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 Sound Learning Centre is running a couple of open house days during the summer. Its “… an opportunity for anyone to visit the Centre, hear about our work and meet informally with our staff and some of our clients.” More details here.
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.”
The two articles referred to are online: Nick Britten’s; John Clare’s. [Free registration required].
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.
The LCP Solution: The Remarkable Nutritional Treatment For ADHD, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia
Dr Jacqueline Stordy, Malcolm Nicholl
To quote the back cover: “[This book] presents a major breakthrough in the treatment of … ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia”. And it does just that, presenting a clear case for the importance of Long Chain Polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPs) in brain development and the critical role they have with learning problems such as dyslexia.
A comprehensive history of Dyslexia by a researcher into the genetics of Dyslexia is available online as a PDF file. Another more detailed look at how ideas about Dyslexia have developed from a Clinical Neuropsychology point of view can be found here [PDF].