Forum - Hidden Dyslexia courses for Teachers

Factors that may mask dyslexia in the classroom by Moira Thomson - Saturday, 19 March 2011, 03:13 PM

 
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Factors that may mask dyslexia in the classroom by Moira Thomson - Saturday, 19 March 2011, 03:13 PM
by Alasdair Andrew - Thursday, 24 January 2013, 5:35 PM
 
 

The high ability and dyslexia of some children – who may also be bilingual – is not recognised because they are able to achieve at an age appropriate level.

Do you think that when teachers/parents insist these learners spend extra time trying to improve skills like writing - an impossibility because of the impact of dyslexia – that they will become disaffected and never achieve at a level commensurate with their ability? 

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Re: Factors that may mask dyslexia in the classroom
by Kamil Trzebiatowski - Tuesday, 7 June 2011, 01:59 PM
 
The answer to that question is "depends". If the same student finds something that they are particularly good at, for example, Arts, and are able to target their main efforts towards that aim, then not excelling in other departments might not seem as important. Especially if they are, in fact, high ability dyslexia students. In such cases, the students might assume that skills such as writing or spelling are "just not for me". They will gain their confidence in knowing there are things they are particularly good at.

If, however, there are no areas where they can excel and be experts, then yes, they are quite likely to become disaffected - either become angry and anxious or withdrawn.
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Re: Factors that may mask dyslexia in the classroom
by Denise Dupont - Monday, 11 July 2011, 07:59 AM
 
 

I don’t believe that making any child doing more of something they find hard to do will help them to gain confidence in that area but will in fact reinforce how hard it is and that they can’t do it. This will only lower their self esteem unless initiatives are put in place to help them.

 
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Re: Factors that may mask dyslexia in the classroom
by Irene McIlchere - Wednesday, 17 August 2011, 03:31 PM
 
Too often the extra practice insisted on by some parents and teachers is often carried out when the other pupils are engaged in group activities, or creative skills. This means that the extra help with language activities, such as spelling, can be viewed as a punishment for being unable to complete given tasks to a satisfactory standard of accuracy. It can also lead to a feeling of frustration if the pupil has a contribution to make to a piece of group work and then is extracted and the group are let down, or they are seen as not being a strong member of the team, letting the side down.
When a pupil is extracted, especially if their pace of work is slower than many others they either finish up with a huge workload to play catch-up with, or lots of unfinished tasks, or having to ask for instructions as they missed the initial lesson.
By offering all the extra help within the class situation the teacher may be adding to the frustration and isolation a pupil can experience when coping with dyslexia in the classroom.
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Re: Factors that may mask dyslexia in the classroom
by Betty Skelton - Saturday, 11 February 2012, 12:48 PM
 
Extra time doing the same thing over and over again badly only reinforces negative feelings towards task. The same time could be used to improve self esteem and confidence by providing and supporting manageable tasks tailored to meet specific needs.
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Re: Factors that may mask dyslexia in the classroom
by Moira Thomson - Sunday, 12 February 2012, 07:58 AM
I agree that spending extra time repeating the same poorly performed activity is likely to reinforce negative feelings towards it.  However, this is not the same as allowing extra time for - e.g. a slow reader or a child who needs to take time to form letters properly when writing - to complete set tasks in these activities.  But teachers must ensure that the extra time is not 'created' by cutting other more enjoyable activities short - such as keeping the child in over breaks, or taking time from art/music/sports where the child's dyslexia has less impact.
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Re: Factors that may mask dyslexia in the classroom by Moira Thomson - Saturday, 19 March 2011, 03:13 PM
by Michael Woods - Sunday, 5 January 2014, 1:48 PM
 
Bearing in mind that I work mainly with adult learners and I have very limited experience of supporting school age children I have a concern about your contained statement - 'an impossibility because of the impact of dyslexia'.

I know you have set the forum question to generate discussion but surely the use of the word 'impossibility' sets the mind into a state of automatic negative thoughts? This in turn could lead whoever reads the statement to conclude that dyslexics are unable to improve their affected skills at all! 

My understanding of dyslexia from the early sections of your course, together with reading the informative course papers and watching the inspiring videos, has increased dramatically. 

I have concluded from all of this information and from supporting dyslexic adults in my current job role, that once the dyslexic person and their family are aware of and have accepted there is a learning difficulty they can become extremely motivated. I accept that this may not translate directly into the school classroom, but from what I have experienced this motivation can drive the learner and family to commit to extreme challenges.

I do agree that mindless repetition would be soul destroying if it achieves nothing. However, if the repetition is delivered using multi-sensory activities then there is always a chance that improvements will be made.

I understand that multi-sensory support can have many positive impacts as I am finding out with one of my adult learners. Indeed, I intend to try the use of playdoh in my next session to help this particular person understand the use of apostrophes in contractions, focussing on the physical act of taking letters away and substituting them with the apostrophe.

As much as I can concentrate on learners strengths and talents I do need to ensure they meet the standards of the Essential Skills Wales qualifications. This means repetitive activities will always be part of the learning experience and these are more often than not driven by the learners themselves. 
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Re: Factors that may mask dyslexia in the classroom by Moira Thomson - Saturday, 19 March 2011, 03:13 PM
by Moira Thomson - Monday, 6 January 2014, 1:30 PM
 
I take your point about the use of 'impossibility' - though I was thinking more of the difficulties and lack of progress often associated with improving handwriting when computer use removes illegibility so effectively rather than writing content or grammatical tuition.

I like your approach to teaching the apostrophe using concrete materials - in true multi-sensory manner. Well done.
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Re: Factors that may mask dyslexia in the classroom by Moira Thomson - Saturday, 19 March 2011, 03:13 PM
by Fiona Rosa - Wednesday, 10 February 2016, 9:20 PM
 

I agree that it would not be fair to take time away from other areas of the curriculum to concentrate on areas which need to be developed.  However, short focused sessions throughout the week(home school partnership) can be beneficial if the student 'buys' into this approach.  I have recently had success with a pupil who was struggling with spelling using 'Word Wasp' as an intervention.  The child was determined to improve his skills in this area and therefore prepared to put some effort in.  On the other hand, I have experienced a pupil who's complete frustration with spelling meant that the use of this resource was like torture to him as any mistake increased his frustration even more.  Probably a lot depends on the child.