Wednesday, 10 June 2015

How Can We Help Our Children To Read By  Dyslexia Dublin CETC © 2015

There is a huge imbalance in those that read, those that struggle, those that don’t and those that wished they could, why.
Is it possible to stimulate reading in those who don’t or can’t read?
In my early years, I was often left to read alone. Like many I  then had to face the daunting challenge of being asked to read out aloud in the classroom and yes I can hear you all say been there, done that, wearing the tee-shirt.
You can liken this frightening experience to a visit to the dentist, school nurse or getting your haircut.
Leading to a negative effect on my wish to read and the belief in my ability to read.
We can have raised anxiety leading to panic attacks. This can be caused by a sudden onset of stimulation and over stimulation.
We can equate this to many functions within our lives.
So how do we go about changing this, we want everyone to have the chance to feel good about reading and the many benefits it brings in enriching our lives.
We know from modern research conducted into literacy problems at the Yale Research Centre By Bennit and Sally Shawitz
Recent research carried out by Dr John hutton and his team from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre.
They conducted tests on the benefits of early reading and improvement in cognitive development
This was found to be positive results by the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS)   in many areas including
reading skill development, verbal development, and image development, giving children a far greater cognitive advantage earlier in life.
The research by John Hutton breaks new ground and shows that reading from around three+ gives the child a greater chance of developing and improving vital skill sets that will benefit them at all points in future life. Improvements in the area of the brain that governs semantic (language and logic) reasoning.
Shared reading can be shown to build the imagination and get beyond the words in the book and stimulating that desire to read more.
By reading alongside our children, we can remove the fear of reading to others that may come in later life.
We can see when our children have a problem with reading or comprehending the words they are reading.
If we read age appropriate books, it can also help those parents that struggle with reading and scared by the very same process. This can also help with those children that have speech problems.
Shared reading keeps the child engaged and reading out aloud also improves retention skills as you are introducing both speech and hearing into the process.
Breathing patterns can also be honed while reading, and this improves the correct use of punctuation in story writing.
I know many parents have busy schedules and little time, but this is so important when developing early reading skills.
There are also huge benefits to the bonding process between parent and child.
This could so often apply to those who are learning another language besides their native tongue.
The survey of Dr John Hutton had positive outcomes and if we follow research such as this reading will become a trend and all of us will be the long term beneficiaries.
We all want nothing more than to encourage our children to read, this will strengthen their both their life skills and academic ability, and that can only end up benefiting us all..

NB. This information is from personal experience and research and also partly sourced through the work of others.  It is purely for improving the understanding of dyslexia and to offer helpful advice.   Dyslexia Dublin  © 2015

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

The Why’s and How’s of the IEP (Individual education Plan)and the benefits to individuals in the learning environment (revised)  by  Dyslexia Dublin CETC © 2015

Just received your child's IEP or would like to know more

Specific Needs Education is the education of students with special needs in a way that addresses the students' individual differences and needs. This process involves the individually planned scheme of work with an agreed level of help…sometimes intense help… to achieve a learning objective, such as learning the alphabet for example. This will also give an outline of the resources required to achieve an outcome equal or close to their peers (see article on Accommodation for further details).
This will include provision of in class support (SNA) and one to one (resource teacher), requiring extra resource hours.
There are a range of learning needs and not all children in a class would have been through a diagnosis. The school however should be able to identify such students and should offer as much support as they possibly can. Parents must also be informed of this, which is key to helping move their individual child forward.
In most countries, inclusive education is in place; schools and teachers are changing the way in which they teach, to accommodate all students and allowing far more children with specific learning needs to be taught in the mainstream school.
Integration is less likely to cause stigma amongst the students as they are submersed in this modern learning environment. Inclusive education, with adequate resources and qualified knowledgeable staff, can offer almost everything to everyone in regard to education.
Specific learning needs students can be identified early in the learning process…observation of work and participation in group and solo activities can be monitored, along with performance in both testing and homework. These would all help to identify individuals that are struggling to understand the information being presented.
IEP (Individual Education Plan)
A learning programme should be agreed between teachers and this should also involve parents and the support staff within the school. This will vary from country to country and will be unique to the student that has been identified with a learning need. The IEP will set out the support and resources required to help the individual and will also document the resource hours and in-class provision (scribe…reader, etc.) required to help the student cope within the mainstream class.
As schools become more familiar with the range of individual needs, they will resource accordingly. This will require changes in the way they accommodate all within the group and this could be down to gaining physical access to classrooms (old schools) with the use of lifts to upper levels, to the introduction of computers for children who cannot write because of a physical disability. They must also take account of the child’s needs outside of the classroom during break times, to include access to the playground, toilets and eating facilities.
In the case of a child on the Autism Spectrum, it might be necessary to school them in a smaller group or classroom. This can also be the same with children who have SPD if they are tactile or not tactile, they might struggle to concentrate and would need to be positioned accordingly. This would also be the same for children with auditory processing problems and also those who may have visual stress.
Modifying the Lesson to include the IEP.
Students workload can be reduced and be more specific…for instance, handwriting can be in print rather than cursive to help students keep up with lessons that are dictated.
Project work can be assisted by giving the student a text book and also an audio or DVD to watch, such as Michael Morpurgo’s ‘War Horse’, for example.
Reduced homework given on a more consistent basis, with maybe one subject per night instead of several subjects…this also means there is less to forget and fewer books for the student to carry home.
Students should be given access to certain resources during testing, like the use of a calculator or having a bank of words to aid comprehension. Extra time for tests can also be agreed during the construction of the IEP.
ECM (every child matters) is an integral part of every school and classroom, or should be. The Teacher is responsible for ensuring the safety of all children in their care and take appropriate advice/action to maintain the safety of all.

If your child is starting a new school make sure the provision is there before you register them.

NB. This information is from personal experience and research and also partly sourced through the work of others.  It is purely for improving the understanding of dyslexia and to offer helpful advice in related areas.   Dyslexia Dublin  © 2015

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