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E801: Action 3.4

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E801: Action 3.4: Labelling Neurodiversity

Reid, G. (2009) Dyslexia: a Practitioners Handbook. Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell. Chapter 17

Pollack, D. (2009) 'The Self Concept and Dyslexia', in Soler, J., Fletcher-Campbell, F. & Reid, G. Understanding Difficulties in Literacy Development. London, Sage.

Points in favour of labels:

  • To protect from anxiety by identifying with a group (Pollack, p.204)
  • To protect self esteem by giving self and others 'a reason' (Pollack, p.205)
  • To relieve a teacher's self-esteem issues (Pollack, p.206)
  • Route out of 'self-blame' (Pollack, p.209)
  • To obtain assistance and equipment (Reid, p.273)

Points against labels:

  • Student can be written off (Pollack, p.206)
  • Reduce feelings of control (Pollack, p.209)
  • Locates problem within child and detracts from policies/organisations (Pollack, p.209)
  • Use as a crutch (Pollack, p.210); blame everything on dyslexia; become egocentric and demand rights (Pollack, p.211)
  • Feeling of abnormality (Pollack, p. 210)
  • Disclosure of label in employment/some courses (teacher training) can be negative (Reid, p.277)
  • Special arrangements can lead to feelings of obligation (Reid, p.279)


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