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HARPER ADAMS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE Dyscalculia and Dyslexia Interest Group Sarah Parsons & Jane Hill Innovations Conference 13th April 2005 Characteristics.

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Presentation on theme: "HARPER ADAMS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE Dyscalculia and Dyslexia Interest Group Sarah Parsons & Jane Hill Innovations Conference 13th April 2005 Characteristics."— Presentation transcript:

1 HARPER ADAMS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE Dyscalculia and Dyslexia Interest Group Sarah Parsons & Jane Hill Innovations Conference 13th April 2005 Characteristics of Dyslexic and Dyscalculic Students

2 HARPER ADAMS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE Harper Adams University College Small, friendly, specialist HE college Students known by name Aspire CETL –Advancing Skills for Professionals in the Rural Economy Agriculture subject has 2 nd highest levels of dyslexia nationally (HESA) 1700 FTE students (approx.) 14% of students with dyslexia (approx.) 25% 1 st and 2 nd year engineers dyslexic (approx.) Small number of dyscalculic students

3 HARPER ADAMS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE Mathematics Support for Students Sarah Parsons – Learning Support Tutor / Snr. Lecturer Mathematics support provided since 2001 Engineering Mathematics supported & lectured Many dyslexic engineers supported and successful All students study and must pass statistics Dyslexic students supported for general maths Dyscalculic students supported (few)

4 HARPER ADAMS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE Learner Support for Students Jane Hill – Disability Co-ordinator HASDAS project - Harper Adams’ Support for Disabled Applicants & Students Admissions support Dyslexia screening Psychological & needs assessments arranged Dyslexic students’ study skills support provided Examination support provided

5 HARPER ADAMS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE General Effects Often ‘treated as stupid’ pre-diagnosis Often lower career aspirations Lower self-confidence and self-esteem May choose HND route, not BSc, BEng Dyscalculics were often were in lowest maths set, with disruptive class behaviour (by others) Anxiety, sometimes panic (e.g. in exams) Greater parental involvement and anxiety

6 HARPER ADAMS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE Mathematics Problems of Dyslexic Students Specific Learning Difficulty Lack of confidence, anxiety Mistakes in copying to next line, e.g. + and -, + and x, digits p & q, confused fractions inverted decimal points omitted or in wrong position Parts of questions/whole question/pages omitted in exams Difficulty reading & understanding questions Difficulty reading notes and handwriting

7 HARPER ADAMS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE Strategies to Aid Dyslexic/Dyscalculic Students Provision of printed notes Identify & repeat key information - wood from trees Provide formula sheets, early in module Encourage learning of symbols Work at students’ pace – time to think Students do the work Try to link with students’ knowledge / interests Support, encouragement, reassurance Friendly, lighthearted, interactive

8 HARPER ADAMS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE Dyscalculic Student Comments ‘Iv hated maths since iv done my GCSE, but found it increasingly difficult as im getting older.’ ‘I have always been bullied at school for number related problems such as being bottom in yearly exams, or not being able to tell the time correctly. Strangely this has pushed me to try harder at everything, just to prove these people wrong.’ ‘Until I was nine I could only count to ten … I still have to take a lot of time over doing anything involving numbers, my GCSE took 5 hours extra lessons a week, but I got there!’

9 HARPER ADAMS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE Dyslexic HND Engineer ‘It has made it a lot harder to learn. I’ve had to try harder than some other people. In young years at school, 10,11,12 years old people just treated you like you were stupid. When I was 13/14 it was identified because of pressure by my parents. For nearly 6 years my mother had been asking and saying I might be dyslexic. … Being identified was important … The biggest hit on me was making it difficult to learn at the start. The confidence boost of getting help off the start was like a release factor, you were given the nourishment to get going and learn.’

10 HARPER ADAMS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE Extracts from Assessments Dyslexic and Dyscalculic Student shows relative cognitive weaknesses in arithmetic shows marked weakness in mathematics considering higher general ability shows difficulty in organising written work and in reading comprehension and also in some basic mathematical processes and the more visual aspects in mathematics Numeracy (Dyslexic student) ability is well below that expected for age and intellectual ability finds maths a difficult subject to learn, despite having the intelligence and mathematical potential to do so Difficulties with mathematics are directly related to weaker processing and short term memory

11 HARPER ADAMS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE Dyslexic/Dyscalculic Student Result types Successful hardworking students who take up support and achieve well Students who initially struggle but persevere and manage with effort and support. Some can be transformed and succeed beyond expectations Students whose difficulties cause ongoing problems, sometimes less motivated and hardworking Spectrum of outcomes

12 HARPER ADAMS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE Summary No ONE stereotype dyslexic/dyscalculic student ’No two dyslexic individuals are the same’ Steve Chinn Range of outcomes: Successful achievers, Strugglers, Perseverers, … Provide support and encouragement Students must put in effort, often more than peers Don’t limit students’ potential The determination of individuals plus support can often enable students to overcome difficulties and achieve amazing success


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