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Dyslexia: Your Questions Answered. Dyslexia as understood in a Neuro-developmental Model of Assessment and Interventions. Agenda. Housekeeping Introduction of Lexicon Team Presentation Discussion. Introduction Lexicon Team. Rudolf Stockling

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dyslexia your questions answered
Dyslexia:Your Questions Answered

Dyslexia as understood in a

Neuro-developmental Model of Assessment and Interventions

  • Housekeeping
  • Introduction of Lexicon Team
  • Presentation
  • Discussion
introduction lexicon team
Introduction Lexicon Team

Rudolf Stockling

MSc (Psych) MAPS Registered Psychologist NSW Australia

Educational Psychologist

Director of Assessment Lexicon Reading Centre

Praveen Vasanthakumari

MSc (Psych), Sp. Ed., Education Therapist

Learning Specialist

Saloni Krishnan

MSc Cognitive Sciences BASLP

Communication and Speech and Language Therapist

Rania Anis Bin Taleb

MSc SPM PMI Member

Managing Director


presentation outline
Presentation Outline
  • The Neuro-developmental Model:


  • Dyslexia: What is it ?

Scientific Theories of Dyslexia

  • Dyslexia: Who has it ?

Characteristics of Dyslexia

  • Dyslexia: What to do about It ?

A) Assessment b) Interventions

5. Discussion

1 neuro developmental model
1. Neuro-developmental Model
  • Eight Constructs
  • 􀂄 Attention
  • 􀂄 Higher Order Cognition
  • 􀂄 Language
  • 􀂄 Memory
  • 􀂄 Neuro-motor Function
  • 􀂄 Social Cognition
  • 􀂄 Spatial Ordering
  • 􀂄 Temporal-Sequential Ordering

Attention Control




The Neurodevelopment Systems

Higher Order Thinking



Spatial Order

Sequential Ordering

2 dyslexia what is it

2. Dyslexia: What is it ?

Scientific Theories of Dyslexia

I saw a red surfbord laying on the rode. It look like my friend so I hid it in the bushis just in case. When I whent to the beach I saw my frend Spence he had his bord….
definition of the international dyslexia association
Definition of the International Dyslexia Association

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin.

It is characterized by

  • difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.
  • These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often
  • unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction.
how widespread is dyslexia
How Widespread is Dyslexia?

Likely to be dyslexic

% w/ reading disability

  • Current research shows that approximately 15-20% of the population has a reading disability.
  • Of that 15-20%, 85% are dyslexic

School population

neural basis of reading
Neural Basis of Reading
  • Left inferior frontal gyrus
  • Left temporo-parietal cortex
  • Left infero-temporal cortex

Speech sounds

Alphabetic code

Visual word



a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin

Brain Briefings, Society for Neuroscience

major current dyslexia theories
Major Current Dyslexia: Theories

1.Phonological Deficit Hypothesis

2.Double Deficit Hypothesis

3.Automaticity Deficit Hypothesis

4.Cerebellar Deficit Hypothesis

1 the phonological deficit hypothesis
1. The Phonological Deficit Hypothesis

Cause of Reading difficulties is in

phonological processing such as

problems in

  • sound segmentation


  • in word blending

both are critical for the development of reading and spelling.

2 the double deficit hypothesis
2. The Double Deficit Hypothesis

Two crucial deficits:

  • (i) Phonological processing problems
  • (ii) Rapid processing problems

(naming speed, comparing same different speed)

3 the automatization deficit hypothesis
3. The Automatization Deficit Hypothesis
  • The concept of an ‘automatization deficit’ explains the range of problems shown by dyslexic children.
  • Dyslexic children will have difficulties on any task that requires automatisation of skill.
  • Even on task where they appear to be performing normally they have to try harder to achieve the same results.
2 the cerebellar deficit hypothesis
2. The Cerebellar Deficit Hypothesis
  • Cerebellum may be an underlying causal factor for all the characteristics explained by the other theories
  • Cerebellum has many functions such as balance, motor control etc.
the role of the cerebellum in dyslexia
The role of the cerebellum in dyslexia
  • It’s role in making processes automatic relates to the difficulty experienced for Dyslexic people to become fluent readers.

