Dyslexia

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    • 00:10

      SPEAKER 1: In this tutorial, I'm goingto be looking at the whole concept of dyslexia-what it is, what are the issues, and how we could identifyand deal with it in the classroom situation.Firstly, dyslexia-- it's really a difference.And I think I would like to emphasize that.It's not necessarily a disability, or a deficiency,or maybe not even a difficulty.

    • 00:32

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: That it's a difference in how these children are learning.So it's a processing difference.It's a difference in how they process information.And what you'll find is, they mayhave some skills in some areas which don't require processingtext, for example in art, or design, or problem-solving.But they may have difficulty in decoding the word, the printedword, text, and certainly with writing and spelling.

    • 00:58

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: They process information in a different way.I always make the analogy of you'vegot the highway, the motorway, and then you'vegot the tourist route to solve a problem.A lot of people take the direct route.They go from A to B, from B to C, and so on.But children with dyslexia often take the tourist route.And they go off on a tangent.

    • 01:18

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: And then they go, and eventually they get the right answer.But that process takes a lot of time.But the plus side of that is that during that process,they come up some pretty good ideas.And that's why sometimes it can be quite creative and quiteimaginative by going through that tourist route,you might say.And that's my opinion.

    • 01:39

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: That's why it's important to try to honor and to acknowledgethe specific learning style of that particular childbecause they might do things a different way from you or I,but it's their way.And we've got to try to see how they learn,and see how they learn best, and see how we could accommodatetheir needs through teaching, and through resources,and through support and accommodations thatmay be necessary.

    • 02:11

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: Children with dyslexia have oftengot some cognitive difficulties or differences.And cognition is really thinking.It's really about processing.And at a basic level, cognition wouldinvolve memory, both working memory, short-term memory,and long-term memory, and also involvesspeed and how you solve problems.

    • 02:31

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: So that would be cognition.Sometimes children with dyslexia can alsohave difficulty with meta-cognition.And meta-cognition is thinking about thinking, and being awareof how you process.So if you solve a problem-- no, you solve it.Right, great, you've got the next problem.But you also know what you did in that problem,and how you could use some of the strategiesthat you did use for that problem,you could use those when you do the next problem,or the problem after that.

    • 03:01

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: In other words, you could transfer learning.You could use those strategies for something else.We've got to try to help them to transfer learning.In other words, help them to makelearning more efficient and more effective as well.Because sometimes they don't.And the cost of that is that every new learning experienceis totally new to them.

    • 03:23

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: And so you may say, look I taught you that last week.And you've done that before.But sometimes they don't use that previous knowledge.One of the key principles of teaching children with dyslexiais really called overlearning.Now, overlearning is not just pure repetition.

    • 03:45

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: It's trying to reinforce the same point-- or the same rule,or the same principle-- but usingdifferent forms of strategies.So you might do it very multi-sensory.You might do it visually.You might give them more hands-on, practical activities.But you're reinforcing the same point.So they need a lot of that.They need a lot of what's called overlearning because onlythrough overlearning that they will achievewhat's called automaticity.

    • 04:10

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: It's only through overlearning theywill be able to do things without thinking.They'll know how to do it.And that is, unfortunately, a problemthat people with dyslexia have.Often they need a lot of repetition.And they may have difficulty, or it takes a long timeto get automaticity.And again, that's another reason why they oftentake more time to learn.

    • 04:33

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: Because they've got think how'd they do that last time,and it doesn't come automatically to them.But it really is, to my mind, good teaching.That you're really trying to lookat how to make a child with dyslexia a better learner,a more effective learner.So firstly, they've got to understand the material.

    • 04:58

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: And it's how you present it to them is very important.So they won't listen if you speak for 15 minutes.They're going to switch off-- as many children would--they're going to switch off after two or three minutes.So they need to be actively involved.They need to be interactive and active.And interactive being involved in discussion,trying to use words that are within the student's comfortzone.

    • 05:25

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: Because they may not have an extensive vocabulary,but you've got to try to use words knowing their readinglevel and their vocabulary level.Then it's successful for them.And using a lot of visuals as well-- because they dorelate, usually, better to visual materialthan to just pages and pages of text.So we've got to ensure that they'reable to seize the opportunity.

    • 05:50

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: We're able to motivate them, and for them to see somethingthey've got the confidence to say, yes I can do that.Because quite often, they see something, a task,page of print, and they just go blank.They just switch off.They will learn better if they are actuallynot just listening, but they're seeing, and they're doing,and they're involved, and they're questioning,and they're discussing.

    • 06:13

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: And all those areas will help the dyslexic learner.As well as having supports, and resources, and programs,and approaches for children with dyslexia,we can always have accommodations.And the most common is examination accommodationsby giving them more time.

    • 06:36

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: Maybe they could use a word processor in an exam.Maybe even they need a scribe, somebodyto write it for them because they're very good orally,or using some sort of program whichhelps to framework their writing,like some computer programs, whichcould help to structure their expressive writing,or even a good spell check as well.

    • 06:58

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: My message therefore would be to makesure they are computer literate, and to make surethat they're familiar with the keyboard from a very early age,that we get them involved in typing and being confident.I use my keyboard.So there's a lot of great technology out therewhich is absolutely wonderful for children with dyslexia.

    • 07:25

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: I run seminars, I always start with tryingto get them in the same wavelength,get the audience in the same wavelength as myself.And I use the quote, "The Whole of the Moon."And it's actually based on a song by the Waterboys.And I think it was the '80s when it was in the charts,and it was a hit song.And it was, "I saw the crescent, but yousaw the whole of the moon."And it's a very melodic song.

    • 07:49

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: And when you listen to those words--when I first heard that, I thought of childrenwith dyslexia.Because sometimes people, they cansee a little part of the problem.But young people with dyslexia oftenthey need to see the whole problembefore they can solve the little parts.So when you're teaching them reading,sometimes they've got to know what the book's about,or the ending is about, what the whole story is about,what the characters are about, what the context is.

    • 08:16

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: And they've got to get a feel of that,and then they could look at the individual parts,look at the crescent.So they need to get the whole picture.And they are very-- could be describedas being very visual, very holistic.So they need to get that holistic appreciationof the topic that we're doing.So you would discuss the topic broadly first,and then look at specific details.

    • 08:41

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: So I find it a very useful analogytalking about "The Whole of the Moon"as being almost synonymous with how a dyslexic person learns.One of the first signposts is understanding inclusionand knowing what we mean by inclusion,and appreciating that inclusion is notjust mainstream in school.

    • 09:05

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: It's about caring for the educational, the emotional,the social, the cultural needs of all children.So we've got to get that understanding first.The second point is that we need to plan for a child's learning.I know they're going to have difficulty with memory.So they're not going to be able to remember dates.

    • 09:25

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: So I wouldn't give them dates to remember.I know they're going to have difficulty with speed.So I wouldn't give them things we're going to do quickly.They may have a difficulty copying from the board.So one of the signposts I would say for successful inclusion isplanning, , and being aware, and being familiar withthe children you're getting into your class.So you could actually anticipate before youget them what difficulties you're going to have.

    • 09:51

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: Another kind of signpost, or point of a successful inclusionis-- I always use the term-- to honor.And that's what it is, to honor and to appreciatethe diversity among learners.And I've already mentioned cultural diversity.But I'm really looking at the diversity in the learningand how they learn, and being aware that not all childrenwill be able to sit and listen to you for 10 minutes--or even two minutes in some cases.

    • 10:20

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: We've got to be familiar with the wide range of abilities.And just because a child can't listen to a class lessondoesn't mean to say they've got a special need.It doesn't mean to say they're in any way impaired.What it means is that that particular modality is nottheir best.

    • 10:40

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: And maybe they can learn a different way.So that's why it's important to have what we classicallydescribe as being multi-sensory.We need to ensure that for successful inclusionwe've got visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile,experiential learning.And really a lot of hands-on learning as wellbecause children with dyslexia will learn bestthrough doing as opposed to listening.

    • 11:07

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: So in terms of a point of inclusion,it's definitely important-- very crucial in fact--to acknowledge one and honor the diversity youwill have in your classroom.The final point I would like to make for inclusionin the pointers is connected to that.And that is training.That inclusion didn't happen overnight.

    • 11:28

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: And successful inclusion is not--[SNAPS FINGERS] it's not going to happen quickly.It's a process.And that process takes time.And the crucial ingredient of that processis the staff training, not just teachers,but teaching assistants, in fact everybodyin the school, the medical staff and management,everyone needs to have an awareness of the whole rangeof learning needs that they will come acrossin a successful inclusive school.

    • 11:57

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: So the level of training, and the commitmentof the management, and the commitmentof the educational authority to inclusion is crucial.Ever since I've been involved in this field,I've been trying to de-specialize dyslexiaby saying, it shouldn't not necessarilybe in the hands of a specialist.

    • 12:23

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: It's in the hands of the classroom teacher,or the learning support teacher.But dyslexia could be catered for in the classroom mainstreameducation system with a teacher who's got awareness of dyslexiaand who's got the resources and the support of the schoolmanagement.But a lot of it is-- to my mind-- good teachingand helping that young person with dyslexiabecome a better learner through presenting informationthrough making sure the content is user friendly,or in turn dyslexia friendly, and evenin terms of assessing their competence.

    • 13:02

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: It doesn't have to be through a written essay.And that's often their weak point.You could assess one's competencethrough them doing a drama, a production, a play, musicor orally.And that's often a good means to get themto transition into written work.Because I know that most exams nowadays unfortunately,are through the written modality.

    • 13:27

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: But that could be a longer term goal.Acknowledging that learning styleand acknowledging their learning differenceis crucially important for meetingthe needs of all children with dyslexia.

Dyslexia

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Abstract

In this tutorial, Dr. Gavin Reid, Director of Red Rose School, defines dyslexia; explains how to identify this issue in a classroom setting and offers techniques--including "despecializing" dyslexia--for supporting students and staff.

SAGE Video Tutorials
Dyslexia

In this tutorial, Dr. Gavin Reid, Director of Red Rose School, defines dyslexia; explains how to identify this issue in a classroom setting and offers techniques--including "despecializing" dyslexia--for supporting students and staff.

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