Diagnosing Dyslexia

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Mon, 03/24/2008 - 4:04pm.

Half of children who fail key school tests are likely to have dyslexia or other learning difficulties, according to research published today.

It claims that one in five pupils shows signs of dyslexia or conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - a vastly higher rate than official figures.

Specialist researchers found that 55 per cent of primary school children failing their SATs - the national curiculum tests - had symptoms of developmental learning problems - most often dyslexia. They claim that the figures, if extrapolated, would mean that two million children could have specific learning difficulties.

This tallies with international rates, but is more than 20 times the 76,000 registered on the Government's official school census.

The research was commissioned by Xtraordinary People, a charity that draws together Britain's leading dyslexia organisations. It was partly funded by the Government, as part of the charity's No To Failure project.

Chris Singleton, an educational psychologist, led the research, which screened 1,300 children aged 7 and 11, at 20 schools in three areas.

He found that 21 per cent showed signs of dyslexia or learning disorders such as dyspraxia (relating to coordination) or dyscalculia (affecting attainment in mathematics). The rate was 26 per cent of children in Year 3 (aged 7) and 18 per cent in Year 7 (aged 11). This indicates that over time the disorders of most of these children have been diagnosed and they have been "lifted out of risk". However, the report said, this indicates that two thirds of those who had shown signs of disorders "remained in educational jeopardy" after Year 7.

The results suggested that "unidentified dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties are a major cause of educational failure that could be remedied, but which at present is largely ignored", it said.

Kate Griggs, founder of Xtraordinary People, said: "The link between dyslexia and academic failure has been made shockingly clear in our report. This level of failure is unacceptable and unnecessary - with a correct "˜diagnosis' and support from trained specialists, dyslexic children can flourish."

Ms Griggs said that rather than spending vast sums on pilot schemes and initiatives such as personalised learning, the Government should pay for a dyslexia specialist in every school.

Read all about it

— Dyslexics find it hard to process word sounds and have weaknesses in short-term verbal memory

— Problems are thought to arise from inefficiencies in language-processing areas in the left hemisphere of the brain which, in turn, appear to be linked to genetic factors

— Dyslexia is lifelong, but its effects can be minimised through various approaches

— The condition is not related to intelligence, race or social background

— Dyslexia can occur alongside other specific learning difficulties


The Times - Source: Dyslexia Action - Nicola Woodcock - March 14, 2008 - posted at www.timesonline.co.uk

Tag this page!
Submitted by SadInAmerica on Mon, 03/24/2008 - 4:04pm.