A professor from Durham University is urging that more attention should be paid to helping children to read rather than diagnosing them as being dyslexic.
Professor Julian Elliott has released a book called The Dyslexia Debate, which brings together five years of research, covering such areas as education, neuroscience, genetics and psychology. He is concerned that children are being comprehensively labelled as suffering from dyslexia with the result that conventional teaching is halted, rather than trying harder to help them to read. He and other educational experts believe that the dyslexia label is misleading and needs to be redefined and that categorising a child as being so may lead to false expectations regarding the efficacy of treatments.
He said: "Parents are being woefully misled about the value of a dyslexia diagnosis," adding that every child throughout the world experiences learning difficulties at some point in their formative years. He agrees that some children find it more difficult to learn to read than others but queries whether they should be termed dyslexic and states that more research into the condition is needed.
However, his comments encountered opposition from the Dyslexia Action charity, which states that the existing definition of dyslexia has a real educational and scientific value.
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