:17:14 AM PDT by ocos
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To: anymouse

As an English and a reading instructor, I dealt with adults with poor reading skills and those with dyslexia. You can tell the difference.

It's a real problem for some people. You have to use coping strategies (and there are a number of them, like using blue paper, which seems to help).

A poor reader can improve his reading without those strategies, by working on rate, vocabulary and analytical reading skills. It's not that hard to teach.

This won't improve the real problems a dyslexic is having decoding words. It's not the same problem. I know dyslexics who have Ph.Ds - they still struggle with texts. They've learned ways to cope.


33 posted on 09/08/2005 4:53:56 AM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: anymouse
What this report does is relieve the government from having to deal with the problem........
34 posted on 09/08/2005 4:56:45 AM PDT by mo
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To: Larry Lucido

OLL! This theard is crakcing me up!


35 posted on 09/08/2005 5:06:18 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Proud member of the 21st century Christian Crusaders)
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To: anymouse
If you owned a herd of cattle, say a thousand head, and the local vet after inspecting your herd proclaimed that one out of every ten had a genetic disability, you would sell the entire herd to a feed lot and give up ranching!

1 in 10 Britons????? How the hell do these people even exist?????? Sounds like the entire cast from "Airplane"!

36 posted on 09/08/2005 5:10:34 AM PDT by Doc Savage (...because they stand on a wall, and they say nothing is going to hurt you tonight, not on my watch!)
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To: clee1
There was an article posted here a while back, saying that dyslexia also affects the Chinese, but in a different part of the brain (undoubtedly because of the difference in writing systems).

That said, there are of course abuses. My sister used to work in the modern language department of a large university. The number of students who didn't like foreign languages who came to the office asking for an exemption from the language requirement because they were dyslexic (self-diagnosed!) was staggering.

37 posted on 09/08/2005 5:15:50 AM PDT by maryz
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To: anymouse

Ann Coulter has pretty much been saying the same thing for years (i.e., dismissing dyslexia as a convenient cover for "rich parents of dumb kids").


38 posted on 09/08/2005 5:24:47 AM PDT by irishjuggler
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To: Blurblogger

Dyslexia is not something we should make pun of.


39 posted on 09/08/2005 7:32:30 AM PDT by Rennes Templar ("The future ain't what it used to be".........Yogi Berra)
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To: anymouse

I'm a dyslexic but I don't shiv a git.


40 posted on 09/08/2005 7:41:16 AM PDT by wayoverontheright
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To: anymouse
But the suggestion has angered many dyslexic people and dyslexia organisations, who say the argument is damaging and unhelpful.

Notice, they don't say that the argument is incorrect.

41 posted on 09/08/2005 7:44:21 AM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: msnimje

Sorry, I was distracted by traffic.


42 posted on 09/08/2005 1:00:25 PM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: Blurblogger

Lexdyxia is completely real. Popple who are Licksdexic should not be called sputid. Heyt are too diff'rent things.


43 posted on 09/08/2005 2:39:21 PM PDT by Yaelle
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To: mo
What this report does is relieve the government from having to deal with the problem........

Hold on there. Whether it exists or not, what makes it a GOVERNMENT problem? Whatever happened to people dealing with their own problems, without appealing to Big Brother?

44 posted on 09/08/2005 3:06:10 PM PDT by LexBaird (tyrannosaurus Lex, unapologetic, yet compassionate carnivore)
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To: LexBaird

In the end, forcing a public school system to acknowledge variability in learning capacity, it then is incumbent to address the differences.....costs money. Whether or not it SHOULD do so is entirely another kettle of fish. However, public school education was once one of the great equilizing assets of the middle class in the USA...before it evolved into a tool to impede social mobility.


45 posted on 09/08/2005 8:08:26 PM PDT by mo
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To: Ken H

How does it change many dyslexics to take a light bulb?


46 posted on 09/08/2005 8:13:53 PM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: anymouse

Dyslexia was just Cher's excuse for not knowing how to read.


47 posted on 09/08/2005 8:15:29 PM PDT by uncitizen
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To: anymouse
I saved this one a while back and wondered if anyone with a reading disablility could actually read it.

Typoglycemia >> >> I know it looks weird, but believe it or not you can read it. I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt.

48 posted on 09/08/2005 8:21:46 PM PDT by hford02 (the PETA gay pagan vegan community awaits their turn to be the silent majority)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Note: this topic is from 9/07/2005. Thanks anymouse.
...at least three academics call into question the value of separating those with difficulty in reading into dyslexics and "ordinary poor readers", when the treatment is the same for both groups.

49 posted on 04/21/2013 4:07:42 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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