Neurodiversity is an umbrella term used to describe the different ways a person’s brain processes information. It is estimated that around 1 in 7 people in the UK are neurodivergent. Dyslexia comes under this umbrella.
Features of dyslexia
- Dyslexia tends to run in families, which suggests a genetic link.
- Dyslexia is on of the most common specific learning disabilities (SpLD) affecting about 10% of the population.
- Dyslexia has a neurological basis and is independent of overall intelligence.
- Impaired development of magnocellular systems may cause problems with identifying and sequencing letters and sounds
- Dyslexia is a lifelong condition and can make learning difficult.
- Dyslexia affects a child’s ability to process, remember and organise information.
- Young children may struggle to learn to read, write and spell.
- While students can have strong oral abilities they may find it difficult to record their learning in writing.
- Students may struggle to get started with work and show difficulties with organisation and presentation.
- Some children and young people may have low self-esteem and appear reticent to learn.
- It is important to understand that there is a specific reason for student’s difficulties with processing information.
- Early identification and assessment is crucial.
- The effects of dyslexia varies and no two people will have the same strengths or weaknesses.
- To reduce anxiety and improve motivation personalise learning support and make adaptations according to a student’s needs.
Early identification and assessment
- Early identification of specific learning difficulties will reduce anxiety.
- Support will vary according to a student’s assessment profile but may include use of aids such as coloured paper, coloured overlays, reading rulers or assistive technology.
Help with organisation
- Target support to identify an individual student’s strengths and weaknesses.
- A clear and predictable daily routine can help develop independence.
- Print out homework tasks or give out homework at the start of the lesson and allow time for students to seek clarification.
- Prompts to remember appropriate resources and help organising work and notes are helpful.
Help in class
- To reinforce the spelling rule follow a structure i.e. ight flight sight night.
- Encourage and make time for proof reading work. This helps the student notice spellings mistakes and encourages them to self-correct.
- Do not put a student on the spot to read aloud. Instead, give them time to prepare.
- Before the lesson, explain what is going to be taught and then end with a summary.
- It is important to find ways to reinforce learning through repetition and revisiting topics.
- Copying large chunks of text from a board is a challenge. Print out notes or a cloze text with key words for insertion.