Tag Archives: dyslexia

Dyslexia, Literacy and Inclusion – Conference

Conference organisers and presenters at the Joint North South Conference - Dyslexia, Literacy and Inclusion on Friday 12th March 2010 in Saint Mary’s University College, Belfast
Conference organisers and presenters at the Joint North South Conference – Dyslexia, Literacy and Inclusion on Friday 12th March 2010 in Saint Mary’s University College, Belfast

To help fund a conference which seeks to:

  • Develop a dynamic interface on the island of Ireland that will harness educational theory, research and practice on the special educational needs, dyslexia for the purposes of enhancing learning and teaching in schools.
  • Promote collaboration between Northern Irish and Southern Irish educational practitioners into what constitutes best practice in the identification and management of dyslexia.
  • Contribute to an overall knowledge-based society and inform the educational inclusion debate in the North and South of Ireland.
  • Bring together a nucleus of academics, educational psychologists, NGOs ( for example, representatives from the Northern Ireland Dyslexia Association) and curriculum developers from the North and South of Ireland who are interested in the area of dyslexia, and to sustain this initiative through the creation of a discussion group via e mail to disseminate research and examples of best practice.



Teaching pupils with SLD (Dyslexia)

  • Focus on what is done well and give praise and encouragement. Be wary of asking pupils to read aloud in a large class. If necessary for oral assessment etc. give them cue cards with small amounts of text rather than one long block of text.
  • When marking tick the correct work – don’t highlight all the mistakes. With older children a dot in the margin is a good way to indicate mistakes rather than using lots of red pen.
  • Give written instructions for homework and in class, try to write instructions on board.
  • Don’t give out too much work at one time.
  • If possible, consider other ways of recording work, e.g. tape recorders, diagrams, computer etc.Encourage the child to think what he/she has to do before starting and perhaps verbalise it to you.
    Display key words/subject vocabulary on walls; provide word banks.
  • Provide photocopied notes; highlight or underline key phrases etc. Increasing the line spacing between rows of word may help. Try different fonts in word processed work, e.g. Comic Sans size 14/16 is reported to be quite successful with those who have SpLD. Even in 6th form where pupils are considered to be capable and relatively independent it is important to give them full sets of notes as they are not likely to be able to take notes and achieve full understanding at the same time. If possible provide the notes a day or so before the lesson so that the pupils can read them and be ready with questions; this can help where delayed processing is an issue.
  • Provide support in form of frameworks for writing. The pupils may lack organisational skills. Mind maps and diagrams can be very helpful. These pupils may need longer than others to produce written work.
  • Sometimes pupils with dyslexia find it hard to concentrate. Using a visual timetable/list of things which have to be done may help, e.g. date, title etc. when completing a piece of writing.

Further Information

A Dyslexic Child in the Classroom by Patricia Hodge

Dyslexia and Maths

Dyslexia and Handwriting

Dyslexia in School: Planning and Implementing Appropriate Teaching Interventions

Readability Essay (D Wilson)

Teachers’ Questions and Answers (pdf)

Strategies for Mainstream Teachers

Teachers’ Questions and Answers (pdf)

Tips for learning number words from



An Introduction to Concept Mapping

Inclusive Dyslexia Friendly Practice

ICT and SLD (Dyslexia)

Instead of giving written handouts of information or instructions why not type them and allow the child to use the speech facility to read them for him/her. Pupils who need the text enlarged or the background colour changed can easily do this.

The auto-correct facility within some word processing packages allows learners to enter their most common mistakes and the correct spelling. When the error occurs the program will correct it automatically. For those who say this is simply a way round the problem rather than a solution, the fact is that too many pupils will produce nothing if they spend all their time correcting errors.

Electronic spellmasters (e.g. Franklin) are a great help for pupils, particularly on field trips etc. when a dictionary would be out of place.

A handheld voice recorder can be very useful

Homework requirements can be dictated

A pupil can record ideas or notes for essays before writing them up.

Results from science experiments can be recorded.

Taped versions of novels and textbooks (if possible) are a great help.

If you decide to use tapes it is important that you make it clear when they are to be used.

When they are being used in class the consent of other class members is important and they should understand and support the need for them.

Use short tapes for each lesson rather than one long one which might be difficult to search.

Using spreadsheets can give visual aid to pupils with dyslexia as they can be taught visual methods of laying out their work and this means they are less likely to get lost in the process of calculation.

Further Information

Considering ICT as a tool for Dyslexia (pdf)

CoPs Baseline Assesment is designed to help assess children when they enter school and will pinpoint strengths and learning needs.

