Page last updated at 16:35 GMT, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 17:35 UK

Dyslexia families worry over cash

Wynford Dore
Wynford Dore's treatment used exercise

Families who paid for a controversial treatment for dyslexia are waiting to see if they have lost money after a company hit financial difficulties.

The centres were created by Wynford Dore from Pembrokeshire whose daughter Susie suffered from acute dyslexia.

The Dore programme claimed exercises such as tying knots and balancing on "wobble boards" stimulated parts of the brain and improved reading and writing.

Some 30,000 children and adults have enrolled on the programme since 2000.

In BBC Wales' current affairs series, Taro Naw, Mr Dore took part in the first interview since the company went into financial difficulties.

Mr Dore, a successful businessman from Wales, has claimed to have the answers to dyslexia since he started his programme seven years ago.

He developed it after seeing his daughter suffer from the condition and said taking part in physical exercises to improve the cerebellum - the part of the brain that controls balance and co-ordination - could lead to a complete recovery.

Families had to pay a fee of 2,500 upfront before going to one of this centres across Britain.

Bob Parry
Mr Parry went to a centre in Manchester with his son

However in May, 13 UK centres offering the treatment were been shut down due to financial difficulties.

One father affected was Bob Parry from Anglesey, who had paid the fee to help his son Dewi.

They heard the company was in administration after going for an appointment to the clinic in Manchester.

Mr Parry said: "Gobsmacked - I was telling myself I've thrown away 2,500 - I may as well have put a match to it."

During the programme Mr Dore is asked whether Mr Parry and others will have their money back.

Some parents of children with dyslexia were convinced it had worked for them but within dyslexia circles it was a controversial programme.

Criticism

A number of experts claimed there was no concrete evidence Mr Dore's methods improved the condition in the long term.

According to Paul Flynn, Newport West MP, a lot of people have paid for treatment because they were desperate for a cure for their children.

"I believe that thousands of families believe from a position of just blind faith that this works - but there's no proof at all," Mr Flynn said.

But Mr Dore told Taro Naw he wanted his critics to change the way they think of dyslexia and its treatment to appreciate how exercise can improve the condition.

He claimed academics who had criticised him relentlessly was the cause of his company's difficulties.

Mr Dore said independent research conducted by several local authorities who were interested in the projects showed it worked.

The programme had been endorsed by rugby player and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Kenny Logan and former Wales rugby captain Scott Quinnell.

Dore centres were located in Bromley, Wembley, Bedford, Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh, with the head office in Kenilworth.

Further centres were in London, Manchester, Sheffield, Somerset and Southampton.

Overseas, there were centres in the US and Australia.

Taro Naw is broadcast on BBC Wales for S4C on Tuesday, 2100 BST.


SEE ALSO
Hyperactivity cure hopes raised
15 Feb 06 |  Health
Researchers hail exercise 'cure'
20 May 04 |  West Midlands
Dyslexic girl top of the class
12 Nov 03 |  Scotland

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