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Psychologists too quick to label children dyslexic, says minister

Thursday 28 February 2013

Psychologists should be slower in branding children dyslexic and the definition rules may have to be tightened up, according to junior education minister Sander Dekker.

Around 15% of Dutch school children are officially dyslexic, a tag which, for example, allows them to take different school exams using a bigger typeface and with more time.

'If we are talking about such high percentages, you have to question whether all these children really are dyslexic,' the minister is quoted as saying by news agency ANP. For example, children could just have difficulty reading, the minister said.

According to academic research, just 3% to 4% of the population is dyslexic, or word blind. Researcher and psychologist Chris Struiksma told ANP it is too easy to get a dyslexia diagnosis. 'Every self-declared expert can hand one out,' he said.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

So, if they aren't dyslexic but still have a reading impediment...then what? The extra time is given for tests, such as Maths, history, etc, where the time is needed to read and understand the question, and the reading part is not being tested.

The procedure for a Dyslexia diagnosis, is quite long, often taking a year or two, during which time the child's education is suffering.

I think this politician with an "expertise" in child psychology is more looking for the opportunity to cut budgets and further his career on the backs of children.

By H. | 28 February 2013 9:30 AM

My experience is the public healthcare workers here are always quick in labelling children with this or that disease or symtoms. Perhaps they are helping some people to earn more money?

By ufo | 28 February 2013 10:01 AM

Why are psychologists diagnosing dyslexia at all? They aren't doctors, and dyslexia is a neurological problem, not psychological.

By Valentijn | 28 February 2013 1:04 PM

For the longest time I was labeled Dyslexic. This was done by a rather quick test from a group of accredited psychologists when I was 20. I recently found out, however, that I am ADHD-extrovert, which hinders my reading by skipping words and jumbling the order of letters and words in a sentence. Something to be said about properly being diagnosed

By Darrell | 28 February 2013 1:16 PM

The point is to be able to distinguish between children who really need help and those who are simply not not studying or not learning because of other issues.

By joanna | 28 February 2013 1:36 PM

In my experience, there is a lack of integrity which means people are not honest of what they are doing on the ground, and this quite sounds like labeling children a problem that they don’t have in order to get money

By Elemi | 28 February 2013 6:26 PM

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