Newsletter 45

 Marlborough and District Dyslexia Association

Newsletter 45 – June 2011



The MDDA is pleased to announce the launch of its website on 23rd June 2011.

The web address is;

We have a new helpline number 0772 945 2134 and messages can be left 24 hours a day.

Also we have an email address

We are asking members to access the site to help raise our profile on google/bing etc. – the more hits we get, the higher we go!


From Susanne Harris (Chairman and Helpline Officer of the MDDA),

A researcher, Ola Ozranov-Palchik (at Gaab Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience, Children’s Hospital, Boston) has written an article called ‘Towards An Early Diagnosis of Dyslexia’.  She talks about the problem of getting an early diagnosis and treatment for children with ‘life- long reading difficulties’ and states that ‘It is widely documented that intervention programmes have their most potent effects in kindergarten and first grade (early years and reception class)’.

The laboratories have conducted research that suggests that there is evidence that diagnosis can precede the symptoms. As a result of this there is a new study called Boston Longitudinal Study of Dyslexia (BOLD) starting this summer (2011) which will assess hundreds of children  using ’empirical validated cognitive and educational assessments’ and then, in follow-up sessions, take MRI images while the children respond to various questions. You can Google ‘Towards An Early Diagnosis of Dyslexia’ or to read the article in more detail.

Although this research will have to be substantiated by other research teams and then absorbed by main stream education I feel it could be a way forward in helping dyslexics achieve their full potential.  Many dyslexic children are not diagnosed at all and many who are identified as having dyslexic tendencies do not have their needs adequately met or indeed met at all.  Dyslexic children need to be identified and supported correctly and not allowed to become several years behind in their educational development with the accompanying complications of debilitating low-self esteem.

The MDDA Helpline has evidence that many local dyslexic children are not being identified or remediated in primary schools.  This has negative consequences in secondary education to varying degrees.  Although this research may produce educational strategies to improve the educational experiences of dyslexics we must not wait to implement existing and new strategies for identifying, assessing and teaching children with dyslexic tendencies.  This article can help to raise the awareness of senior local educationalists and begin to change the educational experience for 10%+ of the school population and their parents/guardians.


A fairly recent MDDA resource, available for loan, is a book called ‘The Dyslexia Friendly Schools Toolkit – Removing Dyslexia as a Barrier to Achievement’ by Neil Mackay. Described as ‘a thoroughly thought provoking and detailed look at the potential to create Dyslexia Friendly learning environments in the classroom and school….’ it supports the British Dyslexia Association’s ‘Dyslexia Friendly Schools Initiative Project’ and is mainly suitable for parents and teachers of primary school pupils.