Dore – the media’s miracle cure for dyslexia

May 24th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in adverts, bad science, bbc, dore, ITV, miracles | 37 Comments »

How do you judge if an intervention is effective when you hear about it in the media? Perhaps you tot up the balance of opinions. Perhaps you do it unconsciously.

image You might have noticed the Dore “miracle cure” for dyslexia, invented by millionaire paint entrepreneur Wynford Dore. It’s hard to ignore. In fact just recently you may have seen “Strictly Come Dancing” star Kenny Logan – a rugby superhero, with 70 caps in 13 years – promoting the Dore Dyslexia Program with his own personal testimonials on the Jeremy Vine Show, Channel Five News, Radio Five Live, BBC London, ITV Central, ITV Yorkshire, in the Daily Mail, the Daily Record, Scotland on Sunday, and many, many more.

One earlier round of “miracle cure” publicity was so bizarre that Nasa, which is quite busy making spacecraft, was forced to issue a press release refuting claims in the Independent and New Scientist that Dore used special Nasa space technology and exercises in the treatment (Dore denies involvement in these claims). And we should remember that the published scientific evidence for Dore consists of an infamous research study (published in two papers) on the “miracle cure”, filled with fascinating methodological holes so serious that there were five resignations from the editorial board of the journal Dyslexia in protest at its publication, and an unprecedented nine critical commentaries from academics (here and here).

But in the media you will only ever see Dore being promoted intensely, glowingly, uncritically, with intimate personal testimonies which many, understandably, consider to constitute evidence. With repetition, after all, they can start to feel eerily quantitative.

And what shameless repetition. The Independent Television Commission upheld complaints about a Tonight With Trevor McDonald program promoting Dore’s miracle cure (with an “information line” at the end which went straight through to Dore). Nothing changed. A year later Richard and Judy did exactly the same thing, because there aren’t any very good treatments for dyslexia, so anyone with a miracle cure is welcome on the sofa. The ITC upheld a complaint again. It changed nothing. Ofcom found Dore’s TV advertisement to be in breach of its rules on evidence, “assessment of medical claims”, and “impressions of professional advice and support”.

image How do you make that kind of relentlessly positive media coverage happen? Dore retains Phil Hall Associates, headed by the ex-editor of the News of the World and one of the finest and most expensive PR men in Britain (he’s quite a nice bloke on the phone). You may remember someone called Kenny Logan. He is paid for some of his promotional work for Dore, but he does not declare this fact to journalists or TV producers when he spreads his message of Dore miracles to the nation (“if journalists ask whether he is paid he confirms it,” says Dore, “but he does not volunteer it when it does not seem an issue.”).

You will never hear a negative Dore anecdote in the media. Why not? I spoke with three patients who felt the £2,000 programme didn’t work for them. That’s all. It’s a fairly modest claim about their own experience, and you’d have thought the company might simply wear it. They asked for the names to discuss the cases specifically. I gave them two. In a letter to these patients asking for permission to talk about their cases they mentioned libel in a way that can only be described as threatening.

One was simply outraged. She thinks, incidentally, that the Dore Programme made her son’s seizures and headaches worse. I make no comment on that, as it is simply one mother’s story (but if Dore wants to live by extreme anecdotes, then that is one for them to think about). The other felt he dared not take the risk of speaking out – of simply saying “it didn’t work for me” – as he felt so threatened, he does not have the resources to protect himself legally.

An academic has received a letter threatening legal action, delivered in person to her home, for daring to speak about her concerns over the evidence for Dore when asked by journalists. Dore’s lawyers have sent multiple extensive letters and faxes to this newspaper, warning us against all kinds of things. I get paid the same for this column whether it takes me two hours or a week. This may go some small way to explaining why you will hear only praise heaped upon Dore in the media.

Meanwhile the Australian arm of the Dore business has gone into administration, workers are unpaid, and parents are out of pocket. But you will hear nothing about this in the brave British media. This very week, even as everyday folk in Australia were wondering if they would ever see their money again, Radio 4′s supposedly investigative consumer programme You and Yours was promoting the Dore programme. And as ever, Kenny Logan was the studio guest. Pay now, up front, for the miracle cure!

