When I was a Primary 2 teacher there was a boy in my class who had
classic dyspraxia symptoms both with fine and gross motor co-ordination
and later in P5 was diagnosed with Dyslexia.He found it very hard to
focus in class and used a lot of classic avoidance strategies for
I found Binocular Instability to be the most
interesting one as it was something I have seen before. In the high
school where I was teaching, I had students who were finding it very
difficult to do writing tasks (English) because they simply couldn't
catch up. I remember specifically one boy, who was finding it very
difficult to maintain eye contact with either myself or others in class,
but mostly, he just couldn't catch up with other writing. It was very
apparent when copying off the board and also whenever we were reading.
He also needed to keep his finger on the page not to lose the line.
His unwillingness to read was pretty much obvious. Suffice to say, the
situation was making him very nervous, irritated and was impacting on
his self-confidence as he couldn't keep up with the majority of his
peers. I would often stay after school to work with him or he would come
early in the morning to redo the material he could not do in class due
to time constraints. Only then would he leave the classroom with full
understanding of the topic and readings.
In the end, this particular student was referred to first school's
language base, and subsequently received more help, at the school and
outside of it.
Now that you know about how a simple tinted
plastic overlay can help, you will be able to take immediate action to
help another such student! You can get a 'pochet' set of 5 different
colours of tinted reading rulers for under £10 from Crossbow Education -
These can be used unobtrusively in the classroom by students - and
are an inexpensive way for them to experiement with a reading aid. If
there is a notable improvement, it may be easier to persduade them to
see an optometrist - even to wear glasses!
I have been working as a Nurture teacher and have a child who had a lot
of time off school due to Asthma attacks and if I had known that Asthma
was so closely linked to Dyslexia I would have looked for a wider range
of options to help a child in my Nurture class.
After one particularly long absence he returned refusing to read or write as he didn’t know how to. We put this down to the high amount of medication he was taking. It
was decided that he could chose a reading scheme to follow and he
started from the early stage and worked his way through slowly with a
lot of one to one help and encouragement.
Re: Dyslexia, specific learning difficulties and developmental disorders
by Helen Love - Wednesday, 21 September 2011, 02:45 PM
This part of the course has left me reeling. I am completing it as part of my CPD as a new SfL Teacher.
I am now left considering just how many of the children in school
have binocular instability that is playing a hidden contribution to
learning difficulties, I am beginning to think the number is not
I am wondering how I go about assessing this in school to see who to
send for a specialist eye test? One of the reports I accessed suggested
sending all children who have unexplained struggle beginning to read
still in P2. There are so many though!
When I took over this position none of the children had a diagnosis
of dyslexia, I have assessed a few in the last year and 2 have now been
given a formal diagnosis. I am finding the course fascinating. There are
so many children for whom there is obviously an issue of some kind but I
am struggling to put my finger on exactly what the issue is, hopefully
this will help a few of those.
I truly believe that all children should have
their eyes tested by an optometrist withing the first few years of
starting school - and some should probsably have their hearing checked
too. This used to happen to some extent when they had their age 5
medical check for starting school - sadly a thing of the past for most
Only some of them will have Binocular Instability or another form of
visual stress - but they will be unable to read easily unloess these
problems are identified and resolved.
This has been thoroughly enlightening and has now allowed me to
explore other avenues of support and advice for both the children I
support and their parents. It has greatly developed my understanding of a
variety of factors and as I read the course materials found I could
relate so many of the difficulties and strategies to the children I
I found the overlays a very good resource to support children and I
have noticed an improvement in both the fluency and speed as a result of
using them. The coloured reading rulers are also a great resource to
support children reading a text as it guides them and allows them to
follow exactly where they should be by highlighting the line they are