OU blog

Personal Blogs

E801: Action 3.7

Visible to anyone in the world

E801: Action 3.7: Further reflections on 'Specific reading disability (dyslexia): what have we learned in the past four decades?'

House of Lords Debate, 5th March 1980; cited in Ott, 1997)

  • No agreed criteria for distinguishing dyslexic children from other children
  • Children whose difficulties are marked but whose general ability is at least average
  • Distinctive arrangements are necessary for those children
  • The term 'dyslexia' is used too loosely
  • The term is not descriptive enough to be helpful to the teacher

I believe that the comments are still relevant today. Looking back to the comments I recorded from lecturers in action 3.1, there is agreement that distinctive arrangements are required but that the term 'dyslexia' is used too loosely and so there are far too many students falling into the category and insisting on specialist help. The comments from students suggest that the lecturers understand the reading and spelling aspect but do not understand organisational and working memory problems.

Ministerial Statement on Dyslexia, 6th May 2008

More emphasis on specialist training for teachers as well as students and checking on the impact of this training.

Joint response from dyslexia organisations on DCSF Announcement, 6th May 2008

Do we really know how to support these children effectively?

1 SpLD qualified teacher per school

Rose Report (2009)


Page 10 (12 of pdf)

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.

Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.

Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities.

It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points.

Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia.

A good indication of the severity and persistence of dyslexic difficulties can be gained by examining how the individual responds or has responded to well founded intervention.


Screening tests are unreliable Page 11 (13 of pdf)

Personalised approach is necessary Page 13 (15 of pdf)

Short courses for teachers/ some teachers to have specialist training (p.15)

Specialist skills in some schools / Advanced skills for some teachers in all schools / Core skills for all teachers (p.16)

Not a dyslexia specialist for every school but for groups of schools(p.18)



Permalink Add your comment
Share post

This blog might contain posts that are only visible to logged-in users, or where only logged-in users can comment. If you have an account on the system, please log in for full access.

Total visits to this blog: 422700