Evidence Matters

because science reporting and decision-making should be evidence-based

Has Dore’s Miracle Cure lost its lustre?

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The Dore programme sold itself as an expensive ‘miracle cure’ to the parents of children with learning disabilities but now businesses are collapsing, leaving broken dreams, empty wallets and unanswered questions. Dore Australia has now gone into administration, while Dore UK has closed all of its treatment centres [1]. The staff and clients of Dore Australia have been told they will probably not receive wages or refunds [2]. The finances of Dore UK staff and clients look equally bleak. At the time of writing Dore is still operating in six other countries, and may still be taking money from new clients [3].

The collapse of Dore has caused an astonishing amount of anger amongst parents and staff: one former Dore Australia staff member told Translucent Science that “We are just as devastated as the clients. The way this was done in Australia has made the staff feel and look like crooks. We were enrolling people on the program and taking their money the whole week leading up to the administration, including earlier that same day.” An upset parent told us that, having seen their oldest daughter successfully complete the Dore programme, they were “totally astonished that the Dore centre has closed.” [4]

The collapse of Dore will come as a surprise to some. But a network of bloggers, with the very disabilities Dore claimed to treat, had realised earlier this year that Dore was only being kept afloat by loans from Wynford Dore [5]. It was obvious that without further injections of cash, treatments could only be funded using the money from new clients who were signing-up. Outraged parents and staff members contacted these bloggers as Dore UK and Australia centres were closed.

When Dore published their much publicised research study their ‘miracle cure’ promptly caused furious disagreements and five resignations amongst the journals board and an unprecedented nine critical commentaries from outraged academics [6]. These arguments, resignations and criticisms went unreported in the mainstream media which continued to publicise Dore.

Previous to the collapse the Dore Programme has enjoyed a lot of positive media coverage in the UK [7], but little coverage questioning the financial status of Dore, the high price of the ‘miracle’, nor the lack of evidence that Dore could treat dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD or others. The situation in Australia was a little different with ABC’s Four Corners: The Behaviour Business offering a critical look at Dore and the research on the ‘miracle cure’ [8].

Many parents are under the erroneous impression that Dore was the only chance for their children and, having spent thousands, see no hope for their children and no hope of refund. Staff have lost their jobs, and will likely remain unpaid. After falsely claiming that Dore will cure children with learning disabilities, Dore have released no rescue plan. Dore’s constant reminders that parents should “keep the faith” are reminders of the miracle that didn’t happen [9].

Who we are:
Translucent Science is a loose association of bloggers with a special interest in accurate science coverage. We are motivated by our interest in science and research, and the association does not accept any industry funding. The bloggers who have been chronicling the breaking news about Dore have personal experience of learning difficulties, which prompted their interest.

1 – http://brainduck.wordpress.com/2008/05/24/doreshut/
2 – http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/05/23/2254277.htm
3 – http://www.dore.com.au/International.aspx
4 – This parent was “totally astonished that the Dore centre has closed. As my second child has now been ‘labelled’ as having specific learning difficulties, ie dyslexia I felt it was only fair to give her the advantage of the Dore programme. We had no inclination that the company was in financial difficulty when we were told by text that her next appointment was cancelled. £2300 is far more money than we would like to lose but it’s the fact that my youngest will miss out on this treatment.”
5 – http://gimpyblog.wordpress.com/2008/01/28/are-dore-in-deep-finanical-doo-doo/
6 – These criticisms are summarised at http://www.york.ac.uk/res/crl/DDATRebuttal.pdf A number of these papers are available at http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2007/s1997868.htm
7 – Much of this coverage featured paid representative and international rugby star Kenny Logan. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/may/24/1 and http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications/Public/TF_ADJ_43979.htm for details regarding these payments.
8 – The programme, transcripts and related information is available at http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2007/s1994872.htm
9 – See the discussion at http://dore.co.uk/doretalk/forums/p/740/3771.aspx#3771

A number of blogs have offered and continue to offer detailed coverage of Dore. In particular, see:
Bad Science http://www.badscience.net/?cat=72
Brainduck http://brainduck.wordpress.com/category/dore
Gimpy http://gimpyblog.wordpress.com/?s=dore
HolfordWatch http://holfordwatch.info/?s=dore
Podblack http://podblack.wordpress.com/?s=dore&searchsubmit=Find+%C2%BB


Written by oatmealts

May 27, 2008 at 5:27 pm

One Response

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  1. […] Has Dore’s Miracle Cure lost its lustre? ARCHIVE PURPOSES ONLY. Updated version here. […]

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