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Dyslexia is NOT a disease. It is an excuse for bad teachers.


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I doubt there has ever been a society so easily fooled by pseudo-science and quackery as ours is. Millions of healthy people take happy pills that do them obvious harm, and are increasingly correlated with inexplicable suicide and worse.

Legions of healthy children are drugged into numbness because they fidget during boring lessons, and countless people are persuaded that they or their children suffer from a supposed disease called ‘dyslexia’, even though there is no evidence at all that it exists.

A few weeks ago I rejoiced at the first major cracks in this great towering dam of lies. Dr Richard Saul brought out his courageous and overdue book, ADHD Does Not Exist.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2570977/PETER-HITCHENS-Dyslexia-not-disease-It-excuse-bad-teachers.html:confused:

 

 

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I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was pretty young. I had no idea about this as my parents hadn't told me. It was only overhearing my mum telling my spelling tutor that I had any idea.

I was offered extra time in exams and extra help in class and I refused.

I still don't really believe I ever had dyslexia. What I did have was a TERRIBLE teacher while in infant school for two year. She only helped her favourites and used to shut me, and another person, in a cupboard if she decided we had been naughty, even if it wasn't us. SHE put me behind, not dyslexia.

I actually ran into her when I was working in tescos when I was 19. I only realised it was her when I saw her name in her credit card. I told her she used to teach me. She asked my name, I told her and she said 'ohhhh yes. Your not as fat as you used to be' and walked off!

Some people have a lot to answer for.

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Both of our little ones had issues with reading, the elder of the two is a year older and she went through a special teacher tutor reading program, she reads like a good un now, the little one as just started the same program and is showing signs of a vast improvement, we read with them every night we did with all of our kids, does make you wonder if it is teachers over pupil ability/issues, like i said we thought ours had some issues early on, but a good teacher and us helping from home seems to have worked.

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Dyslexia is not disease! you are right. I have it, it has never stopped me doing anything. I got told I had it in 1986 and now I am 41 and very happy with it. I do not blame my old teachers. I did as well as everyone else at school, I just did things in a different way to everyone else.:confused:

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I'm not blaming my old teacher for having dyslexia, I'm saying I believe I was wrongly diagnosed because I was behind, because of that teacher. I caught up and most people through school and sixth form never even knew I had been diagnosed with it. This was because I felt like a fraud saying it. I believe it is all too easy a label to give someone.

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I doubt there has ever been a society so easily fooled by pseudo-science and quackery as ours is. Millions of healthy people take happy pills that do them obvious harm, and are increasingly correlated with inexplicable suicide and worse.

Legions of healthy children are drugged into numbness because they fidget during boring lessons, and countless people are persuaded that they or their children suffer from a supposed disease called ‘dyslexia’, even though there is no evidence at all that it exists.

A few weeks ago I rejoiced at the first major cracks in this great towering dam of lies. Dr Richard Saul brought out his courageous and overdue book, ADHD Does Not Exist.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2570977/PETER-HITCHENS-Dyslexia-not-disease-It-excuse-bad-teachers.html:confused:

 

 

 

 

Of course it is not a disease ( I am not sure anyone has ever described it as a disease before), it just means a different way of learning. Once this is recognised there are a number of strategies that can be taken.

 

Far too easy to blame teachers and way too much of a generalisation. I am sure we can all fondly remember the great teachers we had as well as the poor ones.

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Of course it is not a disease ( I am not sure anyone has ever described it as a disease before), it just means a different way of learning. Once this is recognised there are a number of strategies that can be taken.

 

Far too easy to blame teachers and way too much of a generalisation. I am sure we can all fondly remember the great teachers we had as well as the poor ones.

 

The article does state 'supposed' disease.

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I'm dyslexic but wasn't diagnosed with it until I started adult education. I feel I was let down by school and college!!! I have felt I've always tried harder than everyone else but never got the best marks ! I've always struggled but never given up !!!

