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Sun Jun 03, 2007 3:59 pm
And again. Will it ever stop.
There was another article in todays paper- Peter Hitchens with the headline "Dyslexia? A Fantasy to excuse the liberal wreckers".
Dyslexia? A fantasy to excuse the liberal wreckers
Donning my stabproof vest and my anti-slime suit, I'd like to praise Professor Julian Elliott of Durham University for daring to state the truth.
Dyslexia is a fantasy.
This is especially important in the exam season.
A bewildering number of students claim extra time, demand differently coloured question papers or are issued with equipment worth up to £10,000 - at our expense - on the grounds that they are sufferers from this fictional complaint.
Those who take their exams without these things are, with reason, growing more and more resentful about this special treatment.
Like its equally suspect cousin 'ADHD', dyslexia is a symptom of a society in trouble and an education system wrecked by liberals.
Rather than admit their policies are wrong, the liberals pretend millions of perfectly healthy, intelligent young people are in some way disabled.
Their really clever move is to persuade the victims of this trick to rejoice in their victimhood. The enraged letters and emails I shall now get, claiming to be 'insulted', will come from healthy, intelligent people who actually want to believe they have dyslexia, or from their parents.
Perhaps a small minority of them really do have something physically wrong with them.
If so, their cases are completely different from the majority, and shouldn't be bracketed with them.
Most alleged dyslexics have simply never been taught to read properly, thanks to some of the worst schools in the rich world and the dogmatic refusal of many teachers to use the one tried, effective method - synthetic phonics.
Instead, even now, many persist in the 'mixture of methods' which confuses pupils. It often also confuses parents who are assured that synthetic phonics are part of this mixture. But phonics must be taught exclusively to work.
Meanwhile, TV and computer games have displaced books in most children's lives. Few now read regularly for pleasure. Without Harry Potter there would be fewer still.
Professor Elliott, an educational psychologist, points out that there is no clear diagnosis of dyslexia.There are at least 28 different definitions of it.
Yet parents, alleged sufferers and teachers actively welcome the classification - as it relieves them of responsibility for the trouble.
But in countries where this fad is not indulged, the schools still teach reading properly.
And these countries are our rivals in aworld where a growing contest for scarce energy means Britain's days of wealthy security may be numbered - and will be numbered if we don't stop making excuses for ourselves.
ARRRGH!! I know, I should read better newspapers but this just angered me. Had to post it.
Sun Jun 03, 2007 4:06 pm
get the torch and pitchforks!
ugh! why do such people beleive in these things!
now we realise what will happen when Dyspraxia gets famous
"Dyspraxia an excuse for the clumsy"
Sun Jun 03, 2007 4:46 pm
The worst thing is pepole believe the things these pepole write.
I know that some organizations are overdiagnozing it, but to say it doesn't exist is another thing.
I don't suppose we could lynch this guy. Or would that be decending to his level?
Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:31 pm
That article sounds a bit mud-flingy and right wing, even for the daily mail.
They are just fools in my opinion.
Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:45 pm
why are they aloowed to put up such BS as news?
did any of you ever see there 'article' on autisim?
that made me angryer than this....
Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:56 pm
Other countries teach reading diffrently because their languages are more phonetically regular than English, so synthetic phonics makes more sense.
We really should just igniore these idiots, though. That article didn't cite any actual evidence of anything. Furthermore, the person who wrote it has clearly already been bombarded with counter-arguments which s/he has ignored, so there is no point in debating with him/her.
It's best to ignore this stuff. Don't argue with an idiot - they will just drag you down to their level and beat them with experience.
Sun Jun 03, 2007 6:01 pm
I can't really have any ideas on learning to read, I could read quite well before entering primary school, it's been one of my gifts.
Sun Jun 03, 2007 6:06 pm
im probably the best reader of my year i finish most of my books in a couple of hours
wow! something positive
Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:29 pm
Reading is also one of my strengths-I can finish a novel of 400 or so pages in 2 hours and zoomed ahead in reading levels in infant school-nice to have something that I could do!
What article on autism was this? Sorry-I am always curious about journalism relating to autism as I have Aspergers myself.
Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:47 pm
it was a while back i cant remember but the long and short was it said Autisim was just an excuse for those with nos ocial lifes
this made me very angry as i have 2 cousins with autisim and my little brother has autisim so i never did like the Daily mail
Sun Jun 03, 2007 10:09 pm
Well the person who wrtoe that article must have precious little experience with autism-that's all I'm prepard to say on the subject.
Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:32 am
To me, this article does not seem to state any evidence for its claims other than (mis)quoting Julian Elliot. Vicky is right - the Julian Elliott stuff was from a few years ago; I remember watching this programe 'The Myth of Dyslexia.' To me, the main basis of that programme was dyslexic children are no different from children who are just a little slow at reading. Yes it is controversial and I feel certain it is untrue but at least Elliot had studied dyslexia in detail before making his claims and had evidence that he believed backed up what he felt. Elliot also made a claim that I strongly agree with; which is that children who are slow readers should be given help at school. Children should not need a diagnosis of dyslexia in order to be given support.
All Hitchins's does is parrot back the claims Elliot has found, with little evidence of his own. What's particularly irritating about this article is that he goes on about extra exam provision available for dyslexic people as if it is unfair without failing to consider that most, if not all, exam provision mentioned would fail to make much difference to the grades of regular students. For example, he mentions using coloured overlays. For a dyslexic student who struggles to read black ink on white paper, the use of a coloured overlay could mean a difference between a pass and a fail. For myself, and other people without dyslexia, the use of a coloured overlay would not make a bit of difference to my overall grade as I do not suffer from the perceptual distortion of letters when reading that people with dyslexia are said to suffer from. Surely this is a case for dyslexia, not against it? While it could be argued (I believe incorrectly) that extra time and the use of a computer may help any student, requesting coloured overlays would not.
I find the statement 'most alleged dyslexics have simply never been taught to read properly' offensive and rude. It is like saying 'most alleged people who are disabled have never been taught to walk.' Okay, so some children are simply slow readers and are not dyslexic. But dyslexia is about more than being a 'slow reader.' Perceptual distortions, clumsiness, poor short term memory, maths trouble, poor handwriting etc. are all common in people with dyslexia, who usually have an above average IQ. This suggests that, like dyspraxia, it is neurological in origin and stems from a problem within the brain. As has already been mentioned, English is not a completely phonetical language and so of course other reading strategies are often used.
Dyslexia/dyspraxia etc. are all diagnosed more now than in the past. I believe that this is due to both spreading awareness and environmental factors. I accept that maybe some people are misdiagnosed but the majority clearly have problems. I am outraged to hear that the newspaper also made claims against the existence of autism. This is the same paper, after all, that claimed that the MMR vaccine could cause autism (something I don't know enough about to speculate on whether or not it is true but if something doesn't exist why scare a load of parents claiming that giving your child a vaccine can cause it?!)
I do not have dyslexia but I know people that do and I know that some people on here do. I have seen intelligent friends struggle to read and to write things and I myself have struggled to do things because of my dyspraxia. At my very lowest my future just looked black and I considered ending it all because I felt nobody understood. Luckily, awareness is now growing, particularly within the education system. To an extent, I agree that Elliot, an educational psychologist, is a brave man as he has made a very controversial claim. As a psychology student I would be prepared to argue against Elliot's claim using evidence as well as my own experience. However I do not believe Hitchins's case is even worth arguing. He simply cites Elliot's research without bothering to find anything out for himself and then goes off on a tagent talking about the quality of teaching in schools. I really wish that he could spend some time as a dyslexic, dyspraxic or autistic person because he would not last one minute. That's all I have to say on the matter.
Mon Jun 04, 2007 12:05 pm
I just want to re-iterate Charlotte's point about MMR. The Daily Mail and similar papers have prevented many children from getting that vaccine because of mistaken beliefs about autism. I don't know if MMR can cause autism, but I know not having MMR can lead to measles and/or mumps and/or rubella. These can lead to blindness, deafness and even death. I'm not blind, deaf, or autistic so I'm not going to speculate on which of those disabilities is hardest to live with. But I know that by definition it is obviously impossible to live with death (unless you're death of rats in the Discworld books, but that's irrelevant.) And how can death possibly be worse than a non-existant disability?
Sorry, I know this thread is not about MMR but the whole idea of perents risking their children's lives because of the MMr scare really worries me.
Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:51 pm
MMR has no link with autism anyway. The guy who did the research brought it to the press before it had circulated in the scientific comunity. His basis was that usually autism becomes obvious around the time MMR is given, or a little after anyway.
It's like a bit like saying Autism is caused by your back teath.
Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:39 pm
what is the diffence between soem one with dyslexia and some one who is a slow reader ?
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