Paul Flynn MP and Welsh Assembly Report on dyslexia and Dore

Zombie Fish

Paul Flynn MP has just blogged about a pretty depressing draft final report [PDF] for the Welsh Assembly, on Support for People with Dyslexia in Wales. As Flynn argues, while there is a lot that’s positive in the Report, the Assembly “is headed down a couple of blind alleys on Dyslexia.” In particular, Flynn notes that:

The Assembly report says, “”All the different types of support that
demonstrated to them had clearly identifiable benefits.” This has not been shown to be the case: for example, Dore and Brain Gym both lack a plausible mechanism of action and any good research to show effects beyond placebo.

The draft Report recommends funding research into these various modalities, even arguing (p. 26) that

If the circumstances for the Dore Programme change and they are able to resume services to new clients, the Dore Programme should be included in the research project

While good quality research on such interventions has its place, given the blind alleys that some of the Report is speeding towards I would worry that such research could end up landing the Assembly – and the broader Welsh populace – with something like the fiasco of the Durham fish oil (non)trial.

Wales has a real opportunity here to lead the UK in its treatment of and provisions for dyslexia: for example, the Report recommends having a teacher trained to specialise in dyslexia in every school. However, the Welsh Assembly could also lead Wales down costly and wasteful blind alleys: imposing numerous dubious interventions on Welsh dyslexics while making little genuine progress. I hope that they do take the opportunity to make significant changes to this draft report.

Update: Our delighted thanks to toastmonster for her permission to use the wonderful zombie fish picture to illustrate the post.


Filed under Dore, dyslexia

5 responses to “Paul Flynn MP and Welsh Assembly Report on dyslexia and Dore

  1. It is unbelievable to me that the same governments that cry about the spiraling costs of health care are the same ones to insist on wasting money on such credulous crap. The same problem exists here in Canada and it is beyond me how these people can even attain positions of trust in the public service. My younger brother suffers(ed) from dyslexia and the only thing that truly worked was hard work on his part and intense tutoring. It is much like losing weight. Hard work and discipline. But I suppose most people like to believe in magical solutions to tough problems.

  2. gimpy

    Hard work and discipline. But I suppose most people like to believe in magical solutions to tough problems.

    Dennis, programmes likes Dore do require a substantial level of commitment from customers, I don’t think it’s fair to disparage such people for lacking hard work and discipline. The trouble is with programmes like Dore is that all the hard work and discipline (and financial outlay) is for aught as there is no evidence the programme is effective.
    Also I suspect politicians are interested in such quackery because, compared to the costs of training and recruiting Educational Psychologists and specialist support, it is cheaper to use a pre-existing commercial organisation to provide support. I suspect that concerns over cost are given equal or greater rating than concerns over efficacy.

  3. superburger

    the report treat Dore favourably (but when it relies on the anecdotes of staff and the Dore centre in Cardiff and Prof Reynolds whose work was heavily criticised in the journal, Dyslexia that’s no surpise)

    but it also recommends a research project into the Fast ForWord programme – despite there being much evidence to suggest there is no long term benefit for this treatment.

    The whole report shows no appreciation of the wider literature concerning these treatments.

    Total waste of welsh taxpayers money, as far as I can see.

  4. brainduck

    Reynolds is completely in bed with the Assembly already, & Alun Cairns AM claims to have been completely converted to Dore just from hearing a talk by Scott Quinnell (rugby player).

    Looks like if I want to stay in my home country I’ll just have to follow in Holford’s footsteps after all, since there won’t be much good to being an EdPsych if they won’t actually allow the use of anything that has been shown to work.

  5. Via

    I wonder how many buckets of Dore research S**T will this endeavour accumulate?
    This type of research will more likely result in emptying taxpayers buckets and filling Dore’s buckets with £££££££.
    On an optimistic point it could put Dore out of the equation.

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