Why specific to reading?

Severe problems arise for reading and spelling, because they require both good phonological skills and good automatisation - double difficulty!

  • How different are these theories?
  • Is this like the four men and the elephant?


(i) Different theories are at different levels of explanation

(ii) The type of explanation that is most valuable depends upon the question you are asking!

(iii) It may be that different dyslexic children suffer from different underlying causes.

why are many dyslexic children clever
Why Are many Dyslexic Children Clever?!
  • The cerebellum is needed for unconscious development of skill fluency. Skills can be acquired without the cerebellum .
  • The traditional seat of intellectual behaviour, the frontal lobes of the cortex, may well be completely spared, or even over-achieving.
  • IQ, metacognition, strategy use, knowledge etc. are all fine.
  • Dyslexia is not related to Intelligence
3 dyslexia who has it
3. Dyslexia: Who has it ?
  • Characteristics of Dyslexia
  • How do we recognize a child with dyslexia
2 d learners
2-D learners
  • Have talent for language
  • Good at sequence and time and events
  • Memory for abstract symbols—letters stand for something
3 d learners
3-D learners

Have a talent to make, do, draw, build

Often intuitive, creative, and good imagination

May take up to 1500 repetitions of seeing a word or letter to remember it

Do not do well with idioms

“knock it off”

Often seen as lazy or immature

not a single pattern that identifies a student with dyslexia
Not a Single Pattern that Identifies a Student with Dyslexia
  • Some
    • Reverse letters—others do not
    • Show related problems with spoken language—others do not
    • Have problems with attention—others do not
    • Have trouble retrieving words to recall them quickly—others do not
    • Have trouble with math—others are talented in math
  • Have problems with organization—others do not
  • Appear insensitive to others—others are very sensitive
  • Have a low self-esteem—others do not
  • Have difficulty with handwriting—others do not
  • Have a slow rate of writing—others do not
a student with dyslexia has a unique pattern much like your fingerprint
A Student with Dyslexia has a Unique Pattern Much Like Your Fingerprint
  • Person who reads well with poor Comprehension
  • Inaccurate reader with ok comprehension
  • Extremely slow reader
  • Strong speller and the slow reader
  • Adequate reader who has difficulty with all written expression including copying and spelling
  • One that has trouble with all of the above
activity 1 signs of dyslexia
Activity 1: Signs of Dyslexia
  • 1. Participants describe to each other a child they know who has been diagnosed with Dyslexia
  • 2. Group discusses the age appropriate warning signs described in the handout
  • 3. Add any other signs that you have observed
  • 4. One member reports to all participants
warning signs in preschool
Warning Signs in Preschool
  • Delayed speech; slow to add new words; difficulty finding the right word
  • Mixing up sounds or syllables in long words
  • Poor memory for nursery rhymes
  • Difficulty learning colours, days of week, numbers, shapes
  • Difficulty learning how to spell or write name
warning signs in k 3
Warning Signs in K-3

Difficulty understanding

  • that words can be separated into parts (firetruck: fire and truck)
  • that words can be separated into sounds (tip = /t/ /ĭ/ /p/)
  • Difficulty learning letter names and sounds
  • Difficulty reading single words; relies on context clues to recognize words; Can’t remember sight words
  • Slow choppy, inaccurate oral reading
  • Difficulty with daily spelling
warning signs grades 4 th high school
Warning Signs Grades 4th– High School
  • Has difficulty spelling – may use simplified vocabulary when writing.
  • Continues to have reading difficulty
  • Lacks fluency; reads slowly; avoids oral reading
  • Avoids reading for pleasure
  • Difficulty finding the right word when speaking
  • Dreads going to school
effects of dyslexia reach far beyond the classroom
Effects of dyslexia reach far beyond the classroom
  • Self-image
  • Feelings of being dumb or “different”
  • Feeling of being less capable than they really are
  • Stress due to academic or social problems
  • Discouraged about continuing in school
important to remember that
Important to remember that
  • students with dyslexia can learn
    • They just learn in a different way
    • Not a disease or result of an accident or injury but rather it describes a kind of mind
      • Often gifted and productive mind that learns differently
4 dyslexia what to do about it
4. DyslexiaWhat to do about it ?
  • Assessment of Dyslexia
what do consider
What do consider
  • Possible other issues / co morbidities
    • Cognitive Ability (Gifted / Slow Learner)
    • (Language / Non-verbal Issues
    • Psychological issues (ADHD / Anxiety Motivation / Self Esteem / Family Issues)
  • A thorough assessment is essential to determine the exact nature of the learning difference and to exclude alternative explanations for the problem
  • A diagnosis leads to a remediation plan


