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Graham Stringer

January 15th, 2009 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · 5 Comments · Politics

The most efficient responses to Graham Stringer’s bizarre outburst about dyslexia would be one word long.  “Idiot” for example.  Other responses could be book-length disections of his remarks.  I’ll seek the middle ground on this one…

The most generous thing I can think of to say is that he is misguided and got sucked into a Daily Mail fallacy where finding one example of some sort of abuse of a system or circumstance is to discredit the system and not the abuser.

Who would be willing to say categorically that there are no children who are just not high-fliers but who have league-table eyeing teachers or in-denial proud parents happy to attribute results to dyslexia rather than admit that a child is just not bright or that a teaching method has failed?   It must happen but that does not mean dyslexia does not exist.

That is like saying that migraines, back problems or stress are often faked to get time off work or disability benefits so therefore migraines, back problems and stress are all non-existant “cruel fictions”.

One thing that holds back proper acceptance of dyslexia and other problems is bandwagon-jumping fakers who cause other people to assume real sufferers are also faking.  The other problem is idiots like Mr Stringer who fall into that trap but have a platform to perpetuate the misconceptions.

I had a member of staff with dyslexia.  He was extremely clever: quick-witted, able to make sense of technical concepts and identify the causes of faults.  His reports of his successes were sometimes hard to understand of course.  At the time I left, we were looking into speech-to-text software and spelling checkers as a possible help for him.  We didn’t even consider just tellng him to pull himself together and spell properly – his knowledge and skills were a positive benefit to us, despite the writing.  He also helped us meet targets for percentages of disabled employees, but that’s another matter…

Had Graham Stringer just said that the incidences of dyslexia might be exaggerated,  with false diagnoses preventing the real problems from being addressed in some cases and possibly adversely impacting the treatment of real or more serious dyslexia he might have made a positive contribution to the issue. Instead he made himself out to be an idiot.

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • Kerron

    Shock news: Dyslexics Question the Existence of Graham Stringer…


  • sharon moore

    go to this website for the response from his comments, which were outrageous !!

  • Richard

    Ask actress Susan Hampshire, and…and…

  • Chris Cox

    Dislexia solved by proper teaching, I don’t thinks so! Dislexia is for life and it’s heredatry.

    I couldn’t read until eleven, I hated being an intelligent student who tried very hard but only got C’s due to poor presentation. So I joined the Army at 16 as a boy soldier, here I am at 45 as a Captain in the Royal Engineers and every day I struggle with dislexia, creating coping strategies each and every day to succeed. I have to work harder and longer than everyone else to get results. but it’s not all bad, dislexia does give me problem solving skills and a non linear outlook that allows me to think outside the box, but I still find it hard to express myself on paper. Mr Stringer should live one day in my shoes fighting for his country and EVERYDAY coping with dislexia, beleive me those who have it or are married to them know the problems it can cause, but if he can make it go away so glibly then why doesn’t he make the same sweeping stupid statement about Muslims, the Isrealis, the Africans (pick any country), the Disabled, the homeless, peadaphiles etc etc etc, a very stupid man, something I am not!

    • skud's sister

      It is ridiculous to talk about ‘curing’ dyslexia (which I know you aren’t Chris – but some fools do). You may as well look for a cure for homosexuality or just being female! You are absolutely right that the best attitude to have is to see the way that you learn to cope with whatever life throws at you as a positive rather than a negative. Good on you Chris.