Update: Dore UK goes under?

This whole issue bas been covered remarkably well, extensively, and in real time, by a wide range of bloggers (extensive symmary of all posts courtesy of gimpy here). I think the most fascinating thing about this story is that the mainstream media has been so fawning, encouraging people to part with their cash even as the programme was going under, while the bloggers have been dissecting the scientific evidence, even dissecting the accounts, predicting the financial problems, and reporting on events as they happen.

So far – and I think I should start keeping a proper score here – that’s mainstream media 0, bloggers 10.

Most amazing is that Dore UK seem also now to have gone under, or rather, into administration. Appointments have been cancelled, and staff sent home. This came in just too late for my column, but no worry: it will be fascinating to see how it is covered by the media. Dore were signing people up even this week. However misguided I feel it was, I sincerely hope their investment is safe. Perhaps You and Yours could reimburse the people they encouraged into the program this week, in the face of the evidence, and after the program was clearly in dire straits.


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37 Responses



  1. Moganero said,

    May 24, 2008 at 5:57 am

    Makes me wonder if Kenny Logan was being paid to promote this too. I wonder if anyone asked him that when being interviewed.

    It’s hard to believe how all these professional broadcasters have been sucked into publicising it and not asking questions about the real evidence for it. In some countries they’d be talking about brown envelopes (but of course that could never happen here could it ?-)

  2. Moganero said,

    May 24, 2008 at 6:00 am

    Dore might have gone, but thier website’s still there. Wonder where the contact emails go to and if they’re still encouraging people to sign up?

  3. Bob O'H said,

    May 24, 2008 at 9:37 am

    Hmmm. There will be more dyslexia woo turning up soon. After all, when one Dore closes, another opens.

  4. tregenza said,

    May 24, 2008 at 11:09 am

    What is sad about the situation is that, at least for a small percentage of customers, the treatment worked.

    I did the treatment for about a year when aged 36. During the treatment and ever since my memory, language and personal skills have improved. I am not alone in this experience either.

    This effect is unlikely to be some sort of ‘Post Hoc’ type error. The treatment takes an entire year and unlike treating a cold with homeopathy, dyslexia doesn’t just get better on its own.

    The fundamental problem with Dore was Wynford Dore’s inability to understand that having it work on a few individuals is different from proving something works.

    The dubious market techniques mentioned here and on my blog for the last four years did not help.

    These problems combined to make the inevitable fight with other scientists in the field (Snowling et al) more bitter and decisive.

    Consequently, the actual research Dore did became the focus of more criticism that in it deserved. The original school study is flawed but does not deserve the scorn poured on it by some people.

    What was “Bad Science” was the marketing based on the study and the failure to follow it up with more bigger and better studies.

    Chris

    P.s. If you want to tackle more dyslexia Bad Science in all its forms, you may wish to look at Dyslexia Action next. It calls itself a charity but makes £6 million a year from commercial activities and has never published any research on the effectiveness of its treatment.
    [ www.myomancy.com/2007/02/who_are_dyslexi ]

  5. tomh said,

    May 24, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Dyslexia cures, oh how I love them. Im not going to say anything about Dore, but I have been cured of dyslexia ;-)

    What I mean is in my distance past, I was diagnosed as having dyslexia and speech difficulties, (say when I was about 8), but now aged 19 when I was re-tested I no longer am classed as having dislexia.

    What changed, probably mainly time and about 5 years spent 1-to-1 learning spellings and reading skills, oh and starting to like reading books…

  6. gimpyblog said,

    May 24, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    tomh, are your spelling errors deliberate? However, you do raise an interesting question – can dyslexia in some individual be overcome through intensive teaching? If it can it would suggest that some individuals do not benefit from current teaching strategies so their lack of achievement produces symptoms of dyslexia but as it can be overcome not actual dyslexia. It may be that Dore managed to inadvertently have success with this demographic.
    Anyway this is mere uninformed speculation and I’m sure more informed people will comment later. In the meantime there is little to add other than to call for more research and less support for unproven techniques in the media. Oh, and for people to follow Ben’s links, brainduck is especially recommended.

