Dore – The Miracle Cure For Dyslexia

November 4th, 2006 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, brain gym, dore, mail, mirror, references, space | 71 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
Saturday November 4, 2006
The Guardian

Wouldn’t it be great if there really was an expensive proprietary cure for dyslexia? Oh hang on, there is: paint tycoon Wynford Dore has developed one, with NASA space technology. It’s only £1700, it has celebrity endorsements, it involves some special exercises, but it has been proven with experts. “A revolutionary drug-free dyslexia remedy has been hailed a wonder cure by experts,” said the Mirror on Monday, in fact. And in the Mail: “Millions of people with dyslexia have been given hope by a set of simple exercises that experts say can cure the disorder.”

This most recent wave of publicity was prompted by a paper on Dore’s miracle cure published in the academic journal Dyslexia. The story of why they should publish such a flawed study is, perhaps, for another day. But what might have made journalists approach this story with a slightly critical eye?

Well, investigative journalism giants “Tonight With Trevor McDonald” and “Richard and Judy” have already had their wrists badly slapped by the ITC for promoting Dore as a treatment for dyslexia, on two separate occasions. Those were based on a previous paper so flawed (even before it was subsequently misrepresented in the media) that it prompted an unprecedented number of critical commentaries – nine – to be published in the journal Dyslexia.

These commentaries pointed out that the subjects were not randomised – the experimenters could choose whether to put each child in the treatment group or the control group, and the two groups were mismatched in a way that could have advantaged the Dore treatment. The control group’s treatment was “nothing”, which was bound to produce an unfavourable result, compared with the attention lavished on children having the Dore treatment. Progress was measured, bizarrely, with screening tools rather than well validated tests, as we shall see later. The statistics were flawed. The details of the treatment were explicitly withheld because it was “commercially sensitive”. The evaluators were not blinded. And so on.

In fact, Dore’s last storm of “miracle cure” publicity was so bizarre that NASA, the US space agency, of all people, were inundated with enquiries and publicly stepped in with a press release to refute claims in the Independent and New Scientist that Dore used special NASA space technology and exercises in the cure (Dore deny involvement in these claims). When you’re so out there that the guys from Star Wars have to shoot you down, then you really know you’re getting somewhere.

But what about this current study? Well, it’s a follow up of those original children. Jenny Hope in the Daily Mail says there were 35 children with dyslexia. In fact only 29 children were followed up in this study, and only 8 of those had a diagnosis of dyslexia or dyspraxia. Some were, in fact, reading very well – up to 22 months ahead of their reading age! – before the treatment started. If she’d read the study carefully she might have flagged up some other flaws in it.

There was no control group this time, all the children had the Dore miracle cure, so there’s no way of knowing if the improvements were due to Dore or some other factors (the passage of time, or the non-specific effects of receiving extra input and attention from the Dore program, and so on).

The childrens’ progress was again measured with the “Dyslexia Screening Tool”, an odd choice: and gains were not made in reading, spelling, and writing, in the DST, but were made in bead threading, balance, and rapid naming. DST is a screening test, not something you’d use for repeated measures of development, and these improvements could reflect, for example, practise at doing the test (this is why we like control groups).

I get nerdier. The study reports benefits in SAT scores and something called NFER scores, but these contradict the DST data, and have other problems: SAT scores, for example, are not formal psychometric developmental measures, they are political audit tools, with vague and ill-defined criteria at each level. and produce “categorical data” which brings its own problems. Congratulations on getting this far. If your attention is starting to flag, then that only goes to show how commercially unattractive a real story, critically appraising real research, would be for a tabloid. In fact, I give up. It’s a miracle cure.

NASA:

microgravity.hq.nasa.gov/news/news2001_lite.html

Astronauts and Dyslexia Research
Category: General
Dateline: March 2, 2001. Due to recent articles in the British press,
namely “The Independent”, that describe a new treatment for dyslexia
that utilizes “Space research, in the form of computerised balance
tests given to returning astronauts and corrective exercises that
reintroduce stability after weightlessness”, we have received numerous
requests for information concerning this research.

In response, the Acting NASA Chief Health and Medical Officer, Richard
S. Williams MD, has issued the following statement:

“In our experience, the prolonged exposure of Astronauts to the
microgravity environment of space flight does not give rise to any
physical symptoms or signs that would suggest dyslexia. To the best of
our knowledge, NASA is not funding or engaging in research concerning
dyslexia. Similarly, we do not have (or are unaware of) evidence that
any of our medical or rehabilitative interventions for the Astronauts
might be effective in treating dyslexia.”


The Mirror:

www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_headline=dyslexia–the-cure-&method=full&objectid=18012413&siteid=94762-name_page.html

The Daily Mail:

www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/health/healthmain.html?in_article_id=413354&in_page_id=1774

OFCOM:

www.ofcom.org.uk/static/archive/itc/itc_publications/complaints_reports/programme_complaints/show_complaint.asp-prog_complaint_id=546.html


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71 Responses



  1. harry said,

    November 4, 2006 at 7:59 am

    “It’s a miracle cure” says Dr Ben Goldacre of the Guardian. Careful!

  2. EoR said,

    November 4, 2006 at 9:30 am

    I looked at Dore recently in my blog since they’re making a big push here in Australia. Their latest radio scare campaign is “Government says ADD drugs may be causing stroke, heart attacks, depression and your hair to fall out” (okay, I might have made that last one up). As well as the gullible rich (and they argue that they’re running at a loss providing their “service”) they’re also pushing for Government subsidies so everyone can donate their (ie taxpayers’) money to them.

  3. profnick said,

    November 4, 2006 at 11:52 am

    Ben,
    NFER is the National Foundation for Educational Research, which sounds grand but is a small registered charity operating on commercial lines. It devises and distributes a range of learning aids and test schemes for education across the whole country. I have a close friend who used to be on the staff of NFER and still does the occasional bit of consultancy if you need chapter and verse on the “NFER scores”

  4. Tessa K said,

    November 4, 2006 at 12:20 pm

    Does anyone know if the blue tinted glasses that are supposed to help with dyslexia actually work?

