Dyslexia isn't just for boys

4th November 2011 at 00:00

I was very pleased to read the article in the Resources section recognising Dyslexia Awareness Week (28 October). Dyslexia is now widely accepted as affecting both genders in similar proportions. However, you would not have guessed this, judging by the wholly masculine depiction of famous and successful dyslexic people, past and present, that accompanied the article.

Although, quite rightly, reference was made to the struggles experienced by actors Susan Hampshire and Kara Tointon (pictured right), where were their photos in the article? Come to that, where were the examples of highly successful dyslexic female scientists, authors and entrepreneurs, such as Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Lynda La Plante and the late Anita Roddick?

TES is not uncommon among the media in focusing on the masculine experience of dyslexia. However, this trend reinforces the common misperception among parents, schools and employers that dyslexia is a "boy" thing. Such a misperception partly resulted in my own daughter's late diagnosis, just weeks prior to her (unfortunately catastrophic) A-level exams.

How many dyslexic girls are set to slip through the net because parents and teachers assume low odds in favour of dyslexia among girls compared with boys, because that's what they see? I, sadly, was one such parent myself, but I'm now doing my best to raise awareness in my local community.

Come on TES, take a lead too and show others in the education media how to do it.

Julie Cappleman-Morgan, Parent of dyslexic daughter and primary school governor, Tamworth, Staffordshire.

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