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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 11:30 am 
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An article in the Times today, suggesting that dyslexia is increasingly being used as an excuse by some parents for the fact that their children are simply not performing:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/education/article1848281.ece

A very controversial point of view.


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 2:45 pm 
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I think the article was suggesting that students pretend to be "dyslexic" to access more time in exams or obtain financial benefits. I find this bizarre as in my experience it is virtually impossible to get any help or funding for dyslexic children.

My 8 year old daughter is dyslexic on the mild/moderate borderline. The LEA refused to pay for her initial assessment because she was "only" six months behind her peer group. We had to pay for the assessment - £400 and £50 a week for her lessons at Dyslexia Action (which are fantastic). I have had to pay for her various teaching aids myself and assume I will also have to provide a laptop and special software when she attends secondary school and University.

She is now reading six months in advance of her age group but still has dyslexia. Not sure what the "expert" would make of that!

Dyslexia is a frustrating condition - if you try to imagine reading this post upside down in 3D with the letters shifting places that would give you some idea of what it is like. I cannot understand the ignorance of people who say it is an excuse for stupidity or a "middle-class" invention that doesn't exist. I also find it annoying that Dyslexics are written off as "slow". My daughter is slower at reading than some people, but faster at maths. She can "see" how machines etc work as she can imagine in three dimensions and is also gifted at art.


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 3:05 pm 
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Actually, if one is diagnosed with dyslexia, universities go out of their way i.e. extra time in examinations and free equipment such as laptops et cetera.
I know that if I had a test to determine if I had dyslexia, I would probably have mild-moderate dyslexia as I have problems reading - and as you describe Nou, reading text that sometimes appears to be 3D and upside down. However, to be honest, so far I have done well without all the extra help I could be provided even achieving better then some of my fellow pupils.
I find myself understanding something better if I know all the facts and apply (“see”) how they all inter-relate; maths was my best subject.
To be honest, when I'm in A&E and have a patient that's dying in front of me, I can't put my hand up "i've got dyslexia, do i get extra time".

Quote:
I cannot understand the ignorance of people who say it is an excuse for stupidity or a "middle-class" invention that doesn't exist. I also find it annoying that Dyslexics are written off as "slow".

Maybe the above statement by the critics is harsh, a bit too extreme but I have to agree that it is being made a big deal of especially by that aforementioned group.


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 3:22 pm 
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I hope you have the opportunity to sit in with an educational psychologist during your training Sayed, and observe the battery of tests that are carried out to diagnose dyslexia. I doubt you would dismiss it so lightly.


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 3:40 pm 
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My experience is that able children are often first diagnosed at Secondary school - or even later. The brain can compensate to some extent but ot always lowers the efficiency.

Articles like the one Sally-Anne links to really annoy me - I have seen able children 'released' when they are diagnosed. The extra time just puts them on the same footing as everyone else -


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 12:36 pm 
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Hi All,

Must admit I did not intend to post over half-term as I wanted to spend time with my kids. However, I feel very strongly about Sayed's comments and feel that I must address some of the points that he has raised.

Sayed,

I have read many of your posts and have the greatest of respect for what you have achieved in the face of adversity however, your views regarding dyslexia, its causes and the effect, are to say the least clearly uninformed. I make no apology if you are offended by this statement.

Sayed wrote:
However, to be honest, so far I have done well without all the extra help I could be provided even achieving better then some of my fellow pupils.
I find myself understanding something better if I know all the facts and apply (“see”) how they all inter-relate; maths was my best subject.


The reason that you acheived better in maths than your peers is a consequence of the way a dyslexic brain functions - Dyslexics typically have strengths in visual-spatial abilities

On a basic level, those with strong visual-spatial abilities are better at puzzles, and construction activities. The ability to understand dimensionality means that skills such as map reading are superior based on the ability to visualize a 3D image from a 2D plan. It is this ability to process information through pictures rather than words which provides the ability to think holistically, which can evade the auditory learner.

Dyslexics have strengths in skills such as how numbers and shape relate to each other and recognising patterns. The ability to quickly recognise patterns shows itself very early in primary school in areas such as grasping the concept of odd and even numbers, rather than learning these by rote, even when the pupil is struggling to attain literacy skills.

Strong visual-spatial skills provides the ability to see the end product, or the complete picture more quickly. This provides a distinct advantage for subject areas, which require an overall picture before work commences rather than approaching in stages e.g. interior design, architecture, and engineering. This is why dyslexics can outperform their peers and their literacy difficulties overlooked



Quote:
To be honest, when I'm in A&E and have a patient that's dying in front of me, I can't put my hand up "i've got dyslexia, do i get extra time".


Sayed...A dyslexic often has excellent verbal skills and can demonstrate verbally a good understanding of subject area or show strong imagination despite being unable to replicate this through writing. Extra time is therefore given so that dyslexic pupils can demonstrate thier ability on paper..dyslexia does not impair ability to make decisions under the circumstances which you describe.

Quote:
Quote:
I cannot understand the ignorance of people who say it is an excuse for stupidity or a "middle-class" invention that doesn't exist. I also find it annoying that Dyslexics are written off as "slow".


Maybe the above statement by the critics is harsh, a bit too extreme but I have to agree that it is being made a big deal of especially by that aforementioned group.


As the parent of three children with varying degrees of learning difficulties, all of whom perfom well at school owing to early identification (by parents rather than professionals ) and intervention (orchestrated by parents), I am somewhat concerned by your attitude. Further, in the context that you are at medical school, I find your comments extremely alarming and worrying for the next generation. One can only hope that you do not intend to specialise in paediatrics.

If anyone is offended by this post please PM forumadmin to moderate.

HP


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 1:46 pm 
HP

As a parent of a dyslexic child I would like to agree 100% with your post.

Sayed
Quote:
I know that if I had a test to determine if I had dyslexia, I would probably have mild-moderate dyslexia as I have problems reading - and as you describe Nou, reading text that sometimes appears to be 3D and upside down. However, to be honest, so far I have done well without all the extra help I could be provided even achieving better then some of my fellow pupils.



No-one is saying that people with dyslexia cannot do as well if not better than their peers but likewise some dyslexics do need longer to put in writing what they are thinking and that is why they should be allowed extra time.


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:06 pm
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Guestkent,

I have deleted your duplicate post for you. If you would like to register, you would be able to edit your own posts... hint, hint :D

HP


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 6:24 pm 
I had a moment of enlightenment some months back when deciphering a letter from the illegible hand of a family member. I read the letter - slowly and painfully - out loud to my husband, and at the end I realised I had zero comprehension of what I had just read. It certainly made me understand how dyslexics must feel when they have spent so long simply de-coding words that they cannot keep track of meaning.

Y


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 6:01 pm 
My son has just been dianosed with moderate dyslexi, this follows 4 years on school action plus and diagnosis of ADD offers of ritalin (refused even his teachers didn't think this would help) but all those years of handwriting practice, numerous pencil grips, a writing slope etc changed nothing he just became much more aware of his inability to record information on paper and decode wordy maths questions (excellent at mental maths). According to the senco he couldn't be dyslexic because he could read, yes he can read but now is 2 years behind as the reading strategies he employed to achieve this don't work for higher levels and his writing is level 1, the EP will make recommendations for the school but with the SENCO's attitude I don't hold out much hope.The EP also said that the bright dyslexic is very hard to spot it's only when the verbal and performance assessments show a huge deviation is the diagnosis possible. Any advice for me as I must now deal with the SENCO as his IEP reveiw is pending? Thanks


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