  5. David Mingay said,

    November 4, 2006 at 2:07 pm

    Tessa,

    The MRC has done some work on this and find that it does work for some people www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/extra360.html. In fact, I’ve seen it work with a kid I taught once, and the effect he reported was quite remarkable.

  6. PaulCarpenter said,

    November 4, 2006 at 2:08 pm

    Tessa K: they do, but not for everyone, just like every other treatment.

  7. stever said,

    November 4, 2006 at 3:42 pm

    liam gallagher wears them and seems to be a complete idiot. dont know if thats any use.

  8. Teek said,

    November 4, 2006 at 5:11 pm

    yet another miracle cure story in worthless tabloids screws up already screwed up publication. when will this ever stop…?

    actually, it’s quite enjoyable to poke fun at madness of this kind, continue Dore and ilk!!

  9. dunelm said,

    November 4, 2006 at 5:37 pm

    Wynford Dore has been selling flim flam and slight of hand rubbish for years. Most of what goes on in his expensive establishments can be done at home for the cost of a little reasearch, a couple of bean bags and a short pencil with a triangular grip.
    The problem with people like Dore is that they get favourable coverage in the daily rags and on TV programmes and because these institutions have poor researchers.

  10. billgibson said,

    November 4, 2006 at 9:51 pm

    Can we put together a “research” paper which proves that the Dore method casues autism, holitosis, and cancer? There must be enough of us one here with impressive letters after our names to get the Daily Mail interested….

  11. PaulCarpenter said,

    November 5, 2006 at 10:38 am

    BillGibson, if knowingly publishing something that is complete bollocks is intellectually dishonest, then is it any less so to do it with the ulterior motive of making a point about someone else’s intellectual dishonesty? Quite the moral dilemma, methinks.

  12. Robert Carnegie said,

    November 5, 2006 at 12:26 pm

    There was that famous hoax against post-modernism. I think that opinion on the science side was nearly unanimous that they had it coming to them.

    In this case, I suppose you’d select candidates for the Dore method who had health issues to begin with. I think autism might be out because it could interfere with the diagnosis of dyslexia, since both are relatively “soft” diagnoses, and you may not even get both together so commonly. For that matter, what is holitosis – is it when you smell bad holistically?

    Anyway, you find that your Dore candidates have health issues, probably because you picked them by screening for dyslexia at the children’s hospital. And you publish that, if you can get away with it – and it seems that you can in [Dyslexia].

    Quite possibly they have it coming to them.

    Here’s my naive view. Learning to read and write is very difficult for everyone. That is why it takes such a long time. In a case of dyslexia, it is not very difficult, it is very difficult indeed. But to distinguish between one case and the other is… very difficult.

    I also want to express frustration at high-priced cures, even effective ones, being sold to vulnerable people. For instance, computer disability aids are fantastically expensive. I think this is partly because American health insurance companies don’t mind paying a high price, because it isn’t their money – it’s the customer’s. They just put up the premiums to cover it. But my tip is to look at computer game playing accessories. You may find similar functions at a fraction of the price.

    Again, “keyboard” software on the screen can be big-ticket. However, some heroes put out very good stuff for free. My own choice falls in between – Fitaly – it’s sold to niche computer users, people who normally use a normal keyboard, for use where there isn’t one. So it doesn’t have the disability premium.

  13. tregenza said,

    November 5, 2006 at 12:54 pm

    Ben: Dore’s Science

    Whilst I am a fan of Dore’s treatment, I’ve used it and it did cure my dyslexia, I think your analysis of Dore’s research is spot on.

    What makes Dore’s poor research frustrating is that Dore is one of the few commercial applications with the money to do serious research. Most people and companies trying to develop products in this field are one man operations without the money to hire independent researches to carry out proper research.

    By not ensuring their research methodology was up to scratch Dore damages the whole field of cerebellum based treatments. Serious researches are put off by the aura of quackary that surrounds anything claiming to be a miracle cure and doubly so when the miracle cure is back up by bad science.

    The role of the cerebellum in childhood developmental problems is one that needs more and better research. For thirty years [ www.myomancy.com/2005/11/twenty_eight_ye.html ] a strong correlation between the cerebellum, poor movement skills and educational problems has been shown over [ www.myomancy.com/2005/06/cognitive_and_m.html ] and over [ www.myomancy.com/2006/06/the_cerebellum_.html ] again.

    It should also be noted that whilst Dore’s behaviour has been questionable, the so called experts that criticise him are not innocent either. Professor’s Snowling and Elliot involvement in C4 program ‘The Dyslexia Myth’ [ www.myomancy.com/2005/09/the_dyslexia_my_3.html ] was not a high point of objective research where the professors’ equate being able to teach a child a read with being able to cure dyslexia. Why they choose to ignore the other factors of dyslexia, such as poor spelling, poor handwriting and short-term memory problems, is a question they are yet to answer.

    I am confident that in the next ten to twenty years in will be proven that coordination and balance training can improve academic performance for large numbers of children. It is a shame that this landmark in education is constantly delayed by bad science from all sides of the debate.

    Tessa K: Coloured Lenes
    Coloured lens do work for some people but they are not a cure. They seem to improved reading speeds [ www.myomancy.com/2005/11/mearesirlen_tre.html ] and from my own experience, reduce eye strain.

    Chris
    www.Myomancy.com

  14. Silverfin said,

    November 5, 2006 at 2:28 pm

    Coloured lenses definitely help some dyslexic children, alternatives being the use of coloured paper or a (matt) plastic overlay for text when reading. IIRR light purple and green are usually best.

    I have no personal experience of the benefits of coordination-based treatment for ‘pure’ dyslexics, but it should be remembered that dyslexia is to some extent comorbid with dyspraxia, for which coordination and motor skills training is vital.

    NFER tests are very useful in the classroom, particularly as a basic diagnostic. However, I’ve personally found them more useful to use qualitatively, i.e. for individual reports rather than as statistical data. Also, the ones that I have come across (KS3 Maths) are not the most appropriate for dyslexic children as they are quite text-based and heavy on word problems, often in very contrived contexts.

