Updated 23 September 2016

Father's devotion helps dyslexic child

A father’s devotion leads to a groundbreaking programme to treat dyslexia.

It was Wynford Dore’s quest to find a solution to his daughter Susie’s problems that sparked the remarkable breakthrough at the heart of the Dore Programme. Now, six years after its inception, the groundbreaking, drug-free programme for dyslexia and associated learning difficulties has been introduced in South Africa following remarkable success with over 25 000 patients in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia.

Dore, the founder of the pioneering programme which boasts a 93% success rate, will visit the country to present material at two evening talks in Durban on Monday 24th July and Tuesday 25th July. His presentations coincide with the recent launch of a local DORE Achievement Centre in Durban North, which will provide children, their parents and adults experiencing the often devastating effects of these conditions, the opportunity to live a life with largely improved quality and meaning.

Dore developed his programme, previously known as DDAT, after his own experience of almost losing his severely dyslexic and deeply depressed eldest daughter to suicide.

Despite Dore being a multimillionaire after 25 successful years in the UK steel industry and owning a boat in Spain, his life was anything but plain sailing. Susie’s severe dyslexia made her slow at school, isolated, withdrawn and eventually suicidal.

Says Dore, “People regarded me as hugely successful, but I believe you’re only successful if your children are happy. Susie had difficulty with basic skills such as reading and writing, which meant that she suffered hugely from low self-esteem and lack of confidence, preventing her from enjoying the quality of life that the rest of us take for granted.” She would say things like, ‘Why am I different to everyone else?’ or ‘Why do they call me stupid?’ or ‘Why do they call me lazy when I am trying my hardest?’


Susie’s regression continued into adulthood, while her siblings went on to University and pursued successful careers. It was her desperate attempt at taking her own life which catapulted Wynford into action and convinced him to read every book available on the subject, eventually ploughing his own wealth into research and testing.

This led him to the work of American dyslexia expert Harold Levinson, who prescribed a cocktail of drugs for what he argued was the root cause of learning difficulties - an underdeveloped area at the base of the brain called the cerebellum, which controls co-ordination.

Dore’s research showed how the cerebellum could be strengthened to overcome learning difficulties generally manifested in conditions like Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Asperger’s Syndrome.

He immediately set up a team of medical researchers who began the dedicated search for an alternative to existing stimulant drug treatments, to ensure that the root cause of these problems was treated.


Susie was the first to be treated through the programme’s exercise-based treatment, which approaches the conditions as neurological in nature, rather than as an education or parenting issue. It was her remarkable response to the treatment, which encouraged Wynford to develop the programme further, eventually setting up the first DORE Achievement Centre in the UK to overwhelming interest.

Dore understands the frustrations of many parents when existing remedies are not always effective. “Ultimately this approach failed Susie, creating great distress to her and to those of us who had to watch her suffer.”

The Dore Programme involves no drugs, just a simple course of individually-tailored, repetitive exercises that stimulate the cerebellum on a daily basis. The clinically proven, customised, eye, balance and sensory exercises attack the physiological cause of learning difficulties and their symptoms. Adults and children over the age of seven years old who participate in the Dore programme will undergo individualised physical exercises. The programme makes use of sophisticated equipment that can test clients’ compatibility with the programme and the degree to which they are affected. Exercises vary from juggling to balancing, using apparatus which are no more complicated than bean bags and ‘wobble boards’.

Real understanding

Dore’s personal experience of the anguish that problems like these can cause to sufferers and their families means that the Dore Programme is informed by a real understanding of its patients and their families. That sense of personal involvement is clear at every level in the Programme, where the philosophy is to treat all patients as individuals. An experienced team of doctors, therapists and assistants at each DORE Achievement Centre share a real enthusiasm for their work and pride themselves on a friendly and supportive approach.

As he says, “What good is it being a multimillionaire if your child is miserable? Susie’s experiences triggered what has become my life’s passion – to find a solution to learning and behaviour difficulties. Today she is a happy confident person exceeding her wildest dreams about what life could offer her."

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