Wynford Dore of the Dore Achievement Centres has responded to the ten questions sent by you the readers.
1) What is the success rate of the treatment? I’ve heard you claim to cure over 90% of people. Does this figure include everyone who comes in for an assessment or only those who complete a year or more of the treatment?
It is only possible to measure the success of a treatment if someone completes the whole prescribed programme. Our figures show that more than 90% who complete the Dore Programme show a very substantial improvement in their symptoms. The question mentions the word “cure” - you will notice that we never make mention of this in our literature although recently professors carrying out independent research have quite openly used the word to describe the results we are getting with ADHD and the underlying cause of dyslexia.
2) By claiming dyslexia is personal problem that can be cured are you not devaluing the impact dyslexia has on people’s lives? Doesn’t this just put the blame on the dyslexic for not getting cured?
The popular perception for many is that dyslexia is a gift. Science as we now understand it which explains the symptoms doesn’t support this view. Conversely it shows that under-development of the cerebellum constrains the ability of the individual to use all the power of their creative thinking brain. Thus those who complete our programme have, to our knowledge, never observed any reduction or increase in their creative ability but very substantial improvement in their ability to take information in, retain it and recall it. Thus our conclusion is that dyslexic and other symptoms of learning difficulties are an impediment - when the symptoms are removed their effectiveness and quality of life improves. We have never had a client that has disagreed with this view to our knowledge.
3) Recently Kenny Logan and Toyah Wilcox have spoken out in support of your treatment programme? What is the financial relationship between them and Dore? Were they paid to go on the programme or did they pay as a normal customer? Are any other celebrities trying Dore?
Both Kenny Logan and Toyah Wilcox came on the programme as ordinary customers - when they saw the enormous nature of the improvements in their lives they simply wanted to share it with others. Their desire is genuine, in both cases they did not enjoy the experience of school despite having great gifts as individuals. Now they have been freed of the constraints of learning difficulties the quality of their lives has improved dramatically. A very high proportion of our clients whether celebrities or not are so thrilled with what they see they will do anything to help spread the world. Other celebrities have and are using the Dore Programme but we would not divulge this until they choose to do so themselves.
4) For some people your system does not work. What have you done to assess and mitigate the psychological impact of a failed treatment on children to whom you have claimed to be able to treat? What advice on other treatments do you give to those for whom the treatment fails?
It is actually very rare that the programme doesn’t work - especially if someone completes the programme. Whenever this is the case we have a full investigation as to what causes it. The most common cause is that it really is not easy for some families to find the time to ensure that the exercises are done on a regular basis. We are very well aware of the potential impact of disappointing a child and we are very careful before we take someone on to the programme to make sure that physiologically it is very likely that we will get a positive result.
With regard to the other treatments that you ask about, I am not aware of any treatments designed to deal specifically with cerebellar developmental delay.
5) Many dyslexics demonstrate great ability at balance and hand / eye coordination through their achievements in sports and art. How can the cerebellum be the causes of dyslexia when their cerebellum is clearly working correctly?
This is a very interesting question. We have had a large number of sportsmen, including gymnasts, who were amazed to find that their balance strategies are far from complete when tested. Many sports rely on a high level of samatosensory input and hardly requires any vestibular input. The poor development of the cerebellum is often associated with poor use of vestibular sensory information and this is partly what we work on in our programme. In fact many sportsmen have reported dramatic improvements in their sporting abilities, their ability to concentrate for long periods, their co-ordination ability is significantly improved after having gone through the programme. It is also appropriate to point out that different parts of the cerebellum are usually developed to a different extent and of course different parts deal with different aspects of the process of learning and co-ordination. It is quite feasible for someone to have a high level of learning skills in one area but be weak in others. This explains the enormous variation in the combination of symptoms that people experience.
6) You claim the cerebellum is the root of all dyslexia problems. Are you saying that all the research ever done on dyslexia is rubbish and that all other treatments do not work?
You will notice that we don’t at all criticise the work of others - we simply focus on trying to solve the problem. What we know is that we have a programme that is highly effective and reliable with no down side risks. Up until recently the cerebellum was not usually studied in any of the brain scan research work in dyslexia. A current project being worked on with the fMRI unit at London University in Queens Square is very exciting indeed. They have found a direct correlation between density of grey matter in a specific area of the cerebellum and ability to read and spell - this research is in the process of being written up for publication now and will open quite a few eyes very wide indeed!
7) You have made lots of claims as to the nature and success rate of the treatment. What research has been done by independent scientists and in what peer-reviewed journal has it been published
Our first research paper was peer reviewed and published in Dyslexia in February 2003 and other research is in the process of being peer reviewed at the time of writing. Other completely independent studies are being carried out by a number of Education Authorities, all with remarkably similar results.
