TES article that started the row

9th September 2005 at 01:00
Last week's article in The TES, in which Professor Julian Elliott of Durham university took issue with "myths" surrounding dyslexia, has provoked more reaction from readers than any other in recent memory.

The article provoked a flurry of newspaper and broadcast reports and The TES has been bombarded with emails, letters and postings on our website.

Many readers have been angry at Professor Elliott's claims, while others argued that his ideas needed airing.

Professor Elliott described dyslexia as a "construct", which had gained currency for emotional, rather than scientific, reasons. It was a label which was not useful to anyone, he said.

But Pamela Lore, head of Moon Hall school for dyslexic children, in Dorking, Surrey, said: "I do not believe that in our state of ignorance about the brain, we can dismiss it as merely an 'emotional construct'.

"It is immaterial what label is attached to the child, but it is undeniable that such children exhibit similar cognitive profiles."

Stephen Brookes, chair of the disabled members' council at the National Union of Journalists, wrote: "Even though Professor Elliott cannot recognise it, dyslexia is a real and major issue, faced by over 2.9 million people."

There were more than 200 postings on The TES website. One reader said: "In the 'bog standard' secondary where it is my job to remediate poor readers, some are 'labelled' dyslexic, and some are not. They have just the same problem."

Some of the arguments on the site have been highly emotive - one reader suggesting that society used "dyslexic" because the word "thick" was unacceptable. However, others said research had found no simple link between intelligence and the condition.

Catch up with the dyslexia row at www.tes.co.uk

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