Dore Achievement Centres

Dyslexia Action, the Famous Five and a Duck

Brainduck has published a comment by Dr Rutherford that originally appeared on The Guardian’s web site but was removed very quickly. This raised suspicions of censorship as it was in response to the Bad Science column’s attack on Dore. Though no reason was given for the removal it is probable it was due to comments made by Dr Rutherford about Brainduck which were libelous in nature. Brainduck should be congratulated for printing it and allowing the debate to continue.

When not making personal attacks on Brainduck, Dr Rutherford made several points about Dyslexia Action and their connection to Dr Snowling and the rest of the famous five. One key point made by Dr Rutherford is that whilst Dore conducted independent research that was peer-reviewed and published, Dyslexia Action have never published any research on the success of their program. Apparently a paper has been written but it was never published. According to Dr Rutherford this was because “the results were poor and did not reach significance. Even more damning was that those who were showing signs of significant dyslexic symptoms (for which the Dyslexia Action tutoring is designed specifically for) responded the least“. It is impossible for me or the worried parents of dyslexics to assess how true Dr Rutherford’s claims are because Dyslexia Action haven’t published any results.

As this whole debate is about scientific credibility, there is an easy way for Dyslexia Action and the famous five to settle this.
Publish the research
By publishing Dyslexia Action can send a clear message that their treatment is effective and that they are not afraid of scrutiny. If they do not publish then the credibility of the Famous Five and Dyslexia Action will be damaged.

I’m pretty sure that Dyslexia Action would not allow me to publish their paper but Brainduck is a student at the same university and (I think ) has some of the interested parties as lecturers.

I have therefore posted this comment of Brainduck’s blog.

I’m glad that you published this Duck as I was unable to for obvious reasons.

As a student at York of the department in question, could you do something that would make this debate clearer?

Request permission to publish the Dyslexia Action research paper (as mention by Dr Rutherford) here on your web site.

It would be very interesting to provide that research with the same level of scrutiny that Dore’s research has recevied.

By doing this we will be able to established if Dr Rutherford’s claims are correct or not. If the research does show a strong benefit then the rest of Dr Rutherford’s accusations are clearly sour grapes.

But if Dyslexia Action’s research is poor, then it makes Dr Snowling’s et al criticism of Dore look very suspect.

By publishing Dyslexia Action’s paper where everyone can see it, this debate can be moved on and hopefully a little bit more scientific understanding can be gained.

Brainduck, will you be able to do this?

You can read all of Dr Rutherford’s comments here: An open invitation to Dr Rutherford of Dore


  1. Brainduck

    I’ve replied on my blog in some detail, won’t repost it all here, but whilst I do think the research should be published (give me more details & I’ll see what I can do) then I am not sure how it would ‘settle’ anything, and it’s far from the only study supporting the methodology used by DA.

    I’d also point out that I’m the only one of the bloggers mentioned in ‘Bad Science’ with links to DA, and I’m not writing in an attempt to promote their treatment – indeed I’ve tried to avoid mentioning it unless directly relevant, so I’m not trying to argue ‘DA better than Dore’.

    Comment was deleted from the Guardian by the Guardian moderators who cover all of ‘comment is free’, it was nothing to do with me, BG, or any of the other ‘bloggers’ – I’d have rather it stood to be rebutted. I’m more than happy for anyone else to publish it, I think it does me no harm & makes Rutherford look rather silly. Unlike some I believe in argument by logic rather than lawyers.

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