Sunday, 20 December 2009

20. Do we need to know who is dyslexic? Just give us the technology!

In the UK we have had a number of recent “reviews” around the subject of dyslexia. First there was Identifying and Teaching Children and Young People with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties (affectionately known as The Rose Report) published on Monday 22 June 2009. Then we had the parliamentary Science and Technology Committee report, published 18 December 2009. The first reviewed the research, while the second questioned the quality of the evidence and the use of the term dyslexia. Given the words this committee used, one has to question their intention as well as their capability (NB I could not see their academic credentials to ensure they knew how to carry out research). Were they trying to do something useful, or stop funding of 4000 specialist teachers and other funding opportunities? Sadly they cannot see the irony of their own methods, which is that they carefully chose who to interview and what to cite. This clearly creates a bias in the approach. Yet they criticise the research into dyslexia! You cannot have it both ways.

The Committee’s Conclusions and Recommendations says “The Rose Report’s definition of dyslexia is exceedingly broad and says that dyslexia is a continuum with no clear cut-off points. The definition is so broad and blurred at the edges that it is difficult to see how it could be useful in any diagnostic sense.” My view is that instead of prolonging the arguement around cut-off criteria (which are always a funding-related issue), why don’t they put some funding into assistive technology that could then be distributed free to everybody irrespective of the label, and thereby save a huge amount of money?

Science and Technology Committee Report

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree.......