  7. hexhunter said,

    May 24, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    So what actually is Dore? What differentiates it from Learning Support?

  8. terryhamblin said,

    May 24, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Does lysdexia really exist?

  9. westender said,

    May 25, 2008 at 3:23 am

    The complaints made to Ofcom about the ITV ‘documentary’ on the Dore program were made on the grounds that the program claimed that the Dore treatment was new and revolutionary, which it is not. These complaints were upheld. Dore’s daughter was dyslexic, and I think so was depressed over this that he went forth to find a way to help her. As any parent does. He found, amongst other things, Dr Belgau’s Learning Breakthrough Program:

    www.balametrics.com/frank.htm

    The source of the NASA claims is Dr Belgau, who when he directed the Houston University Perceptual Motor and Visual Perception Laboratory, ran a training programme of children with reading/writing problems, and their parents. Some of the parents were NASA scientists and, I quote from Dr Belgau’s website:
    “Their insights helped to direct his attention to the effect of balance and the vestibular system on learning processes…”

    The hypothesis on which Dr Belgau’s system is based is summarised on this web page:

    www.balametrics.com/theory.htm

    I think Dore also found Dr. Harold N. Levinson
    www.dyslexiaonline.com/uk/index.php

    Dr Levinson’s hypothesis is that a large proportion of people with dyslexia, and with other problems, have an inner ear dysfunction (ie Cerebellar-Vestibular). He prescribes various medications and supplements for his patients, depending on the results of medical tests. These can include anti-motion sickness antihistamenes. Read on:
    www.dyslexiaonline.com/uk/info_treatment.php

    These are two of the sources of the design of Dore’s program, and it was the failure to recognise this that prompted some people to complain to Ofcom about the ITV documentary.

    There is evidence that cerebellar-vestibular problems are the cause of learning difficulties for many people, and clearly many people are helped by Dr Belgau, Dore, and Dr Levinson.

    However, Dore does a huge disservice to the thousands of people whose lives are made a misery by dyslexia and other learning difficulties when he carries out his ‘research’ so badly that the whole hypothesis is brought into disrepute.

    What is even more appalling is that so little funding goes into research into dyslexia, even less into other learning difficulties, and less still into the various treatment systems.

    Equally shocking is the dreadful, haphazard system for getting diagnosis and assessment for children with dyslexia and other learning difficulties. Even children with very obvious problems have to go through a process that takes years. A parent can start the long fight for assessment when their child is five years old, and if they are lucky the assessment will be finally made when the child enters secondary education – years are wasted, years during which the child becomes sad, disillusioned, loses hope, is bullied for being ‘thick’ by pupils and teachers, and gets behind with educational development.

    Of course parents go to Dore. It is agonising to see the light slowly go from your child’s eyes, to hear them say they realise they will never be able to be an engineer, scientist, whatever, because they are ‘stupid’.

    Balametrics is cheaper than Dore – parents could get together and buy a set of his equipment collectively.

  10. mus said,

    May 25, 2008 at 11:39 am

    “Reporters are faced with the daily choice of painstakingly researching stories or writing whatever people tell them. Both approaches pay the same.”
    - Scott Adams

  11. Tom Burkard said,

    May 25, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    You’d never guess it from the media hype surrounding Dore and other organisations in the dyslexia industry, but there’s a broad consensus among researchers that there is no such thing as a ‘dyslexic’ type. Although some people undoubtedly have a lot of trouble learning to read, and to a large extent this is due to genetically-determined traits, the psychological profiles of such individuals vary enormously. In the first instance, problems with various short-term memory functions may be indicated. Problems processing different sensory inputs may also be a factor. The important point is that these abilities, as measured by psychometric testing, will fall along normal distributions–the net result being that the condition is both variable, and it is a continuum disorder.

