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DyslexiaEnhancing Access at Key Stage 3& Key Stage 4

Aims1 To facilitate participants’ understanding of whatdyslexia is;2 To develop participants’ critical understanding ofissues surrounding assessment and inclusivepractice ;3 To facilitate the process of reflection regardingthe learning environment for learners withdyslexia;

Code of Practice (DENI 1998)The Code of Practice on the Identification andAssessment of Special Educational Needs identifiesdyslexia as one of several specific learning difficulties:The word specific suggests a particular learningproblem to be remedied as opposed to slow learningacross the curriculum.

Other labels within the broad term SpecificLearning Difficulties are:• Dyspraxia• Dyscalculia• Asperger’s syndrome• ADHDAs a general rule it is the child’s workingmemory that is the key problem within allof these categories

Criteria for SpLD as listed inCOP• Discrepancies between attainment andability• Frustration and low self-esteem• “There is clear recorded evidence ofclumsiness; significant difficulties ofsequencing or visual perception;deficiencies in working memory; orsignificant delays in language functioning”

Dyslexia is a syndrome: a collection of associatedcharacteristics that vary in degree from person toperson.Each child should be regarded as having a uniquepattern of strengths and weaknesses which willinteract with an equally unique set of familial,experiential and school influences.

PrognosisDepends on:-• individual’s strengths and weaknesses;• learning style (e.g. oral-v-visual; impulsive-vreflective);• appropriate teaching;• severity of the dyslexia.

The Neurological Bases of DyslexiaCognitive Characteristics of Dyslexia• Inadequate phonological processing abilities.• A marked inefficiency in working memory.• Difficulties with making skills automatic.• Problems connected with visual processing.

Other Difficulties:• Early speech and language problems.• Glue ear.• Word finding difficulties.• In about 60% of cases, dyslexia affects numeracyskills.• Co-morbidity with ADHD/dyspraxia.• Poor organisation.• High levels of anxiety and stress.• Low self-esteem and frustration.• Dyslexia fuse effect.

Inclusive Practice1 Whole school initiatives2 Good practice in the classroom3 Coping Mechanisms/by-pass strategies4 Examining the challenge - preparing for examinations.

Whole School Initiatives1 Policies & responsibilities2 Awareness & collaboration3 Special arrangements for examinations4 Support & Counselling

Good Practice in the Classroom1 Create a supportive environment• Safe• Stress free• High expectations2 Give learners the “big picture”• Establish lesson goals• Participative review• Prediction exercises3 Set Targets• Learning objectives• Assessment criteria• “Chunk down”

Good Practice in the Classroom4 Facilitate learners to access the content by:- Making use of Kinaesthetic, Visual & Auditorypreferences- Taking account of learning styles- Oracy- Accessing all intelligences5 Demonstrate learning– Peer presentations– Posters– Mind maps6 Opportunities for reflection– Systematic review– Reprocessing.

By-Pass StrategiesOver-coming the difficulties ofsecondary-age pupils is largely amatter of creating & applying copingmechanisms.

If this is to be done effectively awhole curriculum approach shouldbe set up to integrate them.

By-Pass StrategiesStudy Skills• Essay writing• Proof reading• Organisation & time management• ICT - supporting learners to write, record,read- providing opportunities for learningand practising skills

Reading Skills• taped texts• highlighting key words• skimming & scanning• SQ3R• DART

Note-making Skills• selecting the main idea• recording key words• taping part/whole lessons

Spelling Skills• segment words• copy from a model• use a spell check

Subject Vocabulary Skills• personal dictionary• multi-sensory techniques• understanding the meaning/derivation of words

Examinations• preparing for examinations• tackling the examination paper• making use of additional time.

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