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Oh I have so much to say on this consider mum and dad had the LEA by the short a curles a while back with my brother but I shall save you the torment and leave you with just a few thoughts

 

I belive it's down to teaching methods and teachers refusing to think outside the box. Too tied to the key stage lesson plans that are target driven and not leaving enough room for creative flair.

 

I taught my dog too whistle the other day

 

Really I hear you say lets hear her then?

 

I said I taught her didn't say she learnt

Edited by jjgibbs
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I taught my dog my whistle the other day

 

Really I hear you say lets hear her then?

 

I said I taught her didn't say she learnt

 

That's why they are called 'Teaching and Learning Principles', they are not separate to one another.

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I do blame teachers to an extent. Mine were lazy useless oxygen thieves. I left school barely able to read and write. It wasn't until I was an adult I was diagnosed as dyslexic by chance. I am colour sensitive so struggle even now with coloured paper and inks and find life a lot easier when I use a colour trans film over words. For example, a graph on the traditional blue graph paper is unreadable to me - I can't read any of the words. On brown paper or with a colour film over, it makes perfect sence.

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I do blame teachers to an extent. Mine were lazy useless oxygen thieves. I left school barely able to read and write. It wasn't until I was an adult I was diagnosed as dyslexic by chance. I am colour sensitive so struggle even now with coloured paper and inks and find life a lot easier when I use a colour trans film over words. For example, a graph on the traditional blue graph paper is unreadable to me - I can't read any of the words. On brown paper or with a colour film over, it makes perfect sence.

 

Hi Very Stormy

 

Your post really interests me. Have you been to an Optometrist? I am not being rude, I promise you.

 

There are some tests that can be conducted and if proved conclusive (I am only making a guess here), special glasses that will make an absolute world of difference to you.

 

Please consider it.

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In any argument, intellectual or otherwise, it is important to acknowledge and consider different points of view, and them.

 

Peter Hitchins (who incidentally describes dyslexia in his article as an "alleged ailment") does neither. He simple quotes a single book, legitimising its content by an airy reference to its authors as respected academics. However well respected these authors may be, the work represents the opinion of two people. Two.

 

Of course dyslexia is not an ailment, as any teacher worth their salt would tell you - and contrary to what Peter Hitchins implies, there are plenty of excellent teachers out there.

 

Dyslexia could be described is a difficulty in learning to read in ways that suit the majority. Think of it, if you like, as being left handed - no matter how hard I try, I can't do certain things properly with my right hand. A simplification, I grant you, but it gives a better idea than calling it a disease. Many people disagree with labelling learning difficulties, but names like dyslexia do have the advantage of focussing attention on a problem, attracting research and hopefully producing helpful ways of teaching.

 

The teaching methods used to help dyslexic learners give the learner more time, less pressure and strategies to help them remember and practice decoding skills and organise their own learning effectively. Some learners find the colour of the page and script (as mentioned above) makes a difference, some don't.

 

Good old fashioned teaching? Would that be the kind where someone gets locked in a cupboard because their face doesn't fit? There are, and will continue to be bad teachers - I've been taught by them and I've met them as an adult. As with just about any job, there are always the bad apples. Hence claims for medical negligence and for poor building work etc etc etc.

 

BUT the vast majority of teachers I met in my 36 year career were caring, committed and hard working people, many of whom constantly attended courses and read research data to try to improve their performance for the benefit of the children in their care. For that, we should all be grateful.

 

 

Edited by Fisher1
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Sadly it has become somewhat of an excuse both for learners and teachers. The problems that kids encounter with reading and spelling are hugely complex and there is no one size fits all! Some of the historical pedagogic trends unfortunately exacerbated the problems that some kids have with acquiring literacy as they took away the scaffolding that gave them different ways of approaching the written word. Unfortunately, with the best will in the world it can be tricky and time consuming to work out how to help just one kid and even our best teachers can't always do it. If you have a kid with literacy problems though, a good starting place is a check by a developmental optometrist - more than just the bog standard read the chart assessment and then a hearing check. If they're both clear then you know where you're starting from.

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This is as pointless a discussion as whether schizophrenia, depression or many other disorders are diseases and the subject of many an A level psychology essay.