    But the real joker in the deck is how a child is taught to read. Once again, there is a growing consensus among serious researchers that the so-called ‘eclectic’ methodology has been a disaster. As attractive as the theory may sound, it most definitely is not true that different children respond better to different kinds of teaching. The inescabable fact is that all children have to learn how our spelling code works if they are to become good readers. The Rose Commission found compelling evidence that it is of vital importance that these basic skills be taught early, and that they be taught explicitly.

    In fact, teaching children to read is devastatingly simple if you stick to the basics. Unfortunately, the so-called experts who have ensconced themselves in the DCSF (Department for Education, if you’re not up to speed on bureaucratic re-branding) have no interest at all in making things simple. This isn’t the way empires are built.

    Here, I must declare an interest. We are a small educational publisher with a range of materials designed to teach basic skills to ‘special needs’ pupils. Although we have had very strong support in a number of local authorities–two of which are planning to run formal trials of our programme–we sincerely hope that the news of Dore’s demise is not premature. I have in fact written an article in the Daily Telegraph which was critical of ‘miracle cures’ for dyslexia. At that time (July 13 2006), John Clare was education editor. He did in fact publish an item which was highly critical of Dore. Alas, under the ownership of the Barclay Brothers, journalists like John Clare do not appear to be much in demand.

    As a final comment–parents who go to educational psychologists to get a ‘diagnosis’ of dyslexia are seldom disappointed. After all, if you’ve shelled out £300+ for an assessment, you want your money’s worth. But reflect–there is no agree definition of what dyslexia is. So how can it be diagnosed? The truth is that the various memory and processing problems that make it difficult to learn to read in today’s schools are like any other mental or physical ability: they improve with practice. Alas, our education colleges still regard any form of rote-learning as the next thing to child abuse. But as one wag said, rote learning is nothing more than learning something so that it may be reliably recalled at a later date.

  12. brainduck said,

    May 25, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Thanks for the plug Gimpy. Have discussed the collapse, together with some of the ‘research’ published by press-release, on brainduck.wordpress.com/

    Westender: ‘It is agonising to see the light slowly go from your child’s eyes, to hear them say they realise they will never be able to be an engineer, scientist, whatever, because they are ’stupid’’.

    Yes, but you don’t need DORE, Balametrics, or ‘miracle cures’ to succeed as a scientist, engineer, or anything else, with a specific learning difficulty. Educational Psychology is my particular area of interest academically, but the most useful thing I’ve ever had for my dyspraxia is a laptop & 10 minutes daily practice on ‘Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing’. No miracle cures, but I’m a week from finishing my degree because of it.

    IMO one of the worst things Dore did is promote such low expectations of what would happen without their ‘miracle’. Many, many people manage happy & successful lives without ‘miracles’.

  13. pv said,

    May 25, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    brainduck wrote:

    IMO one of the worst things Dore did is promote such low expectations of what would happen without their ‘miracle’. Many, many people manage happy & successful lives without ‘miracles’.

    That’s a classic way to hook the vulnerable.

    I’m fascinated by the idea that non-dyslexic (aka “normal”) people can’t ever miserable failures. In my experience, failure and misery are available to everyone.
    I also have a dyslexic brother-in-law of whose business success I am quite envious – without any special “cures”, only extra reading and writing lessons when he was younger.

  14. Robert Carnegie said,

    May 26, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Tom Burkard in 14: I want to reach for anecdotal sources to refute you, which would be wrong of course. “Fluent” use of written language is an unconscious process, or I assume it is for other people as well as me, but also it seems to me to lie in the set of mental tasks in which, when people do consciously perform the task and have a strategy which they can describe, strategies differ. But does fluency involve using the same conscious strategy so quickly that you don’t perceive it? Or is it developing a separate unconscious process that operates in parallel with the deliberate task and eventually replaces it?

    Spelling for instance: I mostly don’t think about how words are spelt, I remember them. (Typing is a different matter.) I also seem to have a memory for parts of words, endings like -ous. This can conflict with the whole-word memory sometimes. And when I’m tired, I type homonyms, same-soounding alternate words (there/their), which is embarrassing and also puzzling, where does that come from??

  15. brainduck said,

    May 27, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    The USA has closed too now.