  15. raygirvan said,

    November 5, 2006 at 5:58 pm

    www.myomancy.com/

    Lordy. The treatment database is a fine old collection of woo. Check out Dynamic Listening Systems, Virtual Scanning, Samonas, Neurocranial Restructuring, Body Brushing, etc etc.

  16. j said,

    November 5, 2006 at 6:41 pm

    Tessa and Robert- re. ‘tinting’ and overpriced disability aids, one nice (free) toy/tool is the screentinter software – www.thomson-software-solutions.com/html/screen_tinter.html Can make the screen seem less ‘glary’ and, whether or not it works, at least it’s free and can make your computer screen a nice colour ;)

  17. Delster said,

    November 6, 2006 at 2:17 pm

    or possibly you can play with the colour balance on the monitor itself?

    I was sent for tests once when young as i seemed to have reading problems and they thought dyslexia was a possability. Turned out my brain was reading to fast for my mouth to keep up and my reading age was several years advanced.

    Just show’s you have to be careful with the diagnosis :-)

  18. Andrew Clegg said,

    November 6, 2006 at 3:46 pm

    Ray, those are golden. I love this quote from the Dynamic Listening page: “Sound is a nutrient for the brain, much like oxygen and glucose.”

    Clearly the author thinks deaf people are all retarded or something then…

    And the bit from NeuroCranial Restructuring (TM no doubt) about how their system can make your facial features re-arrange themselves so you look prettier. Funny, my facial features re-arranged when I read that, into a smirk in fact.

    Andrew.

  19. physics bloke said,

    November 6, 2006 at 4:30 pm

    www.dynamiclistening.com/how-dls-works.cfm

    “different languages use different sets of frequencies. For example, the frequencies used in British English mostly fall between 2,000 and 12,000 Hz. The French language mainly uses frequencies between 1,000 and 2,000 Hz.”

    i once had a french girlfriend and she couldn’t sing bass AT ALL. so maybe she was really english, using those high pitched 12000 hz sounds. ouch, hold onto your glasses!

    squeal squeal.

  20. Delster said,

    November 6, 2006 at 5:11 pm

    that would also explain all those famous french Basso Profundo singers

    Also explains why the french apparently only have a vocal range one tenth of the british…. it’s a well known fact after all!

  21. Delster said,

    November 6, 2006 at 5:25 pm

    Physics Bloke,

    Just reading the first page that link brings me too….. where to start on it???

    mind you it would explain why the french and english don;t get on…. apparently we can’t hear each other speak!

    Ben,

    Please, please stick it to this lot…. if you don’t i may have to start my own blog just to do it.

  22. j said,

    November 6, 2006 at 5:43 pm

    “or possibly you can play with the colour balance on the monitor itself”

    Lots of TFTs don’t seem to allow that any more, though :( And this does let you achieve some different effects. That said, somewhat off-topic, anyway…

  23. tregenza said,

    November 6, 2006 at 6:57 pm

    raygirvan: “Lordy. The treatment database is a fine old collection of woo”

    There certainly are some odds ideas on the treatment database but that is its purpose. A database of everything claiming to treat dyslexia and ADHD so that parents / teachers can compare them and make an informed choice about what is best for their child.

    The next step in the database was to score the science each treatment uses to justify its claims so that non-scientific parents could at least have some idea about the products’ claims. However even using an incredibly simple point system (e.g. 5 points for every paper published in a peer reviewed journal) most treatments wouldn’t even score a single point. I should point out that this applies just as much to the many phonetic reading programs used in schools as it does to the ‘alternative’ treatments.

    Chris

  24. Ben Goldacre said,

    November 6, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    tregenza, that really is a mighty work you have performed there. i guess if you wanted to score, which is a tricky business, you could include things like “plausible mechanism” and maybe look at business model, which i hate doing because it makes me feel dirty (and a bit weary) but it’s often a shortcut to whether something is shifty. published papers arent really a binary yes/no “blessing”/”trashing” of an intervention, is the other trouble…

  25. raygirvan said,

    November 7, 2006 at 2:53 am

    > There certainly are some odds ideas on the treatment database but that is its purpose.

    Fair enough. As Ben says, though, you certainly need a more objective basis for scoring than testimonials, which are open to all kinds of perceptual issues, as well as plain subterfuge. I’ve seen it in MRSA support forums, where people have given glowing reports of treatments/techniques and it later turned out they were involved in an MLM scheme to sell the stuff.

  26. zuclopenthixol said,

    November 7, 2006 at 3:37 pm

    RE: Score the science.

    Within the Cochrane Collaboration, when they read the research, it is with a view to how ‘prone’ to biased results a report is. Maybe just telling folks that there is a low risk to high risk of bias would allow people to decide whether to invest anymore time in reading a piece of research. As the saying goes, just follow the numbers.

  27. tregenza said,

    November 10, 2006 at 5:49 pm

    RE: Score the science

    The difficulties of designing a scoring system that is both meaningful and useful as a quick and easy guide to desperate parents are immensense. If I’m ever struck by a decent idea of how to do it, I will let you know.

    Chris

  28. Robert Carnegie said,

    November 12, 2006 at 1:55 am

    The Burkiss Way used to offer guidance to Happy Dynamic Living. I know this because on BBC 7 digital (radio, Freeview, online) it still does.

    You used to get a kit to convert your television to a colour screen. It consisted of a sheet of multi-tinted plastic film. That was it. Green at the bottom, orange at the top, or something like that. Wait, isn’t that the flag of Ireland? Or somewhere. Anyway, it was tinted and it tinted your black and white television picture, but let’s just say the point escaped many users, except that the point was to get their money.

    Anyway, you could tint a computer screen that way. You also can – in Windows – select from common colour-schemes, a few high-visibilty options, or set your own. Microsoft can do things usefully, as a last resort.

  29. kim said,

    November 13, 2006 at 1:50 pm

    What’s happened to the Durham story?

  30. Eric T Zipper said,

    November 27, 2006 at 2:51 pm

    Well Ben you were first with this story and now the Sunday Times (Nov 26, p9) has furthered your investigation.

    According to The Times the lead author of the published paper in the journal ‘Dyslexia’, Professor David Reynolds, was paid £30 000 for carrying out the research on the Dore Programme and was formerly a paid director in another company run by Dore.

