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Dr Nola Firth Hon Research Fellow Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Dyslexia Roundtable Adelaide June 13, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr Nola Firth Hon Research Fellow Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Dyslexia Roundtable Adelaide June 13, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr Nola Firth Hon Research Fellow Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Dyslexia Roundtable Adelaide June 13, 2014

2 Introducing myself Hon. Research Fellow – Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and The University of Melbourne Co-author ‘Success and Dyslexia’ Member National Dyslexia Work Party Churchill Fellow – Dyslexia in USA, UK, Canada Member DEEWR expert advisory group 2010 ( measurement of student disability) Teacher dyslexia professional development Swinburne University President, Learning Difficulties Australia (2001) – Special Education Consultant (LDA)

3 Overview Recent positive changes in dyslexia policy and practice in Australia International best practice - USA, Canada, UK, Netherlands The way forward

4 Recent changes within Australia Positive federal response to NDWP recommendations – Explicit recognition of dyslexia as falling under the DDA Review Disability Standards for Education – Awareness of rights, compliance review Language : Dyslexia named in the new national disability measurement model Raising Children website State Education Department on-line training ‘Dyslexia friendly’ schools and resilience support

5 Helping people with dyslexia: a national agenda Recognition of dyslexia as a disability under a nationally agreed definition Mandatory teacher dyslexia education Adoption of ‘dyslexia friendly’ practice in schools and workplaces including: – Free, systematic diagnosis – Non print options including targeted use of ICT Effective resilience programs/environments for young people who have dyslexia Reference: Dyslexia Working Party (2010), carers/publications-articles/general carers/publications-articles/general

6 A satellite ‘dyslexia friendly’ school now in most states in Australia Four are here today! Also: Robina P.S., Gold Coast Wedge P.S., Melton, Victoria Dyslexia Coordinator (Andrew Bridge) Teaching handbook notes Reading difficulty in the family? ‘Success and Dyslexia’ resilience program dyslexia coping awareness, positive thinking, assertiveness

7 Resilience and Dyslexia Genetic, life-long phenomenon, highly resistant even to skilled teaching Students at risk of giving up, disruptive behaviour, school dropout, mental health problems, unemployment. Reference: Chan & Dally, 2000; Deshler, 2005; Lackaye,Margalit, Ziv, Ziman, 2006; Nelson & Harwood, 2011; Raskind, Goldberg, Higgins & Herman, 1999; Shaywitz, Morris, & Shaywitz, 2008; Rose 2009. Adaptive coping/resilience is a better predictor of outcome than extent of dyslexia Reference: Margalit, 2003; Raskind, Goldberg, Higgins & Herman, 1999; Raskind, Margalit & Higgins, 2006.

8 Successful adults who have dyslexia Have goals Are self aware and adapt in the light of their LD Persist in the face of failure Learn creative ways to compensate Have effective coping strategies Make use of support systems Choose a career that fits their strengths Reference: (Reiff, Ginsberg and Gerber, 1995; Raskind, Golberg, Higgins and Herman, 2002; Hellendooorn & Ruijssenaars, 2000; Nalvaney et al., 2010 Madaus, Zhao & Ruban, 2008)

9 International dyslexia best practice Specific learning disabilities (dyslexia) has explicit legal recognition as a disability in USA, Canada, UK. Underpinned by human rights, disability discrimination legislation – Further detailed in education legislation

10 Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (UK) Part 4 Code of Practice 4.3 Physical or mental impairment includes sensory impairments and also hidden impairments (for example, mental illness or mental health problems, learning difficulties, dyslexia and conditions such as diabetes or epilepsy). People who have had a disability within the terms of the Act in the past continue to be protected from discrimination even if they no longer have the disability. People with severe disfigurements are also covered. Reference: schools_code.pdf schools_code.pdf

11 Code of Practice for Schools EXAMPLE 5.17D At the end of a lesson, homework, is written on the board. A pupil with dyslexia is unable to copy it down in the time. He is given a detention for not doing his homework. Is this less favourable treatment for a reason related to the pupil’s disability? The reason for the detention is the failure to do the homework. This relates to his inability to write it down in the time available, which is a part of his disability.

12 A systematic pathway to diagnosis Netherlands: national insurance scheme pays if school doesn’t undertake the assessment UK, USA, Canada – school assessment

13 The Netherlands Health insurance diagnosis and tuition for ‘severe’ dyslexia ( since 2006) Dyslexia card Reference: Steeg & Firth, 2012

14 School based diagnosis must be followed by an ILP Parent agreed accommodations Self advocacy transition component - USA Legally accountable, focused document of measurable targets Independent review - USA

15 Mainstream schools Special education and resource teachers (USA, Canada) ‘Dyslexia friendly’ schools (UK) Mandatory teacher SLD education UK – 4000 extra teachers dyslexia trained, 2010 (Rose report, 2009)

16 SLD/dyslexia dedicated schools/ colleges Some government funded Well resourced (e.g., low student/teacher ratio, software) Self-advocacy transition programs Resilience programs

17 ‘Dyslexia Friendly’ model Awareness - by staff, students, parents and the community Specific mention in policy documents e.g. strategic plan, welfare Induction – explicit reference Parent information (fact sheets, newsletter, seminars, initial information) School Council/community information (presentations) Teacher training (e.g. SPELD courses)

18 Systematic diagnosis and monitoring Specific progress goals set and monitored (e.g 10 % improvement in English scores for SLD students, ILP goals for individual students) Profiles with exact strengths and difficulties (e.g. difficulty with phonic analysis, good oral comprehension, low short term auditory memory)

19 Systematic 2nd and 3rd wave reading, spelling, maths support Frequent revision (spelling - most used words) Motivation (read for interest, related to class work) Both phonic analysis and context (many SLD people have great difficulty with phonic analysis and/or visual memory)

20 Low print options – input and output Chunking into diagrams, tables Visual cues – underlining, highlighting Scribe, reader, reading test (5 errors per 100 words), summarising, shortening sentences Other mediums – Drawing, construction, drama, interviews, Powerpoint presentation, student as teacher – Audio, video, ipod – IT support: predictive typing, text to speech, speech to text

21 Increased assessment options Increased time allowance Non-print based (e.g. scribes, audio) Opportunity for correction and re- assessment Focus on assessment of specific targeted skills Include positive feedback

22 Further Information UK content of concern/discussion has moved – Extent of dyslexia – Co morbidities – Dyslexia week Employer responsibility (UK) – Employer courses and support (BDA, dyslexia solutions) – Justice professional’s booklet – Liverpool Council – 14 depts ‘dyslexia friendly’ accreditation

23 The way forward Include dyslexia examples in the guidelines for Disability Standards for Education A federal definition of dyslexia to be adopted for the national counting of dyslexia (NCCD) Mandatory teacher training (AITSL) Systematic diagnosis of dyslexia established (school or NDIS) Add an oral comprehension section in NAPLAN Create ‘Dyslexia friendly’ environments as expected school practice ( AITSL) including: – Tailored reading/spelling – Resilience programs – Text to speech, speech to text software in all schools


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