Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The dyslexia debate: life without the label

Gibbs, S.; Elliott, J.

The dyslexia debate: life without the label Thumbnail


S. Gibbs


In this paper, we discuss the problematic use of the term dyslexia. Noting that there are no unambiguous objective diagnostic criteria for ‘dyslexia’, in part because this term is understood in multiple ways, we discuss its relevance for informing educational assessment, intervention and resourcing. We conclude by highlighting how current approaches to dyslexia diagnosis and remediation typically fail to serve the needs of large numbers of struggling readers. In their place, we advocate ‘Response to Intervention’ as an ethically and educationally justified approach to tackling severe reading difficulties, but also highlight continuing challenges to its effective implementation.


Gibbs, S., & Elliott, J. (2020). The dyslexia debate: life without the label. Oxford Review of Education, 46(4), 487-500.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 12, 2020
Online Publication Date Aug 13, 2020
Publication Date 2020
Deposit Date May 5, 2020
Publicly Available Date Aug 20, 2020
Journal Oxford Review of Education
Print ISSN 0305-4985
Electronic ISSN 1465-3915
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 46
Issue 4
Pages 487-500


Published Journal Article (1.5 Mb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.<br /> This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License<br /> (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations