Friday 22 March 2019

Dyslexia: It's time for serious talk

In his article in your 'Education Now' section (Irish Independent, April 9), Kim Bielenberg talks about dyslexia and makes extensive use of material provided by The Dyslexia Association of Ireland. That association is, along with psychologists who provide related assessments, deeply involved nationwide in the identification and treatment of the condition popularly called dyslexia. It has out-of-school workshops at 30 locations around the country.

The end of his article makes a point that should, I suggest, have been at its start and discussed objectively. It is:

"Dyslexia has often been the subject of controversy, with some education experts even claiming that the condition is a myth. Julian Elliott, professor of Education at Durham University, caused uproar three years ago when he argued that there was no agreed definition, no sure way of diagnosing it, and no clear way of treating it."

That is a devastating claim. Yet my 1990s research -- when I attended a Florida course that showed how to banish the symptoms called 'dyslexia' -- showed that it is entirely valid.

The tragedy of those labelled 'dyslexics' and for parents and taxpayers who pay for related diagnoses, treatment and support services is that The Dylexia Association of Ireland people simply refuse to discuss this issue.

JOSEPH F FOYLE

RANELAGH, DUBLIN 6

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