  16. westender said,

    May 27, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    I wish my child was dyslexic in the narrow sense. That would be easier to deal with. We have spent about 10 years trying to get some kind of assessment that would give insight into what might help him. He started out with some developmental delays, dizziness and nausea if he tried to read, and apparently being unable to put three skills together (eg spelling, writing legibly and thinking about what to write). Concentration was not easy, learning times tables took years longer than with other children. He could not structure his thoughts or organise his work. Community paediatrician did not know where to go for assessing the dizziness when reading). Coordination was fine except for a bit of fine motor control. My son had coping strategies but it got harder the further up the education system he went, and school work exhausted him. Then at 14 everything changed. Suddenly he could ride a bike, but also he lost maths and science abilities, including some things he had used since junior school. He had relied on these as he it took him hours to do any reading and writing for other subjects. He had to give up higher GCSE sciences and maths. Concentration went down to a few sentences, whether listening, reading or writing. And he now ‘phases out’ for up to an hour at a time, unable to pull himself back into reality. He has to ‘overlearn’, cannot read and pick out important points from unimportant points, forgets to use paragraphs, doesn’t know when to change paragraph. It makes no difference whether he handwrites or uses a computer. And he has bad headaches almost every night.
    We need an assessment that will give some idea of what is or is not going on in his brain, and need to know, for eg, should he risk learning to drive with his incredibly short concentration span. But where to go for this? Neurodisabilities assessment does not test for his problems. Community paediatrician has failed.
    There seem to be a lot of children and young people with problems like these, but there is no help on NHS for them, or from the education authorities.
    Which is why parents head for Dore, and programmes like the one from Israel.

  17. trickcyclist said,

    May 27, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Interesting though the competing theories as to the nature of dyslexia are, the one thing I think we can all agree on is that the unlamented Dore organisation was never going to help us one jot in terms of advancing the knowledge base. I am still shocked by the terrible quality of the two published papers, but, bad as they were, it’s still worse to flog your product as a treatment for various other conditions including Autistic Spectrum Conditions on the basis of a ‘paper’ in the Leamington Courier! (Thanks Brainduck)

    However now that they’re gone, what seems more interesting to me is what it says about the best way to peddle your ‘cure’, whatever the flavour. We all know that patient testimonials are good, better than boring ‘ole ‘numbers needed to treat’ statistics anyway, but celebrity testimonials have got to be gold-dust. Leaving aside the question of why a professional rugby player would need to do any further work on his motor coordination, one can see that he is perfect for battering down the defences of a programme like ‘You and Yours’. Now I feel that ‘You and Yours’ normally does an acceptable job as a consumer affairs programme. Consider this example on autism treatment woo; the treatments are mentioned, but an expert is on hand for debunking. However, with a celebrity to hand, one instead gets to fill a ‘life-story overcoming adversity’ segment, and get your shameless plug for product in scott free. I foresee a lot more of this stuff coming…

  18. pv said,

    May 28, 2008 at 12:10 am

    westender said:

    There seem to be a lot of children and young people with problems like these, but there is no help on NHS for them, or from the education authorities.

    Which has pretty much always been the case as far as I can tell. What hasn’t always been the case I think is so many quacks and therapists if dubious provenance queuing up to market their “wares” to take advantage of the situation.
    I think also there is more a sense of entitlement on the part of parents these days with regard to help, which is perhaps why they will scurry off to the likes of Dore even if it lacks any real evidence. People are certainly susceptible to marketing when it comes to their children’s problems, which makes them so vulnerable and such easy targets for quacks.

  19. mikewhit said,

    May 28, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    @westender(21)
    See if you can get a GP referral for an assessment here:
    www.lanc.uk.com/

    Worked well for our son (ADHD/dyslexia).

    OK – anecdotal evidence !

  20. westender said,

    May 29, 2008 at 1:29 am

    Thanks mike – I will telephone them tomorrow. Getting a GP referral probably depends on whether or not the local primary care trust is willing to pay. Apparently one of the best psychiatrists for assessing ADD is based near us at Great Ormond St Hosp. But the unit is funded by one primary care trust – not the one for where we live. Postcode lottery again.

