Buyer Beware

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Buyer Beware

The above graphic is courtesy of IDA.  Click HERE to see this and other IDA infographics.

Controversial Therapies

In its position paper on Dyslexia Programs, The International Dyslexia Association ends with two cautionary paragraphs that educators and parents should consider:

In conclusion, while there are many programs and therapies available to address language based learning disabilities, not all have the level of duration, intensity, or methodologies that assure desired results in a timely fashion. Overcoming most severe kinds of dyslexia may require many years of instruction, accommodation, and adaptation of educational programming and requirements. Parents and other supporters of the individuals with learning disabilities must be prepared to expend considerable time, energy and resources to access the most effective evaluation protocols and benefit from the types of treatment that provide individuals with dyslexia the best chances for successful outcomes in skill development, in academic settings, in the workplace and in the home and general community.

IDA cautions parents who are looking for instructors, clinicians, schools, and programs to be very thorough in their review of programs and services that claim to treat dyslexia or “cure” dyslexia. In this era of internet advertising, claims are frequently made about therapies and treatment programs that have little or no scientific merit. Claims about the effectiveness of some widely advertised programs and/or their components may be unsubstantiated by objective, independent research, and the practitioners of those programs and methods may not have met customary standards for training in the field.

What are some of these advertised programs?

Here are some excerpts from IDA’s Perspectives, Winter 2011 (accessible to IDA members) that focused on Controversial Therapies for Dyslexia

  • If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is (7)
  • …we need to be just as careful choosing psychological and educational treatments as we are in choosing medical ones (7)
  • Controversial approaches also seem to feature more prominently in the media, again adding to that sense of hope, even if that sense of hopefulness is not based on science, but simply the power of publicity and hype…(5)

This 2011 issue highlighted the following controversial interventions:

  • Fast ForWord Language (FFWL)
  • Colored lenses and filters; visual efficiency treatments
  • Movement based treatments

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