Read On. Get On. campaign vows to tackle dyslexia

Read On. Get On. campaign vows to tackle dyslexia

Save the Children says it will address the issue of dyslexia through its Read On. Get On. coalition, after charities expressed concern over the lack of resources for children with additional reading needs.
 
William Higham, director of UK poverty, policy, advocacy and campaigns, Save the Children, said the campaign, launched this week to tackle the “reading crisis” among British children, will address dyslexia but at a later date.
 
“We realise that dyslexia is an important issue and part of the problem – but we also want to ensure that we address it thoroughly and well,” he told The Bookseller.
 
He added: “Even severely dyslexic children can learn to read. They may always be slower readers than non-dyslexics, and have lasting spelling problems, but they certainly can learn to read well and with enjoyment. The issue is to persuade schools that they should invest in these children, and that is one of the campaign’s aims.”
 
Mike Littler of the British Dyslexia Association praised the campaign but said it should recognise the impact of dyslexia on children’s ability to read and “signpost the audience to support specifically for dyslexic-type difficulties, because raising awareness is one thing but taking remedial action is another.”
 
Julie Cappleman-Morgan, chair of the Dig-iT dyslexia information group, said the campaign is “highly admirable” but told The Bookseller that it “falls short in addressing directly the huge impact of specific learning difficulties (SpLDs) such as dyslexia on literacy development and future life chances.”
 
The campaign leaders should work with dyslexia associations and come up with a list of recommendations on how to help teachers deal with learning difficulties such as dyslexia, she added.
 
Mairi Kidd, m.d. of Barrington Stoke, which publishes accessible books for children, would like the campaign to also help adults with reading difficulties.
 
Both Kidd and the British Dyslexia Association also expressed concern over a video released by Save the Children, which shows a father refusing to read a story to his child. It then shows all the potential problems someone who is illiterate faces in life.
 
The British Dyslexia Association said it has concerns that the video does not take into account people who have problems with reading, and Kidd said it was “a bit gloomy”.
 
She said: “I am also concerned that the video doesn’t distinguish between low literacy and complete functional illiteracy, and I was left with a lot of questions. As a parent of a dyslexic child asked me on Twitter, what is the video’s message to a child with dyslexia? Some people will always struggle with the written word; it doesn’t make them stupid.”