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Dyslexia Assessment Joyce Fullarton Psychological Service.

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1 Dyslexia Assessment Joyce Fullarton Psychological Service

2 British Psychological Society Working Definition “ Dyslexia is evident when accurate and fluent word reading and/or spelling develops very incompletely or with great difficulty. This focuses on literacy learning at the ‘word level’ and implies that the problem is severe and persistent despite appropriate learning opportunities. It provides the basis for a staged process of assessment through teaching.”

3 Defining ‘dyslexia’ Definition Specific learning difficulties can be identified as distinctive patterns of difficulties relating to the processing of information within a continuum from very mild to extremely severe which result in restrictions in literacy development and discrepancies in performance within the curriculum. (Reid, 1996)

4 Terminology Concept of ‘diagnosis’ flawed. We now state that we ‘identify’ dyslexia Better to refer to a ‘learning difference’ or ‘learning needs’. Teachers assess strengths, learning style and areas in which teaching style may need to be adapted or additional support may be required

5 ER Dyslexia Guidelines Guidelines adhere to the above definitions Assessment should be contextual and completed over a period of time Assessment embedded within ER STINT system School make considered assessment Psychologist involved on a consultative basis in most cases

6 ER Dyslexia Guidelines Assessment should include: -A balance between child factors and environmental factors -Assessment of learning style -Assessment of the learning environment -Assessment of the learner’s perspective -The perspectives of parents and carers -Views of relevant professionals -Compilation of assessment profile

7 ER Guidelines: Role of the Dyslexia Advisor Support class teacher in terms of identifying literacy difficulties Support class teachers to differentiate curriculum Provide additional support to individuals of groups as appropriate Support teachers with preparation of IEPs where appropriate

8 Braidbar Primary Dyslexia Assessment Protocol 1)Early comprehensive screening in P2 2)Screening involves class teacher(s) dyslexia advisor School management and psychologist 3)STINT agreed 4)School complete further assessment on identified pupils 5)Further discussion with psychologist 6)Parents invited to attend feedback meeting ** If there is uncertainty or if it is felt that there may be more complex difficulties it may be decided that the EP will undertake further assessment

9 Reading Indicators (but depends on age and stage) Difficulty learning the connection between sounds and letters Difficulty separating words into sounds and blending Difficulty decoding words Misses sounds out Reads slowly Reading by memory Word substitutions (e.g. horse for home) Confusion of similar looking words and sounds (e.g. d for b) Transposals E.g. tip for pit Poor directionality (e.g. difficulty moving from left to right, misses out lines )

10 Writing Indicators Delay in learning to write Poor spelling Limited written output Transposition of words and letters (e.g. tip for pit) Reversals and inversions of letters (m for w, d for b) Mixing upper and lower case letters Badly or wrongly formed letters Difficulty copying from the board Disorganised sequencing in a story Confusion over punctuation and grammar

11 Language Poor phonological awareness Speech sound difficulties (present or in past) Sequencing difficulties (difficulty following a sequence of instructions, days of week, months of year) Word finding difficulties

12 Associated difficulties Visual stress/Meres-Irlen Memory difficulties Difficulty with maths (e.g. difficulty decoding mathematical symbols, difficulty with working memory affects mental maths ability, long term memory difficulty affects learning of multiplication tables, difficulty reading language embedded within maths activities) Difficulties with motor coordination

13 Discussion

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