Is dyslexia a myth?

Pic credit: Huffington Post

One of the most well-known learning conditions amongst children in particular is dyslexia and the over the years, the jury's been out over it's link to intelligence.

Speaking to 702's John Robbie, Director of Educational Programs at Edublox Susan du Plessis is adamant that the word should be used less carelessly and that intelligence, talent and the capacity to do good work cannot be dismissed when a child or a person is found to be dyslexic. Edublox is a Johannesburg-based organisation that helps children with reading problems and other learning difficulties:

The traditional view of dyslexia is that it is a severe reading problem and there are always symptoms like the reversal of 'B's' and 'D's', but that there's also a discrepancy in terms of your reading ability and your IQ. In other words, these are children with high IQ's, but they still struggle to read. The problem is there's now a big dyslexia debate with Professor Julian Elliot from the UK - he wrote a book called "The Dyslexia Debate" - and according to him, the whole 'dyslexia' label is meaningless and it does not really exist; there's no difference between children with high IQ's who cannot read and children with lower IQ's who cannot read. People are basically just mistreating the whole system - getting extra time - when actually, they shouldn't.

Read Professor Julian Elliot's "The Dyslexia Debate" here.

But can dyslexia be cured? Absolutely, says du Plessis:

That's one of the things that I've been working against is this idea that it's a life-long condition and that it cannot be cured. There is hope for every dyslexic child - if we do the right thing. The cause of many reading problems is that the foundational skills of reading have not been put into place and that is what we do every day, is to put those foundational skills like: concentration, perceptual skills, memory, logical thinking; to put that into place and once you've done that, then it's quite easy to teach a child to read.

Steven Spielberg - a name synonymous with cinematic excellence stemming over forty years. The multiple Academy Award-winning Hollywood director - who's artistic achievements are almost unparalleled, is also dyslexic. Spielberg - known for directing epics such as Lincoln, Amistad and _Saving Private Ryan _amongst others, was diagnosed with the condition eight years ago at the age of 60:

I was diagnosed (then) as having been dyslexic for my entire life, which explained a lot of things. It was like the last puzzle part and a tremendous mystery that I've kept to myself all these years. But basically it started with all these things when you're a kid and you're a slow reader. In my case, I was two years behind the rest of my class and of course I went through what everyone else went through - the teasing. The teasing led to a lot of other problems, but more than anything else, it had to do with my embarrassment. (But now) I've learned to adjust, I read a lot and I read with a lot of understanding because I read slowly - I don't just skip over things. I really savour good writing because I really take my time with a book or a script.

Watch Spielberg relay his experience of dealing with the condition in this video below:

Listen to the conversation on the 'dyslexia debate' as heard on 702's John Robbie Show

702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Major medical breakthrough: New gene pegged as cause of heart attacks in youth

Major medical breakthrough: New gene pegged as cause of heart attacks in youth

This is being called the biggest medical advancement in South African cardiology since Dr Chris Barnard's first heart transplant.

Parents urged to check tertiary institutions are legit before registering kids

Parents urged to check tertiary institutions are legit before registering kids

The Council on Higher Education says parents need to be wary of the increasing number of fly-by-night tertiary institutions.

New app to detect hearing loss

New app to detect hearing loss

University of Pretoria has developed a new app which uses a smartphone to detect hearing loss.

UK prison officers manage to quell mass inmate riots

UK prison officers manage to quell mass inmate riots

Britain recorded the worst prison riots in 26 years after 600 inmates at a prison in Birmingham embarked on a 12-hour riot.

Gauteng tops drunk driving offences since start of the festive season

Gauteng tops drunk driving offences since start of the festive season

Traffic authorities have arrested more than 3 000 people for various traffic offences, with drunk driving as the leading offence.

2016 news wrap: A look back at the stories that grabbed SA's attention

2016 news wrap: A look back at the stories that grabbed SA's attention

Barry Bateman spoke to Stephen Grootes to unpack the meaning behind the stories that dominated the headlines in 2016.

Popular articles
Why Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma aren't suitable Presidential candidates: analyst

Why Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma aren't suitable Presidential candidates: analyst

ANC branch in the Eastern Cape, Z.R Mahabana, has launched a campaign backing Lindiwe Sisuslu as an ANC presidential candidate.

Kay Sexwale denies involvement in ANC 'War Room' saga

Kay Sexwale denies involvement in ANC 'War Room' saga

Sexwale says she advises the provincial not national ANC.

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

"Recognise that it’s not the end, it’s the beginning." Expert advise for school-leavers who want to improve their results.

Bylaws, times you may use fireworks

Bylaws, times you may use fireworks

City of Johannesburg has urged residents to respect by-laws and the times set for fireworks to be used.

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

After 3 years there are 3 Nic Harry stores (incl online) that sell 100 000 pairs of socks in over 20 countries around the world.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?