    I see that the DDAT centre website is now announcing that that they have closed. For now.

  21. Dr Aust said,

    May 29, 2008 at 1:47 am

    Think trick cyclist hits the nail on the head (second para). The same effect can be seen in the US where the new poster mom for “my struggle to cure my son’s autism – it was the toxins wot done it, by the way, and I’m curing him with mad exclusion diets”
    is actress/model/minor celeb and “Google graduate” Jenny McCarthy.

    Of course, the media do have the option not to cover the stories this way. And they should certainly be asking “Are you getting paid to do this? And do you get paid to promote this elsewhere?”

  22. mikewhit said,

    May 29, 2008 at 11:32 am

    I suppose everyone remembers the ‘Lorenzo’s oil’ story, so thinks these other people might just have something … without also remembering the amount of research the parents did to come up with the conclusion.

  23. zzal said,

    May 30, 2008 at 3:15 am

    English has 40 sounds, but there are more than 1,100 different ways to spell those sounds. For instance, the words “mint” and “pint” differ by only one letter, but the pronunciation in English is completely different.

    In Italian, there are 25 sounds and they are all represented by just 33 letters or spellings. Thus, when Italian dyslexics learn to read, they struggle with fewer variables.

    “This research proves the existence of a universal neurological basis for dyslexia,” said Dr. Uta Frith of the University College, London, a co-author of the study.

    It also shows, she said, that mild cases of dyslexia may appear far worse in English or French, while such cases among Italians may not even be detectable.

  24. mikewhit said,

    May 30, 2008 at 8:54 am

    @zzal:
    I also wonder why the English have such a problem with accented characters, which in other languages are often treated as separate letters of the alphabet, when they don’t have a problem with irregular pronunciation.

    Example, English people have no problem with the difference between “work” and “York” and yet (in the meeja at least) seem unable to cope with saying “Björk” in which the vowel is clearly not “o” but “ö”.

  25. ratbag said,

    May 30, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    @westender (21),

    If your son is still aged 16 or under and you haven’t already tried this, you could ask your GP to refer him to your local CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health service). The multi-disciplinary CAMHS team (incl. clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health practitioners) may be able to pick up something that has been missed by the community paediatrician.

  26. Robert Carnegie said,

    June 2, 2008 at 2:47 am

    Scottish readers probably won’t be confused by mention of Kenny Logan. But, taking Wikipedia literally, Kenny Loggins’s life hasn’t been untouched by unusual therapy of interest in the Bad Science topic. “The following year he and Michael McDonald wrote ‘This is It’ which helped cure his ailing father.” “The song also features additional vocals by Michael McDonald, who also co-wrote the song with Loggins. Loggins wrote it for his ailing father who had to choose between life and death. The song won a Grammy in 1980 for Best Male Pop Vocal.” Aren’t most pops male… besides that, what is going on here, exactly? I assumed first it paid for a hospital bill. Who writes this stuff?

    By the way, this apparently isn’t the song performed by Melba Moore and by Dannii Minogue. That might not have been so effective.

    Also, “Former vice president Al Gore billed [another song by Loggins, 'Conviction of the Heart'] as “the unofficial anthem of the environmental movement.” Presumably this was before Madonna released “4 Minutes to Save the World”.

  27. sarahq said,

    June 4, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    Do you lot have a close relation going thru the Dore programme? Have you read Wyford Dore’s book? Do you know he has never taken a penny from his work. Do you know he has spent £15 Million of his own money on subsidising the programme Do you have a Grandfather, Husband and Son,all Dyslexic? – And you aren’t? Do you know the added work that goes into my life because of this and pray tell me who has taken him or his staff to court because of intimidation. Do I have a Son that 18 months ago I took out of school because he couldn’t cope and now can face going back to school? YES. Is he confident, bright, happy, able to cope with basic and more difficult things than ever before. Yes. And why because he is 1 of 40,000 worldwide that have gone sucessfully thru the dore programme. Is he finished yet. No.(He will though). Am I from a low income family YES. Do I care that I will lose out on some money NO! I just wish I could have paid £3000+ then Wynford Dore might still have this wonderful vision and help many, many others.