    Professor Rod Nicolson, the co-author, supervises the postgraduate study of Dore’s business partner. Dore has also sponsored three PhD students in Nicolsons department.

    In addition (as if we need more), Nicholson has published more than 30 articles and 3 books with Angela Fawcett, surprise, surprise, the editor of ‘Dyslexia’.

    This gets better as most of the children in the Reynolds study appeared not to be Dyslexic? Some were 22 months ahead of their reading age before the treatment while the writing and semantic fluency of most was above average.

    This row has now been brought to a head by the resignation of 5 board members of the journal including Uta Frith, professor of cognitive development, University College, London. It goes on to say that as well as the 5 who have resigned, one of the journals executive editors is also on the verge of leaving.

    As I have previously stated (see post 174, Just…Show…Me…The…Data… ), some people from the science community are making money by lending their names to and making statements on behalf of companies who are only interested in making a fast buck. It becomes difficult then to believe the published research from some academics working in our universities who have failed to declare a conflict of interest.

    Are our academics selling their souls to Satan (oops! or should I say Santa – being dyslexic myself)?

  31. Ben Goldacre said,

    November 27, 2006 at 6:36 pm

    yeah, most of that stuff has already been in the TES a couple of years ago after the first ropey study was published, i made a bit of a decision not to put it in since i figure i should use my limited wordcount for critical appraisal of the studies rather than ad hominem stuff, which others can do perfectly well. good that various people resigned. if any of you have read the actual follow up paper, i have to say, it’s just astonishingly confusedly written, as much as anything else. always a bad sign.

  32. becca600 said,

    November 27, 2006 at 7:26 pm

    Saw the article in the Sunday Times. Unbelievable! Can we actually trust any research? How do we find out if academics are in the pay of big business? Don’t they have to declare it?
    Ben, keep going with this one. This is a case of academics leading parents into treatments that are unnecessary, very expensive and intrusive to their childrens’ lives. Just so that they can publish or worse, be paid for their efforts. Shame!

  33. btljs said,

    January 6, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    We started the Dore programme for our daughter in the Autumn. After the initial tests and consultation she was keen to give the exercises a go and I have to confess I was intrigued. However, we had an experience at the first follow-up visit which has totally put her off and has left me with severe concerns. I am no expert in scientific method and would be very interested in other subscribers’ views on this.

    The follow-up visit involved a set of balance tests carried out in the same manner as at the initial screening using the equipment famously attributed to Nasa. In total there were about a dozen tests, three for each set of conditions (eyes open or closed, board fixed or movable). It all went fine until the board was unlocked to allow it to move while she balanced on it. She got a very stable result displayed on the computer screen which both me and the tester could see. But the tester decided the result was too good to be reliable, cancelled the result and made my daughter do it again. I told her I didn’t think anything was wrong but we carried on with the other tests. Afterwards my daughter told me she had stopped trying after that point. I have written to the centre expressing my concerns.

    What I am most interested in is: am I correct in thinking that cancelling a result because an experimenter suspects there is a fault with the equipment is acceptable only if 1. all results in this group are also cancelled, not just the ones which ‘look’ wrong? 2. the experimental subject is not left in a position where they are aware that ‘doing too well’ is going to lead to disqualification? Also can any useful statistical information be obtained from such a small number of tests or is it just too easy to sway the results towards what you are trying to find?

  34. franccar said,

    January 31, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    I do not know if it is a miracle cure or not. I do not know if they did enough research on it but one thing I know, I am still in the programme and the results are real. So no matter what you brains say there is some true on it because it works. I am a professional 35 years old man and I am re-born…..Thanks to Dore.

  35. Betty Boo said,

    February 9, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    Now I’m feeling really lost. my daughter is 8 years old and cannot read, I saw the Dore advert on TV and went to there web site and did the online test for my daughter, was told it was most likely that she is dyslexic (thought this for quite a while myself, and in the process of getting it confirmed by an educational psychologist but as with everything these days it’s taking years) then had a visit from a Dore representative at my home, and being a desperate mother to help my child in anyway possible have been in the process of trying to get together the £1995.00 that the Dore project would cost. Was thinking this was great but as I’ve started to do a little more research on the Dore project, I’m now feeling totally lost. As any parent wants the best for there child I thought I’d found the answer to a happier future for my daughter. Now i’m not so sure and don’t know what to do for the best once again.

  36. btljs said,

    February 10, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    Before you commit to anything (sorry if this is going off the purpose of this thread but obviously I can’t see e-mail addresses to reply direct to Betty Boo) please be aware of what you are signing up to:

    1. Credit agreement. We signed up to a credit agreement when the rep came to our house. They never sent us details of the cancellation period and chased us for the first monthly payment before Dore had even carried out an initial assessment. Since we quit the treatment the credit company have pursued us ruthlessly for the money.

    2. Check out the DDAT guarantee which basically says that according to their tests administered by their testers there will be improvement in cerebellar improvement. It doesn’t say anything else will be improved and the tests are not independent and if they see a result they don’t think fits they cancel it. Difficult to see how they can fail to fulfill their guarantee really.

    That being said, the programme appears to work for some people (but not all) but I’m not convinced that it wouldn’t be possible to set up your own programme and tests at a fraction of the cost. But I’m not an expert.

  37. Betty Boo said,

    February 10, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    thanks for that btljs i’ve been asked to pay £525 up front just to get an initial appointment so no formal assessment will be done before handing over any money and i have to pay the existing amount of £1470 at the first appointment …… to be honest this alone started alarm bells going of in me head you’d thing your child would at least be tested to see if there eligable for the program before asking you to part with alot of money, that to be honest some of us just can’t aford but for the sake of my child i can assure u i would find playing on parents fears and hopes for there child seem to be a major factor in the selling stratagy ?

  38. sophy said,

    February 26, 2007 at 11:15 pm

    Hi Betty Boo – Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it.

