Dyslexia, how much of it is around, what more could be done?

Hiya everyone,

Hope you're all ok and have a happy and healthy 2009.

An article caught my eye where an MP has stated he believes Dyslexia is ""a myth"" now whilst I know that to be untrue, I do think maybe more could be done for people with this and related conditions to help achieve their potential. As someone who will (hopefully) be entering the teaching profession in a few years I am interested to hear from any Dyslexics or anyone with Dyslexic children and how it affects their school life.

So how do any of you feel affected by it? What more do you think teachers and schools could do? Do you think alternative methods such as lingustic phonics would help?


Claire x

11 Replies

  • I must admit,I dont know anything about the teaching methods to help dyslexics,but I wonder why this MP would think it is a ""myth"" ??-and in passing,I would like to apologise to all sufferers as I have posted a few ""dyslexic"" jokes on here in the past-I hope they havent offended anyone.

  • Well his main argument for saying it is a myth is that in counties such as South Korea they have nearly 100% functional literacy rates, so everybody in the country can read and write well enough to get by,and in Britain that isn't the case. I don't know much about the teaching methods used to try and help dyslexics, but would just like a general view of what it's like to have it and how it affects you in school. I read in the paper today that schools are still failing to give as many kids as they should the correct English and Maths GCSE skills, but to be fair to secondary schools if a child is left to fall so far behind in their primary schools then how much can the realistically do?

    I know that reading aloud and talking helps dyslexics, but to be fair I don't know a lot, quite bad considering I want to be a teacher, but I do want to learn!!

    I think linguistic phonics involves teaching children the sounds of the letter so ""ee"" sound and ""ch"" sound etc and apparently it helps dyslexics to learn to read and also write properly, although how much truth is in it I don't know.

    Claire xx

  • Regarding dyslexia being a myth, this may have come about many years ago when posh parents ( excuse if any here!) didn't like their children being labeled not very intelligent and called them dyslexic as it sounded better! some people have also used it to hide illiteracey too! ( I hope this makes sence and I haven't offended anyone) I believe Dyslexia is NOT a myth but a very real learning dificulty.

    A similar thing happened a few years ago with allergies - Celebs developed allergies to foods as it sounded better and more trendy than being a fussy eater. Hence allergies weren't taken seriously for some time as peope did not apreciate that severe allergies cause anaphylaxis.

    I haven't got dyslexia but it wasn't until I was 14 that my difficulties in writing legibly and spelling ( Hard words were fine but easy ones I found difficult - perhaps due to similarities of works) My writing is much better now and I write on the lines and not in the gap inbetween!

    I don't know much about teaching special needs though.

  • Hi,

    Just found this thread and don't want to sound like a 'dyslexic annonnomas' group but, I'm Christine, I'm 26 and I'm dyslexic :oD

    But seriously, I am in my 2nd year of a 4 year course at uni and was only diagnosed last year after requesting to be tested.

    I went through nearly the whole education system without 1 single teacher picking it up and in fact the special needs tutor said the reason my GCSE grades weren't great was because I was born in August, therefore my brain was less developed than someone born in September! - At 15/16?!! Anyway, I fought to go to 6th form and did a GNVQ in science and it was my science teacher who said to me 'have you ever been tested for dyslexia?' to which I said no, and she told me I should be. I told my parents and they laughed!

    I went through high school feeling that I was stupid and was getting thicker every year. I never asked for help because I didn't know what the problem was, I just didn't understand what I was being taught and the books I was reading.

    I think the reason it wasn't picked up was because children are good at developing coping stratigies - can't spell a word? use other's eg 'Probably = most likely'

    I do feel failed by the education system, I also believe that teachers don't know what they are looking for, except for in the extreme cases. My hope is that no child grows up feeling stupid like I did because even to this day, that's how I feel.

    Sorry, rant over :o/


  • There's a line of thought that you have to hear the sound of the letters in your head as you read. I know someone who cannot read the teletext news if someone is talking to them about something they've read on that page. They have perfect hearing and perfect sight so that isn't where the problem lies. We were talking the other day and wondering if in the case of dyslexia it is something the same. That the sound and spacing of the letters isn't decoded clearly.

    I used to work for a charity where I was told when sending a letter to a dyslexic client, he'd stated could we use a slightly bigger font and type on yellow paper.

  • The biggest problem with dyslexia is that everyone who has it, is affected differently.

