Have you thought about what dyslexia really is?

By way of  setting the stage, dyslexia is  for sure a huge topic. It is probably a huge fraud. And there seems to be a significant shift in attitude about this subject.

 What we know for sure is that the public schools use dyslexia as an excuse for the bad results they get in reading. Dyslexia is also used as a hook for fundraising by the International Dyslexia Association.

 The Cynic’s Guide to Education would tell you that our public schools, in refusing to use phonics, create millions of children who are semi-literate. Dyslexia is just a fancy word for saying, “these kids can’t read worth a damn.” In other words, dyslexia is an alibi, an excuse, a cover-up for failure. The public schools have hung on to Whole Word and sight-words any way they can. As a result they get lots of damaged children. How do you explain this to the parents? Very simple. You say these damaged kids were BORN THAT WAY.  The schools didn’t cause the problem, of course not. The parents with their defective genes created these defective babies.

 The truth is that trying to memorize sight-words (hundreds and hundreds of sight-words) will confuse the average kid as fast as anything you can imagine. Because this method doesn’t typically work, the kids are told to guess, which is perhaps the dumbest thing ever introduced into education. In sum, kids in the second, third, and fourth grades often manifest what are called cognitive or mental health issues.

 But the UK is now pushing phonics back into the schools, and guess what? The amount of dyslexia is dropping. That's what every phonics experts would tell you is bound to happen. As fast as you put phonics back in our schools, you will eliminate dyslexia and so-called mental health issues.

But a lot of people want to hang onto it. They want the fund-raising. They want the protection for their bad methods. Some of them, the really bad ones, want the decline in our culture caused by our continuing illiteracy problem. 

But teachers know, more and more, that they’re not getting the results they should reasonably get. They know that the methods they are forced to use are inferior. So there seems to be a backlash brewing, both in the UK and here.

 A month ago I put an article on American Thinker called “Education as a cause of mental health issues,” which pointed out that a lot of the so-called issues are merely the side-effects generated by a phony pedagogy. http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2014/12/education_cause_men...

Here's one of the most interesting facts about dyslexia. When children are said to have it, around about the third grade, they are put into remediation which basically consists of teaching them phonics. Think about that. The Education Establishment, having created the problem, shamelessly uses the cure that could have prevented the problem to start with, if used three years earlier! But the remediation people wouldn't make all that money they are paid to fix a problem which doesn't really exist. Getting cynical yet?

 A final technical note: Rudolf Flesch and his experts decided that genuine dyslexia does sometimes occur, much as blindness, schizophrenia, deafness, and other major problems occur. But it's very rare. Less than 1% of children have a serious problem that can be labeled dyslexia. But for several decades our public schools have been telling  parents that as many as 20% of children have dyslexia. That's the big fraud.

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Comment by Bruce Deitrick Price on January 21, 2015 at 3:29pm

To Lisa Norris,

Here's a wonderful little video, less than 4 minutes. Title: "Reading is Easy." You meet seven of the most famous phonics experts.  Study their words carefully. Note how casually they use the words "easy" and "all." Some of them concede that a part of 1% of children will naturally have a problem. Some of these experts do not concede that any children will have a problem.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JV0tPGn-Ws

 QED: there was never any need to use a single sight-word. Using them creates the symptoms that are referred to by the word dyslexia.

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Comment by Lisa Norris on January 21, 2015 at 10:12am

I'm not cynical, but I am annoyed! After a 30 year career in special education, with multiple degrees covering several disability areas, I find your article irritating to say the least. Some of your points are valid, but many are over generalized and just not true. Children in public education are taught phonics/letter sound association when learning to read. There are of course sight words (but not hundreds and hundreds) that require memorizing due to the fact that they cannot be "sounded out", but in no way are teachers only using memorization to teach children to read that would be ridiculous!

Dyslexia is considered a type of learning disability (not a "mental health" issue) in it's most sever form, if you had ever worked with a child with dyslexia you might understand the complexity of this problem. I will only agree with you on one point, I think the net has widened in the area and that we need to be careful what labels we give our children.

There is no substitute for good teaching and good teacher and I really hate when people try to stir-up the educational pot by using blame and sensationalism. 

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