Landmarks on the path to recognition

13th October 2006 at 01:00
1896 Dr Pringle Morgan publishes a paper in the British Medical Journal about a 14-year-old boy called Percy, who spells his name "Precy" and suffers from "word-blindness"

1949 Tim Miles begins work at Bangor Child Guidance Clinic, seeing Brenda and Michael, both unable to read, write and spell. A colleague suggests that they may be suffering from a form of "developmental aphasia"

1962 Dr Alfred White Franklin convenes conference of the Invalid Children's Aid Association to discuss "word-blindness". A "Word-Blind Centre" is formed in London

1970 Following public pressure, disabled campaigner and government minister Lord Alfred Morris includes the term "acute dyslexia" in the goverment's Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act - the first legal recognition. A Labour colleague at the time told Morris he had put on the statute book a condition which did not exist. Morris replied: "In that case I shall not have to spend any money on it."

Tim Miles publishes On Helping the Dyslexic Child, which encourages parents to teach their children systematically to spell using letter sounds rather than the meaning-related word lists (currant, sultana, raisin) then popular in schools

1973 Bangor university establishes the first MEd for teachers to specialise in teaching dyslexic children

1978 The Warnock Report devises the concept of special educational needs, removing the requirement to prove that dyslexia as a syndrome exists, since "needs" are easier to prove than syndromes. Statementing and provision for dyslexic children begins to grow.

1987 Robert Dunn, conservative junior education minister, announces in the House of Commons: "The Government recognises dyslexia".

1997 Researchers at Oxford University and the Wellcome Trust identify a chromosomal abnormality in 100 families with dyslexic children and parents.

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