The Need For Evenhandedness

When resources are scarce, it goes without saying that these resources should go to those who need them most. The worry for some educationalists was that, if the dyslexia concept were accepted, resources might be channelled into helping those articulate middle-class parents who made a fuss at the expense of children whose needs might be greater. This was a perfectly valid concern. Sadly, however, things turned sour. The valid concern for a fair distribution of resources degenerated into a slanging match: politically motivated people began to sneer that this new and fashionable label, 'dyslexia', was being used by the middle classes to disguise the fact of their children's low intellectual ability. In the words of one critic: 'If you live in Acacia Avenue, you are dyslexic; if you live in Gasworks Terrace, you are thick.' Such comments were hardly likely to help the situation, and, not surprisingly, some of us found them very exasperating. This was particularly the case for those of us at the Bangor Unit who had aimed at providing a dyslexia service for all children in the Gwynedd area. In this we were in full agreement with the county authorities, who sent us children from every sort of background.

Fortunately it was possible to counteract the sneer about dyslexia being a middle-class invention by citing statistics from the British Births Cohort Study (see Chapters 19 and 20). These will be reported in Chapter 20. On the basis of this evidence it is to be hoped that the sneer that 'dyslexia' is a fashionable word used by middle-class parents to cover up their children's lack of intelligence will be permanently laid to rest.

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Adult Dyslexia

Adult Dyslexia

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