Diagnosing dyslexia stops us reading between lines

10th April 2009 at 01:00

What is the difference between severe dyslexia, mild dyslexia and a middle-class excuse for poor literacy? ("Dyslexia: middle-class myth?", TES Magazine, April 3.)

The question wouldn't matter if the whole range of abilities and language acquisition, including genuine dyslexia, was incorporated in all teachers' professional development as part of their everyday practice. This would also improve their ability to teach reading skills to the rest of their pupils.

It is the existence of a separate, specialist expertise that has encouraged the expansion of both the diagnosis and specialist teaching careers. It has also led to dyslexia receiving the lion's share of resources at the expense of including children with more unusual or complex learning difficulties.

Chris Goodey, Assistant director, Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education, Bristol.

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