  • recommendations for interventions
assessment steps
Assessment Steps
  • Referral
  • Data Gathering
  • Testing
    • Psychological Issues
    • Ability (Language, Perceptual, Memory, Processing)
    • Achievement (Reading / Maths / Listening / Oral Language)
    • Reading / Writing Behaviour
  • Intervention Plan Formulation
data gathering informants
Data Gathering Informants
  • Information about the student
    • Student’s work samples, Test Results Reports
    • Teacher’s observations (Interview, Questionnaires, Informal)
    • Parent (Interview, Questionnaires)
areas of data gathering

Teacher reports

Previous assessments


Modifications (classroom teacher)

Academic progress reports

Samples of school work

Parent conferences

Speech/language (previous referrals)

OT, other interventions

Areas of Data Gathering
assessment instruments
Assessment Instruments
  • Have to be valid
  • Culturally appropriate
  • Assess the specific areas of educational need; not to provide a single general IQ
  • Have to accurately reflect student’s aptitude, achievement level and specific learning profile
assessment of general issues
Assessment of General Issues
  • Psychological Questionnaires (Parents / Teachers / Students) (Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment ASEBA)
  • Learning Style (Parents / Teachers / Students) Cognitive Processing Inventory (CPI)
  • Ability Wechsler Intelligence Scales (WISC-IV, WPPSI-III)
  • Achievement (Wechsler Individual Achievement Test WIAT-II)
  • Others depending on need

Literacy Specific Assessment Instruments

  • Reading single words in isolation
    • Wide Range Achievement Test 3 (WRAT-3)
    • WIAT-II Word Reading
  • Word Decoding
    • WIAT-II Pseudoword Decoding
  • Phonological Awareness
    • Phonological Awareness Test (PAT)

Letter Knowledge

    • WIAT-II Word Reading
  • Fluency / Rate and Accuracy:
    • WIAT-II Reading Fluency
  • Reading Comprehension:
    • WIAT-II Reading Comprehension
  • Spelling:
    • WIAT-II Spelling
  • Orthographic Encoding / Decoding-- Phonetic Reading Chain Diagnostic Reading Assessment
differential diagnosis
Differential Diagnosis

Good evidence for three forms of disability

in reading that

      • co-occur and
      • occur in isolation
  • Word recognition
  • Comprehension
  • Fluency
activity 2 case studies
Activity 2 : CASE STUDIES
  • Each Group receives the assessment profile of a child.
  • Look at the assessment profile and discuss if that child could be diagnosed with Dyslexia.
  • We do first Case Study together
ss standard scores distribution
SS Standard Scores Distribution
  • Very Superior Range >130 2.2 % of Students
  • Superior Range 120-130 6.7 % of Students
  • High Average Range 110-120 16.1.% of Students
  • Average Range 90-110 50.% of Students
  • Low Average Range 80-90 16.1.% of Students
  • Borderline Range 70-80 6.7 % of Students
  • Extremely Low <70 2.2 % of Students