Mastering Memory is a program which teaches a range of strategies designed to help auditory and visual memory. This is best used by older pupils.

Wordswork by Iansyst, is designed for dyslexic teenagers and adults and covers study skills such as essay writing, handwriting and time management.

The Interactive Calculator from Inclusive Technology gives very clear visual presentation, has auditory feedback and requires physical interaction. This calculator encourages pupils to estimate before calculating with the calculator.

Type to Learn teaches typing while reinforcing spelling, grammar, punctuation etc.

Touch-Type, Read and Spell has been of great help for children with dyslexia. It has over 600 modules.

An Eye for Spelling looks for letters patterns within words.

The Mystery of the Lost LettersThe Mystery of the Lost Letters
Pioneering CDRom produced by the BBC for D*I*T*T

Dyslexia International – Tools and Technologies (D*I*T*T) launches The Mystery of the Lost Letters: an adventure with Tintin and Snowy on the road to success, a groundbreaking tri-lingual tool designed to detect learning styles – based on diagnositic tests designed by educational psychologist Gavin Reid.

Aimed primarily at the 8-13 year-olds, this unique self-help learning tool has been produced by the BBC for D*I*T*T and stars dyslexic celebrities including poet Benjamin Zephaniah and architect Richard Rogers who all tell their story.

Users accompany Tintin and Snowy on a quest to find Professor Calculus. The engaging adventure masks a sophisticated diagnostic tool, which builds a profile of how the user learns best – cognitively, socially and environmentally. It then offers positive feedback on how to build on strengths and advice on how to cope with weaknesses.

Users can then click on the CD-Rom’s accompanying web site www.tosuccess.org – a major one-stop online resource centre, to be developed across the next five years.

Specific Literacy Difficulties (Dyslexia)

  • Three times as many males as females affected
  • Three types of dyslexia; motor, visual and auditory

Dyslexia is usually diagnosed by a psychologist based on data gathered by teachers and parents. In order to decide whether a child has SLD/dyslexia a picture of the whole child needs to be developed. It is likely that there will be marked deficits in their achievements despite being of average or above ability

SLD causes significant problems with reading writing and spelling, and sometime maths. Short-term memory, concentration, personal organization and sequencing can also be affected. In other respects many people with SLD are very creative.

Things to look out for: problems with phonics, poor short term memory and problems with distinguishing right and left. The child might seem bright in some ways but with a ‘block’ in others. The child may have difficulty with carrying out a sequence of three or more instructions. He/she may write letters and numbers the wrong way round, e.g. 17 for 71, 9 for 6, b for d etc. He/she may write a word in several ways without recognizing the correct version. There can be confusion with left and right and he/she may have a poor sense of rhythm. Learning about time and tense can also cause problems.

In older children he/she may make unexpected errors reading aloud, have difficulty copying and taking notes and spelling. He/she may have problems planning and writing essays and with mental arithmetic. It might take him/her a very long time to read a book with understanding. A lack of self-esteem is often apparent.

Dyslexia can be diagnosed at any stage in a pupil’s life. For many able pupils they are able to use coping strategies for years until the level or amount of work increases to such a state that they can no longer cope. For pupils with dual exceptionalities, e.g. giftedness and dyslexia this is most common.

Case Studies

Teaching Strategies

People who can help: SENCO/Resource Teacher


Further Information

Dyslexia Checklist Information taken from Dyslexia – Successful Inclusion in the Secondary
School edited by Lindsay Peer and Gavin Reid, 2001 London, David Fulton.

Dyslexia and Omega 3 Supplements

Neuro-Developmental Factors in Dyslexia
Identifying Dyslexia (In Touch June 2003)

Articles of Interest

Visual-Spatial Learning
The Power of Visual Thinking – downloadable article.

Case Study: Dyslexia

Eamonn is nine and on psychologist’s tests appears to be of average ability.  He did score low though on tests which measure his auditory sequential memory.  Eamonn hears and can use individual sounds but has trouble blending them together.  He needs to have regular practise using onset and rhyming activities.

Image of ABC
In class Eamonn’s teacher complains that he doesn’t listen or pay attention.  He has a limited sight vocabulary.  He does not take time to study words and will guess the word from the context or from the initial sound.

He has major problems with spelling, confusing fish as fhis and on as no, most as mots etc. If Eamon tries to sound a word he can often do it with the initial sound but if he is asked to repeat it without initial sound he cannot, e.g He can sound ‘boat’ but without the ‘b’ he has great difficulty. Eamon enjoys using the computer.

Report of the Task Group on Dyslexia

Recommendations on educational provision for children and young people with autism in the North and Republic of Ireland