New Zealand has 'history of denial' when it comes to dyslexia - advocate

More support is being offered to New Zealand schools to help students with dyslexia. 

Your playlist will load after this ad

Mike Styles, literacy and numeracy specialist, told TVNZ1’s Breakfast it is well overdue Source: Breakfast

The Government announced yesterday that support coordinators would be given a teaching resource on dyslexia, along with a bank of resources to directly assist students. 

Literary and numeracy specialist Mike Styles told TVNZ1's Breakfast it's good news, but it's just the first step in a history of "official denial of dyslexia" in New Zealand. 

"It is well, well overdue and it is but the first step," said Mr Styles.

"We've had this history of official denial of dyslexia and its a sad legacy."

He said other countries have been making progress for years.

"We are dragging the chain a bit in New Zealand. 

"The UK, who are the banner leaders in this space, have been doing some really innovative stuff for 10-15 years now."

Internationally, data shows 10 per cent of people across all ethinicities, cultures and languages have dyslexia, according to Mr Styles.

He said there was a belief earlier on that reading recovery could solve all reading difficulties. 

"Dyslexia isn't just a reading issue, it's much more than that. By pretending its a reading issue you avoid all the positive sides of dyslexia," said Mr Styles. 

"This is a social investment and the outcomes will be, hopefully, reduced school dropouts, better educational achievement, reduced prison population, less mental health issues and less people on the dole because those are some of the implications of unadressed dyslexia."