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At least according to one British, Labour MP (Member of Parliament).

Graham Stringer, MP for Blackley in Manchester, said it was “wicked” to label children as dyslexic because they were confused by bad teaching methods.

“The education establishment, rather than admit that their eclectic and incomplete methods for instruction are at fault, have invented a brain disorder called dyslexia,” Stringer wrote in a column for the Manchester Confidential website.

“Dyslexia is a cruel fiction. The sooner it is consigned to the same dustbin of history, the better.”…
Stringer said if dyslexia existed then countries such as Nicaragua and South Korea would not have nearly 100 percent literacy rates.

What an effing moron.


  • Wow.

    I’m almost speechless here. Just… wow.


  • Sparky
    January 14
    9:31 pm

    Don’t you just love politicians who think they know better than the experts *sigh*


  • Nicaragua has almost 100% literacy? Learn something new every day!

    Some people are just amazing, and not in a good way…


  • West
    January 14
    10:14 pm

    Wow. I’d love to post a snarky response but… I got nothin’.


  • Well, as a mother of a kid with dyslexia I can agree with this

    rather than admit that their eclectic and incomplete methods for instruction are at fault

    There are teaching/reading methods that work to superior levels of competency. It’s a matter of them being widely accepted in the school systems.

    The rest of it, well… I’ve got a place to be in 30mins thats 40mins away so I don’t have to to express my ..err.. discontent.


  • Apparently Mr Stringer doesn’t know his history.
    Dyslexia was NOT ‘invented’ by the education profession but first identified and written up by MDs in various countries in the 19th century. Wish i could remember the name of the English MD who coined the term word blindness. but my aging brain lets me down at times.

    but early diagnosis and treatment was in the hands of the medical profession. for example Barts established a clinic for the “word Blind’ in the 50s..

    He is right however that inappropriate or misguided teaching methods do hamper a dyslexic learning to read.

    As fforr claims such as South Korea’s of close to 100% literacy (90%) is the figure I’ve heard.) well depends on how you define literacy doesn’t it?


  • Man, I’m so glad to hear that my issues with numbers is a figment of my imagination or something brought on by poor teaching methods.

    My life is now complete.



  • As the mother of a dyslexic son, I’m flabergasted. Thank god I had a massive support system within the school system to help him gain the skills he needed to succeed and compensate for his weaknesses–from assessments by school psychologists to having 1 hr per day one-on-one tutoring during school hours prettymuch from grade 3 right up grade 12.

    *Technically* the only thing I’ll agree with him with is that dyslexia is an umbrella term covering a multitude to learning difficulties, and in that sense, it could be argued that it doesn’t exist. Sort of like saying someone can’t die of AIDs, but succums to an AIDs related caused.

    Otherwise, he’s an ass. And that condition does exist.


  • Sam
    January 15
    4:12 am

    Vanessa, what did they do for your son? We weren’t told to test ours until 6th grade (he was behind, but not THAT behind). Once we found out, we were told that the years to intervene and FIX it were past and the most we could do now is teach him how to try to compensate (this was from the lady that tested him at Childrens Hospital). The school has him in a different language course, but that is about all they’ve done.

    I’d like to have had that man trying to deal with my son in 5th and 6th grade. You know, when he was ready to give up because he couldn’t keep up and thought himself stupid.

    Thank goodness we had testing that let him know he was average to above average in intelligence…he’s much better now. Just knowing WHAT was wrong, and that he’d just have to figure out how to compensate has helped him.



  • Dawn
    January 15
    8:41 am

    When I read the headline my immediate thought was that he’s an asshole. When I read the article I still thought he’s an asshole.


  • Sam once he was tested, and they caught it fairly early (I think in part because he had the same teacher for grade 2 and 3, so she noticed he was having grasping certain things at the end of grade 2 and saw the pattern progress/get worse in grade 3. Also, he was starting to act up a bit in class–no doubt due to his own frustrations.) Once he had been assessed by the board psychologist and they’d pinpointed his areas of weakness, he had one hour a day of help with a special ed teacher (they called it Reading Center).

    They’d pull him out of his regular class and he’d go down there with his school work/homework, special projects and she’d help him.

    In highschool, that ocntinued on a more formal basis in that that extra help was now a credit course (Learning Center was the name of it).

    He also wrote all his tests/exams in the Reading Clinic/ Learning Center and was given extra time to complete those tests.)

    If you’re asking specifically what they did as in excercises, I honestly can’t remember. I do know I did a lot of drills with him at home. He mixed up p,b,d,q,p, he would also remember the shape of words, rather than sounding them out, if that makes sense. So, “grown” and “green” were prettymuch the same word, visually on the page, for him. We had to stop him from making that assumption and slow down and think out the process of sounding out the word. Didn’t make it easier if that ‘g’ was initially looking like a ‘p’ or ‘q’. 😛

    There was also something to do with his spacial judgement that affected his math skills and also other odd things like tying his shoe-laces or reading a clock with minute/hour hands (vs a LCD one).

