An introduction to Dyslexia: impacts on learning Jan Stevens Senior Lecturer Senior Disability Advisor (Dyslexia) Tel. ext 4528
Today's session • What is dyslexia? • How does it impact on learning
Dyslexia – what is it? • Describes a different kind of mind - often gifted and productive - that learns differently • Each dyslexic person experiences their difficulties in different ways • Problems emerge, and are particularly observed by others, in reading, spelling, writing • BUT - it's not just these areas that are affected - can also affect speaking, listening and organisational skills
Cognitive processing • Memory • Information processing speed • Phonological awareness
Impact of dyslexia on acquisition of knowledge • Dyslexia is a receptive and expressive language processing weakness • It impacts on • information that comes in (received) • how it is organised (stored) • how it is retrieved (expressed)
Working memory • The ability to hold information relating to tasks in memory; may be highly sequenced or require many operations. • The basic skills of reading, reading comprehension and spelling make considerable demands on working memory. • Reading comprehension is particularly reliant on working memory, as it requires the ability to hold words and phrases in memory whilst simultaneously decoding other words to establish meaning.
Working Memory task • 6G1 16 G • 68I4E 468 EI • C73G6B 367 BCG • I83D41A 1348 ADI
Working memory • An inefficient working memory impacts on 'both verbal and written communication as well as on organisation, planning and adaptation to change (McLoughlin et al., 2002)
Dyslexia cont.... • So - it's not that a person with dyslexia can't read or spell - mostly they can, but they lack AUTOMATICITY in these skills, due to: • Short-term Memory (storage) • Working memory (processing) • Organisation • Weak phonological skills
Common 'Symptoms' • Short-term/rote memory • Reading • Spelling • Written expression • Handwriting • Grammar • Use of vocabulary – word retrieval • Concentration including listening • Pronunciation • Organisation • Sequencing – of information, time. • Mathematics
Come on, hurry up! Addysgu Mae gwaith yr Uned Dyslecsia yn ymesten dros ardal eang Gogledd-Orllewin Cymru, a'r rhan helaethaf ohoni'n wledig. O ganylniad, nid yw'r Uned yr cynnal canoflan addysgu. Mae ganndi swyggfeydd ac ystafelloedd at ddefnydd athrawon, ond addysgir yn bennaf mewn ysgolion neu leoedd eraill.
Copying • Several skills involved • Reading fluency and automaticity • Reliable working memory • Accurate tracking along the line • Accurate spelling • These skills tend to be inefficient for dyslexic students
Part of the Challenge • 40% of dyslexic students at University are identified as dyslexic whilst on their courses.
Why? • Dyslexia bears no relation to intelligence • Often because they have developed their own coping strategies which have previously worked well • Course demands – additional reading and writing increases anxiety and causes these strategies to break down more quickly • Can happen at anytime during their course. • Fear of finding out
Coping mechanism: remediation • Many mature students are "well remediated" • Are able to cope at challenging levels and tasks • Skills still fragile when facing new work • Weak automaticity
Cycles and Self Esteem • Anxiety - Stress -Panic • Tiredness - Frustration - Anger • Low Self Esteem
Those little words........ Extract from an exam paper on Computer Programming "The following constants have been declared as global to the whole programme."
What the student read...... "The following constraints have been declared as global to the whole programme."
Dyslexic strengths • creative • divergent • holistic • problem solver • good in groups • confident • vocal • strong orally • determined • resilient • motivated • resourceful
Inclusive Practice • Reasonable Adjustments • will always need these, but….. • An Inclusive Practice approach • helpful for all students