  28. brainduck said,

    June 5, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Sarahq, thanks for your input.

    ‘Do you lot have a close relation going thru the Dore programme?’

    I’ve a cousin & a few people I know who tried it.

    ‘Have you read Wyford Dore’s book?’

    I’ve read the scientific papers written by people researching Dore, & I’ve read Wynford’s story on a few websites.

    ‘Do you know he has never taken a penny from his work. Do you know he has spent £15 Million of his own money on subsidising the programme’

    I’m aware of these claims, and have no particular reason to doubt them.

    ‘Do you have a Grandfather, Husband and Son,all Dyslexic? – And you aren’t?’

    I have a father, brother, and many members of my extended family & friends who have SpLDs or developmental disorders such as dyslexia and ASD, as do I myself (dyspraxia).

    ‘Do you know the added work that goes into my life because of this’

    I know the effects on myself and my family, I have also worked with many children and families with a variety of SpLDs, so in general I am well aware of the effects they can have, though I’ve never met you personally.

    ‘and pray tell me who has taken him or his staff to court because of intimidation.’

    ??? If you mean who has taken the Dore programme to court – unfortunately the families who have been threatened by lawyers, and the voluntary organisation AUSSPELD, decided they didn’t have the resources themselves to fight Dore’s expensive lawyers. However, when the laywers have been challenged, as in the case of academics such as Snowling, the matter was settled out of court and Dore were shown to be in the wrong.

    ‘Do I have a Son that 18 months ago I took out of school because he couldn’t cope and now can face going back to school? YES. Is he confident, bright, happy, able to cope with basic and more difficult things than ever before. Yes.’

    This has happened to several people I know very well with SpLDs, unfortunately the education system doesn’t always cope well with us.

    ‘And why because he is 1 of 40,000 worldwide that have gone successfully thru the dore programme.’

    None of the many people I know with SpLDs and very similar stories (school difficulties, often dropping out, then eventual success) went through the Dore programme, it is not possible to state definitively that the change was due to ‘cerebellar development’ rather than for example your 1:1 teaching and attention away from the difficulties at school.

    ‘Is he finished yet. No.(He will though). Am I from a low income family YES. Do I care that I will lose out on some money NO! I just wish I could have paid £3000+ then Wynford Dore might still have this wonderful vision and help many, many more.’

    People with SpLDs can use many forms of support, and I’d rather people’s £2000 was spent in ways which have been shown to be of benefit. FWIW the most important thing in getting me & several other ‘successful people with SpLDs to & through Uni has been a laptop computer, sometimes with other assistive technology, costing £300 – £1000. I don’t think that anyone will argue that your money would be best of all spent on the administrator’s fees, but this is what is now happening.

    Thank you for engaging in discussion, rather than resorting to personal insults. I hope this answers some of your questions.

  29. zzal said,

    June 7, 2008 at 8:35 am

    “Interestingly, … postmortem studies of the brains of dyslexic individuals suggest a selective loss in the thalamus of those visual neurons that are most sensitive to high temporal frequencies (Livingstone,
    Rosen, Drislane, & Galaburda, 1991). Examination of tissue
    from the same brains reveals additional abnormalities in thalamic auditory neurons projecting to the left hemisphere (Galaburda, Menard, & Rosen, 1994). Thus, it has been proposed that the language problems in dyslexia may reflect a generalized problem in processing rapidly changing
    signals.” (Ivry & Robertson, 1998)

    Even if you have these losses, if you are functioning in a language like Italian where a language sound tends to be represented consistently by the same letter(s), you’re going to have far fewer problems than in a language like English where consistency is low. In other words, reading in English really pushes the limits of the system whereas this isn’t the case in a language like Italian, and when the system begins to break down, the effects show up sooner in a language like English.

  30. v. said,

    June 10, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Here via grand rounds.

    In the US, there is a growing body of research that points to differences in how and where the brains of dyslexics process language. Acquisition of sound-symbol relationships,and the ability to sequence and segment sounds and syllables, which is acquired to levels of automaticity in competent readers, eludes most people with severe reading disabilities.