    Aside from the in-school help, I was also able to get him into a Saturday morning program for help with math (the help in-school was more about help with reading/writing and organization/planning).

    The good news is, while we could have had him apply to college with special consideration (ie, again, writing his tests/exams in a separate room with more time given, etc) we didn’t, and for a kid who was barely passing in highschool (failed grade 11 math FIVE times), he’s been pulling all As & Bs in college for the last 2 yrs, and intends to go on to University this fall. (which he sadly thought he wasn’t smart enough to attend when he graduated highschool. :-/ )

    Karen, sorry for the long post. Sam, I hardly think I’ve helped, but if the school can in anyway take off the pressure of tests/exams by giving him extra time to do them, that will help. Also, that rote drilling, going over and over and over stuff, helps. And planning/organization is also a big help.

    As the testing showed for your son, dyslexia doesn’t mean reduced intelligence, it’s just that the processess in which certain concepts are broken down/analyze take a bit more longer for a dyslexic because that information is recieved in a different way (for my kid the mixed up letters is one example of this.) I never doubted my kid was an A/B student. He just needed to believe it himself, and his dyslexia made that hard to do.


  • What a jackass! Maybe South Korea and Nicaragua have nearly 100% literacy rates because they’re invested in early childhood intervention programs or because their educators are taught to recognize dyslexia and other learning disabilities in children. (I’m just speculating. I don’t know.) That would make a helluva lot more sense than issuing a blanket statement that dyslexia is a fiction.


  • I am dyslexic and it was very difficult to learn with the disability that I guess “doesn’t exist”. For me, numbers were much harder that letters.

    I was never “diagnosed”. I figured it out when I was a senior in high school. Up until that time I was just labeled as a problem.

    But even with all that, because I loved reading so much, I fought through the disability. Without even understanding what I was doing, I trained myself to do things to counteract the dyslexia. Tricks I do to this day. It wasn’t easy and it takes me longer to do some things that others do much quicker, but I would never even consider giving up reading.

    Now, as an author, I am thankful for spell check and my fantastic editors. LOL But I can guarantee you, the problem does exist and can destroy many a young child’s desire to read and learn.

    When idiots say there is no such thing, its as bad as when some physicians say there is no such thing as ADD. Please! Can it be overused or misdiagnosed? Of course. But for the love of Pete, please don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!!!!!

    *Dyslexics Unite*


  • Marianne McA
    January 15
    9:48 pm

    O/T – CJ: there’s a T-shirt for dyslexics that says ‘Dyslexics Untie’ – and when my dyslexic daughter saw it, she couldn’t work out why it was funny…

    And, back on topic, I think this quote from an academic called Elena Grigorenko suggests some possibilities as to why some countries might appear to be dyslexia free:

    “The basic dyslexic impairment is caused by a unified
    mechanism, valid and functioning in all languages in
    which individuals with dyslexia have been identified.

    However, the manifestation of this unified mechanism is
    language- and culture-dependent. Dyslexia is only noted
    by educators, psychologists, and biologists and then
    investigated if these three conditions are met:
    (1) the phonological structure of the language must be sufficiently challenging to impose a serious obstacle for dyslexics,
    (2) the frequency of normal reading in the society
    must be high enough to make failures noticeable, and
    (3)there must be a societal demand for mastery of this skill and an adequate number of professionals to support this demand.”


  • LOL Thanks Marianne. I’ll have to see if I can find it.

    My daughter is dyslexic as well, though not as severely as I am. Because I’d gone through it, I recognized the symptoms and was able to design a program that helped her learn to deal with the problem. She’s as voracious a reader as I am so I thank God that I was able to help her.

    I really wish people out there were better versed in what dyslexia is. It can be dealt with through training and awareness.

    It isn’t easy, but the first time I read Laura Ignalls (that’s what I thought her name was) Wilder, I knew that I would stop at nothing to decipher the words on the page in front of me.


  • Marianne McA
    January 16
    9:02 am

    Yes, my brother and dad are dyslexic as well – I really think that helps, because not only do you spot it early, but they’re positive role models in her life. And they can share sob stories about difficult times at school. (My dad’s primary school – of which his father was head – used to line them up each Friday according to their scores in spelling, with my dad inevitably last in line. He is now 82, but still recalls with fondness the single week they were lined up by their maths scores, and he got to line up first.)


  • West
    January 17
    1:31 am

    Gave it a couple days… still got nothin’. It seems I can actually be left speechless by the stupidity of some people.

    So here’s my question- how do MPs get their jobs? Are the elected? And if so, can they be recalled? And if so to that, is stupidity, insensetivity, and basic fucktardism reason enough for said recall? ‘Cause if I were the people he represented, I’d want him gone. No way would I want such an ignorant bastard speaking for me (trust me, I’ve had 8 years of Bush speaking for me, that was bad enough).


  • Dyslexic=/=illiterate

    I have friends that are, and I suspect my youngest is. One of my friends teaches special ed and you have to be VERY literate for that.

    Some people are stupid. And some stupid people say stupid thinsg about other things they don’t understand.


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