Simon Garfield in The Observer:
More than 100 years after ‘word blindness’ was first discovered, thousands of children with great potential are still marginalised by an education system unable to cope with a common but silent disorder. Simon Garfield investigates the symptoms, treatment and prognosis of dyslexia
In a small room at the physiology department of the University of Oxford a man is being tested for dyslexia. This is an elaborate, detailed and standardised process, and the tests get harder as the session unfolds. There are words to read: box, water, babies, cough, curiosity, tyrannical and catastrophe. There are words to spell, read aloud by the assessor: light, advice, anxiety, camouflage and acquiesce. There are red and white plastic cubes to be arranged in the same pattern as a diagram. There are dancing dots on a computer screen to be distinguished from dots that move in a different pattern. And then there is the Verbal Similarities test, which also begins simply. What do the following three things have in common? Shirt, socks, coat. Then this: clock, thermometer, ruler. And finally: uncertainly, hesitantly, irregularly.