A brief look at dyslexia


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A powerpoint presentation for teachers of secondary school students helping them to become aware of Dyslexia and ow to support dyslexic students.

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  • Copy the following sentence : Note the white background which most dyslexics will find harder to read from.Compare it to the previous slides and see if you notice a difference.
  • A brief look at dyslexia

    1. 1. DYSLEXIA … A Brief Look Mrs Helen Lyall 1
    2. 2. A Definition of Dyslexia: “Dyslexia is best described as a combination ofabilities and difficulties which affect the learning processin one or more areas – reading; writing; language; Numeracy. Accompanying weaknesses may be identified inspeed of processing: short term memory; auditory/visual perception; sequencing; spoken language and motor skills . Dyslexia occurs despite normal intellectual ability andconventional teaching. It is independent of socio-economic or language background.” British Dyslexia Association 2001 Mrs Helen Lyall 2
    3. 3. Dispelling the Dyslexia Myths:• Dyslexia is not a disease that can be cured but with proper diagnosis and appropriate intervention, hard work and support dyslexics can succeed. (www.learn2learn.co.nz)• People do not „grow out of‟ Dyslexia – they may develop coping strategies or these may need to be taught.• Dyslexia is not a sign of being „thick‟ nor of having above average intelligence, though many dyslexic people have outstanding talents in Art, Architecture, Athletics, Drama, Electronics, Engineering, Graphics, and Music.• People with Dyslexia are not lazy, they have to work harder than non-dyslexic people to de-code the written word or text; a skill whichMrs Helen Lyallpeople take for granted. 3 most
    4. 4. Brain Differences“There are differences in the brains of people withDyslexia. They have a different ability – a different wayof learning.” British Dyslexia Association 1998 Mrs Helen Lyall 4
    5. 5. Phonological Awareness Verbal MemoryVerbal Processing Speed Mrs Helen Lyall 5
    6. 6. Important Info:• Dyslexia is a continuum ranging from mild to very severe; and unique to each person.• People with Dyslexia become excessively tired due to the concentration and effort they have to make and because of their inability to cut out extraneous noises and stimuli.• People with Dyslexia have a maximum concentration of their chronological age plus 2 minutes up to 25 yrs old.• The causes for Dyslexia are neurobiological and genetic, so Dyslexia does run in families; but the specific genetic link has not yet been conclusively identified. Mrs Helen Lyall 6
    7. 7. The Specific Learning Difficulties or Differences SpectrumPeople withDyslexia oftenhave elements ofother SpecificLearningDifferences (co-morbidity) eg:ADHD; AspergersSyndrome; Autism;Dyspraxia;Dyscalculia;Dysgraphia. Mrs Helen Lyall 7
    8. 8. Day to Day Dyslexia in the Classroom – Pollock & Waller “Everyone has two eyes, a nose and a mouth, yet incredibly – every face is different. It follows that we are all constitutionally different and therefore, there should be no cause for surprise that we tend to acquire knowledge in different ways; there are always some things that each of us has difficulty in mastering.” Mrs Helen Lyall 8
    9. 9. Recognising Possible Indicators of Dyslexia: You may think: She (or he)’s not listening but…• s/he may have difficulty remembering a list of instructions. (giving 1 or 2 instructions at a time may help)• s/he may have problems thinking coherently for story or essay writing. (extra time to plan/ prompt words may help)• s/he may have sequencing problems and need to be taught strategies to cope or alternative ways of remembering. (flow charts or notes on post-its may help) Mrs Helen Lyall 9
    10. 10. Recognising Possible Indicators of Dyslexia: cont You may think: She (or he)’s not trying/making enough effort but …• s/he may have difficulty in organising work and may need to be shown how to do this (a writing frame may help).• s/he may be able to answer questions orally but can‟t write them down (paired work may help).• s/he may have found that the less she writes, the less trouble s/he gets into for making mistakes. (credit for effort and ideas, and less criticism of errors may help) Mrs Helen Lyall 10
    11. 11. Recognising Possible Indicators of Dyslexia: cont You may think: She (or he)’s not concentrating but …• s/he may have difficulty copying accurately. This is often because s/he cannot remember chunks but has to look at each letter, write it, look up and find their place, look at the next letter, and so on. (pre-typed notes so that s/he can be reading while others are copying may help) Mrs Helen Lyall 11
    12. 12. What does it say?Ανηιγραθή κείμενο μπορεί ναείναι δύζκολο για οριζμέναάηομα. Mrs Helen Lyall 12
    13. 13. Recognising Possible Indicators: cont You may think: She (or he)’s careless / not checking their work but …• s/he may have poor handwriting due to insufficient hand skills to control the pen/pencil. (short daily practices may help)• s/he may spell the same word several different ways because s/he has no visual memory of which is the right way, nor kinaesthetic memory for it to feel right as s/he is writing it. (use the Look, Say, Write, Cover, Check spelling method to learn words)• s/he may have a visual memory deficiency making interpreting symbols difficult. (1-to-1 learning support may help) Mrs Helen Lyall 13