8) Why, if it is as successful as you claim, it is not offered to all schools?
Another very interesting question. Our mission is to get this to everyone whether or not they can afford it. What we are focussed on in developing this programme is the reverse of what would be done were we trying to create a commercially successful organisation. We have worked very hard to drive down the cost of the programme so that it is affordable by as many as possible but ultimately we are working on persuading governments to provide this as part of the education process in schools. The number of people affected is enormous - probably one in six - and in this society we expect the Government to pay wherever there is an educational medical need. This falls absolutely into those categories. Getting governments to listed of course is a challenging problem. We have conducted a large amount of lobbying and will continue to do so until we get the desired result.
9) The Cost…
9a) The treatment is very expensive, more than $3000 (£2000). Why does it cost so much and what refunds do you offer if it doesn’t work?
We have subsidised everybody who has gone through the programme around the world - had we charged the full cost of providing this service folk would have had to pay substantially more than they have up until now. If the similar tests were conducted at a private hospital to those we carry out it would cost in excess of £5,000, just for the tests alone. The best yardstick as to whether or not it is expensive is by the clients who look at the results when they have completed the programme. The typical feedback we get is “I would have paid ten times as much if I realised you were going to change my child to this extent”. Another yardstick to consider is how much people will spend on braces for teeth, one to one tuition, and so on. If you think about all the educational, emotional and behavioural changes that are achieved by our programme it is remarkably good value. In fact, if people complete our programme properly and don’t achieve the physiological changes normally observed we would be quite happy to fully refund the full cost.
9b) Given the success of legal action in forcing the NHS to prescribe expensive and non-approved drugs, do you think there is scope for legal action to force schools to pay for the treatment?
Another very interesting question indeed - you have just given me an idea! Governments soon will realise that its not only appropriate to provide this treatment because of the improvement in quality of life but at the economic level it makes absolute common sense too. If anyone wants to start legal action we would gladly provide them the scientific evidence to support their case. Folk ought to also bear in mind that a Disability Living Allowance is normally appropriate for folk with learning difficulties - this is often enough to cover the cost of the programme. We are also getting an increasing number of cases where Local Education Authorities and Job Centres will consider funding requests.
9c) We cannot afford the Dore programme, Are there any charities that will assist us?
As a Dad is really hurts me that some simply cannot afford the programme and I can’t wait for the day when funding will be available for all. Meanwhile we have just established the Dore Foundation with two very clear intentions –
Firstly to conduct further scientific research into the cerebellum and the impact it can have on all sorts of conditions - not just learning difficulties.
The second intention is that when it has spare funding it will make that available to subsidise or completely pay for those who can’t afford it. It maybe of interest to your readers to note that when we first started research into this the intention was that we would put all the funding through a charity. Because the risks we were taking were far greater than could be justified or would be supported by the establishment it is unlikely that had we tried to do it through a charity we would have been able to have thrown enough money to this to get the results we are now getting. We therefore took the alternative route to fund it through a commercial company that was funded by me personally to the tune of many millions of pounds - and still is. It has, therefore, been a “charitable cause” even though it has been through the vehicle of a commercial organisation.
9d) I’m writing on behalf of my partner who is desperate to find help and feels like his dyslexia is always holding him back. As you will appreciate it can be very depressing for us both. Unfortunately we cannot afford your treatment. From a personal point of view what else could we try?
My suggestions would be that they should consider getting Disability Living Allowance - we have some useful paperwork that might help with the completion of these forms. Secondly it would be worth asking their local Area Health Authority if they would consider funding the treatment - after all, cerebellar developmental delay is a condition we can prove using neurological tests.
10) A great deal has been made about the treatment programme being created to help your daughter. When did she do the programme and what were the effects?
Susie was, indeed, our first guinea pig and, therefore, started the programme during early 2000. Of all the people we have helped, Susie probably had some of the most serious conditions. She has gone from not being able to read to reading constantly, her concentration has gone from almost zero to endless, she could not write a sentence before whereas now she can effortless write pages, her ability to maintain eye contact and develop a conversation was negligible - now you can’t shut her up! She could hardly speak to you on a one to one basis whereas now she will confidently address hundreds of people at a time. She was completely unable to hold a job down for more than a few weeks - she has now been in the same job for some three years. Most importantly of all she was desperately depressed and unhappy - now she seems emotionally bomb-proof, thus as a Dad I used to worry about her endlessly - now I know she can and will cope with life.