Dyslexia - the new dawn : policy practice provision and management of dyslexia from pre-five into primary
An investigation was carried out into policy, practice, provision and management of dyslexia from the pre-five to primary stage of education. Factors in the early development and home life of young dyslexic children were considered to establish if and how these are contributory to the unfolding of dyslexia in later years. The early development of dyslexia was studied with questionnaires sent to the parents of all preschool year and Primary 1 children, a total of 1994 children, in the 1997-1998 school session. Both the phenotype and the genotype were considered. The initial survey was repeated in the 2000-2001 school session with parents of children from the same age groups (2305 children in total). In phenotypical areas, there were found to be no difference between the dyslexic group and the non-dyslexic, whereas there were differences apparent in the genotypical areas at these early stages. Structured interviews were also carried out with head teachers, parents and dyslexic pupils from schools throughout East Renfrewshire, and a questionnaire was given to educational psychologists. These were to establish the perceptions of school personnel, parents, pupils and educational psychologists on what exactly is involved in dyslexia and what can be done about it. Implications for policy, practice, provision and management were then considered. Case studies of individual children who showed early indications of possible dyslexia were studied longitudinally over the period of the study and these gave further insight into practicalities of management. Various other measures were taken into account to widen the scope and credibility of the study. A systems perspective is taken in making recommendations of possible ways forward. A novel and major outcome of the study has been the proposal of a new perspective in defining dyslexia focusing on the curriculum with wide implications for practice in both education and psychology.