    I went through the same dilema, read the accusations of “bad science” from many
    ( but never from someone who had tried it for themselves ) and the delighted reports from those who had actually done the programme. Decided that things were so bad for my 11 yr old son that I would take a gamble. Yes, I knew it was a risk, made sure he understood it wasn’t guaranteed to work ( but he was so used to failure he didn’t ever have high expectations) and took the plunge.
    We weren’t asked to part with any money until the after tests were done and they had agreed he was a suitable candidate. They discovered he had v. poor eye tracking – no one had spotted this before. (and we had seen a LOT of people who claimed they could help) We slogged away at the exercises twice a day for nearly 7 months before there were significant improvements in his tracking. This has translated into increasing reading ability. Tonight, for the first time in his life, he read a book without being asked to, – not a difficult book yet, but such an improvement on anything he’s done before. He can now tie his shoelaces, has finally learnt his times tables and his friends call on him to go and play basket ball with them because, as he puts it “I’m not so crap at it anymore”.

    It’s only my opinion, but ignoring the squabbling scientists, salesmen and journalists, and taking this step, is possibly the best decision I have ever made.

  39. do said,

    February 27, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    we are in the process of completing the dore programme. as i see it, to claim anything is a ‘miracle cure’ is very unwise and smacks of self glorification. however the exercises are improving balance, eye tracking and core stabilty in my 9 year old daughter. …..a case study….. you may say…. how many clinical medical decisions in the past, have been ‘pushed’ on by fundementally flawed clinical research and the non scientific qulaitative papers such as case studies. medicine has still managed to progress despite this….lets get some decent research done, until then no physical or mental harm can be done by completing this programme, and we can’t afford to sit and wait! Dore is not original in his ideas but he has had the gumption to offer this programme in a well designed manner accessible to those who have the money; some people may chose private education instead!

  40. oscar99 said,

    March 1, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    we are currently awaiting the home interview by DORE … am worried about $$ outlay, as we have already been fleeced by others …. do any of these groups ever reject kids – ie. say no they are not suitable for their program? has anyone had experience with the DORE group in Chatswood, NSW Australia? …

  41. KarenM said,

    March 4, 2007 at 1:35 am

    WanderiNStar, I also found this link on that same site

    www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36025

    Alun, why would you take the word of a rugby player over that of the rest of the scientific community? If some of what is alledged in the above link is true, people are going to question your motives?

  42. miss ellie said,

    March 4, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    I have just logged on to this site and have seen the battering of the dore treatment, why shouldn’t Alun take the word of a rugby payer. He has had first hand experience of how the treatment has worked for him and his children. I have also seen it first hand with my own daughter. If you had known her before the treatment and as she is now. I find it sad that there are those who are so keen to crucify a treatment which they have no personal experience of. These researchers instead of fighting over it should join together to find out why the treatment does work for some and not spend their time crucifying it. We as parents do not undrstand the poltics concerning the research results and how it is conducted. All we know is that it does work and for that I am truly grateful for my daughters sake, who would have struggled into adult hood and is now on a par with her peers.

  43. WanderNStar said,

    March 4, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    Some of you may not understand why we seem not to take into consideration about what the scientific community has to say about these programes.

    1. Some of our children are not canditates for medication for one reason or another. That leaves us looking for other ways to “treat” learning issues. Some of us refuse to sit and do nothing because these “treatments” have not been “scientifically proven.”

    2. We simply do not have the time for the scientific community and politics to get it all together for mine or others satisfaction. DS is 14. I am about out of time to help in while he is still under my care and influence.

    3. Some of us personally know of a child or adult in our community whos life has been changed because of this or similar programs. While the jury of science is still out there, individuals on the Dore program do still continue to graduate from the program with many positive results. Again, we realize this is anectodal. When looking for reads regarding Dore treatment, there really many “complaints” to be found out there from those that have completed the program. The only negative hoorah available on the net consists mostly of their marketing techniques and questionable research. If there were truly a large group of individuals who have completed the program and were unhappy about it, it would be very easy to find, as is with any other product or service if you do a similar search.

    4. We are not in any way doing our child or ourselves any disservice by being involved in this program. NO one has the right to accuse us of anything but being the loving, caring, involved parents that we are. I am exhausted of being accused of: throwing my hard-earned money away, being foolish, stupid, uncaring, blind to the evidence, stubborn, etc. I am a single working mother, and I found a way to pay for this program. I really do not care that it has not been proven to work. (The proven treatment for ADHD, medication, did NOT work for my son.) Money is just money, and parents throw more of it away on “entertainment” for their children. If someone in my community has been helped by this program, then there is a chance DS may be helped by it too. Yet I know he may not, but it is a chance I am willing to take. There are many, MANY choices we make with our money that are risky and uproven, and I and all of us make them every day. (Ever purchase a car, or a mattress???) Dore is only under such scrutiny because he has attempted to satisfy the scientific community. There are similar programs already out there, some in the school systems, that are quietly going about their business of helping those with learning disabilities, and yes, with NO scientific proof, double-blind studies, peer-reviewed papers, etc,.

    5. Lastly, I have the wonderful opportunity to work amongst the medical community. For those of you who ask if we as parents run these programs like Dore through our medical doctors and wonder what their opinion is, well, probably, most of us don’t run educational decisions through our doctors. That is not within their scope of practice. However, medical doctors are faced every day with patients interested in or currently practicing alternative treatments. I have experienced many physicians in face to face discussions with patients either encourage alternative therapy or discourage against it, depending on the treatment or the patient’s needs. In the majority of cases, if a treatment has NOT been proven to harm, they support the patient’s decision to carry on, as there is no harm to be done and they do acknowledge the fact that some are helped by these alternative treatments though it is only anecdotal.

  44. WanderNStar said,

    March 4, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    Oh I wish there was an edit button. :-)

    To clarify, When looking for reads regarding Dore treatment, there really ARE NOT many “complaints” to be found out there from those that have completed the program.

  45. KarenM said,

    March 4, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    WanderNStar

    I know personally of one person who has been on the program. She is nearly at the end and has to stay for one year to try and get her money back. SHe, of course has had no positive results.

