Monday, March 14, 2016

Reading and Stupidity and Geniuses ~ { #saydyslexia #openbook }

 Do we actually, truly, really, blatantly  label children stupid now?
Yes, we do.....
and for this, we can thank  Julian Elliott, professor at
Durham University's School of Education in the UK.
Professor Elliot has spent thirty years 
trying to prove that dyslexia  does not exist.
Yup, you heard that right.
 According to an interview with the esteemed prof in  The Guardian,  
no difference can be found between a child 
labelled "dyslexic" and a child who is a "poor reader."
Dyslexia is just  middle class parents'  way of hiding our children's 
stupidity, clumsiness and low intelligence.

Let me just  let that sink in for a minute.

Unless you want your blood pressure kicked up a few notches,
trust me, don't click over. Just don't.
But if you insist on reading the whole boatload of malarkey for yourself

Well,  Professor Elliott, I'll see your three decades and raise you two minutes.
Because that's all it'll take me to debunk your stupidity  work, sir.
This kind of misinformation, let loose for public consumption, is damaging.
It's damaging to the work that we,
 who are dyslexia advocates, do.
It's damaging to schools of education, 
lest someone in positions of authority
actually adopts this dyslexia-is-not-a-thing philosophy.
It's damaging, most of all, to individuals who are dyslexic...
their progress, their growth,  their self esteem.

Now, I'm certainly  not a neuropsychologist 
( who officially diagnoses dyslexia, a neurological learning difference)
but I know my stuff, as does any conscientious individual who works with kids.
 I'm a teacher, a reading specialist and most importantly, a mom.
I've worked alongside kids who are "poor readers" and kids who are dyslexic...
one of those dyslexic kids is my own. 
And I know a little about kids who have  trouble cracking the code
 ( Prof Elliott's  "poor readers")
as opposed to dyslexic  kids who have difficulty 
processing  and producing printed material, 
 who  simply cannot navigate spelling, decoding and word recognition,
especially with time constraints, 
despite often above - average levels of intelligence.  
Not to mention creativity, artistic and musical ability
 and unique abstract thought processes.

And that's the thing about how dyslexia is actually diagnosed.
And it can be officially diagnosed. 
Dyslexia is not a hollow non- entity to slap
onto some lazy kid's permanent record  to get him off the hook
for not dong the work that the rest of the world is doing.
Not by a long shot. 
The tests a doctor will administer measure 
many aspects of comprehension, 
vocabulary, writing, decoding, encoding, sight words, 
executive functioning, reasoning, sequencing, speed, cognitive processing
 and that's just a small sampling.
The International Dyslexia Association has long maintained that  
learning more about the anatomy and 
function of  a dyslexic brain is key.

Thanks too, to  Dr Shaywitz, more and more educators  are 
becoming aware of the benefits 
 MRIs have granted us to further dyslexia research.

which manifests itself in maaaaaaany varieties...
As many varieties as people who are dyslexic.

And as for Professor Elliott, the next time he is privileged to gaze upon
 the Mona Lisa  or The Thinker
make a phone call, flip on a light switch, read a Hercule Poirot mystery,
 charge his iPhone,  be  convenienced by a remote control,
 ponder the awesomeness of e=mc2 ,
enjoy a flick such as Jaws, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, 
ET or  Bridge of Spies, 
buy a 401K,  fly Virgin Airlines, enjoy classic photography
of our national parks, visit The Magic Kingdom
annnnnnnd benefit from the 
freedoms so eloquently expressed in The Declaration of Independence,   
he can thank the divergent thinking of dyslexic individuals! 
Pretty impressive, huh?
Not exactly lazy, stupid or clumsy, Professor?

So let's #saydyslexia.
Let's  empower..... let's  dispel untruths..... let's educate.
Let's not give even one moment of credence  to researchers who've spent
decades chasing a cloud of nothingness
when in fact the team, led by renowned (I know, scary, isn't  it?)
educator, Elliott, could have invested dollars, time and energy  
into developing remedial techniques to better aid in the learning process for
the ONE out of SEVEN  people in the world who are dyslexic. 
Yes, you read that correctly....1 of 7 people.

And those astounding feats  order from above.....
                                           were accomplished by none other than these dyslexic folks:                                 
  Leonardo da Vinci
     August Rodin
    Alexander Graham Bell
      Thomas Edison,
Michael Farraday
Agatha Christie
Nikola Tesla
Steve Jobs
Albert Einstein
Steven Spielberg
Charles Schwab
Sir Richard Branson
Ansel Adams
Walt Disney
        Thomas Jefferson

~ I've written tons on dyslexia research and advocacy,
one of my passions,  which can  be found here~

For more hard evidence and details on the diagnosis and remediation of dyslexia, 
I encourage you to visit 

And here are some resources for parents and educators 
with real and tangible science  on 
dyslexia, hope and help~~
I'ce been revisiting, really, all of these titles recently,
as each offers slightly different, yet practical wisdom.

Overcoming Dyslexia

The Dyslexic Advantage

The Gift of Dyslexia

The Gillingham Manual

I'm happy to link to Carolyn's Open Book party...
please click over to enjoy the recommendations of titles across many genres!
Thanks Carolyn!! 

 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!

Please visit in a day or so...... I'll have a review and giveaway up for a
lovely new children's book!

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Until next time,


This post contains my amazon affiliate link, 
which means if you click to amazon through my blog
 and make a purchase, 
I will receive, at no cost to you, a tiny percentage of the sale price.
So, thank you!

Post dividers: Plumose Lane 


  1. Great post! I love how fired up and passionate you are about dyslexia. I didn't realize there were still people who thought it was just laziness and not a real challenge for those affected. I'm also subscribing to your lovely blog.

    1. Aw, thanks Erin for the kind words and for stopping over to share facts and info on dyslexia!

      It's been awesome to "meet" you!!

  2. I can't even read your whole post without getting angry. LOL
    I would never pop over there, lest I do something confession-worthy. HA
    That said - I'm here to support you. And I love that you have your boy's back. Hugs & Blessings... Em

    1. Em, thanks! You're so sweet.....and the hysterical thing is, I'm trying to spell a word in an email I'm typing and he correctly spells it for me! Just strange how this manifests itself!

      You're so sweet to stop over, Em!

  3. You tell him, Chris! Love your passion here, my friend. I had no idea about that list of geniuses with dyslexia. I've actually learned quite about from you here tonight. This is not something I've dealt with in my life, although my hubby says he thinks he may have some issues with it. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on such an important topic.

    1. Well, I'm happy you picked up a thing or two!

      Thanks for stopping by Candace!

  4. Thank you or standing up for my brilliant dyslexic students. Despite the school district's reluctance to identify and support student's with dyslexia it really does exist, usually in people who are very intelligent.

    1. Thank YOU Shelah, for stopping by....we definitely do have our work cut out for us!

      i agree with everything you said! thanks!

  5. Thanks for linking up! Even to someone like me, who knows very little about dyslexia, equating it with "stupidity" sounds absurd. Have you heard of the Open Dyslexic typeface? A writing friend published his novel in the typeface.

    1. Thanks Carolyn...I'm clicking over now to your friend's link...I've heard of that font but would love to know more.

      Thanks for visiting!


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