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DYSLEXIA NUMBERS DOUBLE IN SCHOOLS; Nats accused of failing kids: EXCLUSIVE.

Byline: MARK AITKEN

THE number of Scots schoolchildren with dyslexia has almost doubled in two years.

Shocking new figures show 4169 youngsters with the learning disability in classrooms last year, compared with 2875 in 2007 and 2290 the previous year.

Charity Dyslexia Scotland say they fear there are many more who have not been identified and are missing out on vital support.

Dyslexia causes difficulty with reading, writing and memory. Celebrity sufferers include former Formula One champion Jackie Stewart and Scottish rugby hero Kenny Logan.

Cathy Magee, chief executive of Dyslexia Scotland, said: "We welcome the fact that people are becoming more knowledgeable about dyslexia and that, as a result, there is a greater willingness to talk about it.

"It is likely that this has led to the increased numbers being identified as dyslexic in schools.

"Although as one in 10 people in Scotland is thought to be dyslexic, there is a long way to go towards identifying and then helping all dyslexic learners appropriately."

Figures show three times as many boys as girls are dyslexic. There were 1098 girls with the learning disability in 2008 and 3071 boys.

The SNP promised pounds 30million of additional support for children with dyslexia and autism in their election manifesto in 2007.

Labour education spokeswoman Rhona Brankin said: "Identifying children with dyslexia is one thing.

"Supporting them is another matter and one the SNP are failing.

"Tight council budgets has triggered a decline in the number of support staff who are there to ensure that children with dyslexia and other learning needs get extra help in the classroom."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "Changes to the recording of additional support needs were fully introduced for the 2008 statistics, therefore previous years cannot be compared on a like-for-like basis."

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Fear: Charity believes many dyslexic kids are missing out on vital support
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 9, 2009
Words:309
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