Forum - Hidden Dyslexia courses for Teachers

Avoidance strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom by Moira Thomson - Saturday, 19 March 2011, 03:27 PM

 
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Avoidance strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom by Moira Thomson - Saturday, 19 March 2011, 03:27 PM
by Alasdair Andrew - Saturday, 26 January 2013, 5:47 PM
 

Think of a pupil you have had in a class who has apparently employed one (or more) of the avoidance strategies suggested in this section. 

Do/did you think that this pupil might be dyslexic?

What steps did you take to find out if the coping behaviour was hiding dyslexia (or another issue)?

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Re: Avoidance strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom by Moira Thomson - Saturday, 19 March 2011, 03:27 PM
by Alasdair Andrew - Saturday, 26 January 2013, 5:48 PM
 
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Re: Avoidance strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom
by Caroline McDermott - Wednesday, 11 May 2011, 02:25 PM
 
I had a very polite and well-mannered boy in my Year 10 French class (first year GCSE) whose behaviour was shocking and very disruptive.  I spoke to colleagues and discovered that some were experiencing similar.  His behaviour was so incongruous that I decided to investigate further.  I observed him over a period of weeks and it became apparent that he was using poor behaviour as an avoidance strategy and to cover the fact that he could not do the work.  I suspected that he was dyslexic.  I mentioned such to parents at autumn parents' evening;  they refuted this and implied it was my teaching.  I persevered for the next two terms;  his behaviour did not improve and neither did his French.  I put the idea to his parents at the summer parents' evening;  this time they did listen and asked what they could.  I advised he be tested.  He was and found to be severely dyslexic.  As a result, he was able to tweak his subjects (eg drop French) and work with rather than against his dyslexia.  He has now completed college and embarked on a promising career down south.
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Re: Avoidance strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom
by Moira Thomson - Thursday, 12 May 2011, 06:30 AM
Well spotted Caroline - and very well done in persevering till your pupil's dyslexia was confirmed. 
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Re: Avoidance strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom
by Kamil Trzebiatowski - Thursday, 2 June 2011, 05:23 PM
 
When I was still working in Poland, about 6 years ago, I had a student who acted quite troublesome in class - he didn't follow instructions, he was turning his back to the board, speaking over; basically, he was quite disruptive. That was an avoidance measure. He was simply unable to follow the proceedings in class, struggling with spelling and writing mostly, but also (now that I think of it) was likely APD as he seemed to be unable to easily understand instructions issued by myself.

I referred him to the school psychologist/social worker/language department - and it was determined he was indeed dyslexic. Once that became clear, I sought guidance from the social/psychology/language department on how to approach this matter and soon after I was running one-to-one classes with the student, tailoring classes to him. The school didn't employ any assistants or ASN teachers at the time, but the student still benefited from the additional classes - and the challenging behaviour coping mechanism whilst still present was diminished very significantly.
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Re: Avoidance strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom
by Caroline McDermott - Tuesday, 26 July 2011, 02:11 PM
 
I can think of several pupils in my school who frequently have to go to the loo etc in class. However, only some are dyslexic. I guess it's a question of taking note of this and watching out for other avoidance tactics then broaching the subject of dyslexia (if the pupil has not been confirmed as dyslexic). Also if you are the subject teacher, noting when the dyslexic pupil has asked to go to the loo, ie what were they being asked to do. It may be that the teacher has to adapt materials, change teaching style in order to accommodate the pupil's needs thereby preventing them from opting out - opting out is not a solution and may well escalate.
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Re: Avoidance strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom
by Caroline McDermott - Tuesday, 26 July 2011, 02:11 PM
 
I can think of several pupils in my school who frequently have to go to the loo etc in class. However, only some are dyslexic. I guess it's a question of taking note of this and watching out for other avoidance tactics then broaching the subject of dyslexia (if the pupil has not been confirmed as dyslexic). Also if you are the subject teacher, noting when the dyslexic pupil has asked to go to the loo, ie what were they being asked to do. It may be that the teacher has to adapt materials, change teaching style in order to accommodate the pupil's needs thereby preventing them from opting out - opting out is not a solution and may well escalate.
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Re: Avoidance strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom
by Irene McIlchere - Wednesday, 17 August 2011, 03:06 PM
 
Some years ago I taught in the infant department of a local primary school. One boy kept asking for a pencil until I said I was giving him no more. He was delighted, no pencil, no work! I later discovered that he was eating the pencils so that he would be unable to complete tasks. Even at the age of six he knew 'writing was too hard'.
He was assessed at the age of 8 and was diagnosed as having Specific Learning Difficulties.
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Re: Avoidance strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom
by Therese Smith - Thursday, 22 September 2011, 05:23 PM
 
I am currently working with a primary three boy who has displayed all the classic signs and symptoms of avoidance strategies in the classroom and is a very angry and frustrated boy. He is regularly absent from school and as a result it is difficult to address the gaps in his learning. This is compounded by his parents lack of interest in meeting with SMT  and SFL team!