    For example, some people use different coloured paper to read from, I personally use blue, a friend prefers yellow and another green. This is called Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome. It doesn't affect all dyslexics and you don't even have to be dyslexic to have the condition!

    When I read I either fall asleep (very quickly) or if i mangage to stay awake, I get a halo effect around the words, this makes it very difficult to read what is on the page and understand it.

    As for spelling, I can't sound out words as I am missing some knowledge of how letters sound. I am currently learning phonetics at the age of 26! There is also a delay between me hearing a letter and being able to write it down correctly or seeing a letter and naming it correctly. Both my eyesight and hearing are fine.

    There is lots more but i won't bore you lol. That is just me, someone else may be affected differently or to a more extreme. I do get angry and frustrated with myself but it won't stop me :o)


  • Hey :)

    I'm mildly dyslexic but only found out last year when i sarted my A-levels at a sixth form college and my English teacher suggested i got screened for it. All through primary and secoundary school no one noticed. To be honest it effected me worst in primary school when i'd did really badly in spelling tests, and the teachers and children thought it was because i just was a bit thick, despite being 'average' in other things, no one thought anything of my problem with spelling, or ever put me forward to be tested for dyslexia.

    My college have been fab and I now get extra time in official exams, and my teachers are aware so don't scribble in red pen over all my spelling mistakes, when marking essays which has made a huge difference to my self confidence in my work.

    I wish i had been diagnosed in primary school, as i feel it would have helped my overall development, and i feel being taught in phonics would have helped greatly however saying that in my AS exams i managed to achieve an A 2B's and a C which i think was mainly down to the college making such an effort to get me diagnosed.

    However now i feel like there is more support avalible to help me with my mild dyslexia at college than there is to help me with my asthma which affects me a great more than being dyslexic. For instance I had to argue with the college to let me park on college grounds for a few months as students are not allowed to park on the college grounds and the closest car park was about half a mile away, so when my asthma was bad or I'd just come out of hospital I'd feel rough before I'd even made it to college. In the end my consultant had to ring up and write a letter to get these allowances for me, yet I just had to fill in a form for the extra time in my exams.....

    ally x

  • I am dyslexic and i have probablems processing both written and audio information, once the information is in my head i have a fantasitc memory and i learn by pictures. I drive by pictures as well. anyone who tells me to go left or right will lose me but say turn just after tesco for example and i am all good.

    I think the main way it can be helped is by people being understanding to people learning in different ways. ie i learn best when wearing my green glasses and being given pictures to assocaite what i am learning too.

  • Firstly, let me make it very clear that I knew nothing much about either dyslexia or the Korean language until a few minutes ago. I still do not know much and am happy to learn more. I offer a thought - I do not assert an opinion.

    I looked up the Korean language in Wikipedia a moment ago and found some very interesting comments. Could the reason Korean is said to to be more successful (if it is) be something to do with the language being being a very phonetic one?

    One quote from there about Hangul, one of the two styles is ""The organization of Hangul syllables—with individual phonemes clustered into a syllable, rather than organized in a horizontal line as in English—is thought by some observers to be a powerful reading aid"".

    If I am understanding correctly what one or two of you have said about dyslexia, phonetics can help. Is it the meaningless collection of strokes that form our alphabet that is causing a major issue?

    I am ignoring the MPs assertion that dylsexia is a myth as this appears both derogatory and uneducated - a typical brash statement of the sort expressed, unfortunately, by so many politicians wanting to be be thought of as knowing everything and always being right about the same.

    There simply has to be a problem if so many people, including so many that are clearly intelligent and well-educated, have the issue. If our alphabet is a major cause, or contributor, I have no idea how you overcome it, but it does seem to make some sense.


  • Dyslexia is not a myth my daughter has a statement for it and her local LEA pay for her to go to a boarding school that can handle her above average intelligence and well below average reading ability. Due to some mess up she did not get extra time in her GCSE's and still managed everything above a C now in her final year of A'levels and doing fine. Interestingly she could ""read"" hiroglyphs (sp - now you know where she gets the dyslexia from) from 5 years old. I am guessing languages with a more pictorial system will have fewer dyslexics.

  • All teachers need to develop an understanding of dyslexia and associated problems, I could give you a huge list of problems my son encountered at school such as being expected to make a note of homework in the last few seconds of a class, to being told to use a dictionary by his teachers

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