What is dyslexia (otherwise known as specific learning difficulties)? What are the signs and symptoms? How can you support children with the condition in your classroom? Find out the answers to these questions and more here.
What is dyslexia?
The Rose Report in 2009 offered a definition of dyslexia which is widely accepted. It is as follows:
Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.
What are the signs of dyslexia?
If you are a teacher or classroom practitioner and want to know what to look out for, the following signs or symptoms could mean that a child in your class has dyslexia:
- Difficulty learning new words
- Difficulty spelling
- Difficulty reading, or reading below expected level for age
- Problems forming words correctly, such as reversing sounds in words or confusing words that sound alike
- Problems remembering or naming letters, numbers and colours
- Difficulty learning nursery rhymes or playing rhyming games
- Problems processing and understanding what he or she hears
- Difficulty finding the right word or forming answers to questions
- Problems remembering the sequence of things
- Difficulty seeing (and sometimes hearing) similarities and differences in letters and words
- Inability to sound out the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word
- Spending an unusually long time completing tasks that involve reading or writing
- Avoiding activities that involve reading – this could manifest as “bad behaviour” so always remember to look out for a pattern or root cause!
Where can I find dyslexia support materials?
Dyslexia has been well documented for quite some time. As a result, there is a wealth of useful information out there to help you with your classroom practice. Here are some to get you started:
- Our partners at nasen have published a useful booklet with plenty of guidance in it.
- The Dyslexia-SpLD Trust is funded by the DfE and contains lots of articles and advice on supporting children with dyslexia.
- Dyslexia International have lots of links to games, worksheets and apps you may find useful.
- This dyslexia mind map is a useful summary of signs and symptoms which could be useful for staff training or to put up in the staff room.
- If you are a KS3 or 4 teacher, this guide on marking the written work of dyslexic pupils could prove very handy
- This report published by the Northern Irish government contains a wealth of useful information on supporting dyslexic pupils
Are you looking for a special needs teaching or support job in England or Wales?
If you’re looking for a SEND teaching or support job in England or Wales, why not register with Axcis, the SEND recruitment specialists? Or perhaps you need to recruit staff for your school or provision? If so, why not take a look at the Axcis Website, or get in touch today to find out how we can help?