 

There is evidence for both sides of the argument, FWIW my opinion is that there are empirical differences in the brains of dyslexics & those with ADHD but whether they are caused by the environment (e.g. brain damage at birth or not acquiring language skills during the critical period) or some kind of genetic factors is difficult to ascertain.

 

I think both dyslexia and ADHD are over diagnosed so a lot of those with the label do not actual have them at all but have some kind of functional cognitive or behavioural difficulties.

 

In some ways it doesn't matter - if someone misses out on learning to read and being diagnosed as dyslexic enables them to get help to overcome this, that can only be a good thing.

 

Funny my son saw the headline and wanted to read the article - I declined, bordering on abuse to expose a 10 year to the Daily Mail rhetoric :) He talked about two of his school mates who are dyslexic, in both cases there are family issues - a very chaotic and career driven single mum in one case, and really rather tragic circumstances leaving a single parent dad in the other and if I was the psychologist working with them I would be looking much more closely at that before jumping to a diagnosis.

 

Purely as a matter of interest I got through education without too much difficultly although I was always better at maths/science than English and spelling was troublesome. It was only on my degree when my friend was doing her dissertation on dyslexia and needed a 'control' subject that her supervisor - a language and memory professor suggested that actually he thought I was dyslexic. In my case it is consistent with other brain curiosities - things I would never have known if I hadn't been subjected to all kinds of experiments as part of my degree. It seems my language centres are more distributed in the brain than a 'normal' person and that is consistent with minor brain damage at birth - as we know now the brain is amazingly adaptable especially in the early years and if anything I believe this has benefited rather than disabled me in any way.

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I think that things like dyslexia, ADHD, autism etc should be viewed as 'different abilities', rather than disabilities or diseases. I do agree that it is entirely possible that things like dyslexia/ADHD or whatever are over-diagnosed, and I would also agree that each and every one of us sits somewhere along the very long and wide spectrum that is 'normal'. However, I think that it would be a huge disservice to lump all of those people who genuinely do have difficulties in to the same group as those of us who are neurotypical. These people are on the same spectrum of ability as the rest of us, but they are beyond the boundaries of what is considered 'normal' or 'normally functional'.

 

Some of you may know that our eldest daughter has Asperger's syndrome. Some people have said to me that because it is mild and for all intents and purposes she appears 'normal' to outsiders, albeit with a few quirks, that she shouldn't have been diagnosed. However, her Asperger's has and does give her some truly distressing behaviours (OCD hand washing and refusal to eat - at age 6 as she was before she was diagnosed). These behaviours aren't usually visible to those outside the home, but believe me when I tell you that these are ongoing problems that I have to deal with on an almost daily basis. Due to her diagnosis I was able to go out and inform myself about how to best help her.

 

I think that the same is true of dyslexia/ADHD. Help can't be given unless a problem has been found.

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Everybody wants a 'diagnosis' that's the trouble. Can't just accept that theres a wide spectrum of ability and behavious that is 'normal'. We all have to conform dont we...makes peoples lives easier...keep some in work

 

Top post. We are all too eager to label people these days. It drives me insane.

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There are so many negative connotations with labels that make it a self fulfiling prophecy.. The word Diagnosis is a start...followed by Learning Difficulty...Challenged... Syndrome.. Disorder...

 

Change the perspective and have a better outcome, no one is denying that yes there are going to be idiosyncratic issues that children have whilst growing up .. I would have been diagnosed as ADHD in a heartbeat and then they would have pumped me with Ritalin where would I have ended up

 

Guess what ? I adapted, changed, and worked it out the hard old fashioned way as a kid .. (because my parents were absent) ... that whats bugging you in the mind can affect what goes on in your body .. Its what called psychosomatic .... I still have varying degrees of symptoms which in todays terms one would call OCD (hate that word), but I manage it by not worrying about it that much. Ensuring my CDs and Vinyl have no fingerprints on them are not life threatening.. There are those worse off that have real life delibitating physical health issues

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