Dyslexia Demystified

Susan at ComputerWelcome to this independent, fad-free and no-nonsense website.

“Teaching children to read is a fundamental moral obligation of the society.”
(Prof. Mark Seidenberg)

The site includes plenty of well proven, practical advice and information for any (grand)parent or carer whose children need help with the basics of reading, writing and spelling.

Primary teachers, SENCos, tutors for adult basic skills, in fact anyone involved with the teaching of early reading or reading intervention should find the content useful.

*Synthetic phonics is recommended by the UK government for directly, discretely and systematically teaching the English Alphabet Code knowledge, decoding and encoding skills ''within a broad and language-rich curriculum'' (Rose Report 2006 p16). Though not a simple panacea, it is usually extremely effective when taught by teachers who are keen, committed and knowledgeable about the subject.

''Teaching children to read is one of the most important things the State does.''
(UK Parliament's all-party Science and Technology committee)

Synthetic phonics was also recommended by Sir Jim Rose (Rose 2006 para153), and the UK government for use in all the waves/tiers of intervention. Go to synthetic phonics to find out about this efficient and effective way to teach everybody to read and spell.

This website is an on-going project and the content is subject to constant revision. New information and weblinks are added regularly, much of it challenging to conventional and established beliefs concerning dyslexia and the teaching of reading.

*Synthetic, in this case, doesn't mean artificial or plastic, it means 'blend together'; beginning readers are taught to read words by saying a phoneme for each grapheme and then blending (synthesising) the phonemes all-through-the-written-word to arrive at a pronunciation for the whole word.

Susan Godsland
Retired linguistic phonics tutor
International Foundation for Effective Reading Instruction (IFERI) committee member www.iferi.org.


Synthetic phonics is the educational vaccine that protects children from illiteracy.

Look out for the links and resources marked X throughout the website if you are a (prospective) student teacher or an NQT.

X Professor Diane McGuinness: The Principles that Teachers Need to Follow when Teaching Reading.

''There is an established, and very rewarding, dyslexia industry. There is considerable academic and commercial vested interest. There seem to be as many aetiologies for (causes for or origins of) dyslexia as there are researchers into it, give or take, and as many wonderfully special assessment methods, remedial schemes, dedicated schools and distinguished gurus as the market will carry'' (Kerr p89) See - Room 101

X Throughout this website, a book frequently referenced is 'Early Reading Instruction: what science really tells us about how to teach reading' (ERI) by Diane McGuinness. I strongly recommend that you get hold of a copy in order to check the references and more extensive reading on the subject.


Dyslexics.org.uk is recommended by Oxford Brookes University on its PGCE Primary English course as a website, ''to support knowledge and understanding of other phonic programmes and teaching phonics''.

Sir Jim Rose, chair of England's 2006 Rose Report, describes the Dyslexics.org.uk website as, 'Very impressive. It is a hugely valuable resource for keeping up-to-date with developments in teaching phonics and other literacy matters.'

N.B. This website has NO political or religious affiliations.

I have NO commercial connection with any literacy programme or educational product.

All the practical information on this website regarding the use of synthetic phonics in the classroom has come from highly experienced teachers and trainers. Thank you Debbie, Dianne, John, Jenny, Maggie, Monique, Anne, Joe, David, Lesley, Greg, Pam, Alison...and everyone else I've quoted.