Depending on the research you access,
10-30% of people have dyslexia to varying degrees. Exact figures
would be impossible to gather as many dyslexics scrape through
It is interesting to note that according to
government statistics 46% of Australians were assessed as having
literacy skills below the necessary standards for everyday life
and work. Of this approximately 17% (2.5 million) of
people were assessed at the lowest prose literacy while 18% (2.7
million) were assessed at the lowest document literacy level.
"You see Van Gogh was Dyslexic. Many people who have Dyslexia
(including my son) are painfully misunderstood. They are usually
quite ingenious, brilliant people who struggle with the most
basic things. Another example of this is Albert Einstein, a
mathematical genius who could barely recall his times tables.
As it turns out, the year 2010, in terms of Australia, are no
different to Van Gogh's time. There is no acknowledgement of
Dyslexia here, no support or extra funding for schools to help
Dyslexic children who do not cope in our classrooms. Slowly they
drown and like my son they battle depression and contemplate the
same demise as Van Gogh. "
Calls For Action on Dyslexia
Anna Patty EDUCATION EDITOR
January 23, 2010 - 12:00AM
NATIONAL recognition of dyslexia
as a disability, with improved training and professional
development for teachers to deal with the problem, are needed to
address a source of poor literacy skills, says a report to the
The report to the federal parliamentary
secretary for disabilities and children's services, Bill
Shorten, says up to 10 per cent of people struggle to cope with
It says there are no pathways to
diagnosis and support for children and adults with dyslexia.
''In the education system there are few qualified to diagnose,
and the wait time for school psychologists is up to a year,''
the report by the Dyslexia Working Party says.
''For adults, there is no process
through Centrelink for support.
''Individuals therefore have to fund
their own diagnosis and support. This leaves pensioners,
low-income earners, students and the unemployed with nowhere to
The report says that dyslexia should be
recognised as a disability under the Disability Discrimination
Act through legislation at state and federal level. It also
recommends improved training for students studying to become
teachers and professional development for those already in the
job, to help them identify and support students with dyslexia.
Student teacher training in evidence-based reading techniques is
recommended to help them later identify school students at risk
of long-term literacy problems. Schools should also have access
to teachers with specialist skills in dealing with the problem.
The president of the Australian
Education Union, Angelo Gavrielatos, said special education has
been neglected by governments and was in desperate need of more
''Special education remains one of the
most neglected areas and we intend to put the spotlight on this
inadequate level of funding in the lead-up to the federal
budget,'' he said.