I was interested to see this clip on YouTube: apparently broadcast 26/6/09*. The interviewer gives Scott Quinnell ample time to plug Dore for the treatment of dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, autism and Asperger Syndrome. There are a number of important issues that the segment fails to cover. Among other concerns:
– There is no mention of the lack of good evidence that Dore is effective, or the high cost of the programme.
– There is no mention that Dynevor, which now owns Dore, was established by Quinnell (the interviewer actually introduces Quinnell’s involvement in Dore as ‘charity work’, although Quinnell makes clear that Dore is a business).
– There is no mention that Dore UK went into administration last year (something that prospective clients might want to know about, before they hand over their money).
It is also interesting to note that Quinnell states that “my spelling’s better, but I still need to learn to spell”. This may be an illustration of how Dore can appear to ‘cure’ specific learning difficulties: while the difficulties of clients persist, they attribute them to other factors (such as being too busy to learn to spell) rather than the specific learning difficulties.
Without any critical discussion, the BBC were left broadcasting what was little more than an advertorial for Dore. Deeply unimpressive, and hard to square with the BBC’s Charter. Quinnell may have been a great rugby player – clearly, he has achieved a lot in his life – but this does not make him an appropriate person to give evidence-based advice on approaches to specific learning difficulties. His involvement with Dore and Dynevor also leaves him with potential competing interests.
* Hat tip to a correspondent who has been following the tennis.