Dyslexia Awareness Week: Dispelling Myths 1 + 2

Myth: Dyslexia does not exist.

Fact: Dyslexia is one of the most researched and documented conditions that affect children. Over 30 years of independent, scientific, replicated, published research exists on dyslexia.

Myth: Dyslexia is a “catch all” term.

Fact: That was true back in the 1960’s and 1970’s before the research existed. Here is Scotland we have a research-based definition of dyslexia, as follows:

Dyslexia can be described as a continuum of difficulties in learning to read, write and/or spell, which does not respond well to conventional teaching techniques. These difficulties often do not reflect an individual’s cognitive ability and are often not typical of performance in other areas.

The affect of dyslexia as a barrier to learning varies in degree according to the learning environment and the demands of the curriculum as there are associated difficulties such as:

  • auditory and /or visual processing of language-based information
  • phonological awareness
  • oral language skills and reading fluency
  • short-term and working memory
  • sequencing and directionality
  • number skills
  • organisational ability

Motor skills and co-ordination are often affected.

Dyslexia exists in all cultures and across the range of abilities and socio-economic backgrounds.  It is neurological in origin; a hereditary, life-long condition.  Unidentified, dyslexia is likely to result in low self esteem, high stress, atypical behaviour, and low achievement. 

Dyslexia Awareness Week: Myths about Dyslexia

See you on the other side by Annalisa Shepherd

Next week is Dyslexia Awareness Week and I shall be posting something here every day.

First, here is a list of myths about dyslexia. I’ll make sure each one is debunked before the end of the week!

Myth 1: Dyslexia does not exist.

Myth 2: Dyslexia is a “catch all” term.

Myth 3: Intelligence and ability to read are related. So if someone doesn’t read well, they can’t be very bright. Equally, very able children cannot be dyslexic.

Myth 4: People with dyslexia cannot read.

Myth 5: People with dyslexia see things backwards.

Myth 6: Dyslexia is rare.

Myth 7: Dyslexia is a medical diagnosis.

Myth 8: Children outgrow dyslexia.

Myth 9: Dyslexia affects four times more boys than girls.

Myth 10: Any child who reverses letters or numbers has dyslexia.

Myth 11: Every child who struggles with reading is a learner with dyslexia.

Myth 12: Children with dyslexia are just lazy. If only they tried harder…

 

Thanks to Annalisa Shepherd for the picture.

National Advocacy Service launched

Support for young people

The creation of a new additional support needs national advocacy service was announced today.

Barnardo’s Scotland in partnership with the Scottish Child Law Centre have been awarded the contract to provide free lay and legal advice to families and young people who appeal to the Additional Support Needs Tribunals for Scotland (ASNTS) against education authorities’ decisions regarding the provision of educational support, such as out of area placing requests.

Dyslexia Awareness Week

1-7 November is Dyslexia Awareness Week

This year the Dyslexia Awareness Week theme is Hidden Dyslexia.

CPD Bytes is offering 10 complimentary online ‘Hidden Dyslexia‘ courses each worth £100 to raise teachers’ awareness of the impact of unidentified dyslexia on learners,

For a your free entry please Click Here and fill in the simple form. or copy and paste this link into your browser window http://cpdbytes.us2.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=79b9667153aaee41587daf08f&id=e262cf8aeb

The prizes will be drawn on the 7th November at 12 noon. All the winners will be notified by e-mail and a list of all the prize winners will be displayed on the website www.cpdbytes.com.
Every entrant will be eligible for a 50% discount on our popular Hidden Dyslexia Course if ordered before the end of November.

Good luck in the draw.

Several support for learning teachers in East Lothian have taken this course and have found it useful. Contact Hilery Williams for more information.

Voice recognition software

New products; software updates; innovative use of existing products – there’s so many reasons for revisiting issues previously discussed in this blog.  Voice recogntion software is a key area of investigation and exploration.

Professional opinon and feedback from users:  Dragon Naturally Speaking (latest version is 11) is still the best but the software built into Windows 7 is pretty good too.  A demonstration from Craig Mills (JISC) using My StudyBar speech recognition showed that it is possible to get good accuracy from voice to text.  Have a look for yourself and see what steps are involved.  The computers in schools are using Windows XP and this demo is using Windows 7. 

Key factors to it working are –  competent, literate and motivated user, adult voice, no background noise,  ability to identify and correct mistakes and punctuation, no support needed.

From discussion at the national ICT ASN group, all authorities are up against the same frustating issue of not being able to offer pupils as a workable option in schools.

Assessing Dyslexia Toolkit launched

New guidelines for identifying children with dyslexia were launched by former racing driver Sir Jackie Stewart on Tuesday. The online “tool kit” , available since January but now open to all, has been created for every teacher: we are all responsible for literacy regardless of our subject or sector. The resource supports the Curriculum for Excellence’s emphasis on literacy and numeracy across learning.

 The Assessing Dyslexia Toolkit for Teachers aims to help teachers and early years workers identify literacy difficulties and dyslexia among pupils. A key target is to spot problems as early as possible so children can be given support and are not disadvantaged educationally.

A key aim of the new guide is highlighting to all class teachers that they are in the best position to identify early indicators of dyslexia and other learning difficulties. It identifies problems teachers should look out for at various stages in a child’s education from pre-school to late primary, right up to senior secondary and college.

Dr Margaret Crombie, who led the team of experts behind the creation of the project from Glasgow Caledonian, Strathclyde and Edinburgh universities, said: “We now have a resource that all teachers can use to help them work through the process of assessment of literacy difficulties.”

It’s superb: check it out.

Family Literacies: Learning in Scotland

A leaflet about family literacies is now available on the Scottish Government website. The leaflet says parents’ learning helps children’s learning.

Family literacies learning describes work with parents to develop their own literacy and numeracy capabilities so that they can support their children’s learning. It builds on what parents and carers already do with their children, whether babies or teenagers. There is no one definition or way of delivering family literacies learning, and it may take place in a broader family learning context. It can involve working with parents alone, or with parents and children together.

Google Docs for isolated learners

Recently at a CPD session at Knox Academy several teachers practiced using Google Apps together.

One application which is useful in supporting a pupil who cannot be in class, perhaps due to illness, is to paste and send them a Past Paper or other document which they can work on at home. The teacher can type on comments as the pupil is working rather than sending it back and forth as you would with email.

A way for a pupil to keep in touch with peers, is to work from home on a document while classmates type from school. A group can participate together on a Powerpoint or other document from various computers in various locations simultaneously.

One Guidance teacher was eager to put her learning into practice in support of a young man in his final year of school who is undergoing lengthy medical treatments. He can now communicate with classmates and teachers from hospital or home from a lap top and can progress in subjects with a better chance of achieving his potential.

The scope for creating learning opportunities is exciting.

To learn more look at Youtube Googledocs in plain english

Resource for supporting EAL students

I frequently find super tools at the blog of a teacher in Edinburgh who maintains a very interesting blog full of links to great online resources.

Here is a resource she has found invaluable for helping a family whose first language is not English.

Check it out – and if you like it make a comment on her blog to say so. It’s so encouraging to those of us who blog to see that others are interested in what we have to say.