Saturday, 1 November 2014

Supporting children with difficulties in reading and writing - Week 3


  • Audition is a broad area of processing. Audition is how the brain makes sense of the sounds it receives from the ears.
  • Speech sounds can differ due to duration, pitch, loudness (vowels are louder), stress syllables
  • Auditory perception is not one thing


  • Visual part is not typically the primary cause of dyslexia
  • Motion perception/ eye movement problems
  • Visual stress - seeing highly contrasting visual images - providing special glasses or coloured overlays that seem to reduce visual stress.Research evidence is mixed for these solutions.
  • Magnocellular theory - - evidence also mixed - cause or effect?
  • Visual attention - the brain is deciding what to attend to. May find it easier to read a smaller window of text - may be better for some people.


  • Attention can be hyperactive or inattentive
  • If attention is not on instruction, can miss vital parts of instruction
  • May take approximate approach to reading - eg may miss words, change small words
  • If child has decoding issue, find reading frustrating - may show similar patterns
  • Different causes can cause similar behaviours - or can be an issue with both!
  • Children with a more primary reading issues tend to have bigger phonological issues.
  • If you read comprehension questions to a child with dyslexia, they can sometimes perform better without demands of decoding. Children with attention issues may show the reverse.
  • Do attention issues only occur at reading time?


  • Up to 60% of dyslexic children have issues with maths
  • A lot of rote learning in maths - difficult for those with dyslexic tendencies
  • Then don't have the foundations on which to build
  • Dyslexics can have issues with sequencing - challenge in maths
  • Focus on concepts rather than rote learning can help
  • Symbols can look very similar to dyslexic people
  • Word problems - different words used. Abstract, relational terms
  • Need to instil competence in early years


  • Difficulties in motor control, automatisms and spacial temporal organisation.
  • Difficulty in dressing, coordinate hands and legs to ride a bike, tie shoelaces etc
  • Appear to be clumsy
  • difficulty in reading time
  • Computer is useful because they find it hard to hold a pencil
  • Verbal intelligence is normal, sometimes superior
  • Visual/Spacial ability problematic
  • Difficulty with geometory - adaption - ask them to explain problem and you write or use app
  • Use computer as early as eight.
  • Often goes hand in hand with dycalcula

Oral Language Impairment

  • Phonemes often fuzzier
  • Non-dyslexic learners ignore unimportant variations while dyslexic learners tend to notice them - although this is controversial.
  • Difficulties in identifying fast temporal changes in oral language
  • Specific Language Impairment often comes with dyslexia.

Psychological Effects

  • Need more effort to succeed and not rewarded with results
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Can have a significant impact on the justice system
  • Need self-esteem to learn
  • Self-perception if negative difficult to deal with difficulties
  • Teacher has central role to recognise all children at school
  • Dyslexic child who experiences failure at school can develop four types of behviour:
    • Inhibition
    • Regression - requires attention, doesn't think by themselves
    • Projection - tries to ignore difficulties but will notice them in others and make fun of them, perhps violence
    • Displacement - get validation in other domains
  • Results often do not match the huge efAdvantage that dyslefort put in
  • Teachers must make sure they recognise the other abilities of these children

Positive Aspects

  • People with dyslexia can excel often in eg visualising things in 3D space 
  • Dyslexics have more of their brain for visual information
  • Professions where dyslexics excel - architect, engineer, designer, TV presenter, poet, singer, entrepreneur, salesperson

Pros and Cons of Labelling

  • Advantages - relief to put a word on something; some countries will allow adaptations at school
  • Disadvantages - sometimes child will give up; in some school systems then can get packaged intervention which doesn't always help; labels easy to give, hard to take away

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