Non-evidenced based approaches

The DAI is open to the adoption of new and improved methods of teaching but we owe it to our members to be cautious when new and alternative methods are suggested. Therefore, the association does not endorse any methods of working with people with dyslexia other than teaching which is specific, systematic and cumulative, designed to cater to the learner’s assessed needs.

If other non-teaching therapies are being considered then users should satisfy themselves as to the scientific validity of these therapies.

Research does not support the following approaches. They are included here for information only and their inclusion does not constitute a recommendation by our Association.

Movement-Based Therapies: Educational kinesiology, neuro-developmental therapy, primary movement, brain gym, DDAT programme – these theories suggest that learning difficulties are caused by primitive reflexes remaining active in the body. Attainment of balance, hand-eye co-ordination, motor control and perceptual skills may be delayed or inhibited as a result. This is said to be corrected by a programme of exercises designed to inhibit primary reflexes and thus develop and improve balance, co-ordination, etc.

Eye-Related Therapies: Scotopic Sensitivity (Irlen) Syndrome – Irlen lenses (colour tinted) or filters have been found to reduce or eliminate glare which causes some readers to experience perceptual difficulties.

Auditory Therapies: There are some therapies, which claim to improve auditory abilities. Auditory training therapy is an alternative  – and somewhat controversial – treatment used for young people with auditory processing disorder (APD). Young people with APD have normal hearing but struggle to process the sounds they hear. They often misunderstand what other people, including teachers, say.

Nutritional Supplements / Diet: Essential fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils) are said to help maintain eye and brain function. These essential fatty acids are found in oily fish (e.g. salmon, tuna, and mackerel) and in vegetable oils and seeds (e.g. sunflower, flax, pumpkin and sesame). Nutritional supplements are also available in pharmacies and health food stores.