Case Study 1: Rania/ Year 5

WISC-IV Full Scale IQ Average


Listening Comprehension 105

Word Reading: 77

Reading Comprehension 77

Pseudoword Reading 67

Spelling 83

Alphabet: No difficulty

Consonant sounds: 19/21

Short-vowel sounds: 1/5


Yes / No

Phonological Awareness: 85

Phonological Memory: 103

Rapid Naming: 91


Case study: Praveen Year 4

WISC-IV FSIQ Average Range


Word Reading: 73

Reading Comprehension 98

Listening Comprehension: 104

Pseudoword Reading 89

Spelling 75

Phonological Awareness: 85

Phonological Memory: 97

Rapid Naming: 76


Yes / No

Alphabet: no difficulty

Consonant sounds: 19/21

Short-vowel sounds: 4/5


Case study: Rudy Year 5

WISC-IV FSIQ Low Average Range


Listening Comprehension 96

Word Reading: 103

Reading Comprehension 118

Pseudoword Reading 101

Spelling 102


Phonological Awareness: 100

Phonological Memory: 88

Rapid Naming: 88

Yes / No

Alphabet: no difficulty

Consonant sounds: 20/21

Short-vowel sounds: 2/5


Case study: Saloni Year 5

WISC-IV Borderline Range


Reading Comprehension 86

Word Reading 78

Pseudoword Decoding 82

Spelling 80

Alphabet: unable to recite or write

Naming lower case letter: 25/26

Consonant sounds: 18/21

Short-vowel sounds: 5/5


Yes / No

Phonological Awareness: 73

Phonological Memory: 76


Tests Do Not Evaluate, they give Information

People Do Evaluate

reading rope


● Background Knowledge

● Vocabulary Knowledge

● Language Structures

● Verbal Reasoning

● Literacy Knowledge


fluent execution and

coordination of word

recognition and text





● Phonological Awareness

● Decoding (and Spelling)

● Sight Recognition



Reading Rope

Reading is a multifaceted skill, gradually acquired over years of instruction and practice.

p. 54

principles of interventions
Principles of Interventions
  • Based on thorough Assessment and knowledge of learner
  • Measurable goals developed after assessment
  • Identifies strengths
  • Determines the skill deficits to be addressed
  • Uses preferred learning modalities
  • Active participation of learner
  • Strategy based on the above
major intervention strategies
Major Intervention Strategies
  • A Multisensory Instruction
  • B Guided Discovery
  • C Mastery Learning
a multisensory teaching
A Multisensory Teaching

Uses the Four Pathways of Learning

  • Auditory
  • Visual
  • Kinaesthetic
  • Tactile
multisensory teaching
Multisensory Teaching

Simultaneous and alternative deployment of visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, and tactile sensory modalities that supports the connection of oral language with visual language symbols

multisensory teaching1
Multisensory Teaching

Example: /k/ = ck

Discovering a new letter-sound association by listening to words with the same sound in the final position while looking at the mouth in a mirror feeling how it’s made, seeing a list of the words and writing the new digraph.

It is a systematic step-by-step approach, proceeding from the simpler to the more complex in orderly progression in an upward spiral of language development.
what is taught
What is Taught?
  • Phoneme and Phonological Awareness
  • Sound-Symbol Association
  • Syllable Instruction
  • Morphology
  • Syntax
  • Semantics
using multisensory strategies
Using Multisensory Strategies


•Discriminate number of sounds in spoken words

•Say key word and sound

•Segment spoken word into syllables

•Listen for base words, roots and affixes

•Paraphrase sentences accurately

using multisensory strategies1
Using Multisensory Strategies


* Look at mouth to see mouth position

* Look at card with letter and key word

* Look at printed word to identify vowel sounds and number of syllables

* Identify base words, prefixes and suffixes

using multisensory strategies2
Using Multisensory Strategies


•Feel voicing airflow /th/

•Form letters with play dough

Write in sand tray

•Feel sandpaper letters and words

using multisensory strategies3
Using Multisensory Strategies


•Arrange letters in alphabetical order

•Use tokens to segment sounds in spoken words

•Feel movement of articulatory muscles

when phonemes are spoken

•Build words with syllable cards

lesson plan format
  • Alphabet/Phonemic Awareness
  • Letter Sounds Review
  • Spelling Sounds
  • Discovery of Linguistic Concept
  • Handwriting
  • Reading Practice
  • Spelling Practice
  • Review of Today’s New Learning
  • Extended Reading/Writing
  • Listening/Comprehension
activity 3 multisensory teaching task teaching consonant blends

Activity 3: Multisensory teachingTask: Teaching consonant blends


Group teaching of blends ‘sl’, ‘br’, ‘tw’ and ‘sm’

Visual: Presenting blend printed on flash card.

