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Dyslexia - meaningless?


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23 replies to this topic

#1 clanchief

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 10:58 AM

Prof Julian Elliot of Durham Uni has been reported in some press reports as saying that dyslexia is no more than a handy fig-leaf for pushy middle class parents who are too embarressed to admit that their kid is a numpty.

Apparently what he actually said was that the label is now applied so widely that it has become meaningless.

A factor in this appears to be the ability of middle class parents to exploit what the state has to offer. If their child is lagging behind, they press for the child to be labelled as dyslexic when the symptoms are far from clear cut and this results in their children gaining access to more than their fair share of educational resources.

I was amazed to learn that 10,000 pupils a year in Scotland now qualify for "special arrangements" for exams, including extra time, because they are diagnosed as having conditions such as dyslexia. Also 6,000 "declared dyslexics" now qualify for special support within the Scottish University system,

The questions that we have to ask is whether some of these students are milking the system to compensate for their inability to meet set standards or do they (and their parents) basically have aspirations beyond their ability.

#2 Fjool

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 11:07 AM

I've certainly seen the term used as an excuse for not trying. Whether a genuine condition or not, such a label has the ability to reinforce the problem. "Oh, I'm dyslexic, so there's no point even trying to improve my spelling, etc". Self-fulfilling situation. Get label, try less.

Some people certainly do find language more difficult than others, just as some people find playing sports more difficult than others because of their physical shape. It doesn't mean that you should stop exercising.

#3 tlady

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 02:21 PM

I had an interesting brief conversation yesterday about this very subject..

The person I met was bilingual... English/Russian but she was only dyslexic in English ??
The only explanation they could give for this was the teaching method.

In English we re taught our letters by pictures.. eg Annie Apple.. but surely in Russian they are just taught the sounds and shapes of the letters.

Maybe although the "Annie Apple" method works for most, it may just be too confusing for some ??

#4 Rasmie

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 04:48 PM

It is confusing. I know a very able individual diagnosed with dyslexia, who was then able to utilise the services offered and pass a full university degree course.

I know another similarly diagnosed who was "assisted" to pass an english o' grade by a "helpful and good meaning" scribe sc that person, god bless him, nice chap, can theoretically get a job requiring an english o grade, but he still can't read or write. He is doing a suitable and necessary job and contributing to society, but he could have ended up doing a job where people's safety depended on fast accurate reading.

There must be different degrees of dyslexia and I guess different degrees of mental prowess, but more care should be exercised in awarding certificates of merit?
This must be a little worrying for prospective employers!

#5 KOYAANISQATSI

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 01:12 AM

It,s all a loada shite some specialist has made up to excuse himself a paycheck same as attention deficit disorder. We've got a neigbour who's constantly reminding everyone about the special needs of her autistic son, but to everybody he seems fairly normal except for liking to break everybloodything he gets his hands on.

#6 Twerto

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 07:35 AM

I wouldn't say it is a load of shite, as some people genuinely have issues with reading and writing.

I personally have great issues from time to time and if it wasn't for the wonders of google spell checker then my posts would be 100 times worse, I do stick my hand up and say 90% of my errors are from a form of lazyness, ie not reading back through my posts properly. but there is a 10% that is just genuine can never remember what is what, Their being my most common one.

#7 KOYAANISQATSI

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 01:06 PM

I still always get the way around of me i and e's in a muddle and have to check which way round they go. I demand that the experts coin a phrase for my particular disability as at the moment all I have to go with is being a bit thick.

#8 Ghostrider

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:03 PM

^^^ For some reason the sorta rhyming line "i before e, except after c" managed to stick in my memory when some long forgotten English teacher was banging on about it, otherwise I'd have no clue what way round they went in most words either.

#9 DamnSaxon

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:04 PM

^^^ Semidyslexia?
(edit - that's Koyaanisqatsi, Ghostrider got in ahead of me thanks to that bike)

#10 Fjool

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:09 PM

"i before e, except after c"

Weird science?

#11 DamnSaxon

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:25 PM

http://alt-usage-eng...I_before_E.html

But where's the rule about how to pronounce -ough- :?:

#12 Fjool

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:34 PM

The rule only applies to digraphs, so words like "deity" and "science" don't count.

Well I'm glad we cleared that one up... (O_o)

#13 DamnSaxon

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:42 PM

Oh, you got to watch out for your digraphs. :D

#14 trout

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 06:12 PM

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

#15 KOYAANISQATSI

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 06:39 PM

^^^^^^^^^^^
hloy fc*nkig hlel.


[mod]Swierang is not pirmetted on teh furoms ;)[/mod]

#16 DeMascus

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 08:43 PM

I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was at primary school, and had help trough most of my schooling, I don't think any of my friends would describe me as slow or stupid. it is a very complicated brain process that translated these 2 dimensional marks into concepts and back, and it has not been around very long.

I was told in high school that I would fail English! By my guidance teacher! I passed. and a few years later I was teaching English abroad, not bad for a dyslexic. I would say that I had to put a lot more effort into learning than most people just to get the same results out, but once I realised that I had to try harder it made it easier because I could see a reason for my lack of results, and a clear way of changing it, try harder than the other 85%.

I do think Dyslexia is a term used to cover a wide area of problems and most cannot be solved with a blanket method.

One thing I found insanely frustrating when I was a child was times tables, I could tell you the answer to any multiplication just give me a stick and a piece o peat, but as for remembering a string of numbers, I would have died if my life had depended on that.

If there is a system to something I can generally get my head around it, but English is one of the most unsystematic languages on the planet, especially with regard to spelling, so I was kind of out of luck. An interesting side effect to all this, is because of my need to systematize ideas I have developed a penchant for abstract reasoning. I win!

#17 Para Handy

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 08:57 PM

I was classed as haven dyslexia when I was at school up until S2 when somebody hit on the Idea to get my hearing tested, and then found out that I could not hear what was being said to me at the back of the class, and I had not released that everybody was not just the same as me. Now I can read ok but my spelling and punctuation is still just as bad as ever

#18 Styles

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 02:22 AM

I have dyslexia, but i think that people that use it as an excuse should not be given any excuses. When I was at UNI they told me I could have notes written out for me and extra time at the exams, that sounded great till I heard it would be on my degree paper. So I thought whats the worth of a degree if it says you had help? So I said screw that and totally did it all myself with 0 help. I now have a masters, from no help from being dyslexic ever once as it was never brought up once i heard how it would work.

Way I see it people with dyslexia like me arent stupid, but they have problems, I cant spell right, I can write words and know they are wrong but cant tell how to sort them, same with sequences, I cant tell u what comes after j in the alphabet let along k. But in the modern age with spell checkers its no problem. I hate people that use any disability for an excuse, plus I hate equality if people are not really equal but PC tells us so. I know if I had to spell or do any type of sequentail task Im not equal. But at Trival Pursuit or any general knowelge I would rape most folk.

#19 tlady

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 02:23 AM

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.


wow I read that no bother!!!

[considering the time o night] :wink:

#20 DeMascus

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 06:26 PM

Dyslexics of the world, untie!