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Clues to dyslexia

Early intervention - and the earlier the better - is "crucial" to detect dyslexic learners, according to a literature review.

The Scottish Council for Research in Education reports that this is the consensus from the experts - and it means that health and education professionals need to be on the lookout for early signs of dyslexia.

Schools are also reminded that poor self-esteem is often a side-effect, so young people should be encouraged to take part in things they are good at, such as athletics or art, to boost their confidence.

The report cites two opposing approaches: instilling a sense of shared struggle by creating courses for dyslexic learners, or making the entire school "dyslexia friendly" (encouraging results from a North Wales comprehensive indicate that this benefits all pupils). But, whatever the approach, "horses for courses" programmes should be adopted, because dyslexia is multi-faceted.

One advance for dyslexia sufferers could come through imaginative uses of ICT. Larger studies in other countries point to promising results, but the role of ICT in Scotland needs to be explored.

* www.scre.ac.ukresreportrr125summary.html

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