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Education Experts Query Dyslexia Diagnosis

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  • Education Experts Query Dyslexia Diagnosis

    Education Experts Query Dyslexia Diagnosis

    A Durham University professor says more focus should be put on helping children to read, rather than giving them a label.

    10:52am UK, Wednesday 26 February 2014

    Educational experts are questioning the diagnosis of "dyslexia", saying it is unscientific and lacks educational value.

    Durham professor Julian Elliott, a former teacher of children with learning difficulties, has written a book, The Dyslexia Debate, based on five years' study of education, genetics, neuroscience and psychology.

    He says there should be more focus on helping children to read rather than finding a label for their difficulty, suggesting resources are wasted by putting young people who are struggling to read through diagnostic tests, because the label lacks meaning.

    "Parents are being woefully misled about the value of a dyslexia diagnosis," said Professor Elliott.

    "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.

    "It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the parents and teachers of children with reading difficulties believe that if the child is diagnosed as dyslexic, clear ways to help them will result.

    "Research in this field clearly demonstrates that this is a grave misunderstanding."

    But the views of the Durham University professor and those of professors at Yale in the US have been challenged by the charity Dyslexia Action, which says the term clearly defined in 2009 following a review by Sir Jim Rose still has meaning and should not be dropped.

    The charity's Dr John Rack insisted the term retained a scientific and educational value.

    He said: "If the argument is to treat all struggling readers as if they were dyslexic then that is fine with us.

    "But 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."
    The BFF had a crazy successful business teaching kids with a diagnosis label to read. Of course, the school teachers didn't have access to this super-secret method (creative repetition and phonics).

    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

  • #2
    I am getting more and more sick and tired of "diagnosing" schoolchildren with "disorders" and using that to excuse away everything from a failure to learn reading and arithmetic to daydreaming on a pretty afternoon, rather than taking actual corrective measures to address this behavior.

    Dyslexia is real, but it most definitely can be overcome in 95% of cases that are "diagnosed" today. EVERYONE occasionally has bouts of "dyslexia" when they read something and the word on the page seems to say something that it actually doesn't. Happens to me all the time, in fact, most particularly when I'm tired. There have been descriptions of "letters jumping on the page" for as long has there has been a printed word. This is not a "disorder" that needs to be "treated;" this is a case of sometimes you need to be careful and re-read what was written.

    Diagnoses of autism have freaking SKYROCKETED in the last couple or three decades, and I do not for one minute believe that actual cases of autism have skyrocketed, at least not by anything like the same amount as diagnoses. These are labels slapped upon children who talk late, clam up in class because they're nervous, are being passive-aggressive, or simply don't know the right answer and panic. Everyone should read Thomas Sowell's Late Talking Children. He delves into this a great detail involving his own child and dozens, even hundreds of case studies. The most important part: in an overwhelming majority of cases, parents who rejected having the "autism" label slapped upon their child later found that their child was in fact not autistic at all. At the same time, a large plurality of parents who simply accepted the "autism" label put upon their child later found out that their child was, in fact, not autistic at all, and, sadly, in a lot of cases, this behavior was so ingrained in the child that it took years to reverse that conditioning to actually act like their label.

    And don't even get me started on the myriad cases of ADHD diagnoses that are complete crap. If anyone wants to find a source, a reason for the perceived increase in school shootings, look no farther than the BS diagnoses of ADHD and the associated powerful psychotropic drugs out there that are handed out like candy to very young, developing minds, warping those minds in ways that we cannot possibly comprehend. Hint: virtually every single school shooter who was a teenager or young adult in the last 30 years or so was also on these strong psychotropics, and in many cases, later review indicated that there was likely a misdiagnosis that led to that medication in the first place. I would be willing to bet that at least 90% of ADHD and similar diagnosed cases are complete BS with no basis other than an interest in writing a prescription and using that to keep the child pacific rather than correcting the inappropriate behavior.
    It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
    In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
    Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
    Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now


    • #3
      In retrospect, this thread is ideal for the "education issues" forum. Away we go....


      • #4
        Proper and successful instruction of dyslexic kids includes a no stigma approach with patience and enough respect for them to push them further than the enablers think they can do.
        "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."
        -John Locke

        "It's all been melded together into one giant, authoritarian, leftist scream."


        • #5
          Originally posted by scott View Post
          Proper and successful instruction of dyslexic kids includes a no stigma approach with patience and enough respect for them to push them further than the enablers think they can do.
          When I was a kid I stuttered. I wasn't a full time stuttererer, more of an emotional or excitement stutterererer. Amazingly enough, there were ADULTS who (like Joan Rivers and Judge Bitch Judy) would mock or interrupt me while I was trying to speak. Naturally, this simply extended the stuck-loop. Everyone in my family worked very hard to help me with the stuttering, including everyone stopping talking until I was finished. Naturally this led to my lifelong expectation that no one speak when I am speaking. To this very day it irritates me when I am not allowed to articulate a complete thought, and for context you should know that I speak almost exactly as I write: longwinded and pedantic. The bright side is that I myself am a great person for a stutterer to talk to once I realize that he stutters. In fact, they are the only people I don't interrupt and to whom I give direct eye contact full attention.
          The year's at the spring
          And day's at the morn;
          Morning's at seven;
          The hill-side's dew-pearled;
          The lark's on the wing;
          The snail's on the thorn:
          God's in his heaven—
          All's right with the world!


          • #6
            There are many reasons for reading problems. At 5 and 6, despite an awesome vocabulary and the ability to read and spell individual words far above grade level, HRH had a visual focus issue (which she fortunately outgrew). The fix was as simple as having her put a ruler under the line she was reading, so the lines didn't cross and mix sentences into incomprehensibility. However, a friend of mine taught herself to read because the words literally appear to her to move around the page and in 1955, her teachers had no clue. They thought she was retarded; she received her doctorate in 1979. Her daughter has a different and more severe form of dyslexia, dropped out of high school because of it, but because she was allowed to dictate her college exams, is now a very successful CPA and investment counselor. Her memory is phenomenal, since she can't take notes.

            I am a huge advocate of teaching reading any way and with any material that will get a child to read and enjoy it. I don't doubt that learning disabilities are over-diagnosed, as the flavor of the month tends to be. That doesn't mean they don't exist at all.
            "Since the historic ruling, the Lovings have become icons for equality. Mildred released a statement on the 40th anniversary of the ruling in 2007: 'I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, Black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.'." - Mildred Loving (Loving v. Virginia)