The dyslexia debate continues

30th September 2005 at 01:00
I watched The Dyslexia Myth with interest and growing concern. My concern arose from the many bombastic statements made in the programme, particularly that vision has now been "proven" not to play a part in reading problems.

This statement contradicts research from Professor John Stein's team at Oxford university which has shown that the brains of poor readers are impaired in the visual magnetocellular system, which stabilises eye movements and enables the eyes to converge and point together at the page.

I am a Brain Gym consultant and work with many children with learning problems, most of whom have problems with reading. I, and my many Brain Gym colleagues in the UK, find that it is almost always essential to do eye-training work to converge the eyes to point directly at the page, before reading can start to improve. Only once the vision is under control is it time to start to work on the auditory identification of individual phonemes.

I would like to encourage readers to continue to be concerned about the visual abilities of their children, and not to do as the programme suggested and ignore the visual system altogether in favour of the auditory system.

Dr Buffy McClelland The Oxford Brain Gym Hockmore Cottage Bartholomew Road Cowley, Oxford

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