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Notes taken at lecture with Dr. Trevor O'Brien

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  1. 1. Dyslexia A Quick Guide From notes taken in lecture with Dr. Trevor O’Brien, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick
  2. 2. Children are born dyslexic – their neurological pathways are different It impacts cognitive skills: processing rapid naming sequencing organisation and time management working memory co-ordination Signs include difficulties with: spelling reading writing Dyslexia is unexpected i.e. it contrasts with your expectations of that child but is not necessarily aligned with high intelligence Not all poor readers are dyslexic – it may be a facet of a general learning difficulty Self esteem and self concept may be low for dyslexic children particularly around age 11+
  3. 3. In general Dyslexic children have difficulties with: Phonological Processing: the ability to hear whole words in a sentence and sounds in a word Working Memory: ability to make learning associations and to manipulate the things they know to make connections Rapid Naming: need more time to retrieve information from their long term memory, including letter names, sounds and words Automaticity of Reading, Writing and Spelling: dyslexic children may never develop automaticity, therefore strategies for reading, writing and spelling are very important. They also need to be over taught and to over learn. Sequencing and Organisation: dyslexic children need strategies when approaching a task such as task analysis (e.g. using picture and text for each step of a task). ***Teacher attitude is the most important environmental factor in success.
  4. 4. Dyslexic Indicators: Age 3 – 5 years: late talker difficulties with pronunciation difficulties with sequencing auditory discrimination spoonerisms e.g. ‘tons of soil’ is said as ‘sons of toil’ difficulties with rhyming difficulties with recall difficulties telling stories difficulties with the alphabet
  5. 5. Dyslexic Indicators: Age 5 – 7 years: difficulties with making connections difficulties separating words into sounds difficulties decoding difficulties with word attack skills confuses easy words constant reading and spelling errors difficulties with reading pace and expression difficulties with reading aloud
  6. 6. Dyslexic Indicators: Age 8 – 12 years: achieving below expectations difficulties with reading aloud confuses letter sequence poor reading accuracy and /or fluency difficulties with multiplication slow recall
  7. 7. Implicit pressures in the school system for dyslexic children: -organisation, getting their things together -starting work quickly -working steadily -finishing What a teacher / parent can do: -explain everything all of the time -use graphic organisers and explicitly teach how to use -think ‘Universal Design for Learning’ at home and at school: what can I do that will -allow everyone to access the activity e.g. using visual aids for learning, behaviour and routines -work in differentiation to all subjects Reading Strategies for all subjects: Paired Reading Choral Reading
  8. 8. • Parents might like to know: There are negative perceptions of the label ‘dyslexia’ but also advantages: -a focus for the child on an area of their learning rather than an overall feeling that they are ‘stupid’ -allows access to resources and accommodations There are only 4 ‘Reading Schools’ in Ireland, 3 in Dublin. Attendance at a reading school improves a child’s self esteem and self confidence: Catherine Mcauley School St. Oliver Plunkett St. Rose’s National School The Dyslexia Association of Ireland is a good resource At home Paired Reading is an excellent strategy
  9. 9. Further reading: Dyslexia Association of Ireland Testing: many tests are available, amongst them: Dyslexia Early Screening Test 2nd Edition: 4½ - 6½ years Dyslexia Screening Test: 6½ - 16 years (does not diagnose dyslexia but indicates risk, also indicates areas of concern e.g. rhyme) Dyslexia Portfolio: 6 - 16 years