Jan. 14th, 2009

ailsa_chan: (Default)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/7828121.stm

This pissed me off. Just because this MP does not understand what dyslexia is, doesn't mean it is a fictional condition. Dyslexia does not mean poor reading and writing, it can hinder the speed at which you read, and cause mistakes in writing, but it's not quite the same thing. It is a condition affecting working memory and coordination, and means that input from the senses (mainly eyes and ears) isn't always processed correctly by the brain.

We are often clumsy and walk into things, because our brains don't always detect how close we are to objects. We can read things the wrong way round (89 rather than 98) or write them down wrong (espcially letters - b becomes d etc). It's not that we can't read, or we can't spell, it's just we get things mixed up. Things committed to long term memory are fine, short term memory tasks, like repeating something backwards can be nigh on impossible.

What's particularly annoying is that he's not wrong entirely - some children are being let down by the way they are taught. However he makes two important mistakes: one equating dyslexia with poor reading and two suggesting that one method of teaching is better than another and should be used for all. What is needed is recognition that not all children learn the same way and a structure implimented that allows for this.

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