    Also, a quick search on the blogs throw up plenty of unhappy customers

    www.myomancy.com/2006/02/ask_wynford_dor_1.html
    (see the posts around 21st february)

    www.parentscentre.gov.uk/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=23&threadid=26874

    beingdyslexic.co.uk/forums/index.php?s=9ce263d61f7712974cd700e2ca8a0232&showtopic=2137
    lists.becta.org.uk/pipermail/senco-forum/2006-February/048983.html

    dyscalculiaforum.com/fusion_forum/viewthread.php?forum_id=29&thread_id=651

    www.addforums.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-1596.html

    I did a quick search for people who had been conned by pension companies and those that had their money taken by an evangelist and that didnt throw up any.

    Miss Ellie, in response to why he shouldnt take the word of a rugby player, presumably this man is being paid by Dore. I find it very strange that a politician would contradict all this research.

    I used to live in Italy and this happens alot there!!

  46. KarenM said,

    March 4, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    Alun,

    I noticed you asked your minister for education what research she plans to undertake to assess the Dore method

    www.wales.gov.uk/cms/2/RecordOfProceedings/3803150E000BB9790000297800000000/df898e91b6131403c4920f85d3fe1c75.htm

    Can I ask what research you have undertaken yourself, and if you have found no compelling research, then what are your motives?

  47. WanderNStar said,

    March 4, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    KarenM, I had previously read most of the statements you posted.

    Many of your links are from one-time posters that cannot be relied upon as true or factual, or that hold any test for credibility as posters on forums. Many of the posters and testimonials I have read and have come to rely on for support and encouragement are from individuals who have been posting throughout their journey, and hold some credibility simply because of the time and effort they put into sharing their experiences along the way, and are known throughout the community of forums that support learning disabilities. They are individuals who are also very active in their communities and have nothing to hide or be ashamed of because they have some degree of public profile, and who’s true passion is to share the positive experience they had, and the lives that have been changed. I am not speaking of the paid or questionably endorsed individuals. I am speaking of simply parents and adults who just want to share their success.

    However, I am keenly aware, as are other savvy forum community members, that some of the same individuals that complain passionately about Dore are the same individuals who have not completed the program and do not speak of any personal experience whatsoever on the program itself.

    KarenM, If your list is intended to be a good and reliable representation of the community of Dore graduates that are not satisfied, then you fell very short of that goal.

  48. Ben Goldacre said,

    March 5, 2007 at 1:34 am

    Alun,

    I noticed you asked your minister for education what research she plans to undertake to assess the Dore method

    www.wales.gov.uk/cms/2/RecordOfProceedings/3803150E000BB9790000297800000000/df898e91b6131403c4920f85d3fe1c75.htm

    Can I ask what research you have undertaken yourself, and if you have found no compelling research, then what are your motives?

    it really is the peak of grandiosity, as a multimillionaire businessman running a company selling a service you invented for yourself one day, at huge prices to desperate people, to demand that other people come along and do some research to see if it works. the study that was done was rubbish, and rubbish in the sense of “spuriously positive”.

    it’s very simple. i address the dore spokespeople reading and posting here: i suggest you fund a study which does not produce spuriously positive data. nobody cares where the funding comes from. we care if the study is rigorous in design, and accurately depicted to parents and the media.

  49. Lesley88 said,

    March 5, 2007 at 10:33 am

    I f you had a child that currently was failing due to lack of support in the schools, and put on long waiting lists for a label that probably won’t result in any more help within the school, if you had witness to children who are now mainsreamed after undertaking the Dore programme, then perhaps you would be a little more understanding of the fact that we as the parents of this generation do not have the time to wait for these scientific studies.

    Nobody is denying the fact that it would be very nice to have a double blind, controlled group study etc. with all the trimmings NOW. I am very interested in the Welsh Assembly funding some independent research with access to large number of schools. (I myself would not want to take part in a double blind study as I see this as simply cruel.) We parents of SEN children would all like to have the money to follow Ruth Kelly’s lead and put our children in private school and perhaps we would not be looking for the “miracle cure”.

    Wynford Dore did not simply invent it himself. It is based on other peoples work (another bone of contention) but it was him who pulled it together and had the audacity to publicise it to the extent he has. The huge prices are not that big considering the large amount of money we throw at our kids for naff entertainment in this modern society.

    I take offence in being called desparate, I consider myself a caring parent, who will way things up from all sides before making decisions, I do not have the time or energy to wait for the scientists to get their act together.

  50. Lesley88 said,

    March 5, 2007 at 11:32 am

    I would just like to say the gentleman who started this thread

    www.parentscentre.gov.uk/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=23&threadid=26874

    is also found arguing on this thread. (which you forgot to mention).

    www.parentscentre.gov.uk/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=23&threadid=22328

    and is also the author of this thread

    www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36025

    He argues venomously against Dore, but does not once give his diagnosis, states differing levels of envolvement on 2 sites.

    1. he has just had the salesmen out
    2. he has had the first assesment and decided not to continue and
    3. He is an x patient for whom the programme has failed.
    when asked he avoids answering
    and more worringly accuses all the parents to be ghostwriters/fakeposters in the pay of Wynford Dore!!

  51. Lesley88 said,

    March 5, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    Sorry me again.
    The rugby player in question happens to be the the president of the Welsh Dyslexia Project (a charity) and has been working with them for 5 years, visiting schools to talk to and support our learning disabled children. He is truly passionate about helping Dyslexics. He also has a number of well paid jobs. The accusation that he is paid to speak for Dore is a little unkind (and to accuse him of untruths is even worse).
    Why in the world would he say that the programme works for him, his children and other close relatives if it does not?

  52. Eugen said,

    March 5, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    I’m sorry to say, but what Dore does is no miracle at all. He uses the same techniques used to remove capacity bottlenecks in large computers. Moreover, another dyslexia treatment, also employing techniques used to remove capacity bottlenecks in computers, now gives a money-back-guarantee (!) for dyslexia treatment. The guarantee is given for the automation of reading and writing skills, which suggest the primary characteristic for dyslexia won’t exist after the treatment.

    To make a long story short, the indicators for breakthrough dyslexia treatment are beginning to mount up. In the interest of those who suffer from dyslexia and other mental conditions, LET’s PLEASE STOP OPPOSING OTHER PARTIES. All parties hold critical data, Dore included. IT IS TIME FOR THE DIFFERENT PARTIES INVOLED TO PUT EMOTIONS ASIDE AND START WORKING TOGETHER.

