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WHAT IS DYSLEXIA?

The BDA has adopted the Rose (2009) definition of dyslexia:

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed. Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities. It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points. Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia. A good indication of the severity and persistence of dyslexic difficulties can be gained by examining how the individual responds or has responded to well-founded intervention.

In addition to these characteristics The British Dyslexia Association  (BDA) acknowledges the visual and auditory processing difficulties that some individuals with dyslexia can experience, and points out that dyslexic readers can show a combination of abilities and difficulties that affect the learning process. Some also have strengths in other areas, such as design, problem solving, creative skills, interactive skills and oral skills. BDA (2010)

 

Some indicators of dyslexia are detailed below. It is unlikely that children will exhibit all of the characteristics and if children present with individual characteristics it does not always indicate dyslexia. In order to formally diagnose dyslexia a diagnostic assessment is required which includes additional information being provided from home and school to help form  a holistic profile which includes an individuals  strengths and weaknesses.


 

Indicators in the Early Years:

  • Sequencing difficulties eg visual patterns

  • Late speech development/mixed up phrases

  • Difficulty remembering known objects e.g. bed, shoe 

  • Struggles to learn rhyme e.g. cat/ mat pig/ big

  • Confusion between directional words

  • Difficulties remembering names of known objects

  • Enjoys being read to but shows little interest in letters or words

  • Difficulties learning/ clapping a simple rhyme/syllables

  • Coordination difficulties

Indicators in Primary School Aged Children:

  • Difficulties with reading or spelling

  • Writes letters and numbers the wrong way round e.g. b/d

  • Reads a word but will not recognise it further down on the page

  • Spells words several different ways in one piece of writing

  • Poor concentration for reading and spelling

  • Difficulties with time and tense

  • Has difficulty recognising sounds in words/poor sense of rhyme

  • Poor standard of written work compared to oral ability

  • Leaves letters out of words and/or writes them in the wrong order

  • Problems processing language at speed- needs instructions repeated

  • Areas of strength in other subjects

  • Poor confidence and self-esteem

  • Difficulties following instructions

  • Poor organisational skills

  • Handwriting difficulties.

  • Sequencing difficulties e.g. days of week and months of the year

  • Confusion with left and right

Indicators in Children 12 and above: 

  • Continues to find reading a challenge

  • Spelling and Reading inaccuracies 

  • Slow to process input and instructions - needs to be repeated

  • Confuses  times, places and dates

  • Poor organisational skills

  • Difficulties planning, organising, sequencing ideas and writing essays

  • Difficulties processing complex language

  • Difficulties with note toking  or copying from board

  • Word finding difficulties.

 

Dyslexia and Maths:

Dyslexia can have an impact on mathematical ability and can be seen in the following ways:

  • Answering words problems  due to reading difficulties

  • Short-term /working memory difficulties can affect a learner’s ability to remember methods, develop automaticity and complete mental arithmetic

  • Slow processing speed - impacting a learner’s ability to keep up with the pace in lessons which results in missing input and a lack of understanding

  • Difficulties with sequencing and logic skills - affecting ability to recognise patterns and follow procedures

  • May learn by rote but will not understand the overall  concept e.g. multiplication tables

  • May have perception difficulties and will find it difficult to interpret diagrams

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dslexia
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Dysculia

WHAT IS DYSCALCULIA?

British Dyslexia Association Dyscalculia definition (2019)

Dyscalculia is a specific and persistent difficulty in understanding numbers which can lead to a diverse range of difficulties with mathematics. It will be unexpected in relation to age, level of education and experience and occurs across all ages and abilities.

Mathematics difficulties are best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and they have many causal factors. Dyscalculia falls at one end of the spectrum and will be distinguishable from other maths issues due to the severity of difficulties with number sense, including subtilising, symbolic and non-symbolic magnitude comparison, and ordering. It can occur singly but often co-occurs with other specific learning difficulties, mathematics anxiety and medical conditions.

 

Some indicators of dyscalculia  are detailed below. It is unlikely that children will exhibit all of the characteristics and if children present with individual characteristics it does not always indicate dyscalculia. In order to formally diagnose dyscalculia  a diagnostic assessment is required which includes  additional information being provided from home and school to help form  a holistic profile which includes an individuals  strengths and weaknesses

  • Language difficulties:  understanding mathematical language 

  • Memory difficulties: short term, working memory and/or long term

  • Difficulties with estimation -  numbers and answers

  • Difficulties understanding basic number concepts - one to one correspondence,  number bonds, place value, multiplication and division and time

  • Counting backwards 

  • Weakness in visual/ spatial orientation

  • Slow processing speeds when completing  maths tasks 

  • Sequencing difficulties and identifying patterns

  • Problems with all aspects of money

  • Difficulty transferring from concrete to abstract

  • A marked delay in learning to read a clock/ tell the time

  • An inability to manage time 

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