Dyslexia Awareness Week


Next week is Dyslexia Awareness Week. Above is my rolling presentation that some schools use in assemblies or the foyer of the school. You are welcome to borrow it. Let me know if it’s useful.

Here the BDA has ideas and a couple of PowerPoint presentations (purporting to be created by students) that might be of use.

See full size image

Learndirect is offering every household a FREE book to help parents and children children have an enjoyable reading experience during Dyslexia Awareness Week.

They claim that the book is a great way to practice reading skills with your young ones because it makes reading and problem solving a fun time – and because you all read together everyone benefits.

Waterstones is involved and has a ‘Guide to Books for Young Dyslexic Readers’.

TES has 5 articles about Dyslexia that may be of interest.

Learning and Thinking offers ideas for a secondary assembly.

Dyslexia Action has an online lecture on 3rd November from 19:0020:00 where Glenys Heap, Senior Training Principal, Dyslexia Action, will present an overview of the factors related to Dyslexia. The ‘webinar’ will be of interest to parents, teachers and employers as well as individuals who are, or think they might be, dyslexic.

Please make contact if you want any advice from me as to how you can publicise the week. Perhaps I’ll be more organised next year and give a little more notice!

Optometrist Specialising in Children’s Learning Difficulties

Dorothy Crystal is a Specialist Optometrist working in this field. Yesterday about 16 of us (support for Learning teachers, health professionals) were priviliged to hear her talk passionately about her professional interest in children, optometry and learning difficulties.  I shall try to summarise!

In Norway all children with ASN are assesses by optomerist as there is a proven high correlation between learning difficulties and visual problems – 61%.  Hearing assessments follow on from this. 

Children may have problems with focussing, binocular vision and binocular instability.  The latter difficulty can be a big problem as information is processed differently.  Simple daily exercises can resolve these issues in 97% of cases! If a teacher thinks a pupils may be dyslexic then a vision check should be carried out first however it is important to alert the optomerist that the check is requested because of concerns about learning. Should the screening indicate a problem then the child can be referred on to either Dorothy Crystall or the Eye Pavilion.

Visual Stress is the new term to replace Myles Irlen or Scotopic Sensitivity.  It is diagnosed through a proper clinical process.  Children may be tested for this if there is a family history of migraine or epilepsy.  Assessment for coloured overlays used to treat visual stress, does incur a cost of £40. These overlays may only be required for 6 – 9 months

Children with astigmatic problems (wobbly eyes!) may sometimes invert letters in words. The incidence of this is increasing particularly in children of drug abusing mothers. Astigmatism will affect reading however larger print may help. If Astigmatism develops (rather than congenital) then there is a pathological reason, usually a brain tumour.

Teachers can look out for a variety of signs – child covers one eye to read, holds book at an angle, turns head at an angle when reading, rubs eyes , blinks a lot, fine and gross motor problems.  If a child frequently daydreams s/he may be trying to correct blurry images. The history and symptoms provide the biggest clues for the optomerist. When using an Interactive Whiteboard the child should be directly in front of it. Copying from the IWB is usually very difficult for the child.

And of course the earlier the better for assessment – from P1 onwards.

Professional Texts and Teaching Packs


Haddington Library now holds books and teaching packs about ASL. The ones I left there are mainly about Dyslexia and Dyscalculia but also some on behavioural difficulties. The librarians would be delighted if more people availed themselves of the service.

Here is a list of the professional texts and teaching packs I left there yesterday:


around Additional Support for Learning

Ajmal,Y + Rees,I (ed)

Solutions in Schools



Dyslexia and ICT


Boyd, B

CPD: Improving Professional Practice


Boyd, B

Primary-Secondary Transition


Canter,L + Canter,M

Assertive Discipline


Chinn, S + Ashcroft, R

Mathematics for Dyslexics


Cotterell, G

The Phonic Reference File


Craig, F

Conquer Dyslexia (4 copies)


Craig, F

The Natural Way to Learn


Crombie, M

 Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia)


El-Naggar, O

Specific Learning Difficulties in Mathematics


Eyre, D

Able Children in Ordinary Schools


Fawcett, A

Dyslexia: Theory and Good Practice


Fowler, M + Wainwright, T

Maths Words


Green, C

Understanding Attention Deficit Disorder


Henderson, A

Maths for the Dyslexic



Education for learners with dyslexia (2 copies)


Hope Education

Phonic Quest Pack


Houston, M

Dyslexia: In-service training pack


Miles,T + Miles, E

Dyslexia and Mathematics


Mortimore, T

Dyslexia and Learning Style


O’Connell, B

Solution-Focused Therapy


Ott, P

How to Detect and Mange Dyslexia


Peer, L + Reid, G

Dyslexia – Successful Inclusion in the Secondary School


Phillips,M + Phillips,M

Special Educational Needs (2 copies)


Poustie, J et al

Mathematics Solutions Parts A + B: An Introduction to Dyscalculia


Reid, G + Fawcett, A

Dyslexia in Context


Reid, G + Kirk, J

Dyslexia in Adults


Reid, G

Dyslexia: A Practitioner’s Handbook (5 copies)


Reid, G (ed)

Dimensions of Dyslexia Vol. 1 (1 copy)


Reid, G (ed)

Dimensions of Dyslexia Vol. 2 (2 copies)


Russell, S

Phonic Code Cracker



Count Me In: Responding to Dyslexia (Teaching Pack)


Stone,C et al

Beat Dyslexia Book 4