    By the way, I have experienced breakthrough treatment frist hand. Without the breakthrough, my son would still have dyslexia and ADHD… I’m just one of more and more parents who start intiatives on their own as there is this mounting conflict between what is scientifically proven and what parents experience first hand.

    More indicators of breakthrough, facts, an appeal to work together, a request for research, etc. at www.onmentalhealth.org/

  53. miss ellie said,

    March 5, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    Here here Eugene somebody else who feels that the opposition shoud stop and all parties should work together to help the children with dyslexia, dyspraxia etc where normal educational initiatives have been unable to do. We could fight this out for ever and day with those opposed to alternative treatments and those who agree. The problem is getting all parties involved researchers, scientists etc is not easy as they will all have something to loose and cling on to their own ideas because it is safe. They look at alternative teatments with suspision and maybe fear. That is a diifficult cycle to break. In the meantime parents like us will look for alternative treatments to help our children who we see geting further and further behind their peers and suffer mentally and socially because of it. If a treatment works for one child then it is worth it. The main reason for many peoples animosity towards Dore is because of the cost involved but for those of us who have seen the successful results in our children or even themselves then it is a small price to pay.

  54. Ben Goldacre said,

    March 5, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    hear hear, can we all stop thinking please?

  55. btljs said,

    March 10, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    i suggest you fund a study which does not produce spuriously positive data.

    Not only that – how about actually linking the testing on the programme to the problems which are supposedly being treated – not to the ability to balance on a rig or track a dot on a screen?

    Since taking my daughter off the programme, I have been corresponding with other disgruntled people who have been through the course. For the reasons above, the guarantee is not worth the paper it is written on. The point here is that everybody involved has a vested interest in the treatment being a success – not least the parents. It seems to me that this is one of the main reasons that the treatment is so expensive: if you are paying that much you really want it to work (I know I did!) and in true emperor’s new clothes style, nobody wants to admit they have been had.

    Those who have had positive outcomes should be pushing just as hard as those with negatives for full accountability. If they believe it works for some but not for others then why? A treatment can only be improved by refining it against new data – it’s selfish to simply say “it worked for me so leave it alone”. It’s arrogant to say “the people it didn’t work for didn’t try hard enough”. Has anybody actually tried doing the whole programme without the regular tests and ‘counselling’ sessions (I use the term loosely)? – oh I’m sorry you can’t because they won’t let you have the exercises unless you come to the tests. What about spending 10 minutes twice a day for nine months meditating, playing computer games or praying? We found that the morning session made us all calmer as we got ready for school, this might in turn have improved concentration during the day – do I put this down to cerebellar development? Could be. Could be divine intervention.

    In short: if there is something there then they owe it to the world to establish it beyond reasonable doubt; if there isn’t then they should admit it and stop ripping people off.

  56. spiller2007 said,

    March 16, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Black and White! Great except life’s not like that!

    Would you feel ripped off if yor 11 year old daughter had followed the Dore programme for 11 monhs, been quantatively assessed every 8 weeks and exhibited noticeable improvements in concentration, confidence, sleeping and co-ordination? Not to mention the improved reading and sequencing skills. By the time these exercises are proved to benefit a certain proportion of people and be generally available at lower cost/free, my daughter would have struggled through junior and secondary school.

    How much is a Gym membership? Music lessons? Stagecoach? After school clubs? Tutors? Schooltrips? Learning aids?

    Had the Dore programme not had such a promising outcome, I would still not be a disgruntled customer. There were no outlandish promises and we had our expectations managed throughout.

    I would love to see qualatitive results published and definitive proof but at the end of the day, seeing is believing.

    I’d like to have waited and chosen a proven (beyond doubt) treatment, but life’s about making choices and taking risks.

  57. tracyann said,

    April 17, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    Tracyann

    I am a mother of a 15yr old boy who has been on the Dore rogramme. I did not have a bad experience with a salesman we had a really mild manner gentleman, but having said that a friend of mine did have a bad experience of a really pushy saleman which did put her off signing up. I rang the centre myself and complained as i did not agree with this. I felt they had let her down by employing this kind of salesman. Because I cannot praise the programme enough. It took about 2mths for things to start changing after that it was up hill all the way. Hes been on the programme for 13th now and done exceptionally well. To those people who have been through the Breakthrough programme and it worked, WELL DONE, really, because I know how hard it must have been at times to get your child to do the exercises. As a parent what ever method works for your child that great. For me I feel we might not have been so successful if we did not have the 6-8 weeks assessment at the Dore Centre and someone at the end of the phone. We worked towards each assessment to measure improvements . This was our insentive. The exercises are also changed after each assessment depending on the results, whether you try the Breakthrough programme or the Dore programme you have to do the exercise religiously, do not miss an exercise unless really ill, and never just because little joey is having a tantrum or the stoppy teenager can not be botherd. Just remember to take a deep breath and keep saying to yourself Im the Parent Im the Parent. Then get them done. The rewards are fantastic.

    Wouldn’t it be great if all the agencies worked together and there were no egos.

  58. cynicalswine said,

    April 25, 2007 at 5:55 am

    On the one hand a request for a study of this miracle, highly commercial treatment for a debilitating condition and on the other a lot of anecdotal evidence which may or may not be submitted by representatives of the company trying to sell it.

    If Dore is prepared to submit to a double blind assessment of the process and the treatment is found to be useful then there’s more fluff to put on the cover of the sales materials = a win for Dore. Even if his top secret proprietary treatment tools are revealed he’ll still make a fortune selling books. Any reluctance to take part in a real scientific study just stinks of snake oil.

  59. eraina said,

    August 15, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    my son used the dore programme, after 11days he was riding a 2 wheeled bike with no hands…this is the kid that couldnt even walk through a doorway without bumpinginto it or walk in a straight line…and sure as hell couldnt ride a bike!!! so for any sceptics out there YES Dore does work. I dont know and i really dont care how when or where they did their research, id give the money, time, effort etc all over again to see the changes in my sons coordination, writing, schoolwork, self esteem etc etc..i could go on, and i probably will if you let me!!!!!

