Given the controversy over dyslexia and the many informal explanations given by professionals of why parents call their children dyslexic (Riddick 1995a) an important part of the study was to look in detail at how and why parents came to identify their children as dyslexic. As with many disabilities that do not have easily identifiable physical markers it appears that the process by which parents do this is often a gradual one that takes place over a period of time. In order to try and follow this process a roughly chronological perspective was followed in asking questions (see Appendix for the full parental questionnaire) and in presenting the information a roughly chronological framework has been used. In order to give a coherent explanation to some questions mothers would shift between the past, present and future and in presenting the evidence maintaining this has sometimes been necessary. Where possible the information has also been placed within the context of other research on identifying both dyslexia and special needs in general.