    14. 14. Recognising Possible Indicators: cont You may think: She (or he)’s being awkward on purpose but …• S//he or he may be able to produce very good work one day but „trip up over every word‟ the next.• „Off days‟ are quite common. These are so demoralising and frustrating and can quickly cause lowered self-esteem. (acknowledgement that we understand what an off day feels like plus reminders of past successes may help) Mrs Helen Lyall 14
    15. 15. "The dyslexics were using 4.6 times as much area of thebrain to do the same language task as the controls," saidTodd Richards, co-leader of the study. "This means theirbrains were working a lot harder and using more energythan the normal children". "People often dont see howhard it is for dyslexic children to do a task that others doso effortlessly," added Virginia Berninger, a professor ofeducational psychology. Mrs Helen Lyall 15
    16. 16. Some Common Strengths:• A good visual eye• May be able to see in 3-D• May be imaginative• May be skilful with his/her hands• May be practical – make the best models• May be keen on sport and even excel at one or more• May have a fantastic imagination when conversing• May be able to tell wonderful stories if his/her long- term memory is good Mrs Helen Lyall 16
    17. 17. Some Common Difficulties:• Sequencing - eg: days of week; words in sentences; order of months; polysyllables; order of story• Direction/orientation - eg: left/right confusion• Understanding Prepositions - eg: in/out; under/over; before/after.• Fine Motor Skills - eg: using scissors; holding pens; keeping within lines; clapping to music.• Gross Motor Co-ordination - eg: appears clumsy; hand/eye co-ordination Mrs Helen Lyall 17
    18. 18. Some Common Difficulties: cont.• Speaking/Listening - eg: assimilating verbal instructions; expressing themselves fluently despite having a good vocabulary; forgetting or „losing‟ the word they need; mispronouncing words; using strange grammatical structures but can explain what they mean; difficulty following rhythm patterns; recalling and producing the right word and getting it slightly wrong – probe instead of prong• Organization - eg: personal – being on time; school - remembering equipment; losing things.• Information Processing - eg: retrieval (even things like their own address); interpretation.• Time Concepts - eg: yesterday/today/tomorrow; telling the time; time passing. Mrs Helen Lyall 18
    19. 19. Ten Top Tips:1. Find out/recognise and acknowledge the dyslexic pupil‟s strengths2. Praise the dyslexic pupil‟s efforts and achievements – s/he needs you to believe in them3. Help dyslexic pupils to recognise their own learning style – Visual, Aural, Kinaesthetic or a combination (meta-cognitive)4. Incorporate a Multi-Sensory Approach to learning5. Provide opportunities for over-learning or cumulative learning6. Teach students to use logic rather than rote memory because short term and long term memory are common areas of weakness for dyslexics.7. Mark for content not for spelling (especially during „off days‟) 4 positives to 1 negative8. Sit dyslexic students near to the front beside a well-motivated peer9. Play to the dyslexic pupil‟s strengths and let him/her „shine‟ every so often10. Give time for processing eg: paired discussions before hands up Mrs Helen Lyall 19
    20. 20. Legible Logistics!• Use a cream or pastel background on your whiteboard – to cut down on glare and reduce visual disturbance• Print or photocopy on cream or pastel paper• On handouts and/or the whiteboard, use a sans serif font such as Ariel or Century Gothic with a minimum font size 12• Keep copying from the board/books to a minimum but if it has to be done, put a coloured dot at each end of every line to help with tracking;• or write each line in a different colour• Hand out a copy of the homework instructions• Give a photocopied transcript to dyslexic pupils to read rather than have them copy large amounts from the board• Modify worksheets and boards so the layout is uncluttered and important sections highlighted• Present material sequentially, start from the very beginning and build slowly, step by step. Most people remember best when facts and experiences are connected with one another, and when material is presented in small units. Less is better. Mrs Helen Lyall 20
    21. 21. Helpful Hints:• Initiate „study buddies‟ whose skills complement each other. Eg: a student who has good ideas for writing (composition) but difficulty with handwriting is paired with a student who is good at handwriting (transcription) but weaker at composition• Encourage a positive view of Dyslexia eg: talk about role models and/or put photos up in your room (www.xtraordinarypeople.com)• Consider pairing a dyslexic student with another student who can support reading of texts• Keep a range of practical aids that will help the dyslexic student to access the curriculum – highlighters; post-its; etc.• Present instructions and facts both visually and orally.• Consider the pace of the lesson and the amount of information given. Mrs Helen Lyall 21
    22. 22. A Few Famous Dyslexics:• Albert Einstein 1879 – 1955 Physicist• Winston Churchill 1874 – 1965 Prime Minister• Susan Hampshire (Actress)• Tom Cruise (Actor)• Will Smith (Actor)• Robyn Williams (Actor)• Pam Ayres (Poet)• Benjamin Zephaniah (Jamaican Poet) Mrs Helen Lyall 22
    23. 23. Mrs Helen Lyall 23