  60. j said,

    October 13, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    my son used the dore programme, after 11days he was riding a 2 wheeled bike with no hands…this is the kid that couldnt even walk through a doorway without bumpinginto it or walk in a straight line…and sure as hell couldnt ride a bike!!! so for any sceptics out there YES Dore does work.

    I started to read relatively late, and went from barely reading at all to reading unusually well for my age within less than one week. I’m glad that your son has learned to ride a bike so quickly, but that may not have been down to Dore.

    People can change in interesting – often surprising – ways. For obvious reasons, kids often develop more quickly than adults. This can happen completely without interventions such as Dore.

  61. torpedo said,

    November 26, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    I have discovered that there is a website in the USA that seems to offer roughly the same equipment that the Dore programme is offering for a lot less money. The website address is www.balametrics.com. This website does cover dyslexia and ADHD. I suggest that people should look at this site before going to the Dore Programme to get ideas how to proceed.

  62. mandie2 said,

    December 21, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    update: having tried the Dore programme with my son, it was not succesful for him. I am happy for those who have had a positive result but perhaps the organisers need to do their own research more thoroughly into the specific difficulties it is making a positive difference to and not just accepting everybody willing to sign up.

    I also wonder however, if there is a placebo affect in the first stages, as you are so desperate for it to work, that anything your child does is attributed to the programme. Are people still convinced of a clear benefit after a year? I know I wasnt after a couple of months.

    Of course the people who run the course will say that the lack of results in our case is because we havent completed the whole year, I would be sceptical in saying that ‘what is going to happen at the end of one year? Some sudden transformation?’ If this really works then surely gradual progress would be apparent?

    What has worked? A friend told me of a very gifted man in complimentary therapies. Although a little sceptical, some tinctures and a bit of cranial manipulation and my son has made great strides in his concentration. Appointments every 2 months (total appointments will be 3 or 4) are free, cost of tinctures/tablets under £40 (and they last the 2 months) a tiny fraction of what the dore programme has cost me and results came very quickly and are very noticeable! Good luck to all those parents out there trying to find the best way to support your children.

  63. JuddTom said,

    January 30, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    so you havent completely abandoned the alternative approach?

  64. darrenforster99 said,

    April 5, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Re: Tessa K – Blue Tinted Glasses…

    I have Asperger’s Syndrome (dx’ed as adult) and ADHD (dx’ed at school) and I go regularly to a support group for people with Asperger’s in Warrington (WAspS). These once brought someone down from a company called Irlen’s that deals with these “blue tinted glasses”. They aren’t actually blue tinted they have to do an assesment to see which are the best colour for each child to use. When I was there the lady went through with overlays to test me and when she got to a green/blue one I was suprised that the text seemed to be magnified (I actually asked her if she’d magnified the text). She said it’s not magnified but people with Irlen’s seem to notice that when the correct colour is found the text appears to be magnified (obviously there must be something there as I’d said first about it being magnified before she said about this). The only problem with this is that the NHS refuse to acknowledge Irlen’s as a genuine medical condition (kind of like it took them 40 years to acknowledge that Asperger’s existed and now they’re trying to run around like headless chickens trying to get everyone who was misdiagnosed, diagnosed properly, now they’ve screwed up peoples lives, so they don’t get their asses sued for misdiagnosis and refusing to believe what America realised 40 years ago, and their also doing the same trick with Adult ADHD (the only problem is they can get away with this because people with ADHD have such a short attention span that by the time their banging on the door of the Dr. asking for diagnosis and writing loads of letters to get dx’ed they’ve got bored of trying to get a dx and their attention has gone to something else).

  65. Chad said,

    April 6, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    My son has just completed the DORE programme at the manchester centre. I really do urge people to think carefully before spending 2000 pounds on a treatment that does not work. My son has Aspergers and they were confident at the centre that the programme would help, 14 months later and we are £2000 pounds poorer and have made no progress at all. I have all the excercised and would be pleased to pass them on to anybody that wants them for free! Dore claim that the excercises are unique to each patient, but I was told by a DORE employee on the phone that my son has had all the excercised now. I have also looked at another patients book and they were almost identical!! So much for the excercised being unique to each person and tailored to your individual needs. I have asked dore for a refund but no luck, they tell me my son did make progress based on their balance test, I know my son better than anyone and no progress was made at all, he just became better at the balance test after a while. PLEASE DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY AS I DID PLEASE.

  66. dystalk said,

    June 9, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    The above is very interesting indeed; I had heard about Bad Science’s article on Dore, but I hadn’t actually come across it before.

    For a well-reasoned video from Oxford Professor Dorothy Bishop on ‘evaluating alternative solutions for dyslexia’ (in which she uses Dore as her prime example), please see here:

    www.dystalk.com/talks/60-evaluating-alternative-solutions-for-dyslexia

    Very interested in any feedback anyone has – positive or negative of course.

  67. samrobbo said,

    June 25, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Yes, it’s very easy to doubt it’s effectiveness.Just as it’s difficult for some people to believe dyslexia actually exists. Dyslexia is hard to quantify and measure, it is not just about spelling or reading but an exhausting processing problem. How can you define whether Dore works without being able to quantify dyslexia? For once it may be possible that the solution has arrived before the experts have decided what the problem is. Well for those of us who have suffered from dyslexia or have children who have struggled with it….we couldn’t wait for you, we have the answer right here. And yes it turned our life around and I don’t need anyone to verify or justify its validity because I have seen it with my own eyes.

  68. peteben said,

    July 3, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Did dore work for my 11 year old son?? we think so .we stuck at the program for 15 months before they went bump??and left us on our own until we contacted them. then they wanted a futher £49 per month as they claimed they had restuctured we had already paid £2500 for the 18 month program if this program realy works WHY do celleb rugby player get paid huge amounts to indorse it???as on central news (midlands) 2 july 09.

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  71. ToddD0362 said,

    December 18, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    My wife was diagnoses with dyslexia… the blue colored glasses did not work for her… Although it wasn’t to much of a disability for her, she lives with the affliction very well.

    ToddD
    The Swimming Pool Tips Guy

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