• georgejamescowie

Is it dyslexia?

Is it dyslexia?


‘The era of applying the label ‘dyslexic’ is rapidly drawing to a close. The label has served its function in drawing attention to children who have great difficulty in mastering the arts of reading, writing and spelling but its continued use invokes emotions which often present rational discussion and scientific interrogation’


Yule, 1976 in Elliot, J.G. and Grigorenko, E.L. (2014) The Dyslexia Debate. New York: Cambridge University Press.


45 years later dyslexia remains prominent in debate and discussion about why some children struggle to read and write.


Kilpatrick (2015) offers a grid similar to the one below as a way of categorising difficulties with literacy. He describes dyslexia thus:


‘Simply defined, dyslexia refers to a difficulty in developing word-reading skills despite adequate instructional opportunities....That is much less intriguing than the popular discourse about dyslexia, which often focuses on the reversals and transpositions of letters...the dyslexic has adequate language comprehension but poor word-level reading skills.’







All of this suggests that rather than focusing on whether someone is ‘dyslexic’ or not, we should instead just spend a little time practicing reading texts at a level appropriate to their level of understanding, continue to do so consistently and slightly raising the bar each time they achieve mastery at that level.


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