Forum - Hidden Dyslexia courses for Teachers

Coping strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom by Moira Thomson - Saturday, 19 March 2011, 03:21 PM

 
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Coping strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom by Moira Thomson - Saturday, 19 March 2011, 03:21 PM
by Alasdair Andrew - Saturday, 26 January 2013, 5:56 PM
 

Think of a pupil you have had in a class who has apparently employed one (or more) of the coping 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: Coping strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom by Moira Thomson - Saturday, 19 March 2011, 03:21 PM
by Alasdair Andrew - Saturday, 26 January 2013, 5:56 PM
 
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Re: Coping strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom
by Kamil Trzebiatowski - Tuesday, 7 June 2011, 01:54 PM
 
Sadly, I didn't take steps, actually, as I wasn't as acutely aware of the issue as I am now. I would certainly take notice now.

About 5 years ago I had a student who would repeatedly insist on going to the loo. It was basically an every-day occurrence. It was a bit too frequent to be the case and there was no underlying purely medical problem. It was a student particularly weak at spelling and written work and now that I think about it, it usually did coincide with beginning writing exercises in my class. 

I suspect that the issue was being particularly stressed about writing and not being able to meet the time restrictions and not keeping up with the rest of the class.

Nowadays, I would take the appropriate steps.
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Re: Coping strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom
by deborah stead - Monday, 13 June 2011, 04:33 PM
 

I had a pupil that displayed a lot of those traits. They would most often say they didn't feel well just as the written part of the lesson would start. I would make sure that I gave them time to tell me how they felt and I would break down the task into bitesize time allocated chunks and would encourage and support them through the initial part. Once they were going the 'illness' faded. I would keep checking with them and feeding them the next bitesized chunk and praising what they had managed. They began to believe in themselves and would complete the task and would not need to go to the school reception 'ill'. I created a 'task sheet' that I would fill in for them to tackle and tick off so they could see the progress they made. I gave genuine praise and slowly thier 'illness' disappeared.

For another pupil who consistently forgot homework - I ensured they had the task printed out to stick in their planner and would have worksheets with visual reminders, it would be scaffolded - I rarely gave open ended tasks that would daunt them.

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Re: Coping strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom
by Mary Dunlop - Saturday, 20 August 2011, 02:06 PM
 
Yes Deborah, I recognise these avoidance tactics.

I too, as a Learning Support teacher, have used similar strategies to assist with organisational and memory problems but find that in mainsteam secondary school classes some pupils with learning difficulties are anxious not to be seen to need help as peer approval and gaining status are more important to them.
I always try to be sensitive and perhaps help several different pupils as a matter of course to become generally accepted and to encourage openness about confusion and mistakes.

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Re: Coping strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom
by Evelyn Mullen - Friday, 26 August 2011, 09:58 AM
 
I have often worked with the class teacher in helping to adapt the whole class approach towards approaches which support those with organisational and memory problems, e.g. an increased level of structure, breaking down instructions into smaller steps, limiting the number of instructions provided at any one time, visual cues and reminders. Although the majority of the class may be coping without these measures I have observed evidence that the majority of the class do benefit.
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Re: Coping strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom
by Denise Dupont - Monday, 11 July 2011, 04:34 PM
 
 

I can think of one child who became quite angry when asked to do written work. To the extent that he often had to be removed from the class for safety reasons. To help him he worked at these times with 1 to 1 support and worked in shorter chunks with set free choice in between which helped him.

 
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Re: Coping strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom
by Evelyn Mullen - Friday, 26 August 2011, 09:48 AM
 
ICT in the form of a laptop or an alphasmart is a good idea for learners in this position because it allows them to work independantly.

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Re: Coping strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom by Moira Thomson - Saturday, 19 March 2011, 03:21 PM
by Michael Woods - Tuesday, 14 January 2014, 1:56 PM
 
Last March, shortly after I had started work as an Essential Skills Trainer/Assessor, I encountered a mature learner in one of my group sessions at a local council refuse depot.

He did not mention anything about learning difficulties he may have had but did say that he hated school and that the teachers hated him!

This learner frequently looked over the shoulder of the person who was sat next to him and invariably would ask others what it was he should actually be doing.

At the time I was not as well informed about dyslexia as I am now and did not give the circumstances too much attention, but I did end up trying to influence him to sit close to me so that I could keep an eye on him.

He made very few notes during the group sessions and that did take him considerably longer than the others to complete. However, he did relish practical tasks such as drawing graphs and charts. He could be heard asking others if he could borrow their hand written notes at the end of each and he would then bring typed up notes to the next session!

He was a very willing learner, extremely personable, very articulate, quite entertaining but always knocking himself down - evidence of deep rooted coping strategies perhaps, together with low self-expectations?

I subsequently found out by talking to his work colleagues that his wife was the one who typed up all his notes!!

On reflection, I do consider that he might have been dyslexic or that there might have been another unidentified underlying issue.

If I was to encounter a similar situation in the future, I certainly would suggest to the learner that they should consider completing a dyslexia assessment and also think about how tailored support and guidance may be of benefit to them and those around them.
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Re: Coping strategies employed by learners with dyslexia in the classroom by Moira Thomson - Saturday, 19 March 2011, 03:21 PM
by Neil Harding - Wednesday, 29 January 2014, 4:19 PM
 
I can recall working with numerous learners who applied such tactics; poor attention span, unwilling to participate, confrontation and poor levels of literacy. Unfortunately as I was new to teaching and working with 16-18 year olds, I placed most of these signs down to the age group and stereotyped them as "naughty" learners!

Due to my initial thought process and assessment of the learners I never considered dyslexia could be a root cause.

Each of these learners undertook a monthly 1-2-1 and review of learning. It was at this stage I began to question the learner about; educational history, issues, likes, dislikes and personal goals. By building up a rapport and relationship with these learners, I quickly realized that the conduct and behaviour they were demonstrating was due to learning ability and levels rather than being "naughty". I began to use different levels of reading materials and more interesting relevant subjects. I also relied on discussion and questioning as assessment methods. This engaged them far better and helped me establish that dyslexia wasn't the issue; engagement, purpose, enjoyment and more summative assessment was needed.