A piece on Scottish rugby player Kenny Logan in The Hearld highlights his charity work for Dyslexia Scotland. In it he talks about his dyslexia and how the DDAT treatment programme changed his life. The article also shows how dyslexia can limit your life and how liberating it is to be free of it. Talking about mobile phones he said: "I have no problems with texting now. But I couldn’t have contemplated it even two years ago."
Over on TheMedicalCentre.co.uk they have a short article on exercises for dyslexia. These are simple balance and co-ordination activities similar to those used by DDAT. Obviously a very basic plan and nowhere near as comprehensive or personalised as you get from a commercial programme but a good starting point if you can’t afford or get to a DDAT clinic.
The web site has a range of articles covering information an advice on dyscalculia, dyslexia and ADHD covering such topics as nutrition, drug therapies, home education and life skills.
BBC 5 Live’s Victoria Derbyshire show (25th November) featured DDAT. Along with an interview with Wynford Dore, the founder of DDAT / Dore, they had an interview with Trevor Davies, the head at Balsall Common Scholl where DDAT have been conducting research. They also featured several people who had been on the treatment programme, several successful treatments and one failed treatment.
Unfortunately Radio 5 Live do not offer a very good listen again feature so I’ve captured the interview and you can download it as an MP3. Its 20 minutes long and the file 2.5mb so it may take a little while to download.
Judging by our site statistics, many people visit this site looking for information DDAT / Dore Centres. As we have covered them multiple time I thought its worth doing a quick round up of our coverage.
September 3rd 2004: The Dore Foundation
August 10th 2004: Retrospective Study
August 3rd 2004: Dore Centres on US National TV
July 11th 2004: DDAT Response to Study Criticism
July 8th 2004: DDAT Trial Critique Part 2
July 6th 2004: TV Complaints Upheld
July 6th 2004: Critical Appraisal of DDAT Controlled Trial
June 16th 2004: DDAT, Private Eye and the Daily Telegraph
May 21st 2004: DDAT Release Latest Results from School Study
In a recent letter, purportedly from Wynford Dore, DDAT / Dore Achivement Centres announced the formation of a new charity, The Dore Foundation. As a charity ‘independent’ of DDAT, the letter states the organisation’s aims as “help with research … to get [DDAT] as quickly as possible into every school…”.
The charity has no active web site and a request for more information from DDAT got no response. Fortunately the UK’s Charity Commision has full details online, a copy of which is below. The key points however are that the charity is based in DDAT’s head office in Kenilworth and was established in March 2003. No information on whom the trustees are or any financial information has yet been posted.
Whilst its easy to be cynical and see this charity as a vehicle for marketing and fund raising for research it should be considered a win-win situation for DDAT and the public at large. DDAT does work, at least for some people, so increased awareness in it and as a consequence other programmes will provide help to some people and act as a catalyst for the development of cheaper alternatives. What is important, especially given Wynford Dore’s excellent business and marketing skills, is that the UK government doesn’t end up funding research into a treatment programme which it then has to buy from DDAT. Any research funded by UK public bodies should generate scientific papers that place the treatment programme in the public domain allowing both full scientific scrutiny and free access to it for all.
For more information on criticism of DDAT’s past research see DDAT Trial Critique Parts one and two as well as their response.
The Dore Achievement Centres / DDAT are very good at promoting themselves but their high visibility and impressive claims (e.g. a success rate of 90% or more) does open them up for negative stories to appear in the press. For example: Mother queries dyslexic ‘cure’ and here BBC Wales is specifically looking for people for whom the treatment hasn’t worked. A quick Google for personal experiences brings up a few hits (here, here and here).
I would like to gather a comprehensive collection of experiences of people who have been through some or all of the DDAT or any other program. So good or bad, please email your experience to Myomancy.com.
The Dore Achievement Centres / DDAT proudly display on their web site the logos for the BBC and that of the ITVshow “This Morning”. These are not DDAT’s only appearance on TV. They have appeared on Channel 4‘s Richard & Judy show and they have run their own TV adverts. However both the TV advert and the spot on the Richard & Judy show have raised complaints from viewers that were upheld by the ITC / OfCom.
On the 1st May 2003 they appeared on Channel 4‘s Richard & Judy show. A viewer complained about DDAT’s claim that it was “a long-awaited and remarkable breakthrough” and that DDAT had “pioneered” the theoretical basis of the treatment. The ITC upheld the complaint but makes clear in its report that “the ITC does not express, nor does it seek to express, any view whatsoever on DDAT as an organisation or the relative efficacy of its treatment for dyslexia, neither of which was the subject of this finding.” This is almost an exact repeat of the complaints and judgment that the ITV show “Tonight with Trevor McDonald” receive in 2002 when covering DDAT. (Incidentally, it was the spot on the Tonight show where I first found out about the DDAT treatment which led to the successful treatment of my dyslexia).
The TV adverts that ran earlier this year ran foul of the the UK’s notoriously complicated advertising rules. Specifically “Rules .. (Evidence) and .. (Assessment of medical claims) … Rule .. (Impressions of professional advice and support). Doctors and other medical professionals are not permitted to appear in advertisements giving the impression of professional advice or recommendations.”. The full report is to be found on page 5 of this OfCom Bullitin [PDF]. UPDATE: The link is broken. See the second item down in this report.
UPDATE: DDAT have had similar problems in the USA where the treatment was featured on CBS’s news magazine program “60 Minutes II” (October 22nd, 2003). This generated a pointed response from the International Dyslexia Association
Private Eye magazine has a short piece in its ‘Street of Shame’ column about the Daily Telegraph‘s reporting on DDAT. As Private Eye doesn’t provide online access to its non-humor content I’ve reproduced in full below.
“SCHOOLCHILDREN suffering from dyslexia have seen dramatic improvements in their development thanks to a physical exercise programme designed to stimulate the brain… run by the Dore Achievement Centre in Kenilworth, called DDAT”, reported Nick Britten in the Daily Telegraph on 21 May.
“At the end of the study they were found to be free of dyslexia symptoms, no longer needed help in class, and could join mainstream lessons.”
Impressive. But perhaps Britten had himself had difficulty reading the words of the Telegraph’s education editor John Clare in his own paper just six days earlier, when Clare advised a parent to “waste no money on DDAT… Dore’s claim to have ‘found the answer to dyslexia and other learning difficulties’ is absurd.”
Given my history I disagree with John Clare’s advice and I encourage any parent of a dyslexic to investigate DDAT. It doesn’t work for everybody but for the many people it works for it profoundly changes their lives.