Dyslexia - just an excuse for stupidity?

M

Mr_Logic

Guest
#1
Have we done this one yet?

In yesterday's Daily Mail there was an article saying that dyslexia is just a middle-class way to hide stupidity.

Dyslexia is a social fig leaf used by middle-class parents who fear their children will be labelled as low achievers, a professor has claimed.

Julian Elliott, a leading educational psychologist at Durham University, says he has found no evidence to identify dyslexia as a medical condition after more than 30 years of research.

"There is a huge stigma attached to low intelligence," he said.

"After years of working with parents, I have seen how they don't want their child to be considered lazy, thick or stupid.

"If they get called this medically diagnosed term, dyslexic, then it is a signal to all that it's not to do with intelligence."

He added: "There are all sorts of reasons why people don't read well but we can't determine why that is. Dyslexia, as a term, is becoming meaningless."

One in ten people in the UK - including 375,000 schoolchildren - has been diagnosed with dyslexia.

The condition is said to impair short-term memory and the ability to read, write, spell and do maths.

Supporters of the condition argue that dyslexics are intelligent people who have difficulties processing information and need extra help and time than others who are poor readers.

But Professor Elliott has claimed that the symptoms of dyslexia - such as clumsiness and letter reversal - are similar to those seen in those who simply cannot read.

He argues that the condition should be rediagnosed as a reading difficulty.

His comments provoked fury among dyslexia campaigners.

John Rack, head of research and development at the charity Dyslexia Action, denied that the disability was a middle-class phenomenon.

He told The Times: "There is ample evidence that dyslexia exists across the spectrum and the argument that there is no consistent means of identifying it is one cited by people who don't know enough about the subject."

However, other experts have suggested that parents are putting their children forward for reading ability assessments to "get them off the hook".

Dr Michael Rice, a dyslexia and literacy expert at Cambridge University, said: "There is a sense of justification when children are diagnosed.

"It gets them off the hook of great embarrassment and personal inadequacy."

According to Professor Elliott, dyslexic university students are gaining an unfair advantage by getting extra time for their studies and many are getting diagnosed simply to get up to £10,000 worth of equipment including laptops and extra books.

University lecturers have complained about students "milking the system" by pretending they have the condition.

One lecturer who teaches in the South-East said:

"On one degree course I teach, about one quarter of the students get help with their coursework and other assistance because they have this label. You become quite cynical."

The number of students who receive disability allowances at university has risen to a record 35,500 at a cost of £78.4million a year.
There we have it, conclusive proof from The Mail that dyslexics are actually just thick.


For the record, Mr_Logic does not suffer from dailysex.
 
#2
Dyslexia is one of those irregular nouns and is conjugated as;

He is thick, mock him mercilessy;

you can't spell, get a dictionary;

I/my child has dyslexia, I demand special treatment.
 
#3
This article, like so many, is bollocks.

Dyslexia is a serious affliction, often inherited, and can blight the lives of highly intelligent, creative people. Shakespeare and Churchill both were dyslexics, yet produced some of the world's finest prose.

This kind of dangerous claptrap is apalling, and must not be allowed to contribute to the ruination of yet more lives.
 
#5
I actually agree with the basic tenor of the article insofar as many people who are genuinely thick, or just lazy, use it as a catch-all to avoid being subjected to ridicule.

No one knows how humans learn or which mechanisms or processes are involved in learning. But it's such a complex subject that, I assume, any number of things can go wrong. Inability to read or write properly is probably one of those things. Then again, I can see many tones and hues in colours which seem to escape others. On the other hand, my brother can recognise musical notes just by hearing them once - which I can't. We're all born with some sort of ability, or not, as the case may be.

So perhaps being unable to read and write properly belongs in that sort of category. But would that include GPs, who make such a big thing of having illegible handwriting?

MsG

PS: M.F.
 
#8
Shakespeare and Churchill dyslexic? Amazing fact given that Churchill won the nobel prize for literature and his dyslexia is not apparent in his writings. I think it is used as an excuse by some for not wanting to admit that little Johnny isn't the brightest spark.
 
#9
Yeah, I'm sure the likes of Branson are thick as pig sh!t...
 
M

Mr_Logic

Guest
#10
And just to stoke the fire on this one, some of you may find this funny.

Spelling Poem

Eye halve a spelling chequer,
It came with my pea sea,
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rarely ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I'm shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect in it's weigh,
My chequer tolled me sew
 
#11
Daily Mail journalistic license?

As a qualified teacher I can honestly say that some people have difficulties reading, they have problems with context in general then spelling, punctuation etc etc. Others have real problems concentrating for extended periods, some are clumsy some just have difficulties with numbers. All of these things are real, they can all be helped to some extent or other, they all have labels from Dyslexia, ADHD, dyscalcula to dyspraxia but these are just labels and it's very rare for anybody to fit exactly within one particular label, in the past we called these people thick!

