Monthly Dyslexia News Digest – April 2019

In the headlines

12 April 2019

Philip Kirby and Maggie Snowling in association with the British Dyslexia Association have produced a detailed document called “Refuting the ‘dyslexia myth’: answering FAQs about dyslexia’s existence”.  They conclude that dyslexia affects 10% of the population and that it is a specific learning disorder, which varies in severity from mild to severe and has a genetic basis, which leads to differences in brain structure and function.  Download the full report from this link.

19 April 2019

Researchers at Cardiff Metropolitan University are using a tool they call RADAR, which stands for Rapid Assessment for Dyslexia and Abnormalities in Reading, to test children for signs of being dyslexic.  During the 15-minute testing process the child’s eye tracking is monitored and assessed to see if it is outside of the normal eye moving parameters used by successful readers.  Early diagnosis is known to really help children as it means they can be supported in their learning and do not lose confidence and self-esteem through not knowing why they are struggling to do things that their classmates can do more easily.

22 April 2019

The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition (SCSC) has highlighted a dramatic increase in the number of Scottish pupils identified with autism, dyslexia and other conditions.  The figures are based on an analysis of the annual Scottish Government Pupil Census and show that between 2012 and 2018 the number of pupils identified with autism spectrum disorder, for example, in publicly funded primary, secondary and special schools has more than doubled.

The increase is partly due to better recognition and diagnosis of the conditions.

At the same time as more pupils are being diagnosed as needing extra support, more cuts are being made to ASN support in schools with decreasing numbers of specialist teachers, behaviour support staff and educational psychologists. There has been a reported cut in spend of £883 per pupil with ASN since 2012.

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