The BDA welcomes publicity for good ways of teaching dyslexic learners. However, we need to consider any new ideas with caution. Some so-called 'new' schemes include well-established good practice. Multi-sensory methods are used by specialist dyslexia teachers.
We would like to see research evidence for claims of success for new schemes. We do not set out to find a 'cure' for dyslexia. It is a permanent condition just as left-handedness is. All dyslexic learners are different.
No single method will suit them all, but they can all improve.
Dyslexia is more than just reading and spelling. It often includes numeracy, memory, organisation and self-confidence.
The following information is from Brua, B. and Link, H. A checklist for alternative therapies. Communication, Spring 1997, p14. Reprinted with permission of the National Autistic Society.
1. The therapy.
- How long has this therapy been used?
- How does the therapy work?
- What types of difficulties do the people who have received this therapy have?
- How many people with my child's/client's disability have received this therapy and what were the results?
- What research is available that I can see which shows how effective this therapy is for people with my child's/client's disability?
- How will you decide whether this therapy is appropriate for my child/client?
- Will you consult his/her General Practitioner/other Professionals for his/her medical/personal history?
- Is the therapy unsuitable for certain people? Who? Why?
- Are there any side effects? If yes, what are they?
- How will you tell whether the therapy has been successful with my child/client? What signs will you look for?
- Will you compare his/her behaviour/condition before and after the therapy? How?
- Will you be following up my child/client at all to see if any change has been long-lasting?
2. The therapist.
- How long have you been using this therapy? How many people have you treated using this therapy?
- How were you trained in using this therapy? Who trained you? How long did the training last?
- What qualifications are needed to undergo training?
- Can I see your certificate?
- Does anyone still monitor you to see if you are still doing the therapy correctly?
- My child/client is: .... years old with problems in these areas:
- etc. (describe)
- How many people have you treated who resemble my child/client and what were the results?
- Can you give me the names and telephone numbers of any other parents/carers who have a child/client similar to my child/client who has received this therapy?
3. The arrangements for therapy.
- How much will the therapy cost in total?
- Where will the therapy take place?
- Will I have to arrange transport and or accommodation for myself and my child/client? How much will this cost?
- When will the therapy take place? Dates, times, time span, time off school/work?
- Do I have to pay for the therapy in advance?
- What happens if I wish to abandon the therapy before the course of treatment is completed? How much would I have to pay?
- Will we have a written agreement about the terms and conditions of the therapy?
- If my child/client gets worse, can I have my money back? Will I be entitled to compensation?
- If my child/client's condition does not change after therapy, can I have my money back?