What is being said here is not what is being reported, the Professor is merely stating what many have suspected for a long time, not all of these conditions are necessarily medical conditions, he's not saying they don't exist. They may be related to other factors such as child development or lack of neurological stimulation at key stages. There is considerable evidence to suggest that dyspraxia is caused by a lack of physical stimulation at an early stage of infant development (roughy toughy play with Dad)

There is also a cynical suggestion that some students are playing up to the hype and some parents are encouraging it, of course that would never happen! (yeh right)

The reality is these labels help teachers immensely, they assist us to develop teaching strategies and assist learners to develop coping strategies, they are useful. Some people will be incorrectly diagnosed with various learning difficulties but in general we are better at this than we ever have been in the past. The main reason kids are falsely diagnosed is that it is far better to increase learner support at an early age than make up for any defecit later. The article is leaping in its assumptions and the Professor is probably as upset as others that all of his work has been summed cynically in newspaper inches!
 
#12
From this call sign it appears that both arguments are correct. Dyslexia is a recognised illness, which many suffer from. Others, however, use this as a smokescreen to hide the lack of intelligence in their offspring. There are lots more cases of Dyslexia being reported in the modern ages, but how many parents get the doctor's note saying, "I'm sorry Mrs Smith, he's just a bit thick"? Not many I'll wager.

This has already been brought to question in the case of hyperactivity and ADHD - It's just a way for cr*p parents to justify their little brat's unruly behaviour. I can't doubt that these conditions exist, but it does seem as though these conditions are being misdiagnosed in most cases.

One thing is for certain - those who genuinely do suffer from these conditions would not be seen to be using them as a crutch.
 
#13
Bugsy said:
I actually agree with the basic tenor of the article insofar as many people who are genuinely thick, or just lazy, use it as a catch-all to avoid being subjected to ridicule.

No one knows how humans learn or which mechanisms or processes are involved in learning. But it's such a complex subject that, I assume, any number of things can go wrong. Inability to read or write properly is probably one of those things. Then again, I can see many tones and hues in colours which seem to escape others. On the other hand, my brother can recognise musical notes just by hearing them once - which I can't. We're all born with some sort of ability, or not, as the case may be.

So perhaps being unable to read and write properly belongs in that sort of category. But would that include GPs, who make such a big thing of having illegible handwriting?

MsG

PS: M.F.
Find myself in agreement. I am blessed with dyslexia and dyspraxia. Makes life interesting but not insurmountable. Tend to spell words they way they sound which obviously isnt always right. Also tend to write words down and switch the first two letters very frequently.

On the plus side I have bloody good spacial acuity.By product of which is being bloody good at map reading and having a memory for direction, I can pretty much remember the route to anywhere I've been to once. And can three D model in my head. Which is nice if im building a piece of furniture.
 
#14
I think the article is spot on.

The fact is that dyslexia and quite a lot of other mental "conditions" cannot be cured. Therefore surely that "condition" is part of being that person.
I am bollocks at anything musical does that mean i have some sort of musical dyslexia? Should i be given extra money to help me learn?

Also by diagnosing people with these things we are setting an example of what is normal, whatever that is. And this PC loving government surely regards normal as everything since we now don't discriminate on race, gender and now skill :evil:

If someone with dyslexia will always have it and therefore it is part of that person. So when they go into their exam they'll get extra advantages for the same grade. No star by it saying they have extra time.

This is something i have for a long time felt quite strongly about and it gets my back up.

Edd
 
#15
skintboymike said:
One thing is for certain - those who genuinely do suffer from these conditions would not be seen to be using them as a crutch.
That is my experience of teaching 16-25 year olds, generally those who have developed a coping strategy are not quick to tell you of their problems. Perhaps they no longer view it as a problem?
 
#16
As the ex Mrs H suffered from dyslexia and I consider it to be a real condition. She had no problem reading, but when she wrote, the letters of a word would in the wrong order or back to front. It has nothing to do with intelligence, as she is an engineering designer. She had a very good secetary who would translate the technical manuals she wrote to the machines she designed. Now she gets by with spell check.

On the other hand, I have no excuse for bad spelling or grammar, I'm just thick as fcuk! Parents and schools do use it as an excuse for mongs though.
 
#17
Dyslexia is an affliction which, like so amny shortcomings in life, can be overcome and mastered by, first, intelligent, insightful teaching and instruction, and then by the exercise of self-discipline of the part of the sufferer.

Shakespeare and Churchill both evidently overcame their difficulties, and look the the legacy we have from those two!

If used my dullards and the lazy as a smokescreen for their idleness, it must not be permitted to blight sufferers lives and careers.. Dyslexics are frequently very talented, creative people who deserve better than to be confused with the dim or idle.
 
#18
I have to agree with Caubeen (to an extent at least) This article has potentially put back the work of many dedicated professionals in the field of Educational needs.

However, I must take you to task on your remark that Dyslexia etc is an 'affliction': here I have to agree with BiscuitsAB; As someone with both dyslexia and ADHD I find it a positive advantage in certain areas of my life, including spacial awareness and sense of direction.

Although the distractability can be a pain at times.

Nishka
 
#20
Mr_Logic said:
And just to stoke the fire on this one, some of you may find this funny.

Spelling Poem

Eye halve a spelling chequer,
It came with my pea sea,
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rarely ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I'm shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect in it's weigh,
My chequer tolled me sew

ROFPMSL that nice! I like that.
 
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