Blessed Are The Cheesebrains

My Experiences as a Mum and Wife of Dyslexics

Does Dyslexia Exist? What Do You Think of The ‘Dyslexia Debate’?!

on April 4, 2014

This week I was asked to take part in a debate on Mumsnet with Professor Julian Elliott whose new book, The Dyslexia Debate, has created a certain amount of controversy in the news recently!  Many newspapers and websites have picked up on the pre-launch blurb (designed to create interest and sell books) to publish a range of sensationalist stories:

I’m the sort of person who likes to look at the evidence for myself and make my own mind up, and so I  look forward to reading the book when it’s published (and perhaps even reviewing it here on Cheesebrains!).  I’d be particularly interested to find out what Professor Elliott’s recommendations and conclusions are, and whether his book is actually trying to further our understanding of dyslexia rather than just attacking the ‘dyslexia community’, as it appears from the news.  I’d also suggest that dyslexia campaigners and charities have a very good understanding of what the condition really is (and that we may even agree on some of his points), and that it’s education and research/science that hasn’t kept up!

I am, however, one of those ‘middle-class parents’ being slated in the press and can speak from experience and so here’s my side of the debate.


7 responses to “Does Dyslexia Exist? What Do You Think of The ‘Dyslexia Debate’?!

  1. Teaching-Annie says:

    I also have a dyslexic daughter (now age 12) however, I do not allow her to use that label as an excuse. Children are acutely aware of their peers, even my daughter who is homeschooled realized the difficulty she experienced learning to read. It took me 3 years to teach her to read on her grade level. Not only must I teach her academic skills, it is important that I teach her how to obtain these skills for the workplace. This is one of the reasons I taught her to type, and that also took me three years. Can she type? Yes, and she can type 60 words a minute. Can dyslexic people learn? Yes, but they learn differently, and innovative teaching methods are needed! I fear the academic world is the slow learner here!
    typing test

    • Lisa Kendrick says:

      Annie – I completely agree with you and learning to type is the next thing on my list for my daughter. It’s such an essential skill nowadays, but also my husband found it such a revelation when he started using computers and he finds it easier to spell when he types : )

      • Teaching-Annie says:

        Thanks Lisa for your reply. The typing learning curve for Annie was long, but she learned and as you can see in her typing test video on my blog, she is proficient. It opened her world. Although Annie is dyslexic, she is actually my best word speller. She has the ability to spell extremely lengthy words, but has problems spelling words of 6 letters of less. Hmm!

  2. jennifer says:

    I am dyslexic and irlen syndrome my life is so beautiful now i have my irlen glasses .

  3. RossMountney says:

    Very interested to find your blog. I know that many among our home educating community will find it so too, in fact, Dyslexia and the way reading differences are dealt with (or – more usually – not) is often one of the reasons parent opt to educate their children outside of school! Pop across to my blog if you’d like more info as I now write to support parents wanting to do the same. All the best.

    • Lisa Kendrick says:

      Thanks for your comment – and yes, I agree with you – my daughter has asked me numerous times when things are tough if I’ll home school her and in my new role as a Forest School practitioner I’ve met several children & young people with ‘learning differences’ who are being home schooled. It’s something I would consider, depending on the situation, and think it can be the best option for some children, but how sad that it’s the only option for some people because school is failing their child!

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