Auditory: Say the name of the blend ,say the key word of the picture & then the sound of the blend.

Student repeats the key word and the sound of the blend.

Teacher says sound and student repeats

Kinaesthetic: Student writes the blend, copying from the model, saying name as he/she writes it.

Student writes it from memory, reads what has been written and giving the sound.

Student writes blend with eyes closed – to enhance kinesthetic feed back.

6. Tactile: Form the blend with play dough while saying it

b guided discovery
B Guided Discovery
  • Guided discovery involves the student’s pathways of learning.
    • (Auditory/Visual/Kinaesthetic/Tactile)
  • Socratic questioning or “guided questioning” is leading students to the answers without telling them.
  • Because of the memory systems and the need to stimulate multiple modalities, the “discovery” approach to instruction is effective with dyslexic students.
auditory discovery
Auditory Discovery
  • Uses questioning techniques for auditory discovery,
  • linking the new to the known, and
  • building on similarities or differences.
      • What do you hear that is the same?
visual discovery
Visual Discovery

After auditory discovery,

the visual symbols representing the new concept or phoneme are presented

using questioning techniques to lead students to self-discovery.

  • What do you see that is the same?
kinaesthetic tactile discovery
Kinaesthetic / Tactile Discovery

Skywriting / Walking Shapes/ Play dough creation of symbols

  • Are some of the techniques used in kinaesthetic-tactile discovery
  • Make, Trace & Copy letter shapes
  • Workbook
  • Spelling Notebook
elements of discovery learning
Elements of Discovery Learning


Develops natural curiosity to learn

Links new with old knowledge

Holds interest

Active participate responsibility

Develops ability to retrieve information

Discovery Learning

Strengthens knowledge of relationships between concepts

Develops decision-making skills

c mastery model of teaching and learning
C Mastery Model of Teaching and Learning
  • Uses the Following:
    • Prior Knowledge
    • New Learning
    • Review
    • Practice
mastery model of teaching learning
Mastery Model of Teaching & Learning




Prior Knowledge





New Learning



Short term memory





mastery model teaching
Mastery Model Teaching
  • Simultaneous Multisensory Instruction
  • Guided Discovery
  • Intense Instruction/Consistent Practice
  • Systematic and Cumulative
  • Synthetic and Analytic
    • Synthetic: how letters come together to

form a word

    • Analytic: breaking a word into smaller parts
Periodic measures of progress
    • Bench Mark Measures determine progress at each level of training
    • Assures teacher that student’s knowledge is secure before advancing to next level
    • Success on each measure serves as motivational incentive for student while encouraging self-confidence
    • New learning based on well-established concepts to enable student to integrate skills systematically, successfully, and permanently

Effective Scientific Instruction








If instruction is planned to meet the

differing needs of learners, it is individualized.

  • If instruction is based on the knowledge

and skill of experts from many fields,

including education, psychology, and language theory we call it multidisciplinary.

If the sounds of the letters can be blended into words for reading, and the words can be divided into the sounds they are made of for spelling and writing then we call the process


  • If instruction simultaneously uses the

learning pathways of visual (seeing),

auditory (hearing), and kinaesthetic (movement), tactile (touch)

then it is multisensory.

Material is organized and taught in a way that is logical and fits the nature of our language. The procedure is systematic.
  • The learner moves, step by step, in order, from simple, well-learned material to that which is more and more complex, as he or she masters the necessary body of language skills. The teaching is sequential.
  • Each step of the way is based on those already learned. The process is cumulative.
The ultimate goal is for a student to understand the reasons for what he is learning so that he can think his way through language problems. The purpose of it all, from recognizing a letter to writing a poem, is getting meaning from one person’s mind to another’s. Communication is paramount.
good news
  • Good news is that students with dyslexia can be helped to cope with their difficulties if their learning profile is scientifically diagnosed and if they are taught on evidence based methodologies
  • using multisensory teaching methods, within a discovery learning framework to mastery level of each skill
  • they can learn to read and write to a level appropriate to their general ability.
Perhaps most important of all, with the understanding, support, and encouragement of parents and teachers they can avoid the hurt and burden of failure and frustration that affects their lives.