Dyslexia Pocketbook

10th March 2006 at 00:00
Dyslexia Pocketbook By Julie Bennett

Teachers' Pocketbooks pound;6.99. www.pocketbook.co.ukteachers

Julie Bennett gets her retaliation in right at the start: "Dyslexia is not: Simply a reading issue. An excuse (middle-class or other) for a lazy child.

A ruse to get preferential treatment. A result of low IQ."

What's certainly true is that dyslexia is complicated, producing effects way beyond the basics of reading and writing. Julie Bennett, a consultant specialising in dyslexia, describes it as "a collection of differences in learning, including weaknesses and strengths". And, just to make things even more difficult: "Not all dyslexics experience the same weaknesses or strengths."

Perhaps the biggest problem for dyslexics is the feeling of not fitting in, of having something missing. For children especially, this loss of self-esteem damages the whole of their learning. Teaching, therefore, has to concentrate on building up strengths and working on confidence, and Julie Bennett's concise and comprehensive chapter of teaching tools and tips always bears this in mind.

The useful Current Approaches section lists and briefly describes some of the techniques (neurology, vision, movement, nutrition) that children and parents may be using out of school. Children who've been privately assessed at the Dore Achievement Centre, for example, will be on an exercise regime.

This is a useful and accessible way into a hugely documented subject, and there's no excuse for not looking further, because there are several pages giving details of books, websites, support organisations, software and practical apparatus.

GERALD HAIgH

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