Do People Remain Dyslexic

Twenty-two of my subjects came back to the Bangor Unit for reassessment (Miles, 1993a, Chapter 19). It was therefore possible to compare the number of positive indicators obtained on the Bangor Dyslexia Test at the first assessment with that obtained at the second. My belief had always been that dyslexia is a lifelong condition, and I should have been seriously worried if I had found any large difference in respect of 'pluses' (positive indicators) between the two assessments. The scoring system of the test allows for development in the case of three out of the 10 items, Repeating Polysyllabic Words, Digits Forwards and Digits Reversed. It is assumed that even those with dyslexia will to some extent improve their performance on these three items without ceasing to be dyslexic. In the case of the other seven items adjustments for age in the scoring system were unnecessary. Clearly familial incidence does not change and if there is a history of left-right or 'b'-'d' confusion, it is possible to score a 'plus' or 'zero' on these two items, even though the manifestations of confusion are no longer present. My concern was that if there had been serious fluctuation in the number of 'pluses' on re-testing this would be evidence that the Bangor Dyslexia Test was failing to show that dyslexia is a lifelong condition.

In fact all 22 of those re-tested still satisfied the criteria for being dyslexic. Table 15.1 shows the extent to which there was fluctuation ('+' indicates more 'pluses' on re-testing; '—' indicates fewer).

It will be seen that in one of the 22 cases there was a discrepancy of three and in another a discrepancy of two. (A subject with five 'pluses' on the first testing might in principle have had any number of 'pluses' on the second testing within the range 0 to 10.) It is not, of course, in dispute that dyslexics can learn new skills and compensatory strategies, but it appears that the dyslexia itself, as measured by the Bangor Dyslexia Test, does not go away.

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Adult Dyslexia

Adult Dyslexia

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