Ocr Level 5

A Historical Exploration of
Educational Legislation
and the impact it has on the dyslexic learner.

Although Dyslexia is recognised as affecting several aspects of an individual’s life (Mortimore 2003; Humphreys &Mullins 2002; Riddick 1996), the intention is to focus on legislation regarding dyslexia and examine the educational movement from the earliest point to current policies. Education itself has been in a position of more or less continual change during its long history, (Alexander 2010; Roaf & Bines 1994) and the debate over where and how best to educate children considered to have special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities has been an on-going challenge for both government and society (Hornsby, Atkinson & Howard 1997).   Dyslexia is not a recently recognised condition, although over time, the terminology used to describe a group of individuals who have difficulty with some aspects of literacy and other form of learning has changed (Hall 2009).   However, it is only more recently that educational policies have made specific references to this condition (Pollock & Walker 1994).
The origins of dyslexia date back to the late 1800’s when ophthalmologist James Hinshelwood published the first journal in Britain highlighting what he called a ‘disease of the visual system ‘ or ‘word blindness’ in 1885 (Gayan. 2001 p.7). Orton, between the period 1925 and 1948, had the opportunity to study some three thousand adults and children, which highlighted difficulties in reading and writing and suggested that this was due to a brain malfunction which ran in families (Gayan 2001). Orton went on to become a prominent figure and highlighted dyslexia as a more ‘comprehensive syndrome’ affecting speech and language and motor control, thus broadening the definition of dyslexia from simply a reading disorder (Thompson 1997 p. 4). Furthermore, Orton went on to provide guidelines recommending flexible interventions, which found many supporters (Pumfrey &...