    The entry point for most dyslexic students is explicit and systematic instruction in the most basic phonetic (sound/symbol)rules of written language.

    This is not in itself a complete approach, as students with dyslexia also need direct instruction in reading for meaning, in acquiring vocabulary, in writing and in spelling.

    A minority of students may also have co-ordination difficulties, or visual-spatial deficits which make the physical act of writing additionally challenging for them.

    By the way, contrary to popular belief, English is an extremely rule-bound system in terms of spelling, with few exceptions. The rules are seldom taught explicitly. Many proficient readers can internalize them unconsciously, through wide exposure, and will tell you that a they know when a word is misspelled because it ‘doesn’t look right.’

    There is no ‘magic cure’ for dyslexia.

    Many students with dyslexia find that reading presents a life-long challenge, although with good instruction, they can become competent.

  31. Highwayfive said,

    June 11, 2008 at 8:47 am

    I found this really interesting. Its a great blog and I will be back for more. I stuff myself and feel that my son has a mild form of dyslexia. That they let Mr Logan on the airwaves and in the papers in what is basiscally a paid for advert is terrible.

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  32. belbo said,

    June 15, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    It’s interesting to read about theories about the inner ear etc.

    I have mild dyslexia, and have noticed that although I have no trouble hearing sounds like bird songs etc. I often have trouble understanding what people are saying when I can’t see their face.

    I always wondered if this had anything to do with dyslexia, or if this is a problem most people have but just don’t talk about it!

    I assumed my ears were just a funny shape (normal headphones won’t fit in them) but could it be something to do with the inner ear?

    Do most people here think that this theory is a load of cods whallup?

  33. Robert Carnegie said,

    June 23, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    I wrote quite a lot before thinking of looking up the words “auditory” and “dyslexia” in Google. Apparently you might have auditory dyslexia. Not necessarily funny ears, although a lot of people are a bit deaf and don’t know it. But by the sound of it, as you have thought, you may be reading lips a bit, or picking up cues for “here comes the sound”.

    I’m curious. Nosey, really. How are you with dubbed foreign films? Or with programmes on Freeview E4+1 (E4 an hour later) where the sound doesn’t keep time with the picture, unless they have fixed that?

  34. RWood said,

    August 14, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    I did the Dore Treatment a few years ago .All I can say was that the result was amazing , it totally changed my life for the better. The problems I had was with ADHD , memory , attention etc.

    Befor the treatment I couldnt function as a normal person . I’m a very intelligent and educated person , I have been discriminated against as a Dyslexic ADHD person all through my life , and ended up homeless and unemployable. The Dore changed all that and I would never go back to the way things once where. Saying all that I always thought the Dore organistion would shoot itself in the foot with outlandish claims, (all the NASA bullshit etc) and a constant failure to put their money where their mouths were in relation to reserch etc, which is tragic as now so many people wont get the help I received .

    It’s sad that after so many people have been helped , the only focus now is on the people who didnt respond to the treatment. What about all the people like me who have had thier lives changed in such a dramatic way?

  35. RWood said,

    August 14, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Also ..I just wanted to add to “BrainDuck” that you are very lucky that you have been given the support that you have recived throughout your education .
    I myself didnt get a diagnosis of my ADHD or Dyslexia until I was in the middle of my BA Hons degree at Middlesex University. I was totally discriminated against because I was not diagnosed befor my degree, my tutors claimed that I was “to intelligent to be ADHD” and I received no help or support what so ever .
    I was actually down marked for my ” decision to fail”( the very words of the person who marked my degree) simply because they would not accept the truth .
    I have seen your comments here and on other websites , and although you claim that there is help out there for people in this situation I myself know very few people ( especially outside of education ) who get it.
    I would have rather recived the treatment I paid for from Dore than have spent the rest of my life struggling to cope with not only ADHD/ Dyslexia but also the discrimination of ignorant people who ruin the lives of so many others.

  36. dystalk said,

    June 9, 2009 at 9:54 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.

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