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

CapeTalk 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 CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk 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.

CapeTalk 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.

What we can expect from SABC after inquiry consolidates

What we can expect from SABC after inquiry consolidates

SABC's leadership and parliament has come under fire since the inquiry into the board's fitness to hold office.

LISTEN: Radio veterans, Gordhan, sports stars, celebs say bye to John Robbie

LISTEN: Radio veterans, Gordhan, sports stars, celebs say bye to John Robbie

John Robbie's 30-year run in radio has come to an end with friends, callers and colleagues wishing him a heartfelt goodbye.

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
"Case against President Zuma is strong, it is sound and ready to go to trial"

"Case against President Zuma is strong, it is sound and ready to go to trial"

Barry Bateman, EWN reporter in the Supreme Court of Appeal's ruling to reinstate charges and what this means for President Zuma.

V&A Waterfront responds to claims of sewage water on customer's car

V&A Waterfront responds to claims of sewage water on customer's car

A customer was not happy to find her car in a huge puddle of effluent water after doing her shopping at the V&A Waterfront.

Heroic fire fighter saves drowning child while on holiday

Heroic fire fighter saves drowning child while on holiday

It's not clear how long the little girl (3) spent underwater but it took ten minutes to resuscitate her.

De Waal Drive is now renamed after Philip Kgosana, but who was he? Here's a look

De Waal Drive is now renamed after Philip Kgosana, but who was he? Here's a look

Cape Town's well-known bend has been renamed in honour of PAC stalwart Philip Kgosana, but very few know his historic importance.

A list of words that people need to 'basically' stop using

A list of words that people need to 'basically' stop using

These words have become so overused and pretentious that listeners believe that they've lost their meaning.

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

These are the emergency numbers you should have on your cellphone and this is what you must understand about how they work.