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LTSN-GEES Special Education Needs Conference 19th October, 2001 Dyslexia in the Context of Higher Education Judith Waterfield University of Plymouth.

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Presentation on theme: "LTSN-GEES Special Education Needs Conference 19th October, 2001 Dyslexia in the Context of Higher Education Judith Waterfield University of Plymouth."— Presentation transcript:

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2 LTSN-GEES Special Education Needs Conference 19th October, 2001 Dyslexia in the Context of Higher Education Judith Waterfield University of Plymouth

3 Dyslexia

4 3 Key Features of Dyslexia in the Context of Higher Education i What is meant by dyslexia? F Dyslexia is a difficulty related to the understanding and usage of symbolic written language F Dyslexic people have problems with short term memory, sequencing and ordering

5 4 Differences Experienced by Dyslexic People l Poor short term or working memory l Blank out thinking process or speaking in the middle of sentences l Cant follow directions l Try to avoid writing in front of other people (e.g. writing cheques, notes, information) l Remembering and making sense of what people say – often ask for things to be repeated because they hear words but cannot make the link to meaning

6 5 l Need far more time to learn in the first place in order to achieve routine tasks with minimum attention to sub-skills l May have weakness in visual, motor or auditory skills – or processing difficulties in all these areas l Experience lack of confidence, self worth l Often non-assertive or over-assertive l Miscue what people say. l Often do not connect visual and verbal cues

7 6 l May need to complete tasks in small stages – too much information processing causes blocks l Maintaining concentration – become stressed, exhausted l Feel frustrations which are worsened by the life story of their experiences – i.e. you may experience the anger from others repeated action and response towards the dyslexic

8 7 l Often say the wrong word, or confuse words l Finding words in dictionaries to look up spelling and meaning – also memorising the alphabet – an alphabet arc is a useful aid l Miss small words when reading or listening to conversation – therefore often do the opposite of what is expected or required l Forget instructions

9 8 In the study process it can invade: i Memory F Retaining information long enough to record F Following instructions in practical sessions F Forgetting information learnt (especially under stress and time constraint) F Forgetting time, place, day for appointments F Word retrieval in group/individual oral presentation

10 9 In the study process it can invade: i Reading: F Word recognition, retrieval F Difficulty with scanning F Need to re-read over and over to make sense of & retain F Misreading words and facts F Missing lines, losing place, re-read the same line F Problems in finding facts, extracting relevant sections F Rate of reading

11 10 In the study process it can invade: i Written Assignments: F Poor syntax F Unable to see corrections F Poor links in ideas, planning and structure F Word retrieval F Remembering and using specialist words F Write less than their knowledge and understanding F Immature expression

12 11 In the study process it can invade: i Spelling: F May restrain writing of creative thoughts F Simple word use as a defence F May affect how the tutor perceives the student and evaluates work F Basic spelling rules forgotten or not applied F Reversals, substitution, foreshortening, addition to words F Dictionary problems

13 12 In the study process it can invade: i Handwriting: F Letter slopes in different ways F Slow, hampered by spelling and retention as well as motor difficulties F May print to cover up F Tire easily

14 13 In the study process it can invade: i Vocabulary: F Take longer to acquire subject words and use in context F High verbal skills and ideas which belie the quality of written work

15 14 Meares Irlen Syndrome

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19 18 Dyspraxia i Similarities to dyslexia and may co- exist in the same individual F Challenges: high levels of distractibility preference for single task activities Judging heights and distances Co-ordination, balance and self- positioning (therefore labelled clumsy) Practical work Handwriting

20 19 Dyspraxia i Similarities to dyslexia and may co- exist in the same individual F Challenges: high levels of distractibility preference for single task activities Judging heights and distances Co-ordination, balance and self- positioning (therefore labelled clumsy) Practical work Handwriting

21 20 Precept Eight Programme specifications should include no unnecessary barriers to access by disabled people

22 21 Precept 10 The delivery of programmes should take into account the needs of disabled people or, where appropriate, be adapted to accommodate their individual requirements.

23 22 Precept 11 Institutions should ensure that, wherever possible, disabled students have access to academic and vocational placements including field trips and study abroad.

24 23 Precept 13 Assessment and examination policies, practices and procedures should provide disabled students with the same opportunity as their peers to demonstrate the achievement of learning outcomes.

25 24 5.13 A student declares her disability on her application form. Once she is enrolled on a course she receives none of the support or adaptations that she needs. The tutor claims she does not know that the student is disabled. However, because the student has disclosed her disability the institution cannot claim it does not know about it. The failure to offer support and adaptations is therefore likely to be unlawful.

26 25 Issues for students with dyslexia embarking on traditional field work activities: taking accurate notes in non-classroom environments multi-sensory tasking – listening, observing, recording and reading speed of handwriting and legibility organisation of time orientation, reading maps slow reading speed for accurate comprehension

27 26 Issues for students with dyslexia embarking on traditional field work activities: visual perceptual difficulties with poorly photocopied material, particularly black print on white background remembering field trip arrangements group work recording data and making mathematical calculations.

28 27 Strengths of Dyslexic Students: i West (97) outlines the following aspects of dyslexia which when utilised in the learning process can benefit the student and their peers in group work or shared presentations: © Good powers of visualisation © Creative thinking skills © Visuo-spatial skills © A holistic rather than analytical approach © Good practical and problem solving skills ©

29 28 Visual and spatial modes of thought seem well suited to dealing with certain complex problems and are often closely associated with major creative achievements in the sciences as well as the arts In the Minds Eye - Visual Thinkers, Gifted People with Learning Difficulties, Computer Images and the Ironies of Creativity, By Thomas G. West

30 29 After some four hundred to five hundred years of growth in a highly verbally oriented system of education and knowledge, we may be seeing the beginning of a new phase in which, in reverse fashion, certain kinds of complex information will be increasingly handled visually rather than verbally. In the Minds Eye - Visual Thinkers, Gifted People with Learning Difficulties, Computer Images and the Ironies of Creativity By Thomas G. West


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