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Specific Learning Differences - Implications for teaching by w88nz3


									Specific Learning Differences -
Implications for teaching

Marie-Louise Anesio
ALCADS coordinator, UWA
Academic Learning Curriculum Access/Dyslexia Service

   Provides specialist advice and services to
    students and staff with SpLDs
   We can provide in-house initial, and full,
    assessments for SpLDs
   We can provide Study Needs Assessments – we
    are part of the National Network of Access
    Centres (NNAC) as an outreach centre under
   We can liaise with departments, LEAs, the
    Disability Office etc.
   Weekly study group
   Social Communication Programme
   Tintavision
                 Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007       2
Specialist tuition and mentoring
   “Specialist tutors provide dyslexia support,
    concentrating on strategies that are specific to
    dyslexia, rather than on general study skills.”

   “Mentors can offer support for a wide range of
    difficulties encountered by students including
    those that may occur due to mental health
    difficulties, Asperger syndrome and Specific
    Learning Difficulties. They may become a key
    person when trying to prioritise concerns with
    course work, examinations or when other stressful
    situations arise.”
       (The SKILL Disability Directory for LEA Awards Officers, 6th edition August 2005)

                     Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007                                   3
Specific Learning Differences and

   1995, DDA (Disability Discrimination Act)
   1998, HRA (Human Rights Act)
   2001, SENDA (Special Educational Needs and
    Disability Act)
   2005, DDA – DED (Disability Equality Duty),
    effective from Oct 2006

    Also, the Code of Practice for the Assurance of
    Academic Quality and Standards in Higher
    Education: Students with disabilities

               Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007        4
   Direct: treating someone differently because of
    stereotypical assumptions or prejudice about
    their condition or abilities
   Indirect: creating a provision, criterion or
    practice which disadvantages people or a
    particular group and which is not justified in
    objective terms
   Harassment: unwanted conduct that has the
    purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity
   Victimisation: treating someone less favourably
    because of action they have taken under or in
    connection with discrimination legislation

               Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007         5
The umbrella term SpLD
(Specific Learning Differences)

   Dyslexia
   Dyspraxia
   ADHD
   Dysgraphia
   Dyscalculia

   Asperger Syndrome - NOT a SpLD

              Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007   6
Disability or Difference?

A matter of perspective!

          Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007   7
Number of students with SpLDs at


         Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007   8
Prevalence SpLDs and Asperger

   Dyslexia, prevalence 5 – 10%
   Dyspraxia, 2 – 7%
   ADHD, 3 - 5%
   Asperger Syndrome, 0.01 – 3.6%
   Dysgraphia, up to 4%
   Dyscalculia, 1.3 – 6 to 7%
                Overlap = high!

            Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007   9

         Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007   10
 Lisa is a drama student. She loves her life here
 at Uni. Academically she is doing rather well,
 although usually better at assignments than
 exams. She has to work quite hard on essays,
 especially as she’s got very little chance of
 spotting her own writing errors. She loves
 seminars and can usually offer original
 perspectives on what’s being discussed. She
 finds lectures tiring, simply because of her
 difficulties with note taking.

 Lisa’s got Dyslexia!

            Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007     11
 “Dyslexia is a combination of abilities and
 difficulties that affect the learning process
 in one or more of reading, spelling and

 (The British Dyslexia Association)

              Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007   12
Writing exercise

 Using paper and a pen, please copy
 down the following sentence:

 “Så här känns det ibland för en
 dyslektiker att kopiera information från
 tavlan under en föreläsning!”

           Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007   13
Swedish for:

 “This is how it sometimes feels for a
 dyslexic student to copy down
 information from the whiteboard!”

          Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007   14
    Indicators of Dyslexia
 A noticeable difference between the student's ability and their actual
 A lack of confidence

Reading skills:
 Slow reading speed
 Difficulties tracking print
 Difficulties organising reading
 Difficulty remembering/understanding what has been read
 Difficulty extracting the most important points from a passage
 Sometimes slightly less advanced vocabulary

                     Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007               15
Indicators of Dyslexia (continuation)
Writing skills:
 Difficulties with spelling
 Difficulties choosing the right homophone, e.g. witch and
 Difficulties with grammar: morphology (e.g. tenses) and
  syntax (e.g. phrase structure rules)
 Difficulties using appropriate punctuation
 Difficulties structuring the writing, e.g. in paragraphs.
  Layout of written work of a poor standard
 Difficulties keeping the thread in a written argument

               Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007            16
Dyslexia positives!

   Innovation, new thinking
   Strong visual skills, visually observant
   Highly developed imagination, creative
   Strong practical/manipulative skills
   Strong abstractive thinking
   Interdisciplinary thinking
   Advanced critical thinking, new ideas

              Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007   17
 Tom is enjoying studying biology. He’s very hard
 working, and loves the practicals, even if he
 sometimes fails to do things in the correct order,
 and often spills stuff and fumbles with utensils.
 Tom finds it really challenging to organise his
 working week in an efficient way, and he often
 finds that he’s delayed with his course work.
 When given clear instructions and enough time,
 he’s very creative in his approach to assignments.

 Tom’s got dyspraxia!

            Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007      18
(Developmental Coordination Disorder)

   “Dyspraxia is generally recognised to be
   an impairment or immaturity of the
   organisation of movement. Associated
   with this may be problems of language,
   perception and thought.”

   (The Dyspraxia Foundation)

                 Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007   19
Indicators of Dyspraxia
   Poor and/or slow handwriting
   Poor planning and organisational skills
   Sensory hypo/hypersensitivity, e.g. strong dislike for
    combing hair, brushing teeth etc.
   Poor balance
   Clumsiness, e.g. stumbles a lot
   Difficulties with reading, writing, maths
   Poor spatial awareness, e.g. may knock into things
   Poor presentation of work/self
   Speech problems, e.g. difficulties producing accurate
    speech sounds, hypo/hypernasality (inadequate nasal
    emission/excessive nasal emission)

                 Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007             20
Dyspraxia positives!

   Good at developing coping strategies
   Creative and original thinking
   Good at problem-solving
   Determined and hard-working
   Often highly motivated

             Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007   21
 William is academically highly motivated –
 he’s absolutely fascinated by his subject
 law. Despite this, he sometimes
 experiences an almost complete loss of
 energy. He finds it very difficult to focus
 when reading, and in lectures. He’s a good
 writer, but finds it very challenging to finish
 assignments on time.

 William’s got ADHD!

           Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007    22
(Sometimes referred to as ADD)

  “…a persistent pattern of inattention and
  hyperactivity and impulsivity that is more
  frequent and severe than is typically
  observed in people at a comparable level
  of development”

  (American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical
  manual of mental disorders (DSM-IV))

                Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007              23
Indicators of ADHD
Attention difficulties:
 Makes careless mistakes

 Trouble keeping attention on tasks

 Difficulties following instructions, fails to finish
  for example assignments
 Difficulties organising activities

 Difficulties sustaining attention in tasks that
  require sustained mental effort
 Often loses and forgets things

               Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007           24
Indicators of ADHD (continuation)
 Fidgeting
 Restlessness
 Is "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a
 Excessive talking
 Often blurts out answers before questions have
  been finished
 Often interrupts or intrudes on others

             Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007    25
ADHD positives

   High processing speed/high
    productivity level
   Very high energy levels
   Creative thinking
   When motivated – very interesting

           Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007   26

   John is a 1st year student in Computer
    Science. He is very determined to learn
    everything there is to know about Java.
    John finds it really difficult to appreciate
    time, and he often misses lectures and
    other commitments. He doesn’t have any
    friends, but is a member of Mensa (IQ

    John’s got Asperger Syndrome!
              Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007      27
Asperger Syndrome
    Asperger Syndrome is a Pervasive
    Developmental Disorder

   Social impairment (extreme egocentricity)
   Narrow interest
   Repetitive routines
   Speech and language peculiarities
   Nonverbal communication problems
   Motor clumsiness

    (Gillberg and Gillberg, 1989)

                  Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007   28
Indicators of Asperger Syndrome
Social impairment
 Difficulties interacting with people
 Difficulties appreciating social cues
 Odd behaviour

Narrow interest
 All-consuming interest in something

Repetitive routines
 Needs to do things in certain order, finds it difficult
  to adapt to new circumstances

               Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007         29
Indicators of Asperger Syndrome
Speech and language peculiarities
 Formal pedantic language
 Odd prosody, peculiar voice characteristics
 Impairment of comprehension including
  misinterpretation of literal/implied meanings
Nonverbal communication problems
 Difficulties interpreting/using body language,
 Difficulties interpreting/using facial expressions
Motor clumsiness
  Sometimes odd gait

               Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007         30
Asperger Syndrome positives

   Outstanding ability to focus
   Determination
   Usually very conscientious
   Good eye for details
   Meticulous
   High tolerance for tedious/routine tasks
   Some have extreme talents

             Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007   31

 “Dysgraphia is defined as a difficulty in
 automatically remembering and
 mastering the sequence of muscle motor
 movements needed in writing letters or
 (The International Dyslexia Association)

              Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007   32
Indicators of Dysgraphia
   Letter inconsistencies
   Mixture of upper/lower case letters or
    print/cursive letters
   Irregular letter sizes and shapes
   Unfinished letters
   Struggle to use writing as a communications

              Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007     33

 “A condition that affects the
 ability to acquire arithmetical
 (The Department for Education and Skills )

              Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007   34
        Indicators of Dyscalculia
   Difficulty understanding & using mathematical vocabulary
   Difficulties using money concepts
   Difficulties in understanding fractions, decimals & / or algebra
   Difficulties in understanding & using statistical information
   Visual processing – misreading text/numbers
   Difficult organising & planning self, work, timetable
   Confusion in higher mathematical concepts where symbols are used
   Difficulties generalising, thereby increasing memory load
   Poor memory skills
   Low processing speed

                        Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007           35
Recommended websites
   Autism Cymru:
   The Best Resources for Achievement and
    Intervention re Neurodiversity in Higher
   Online Asperger Syndrome Information & Support
   The British Dyslexia Association:

              Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007   36
Recommended websites (continuation)

   The Dyspraxia Foundation:
   SKILL – National Bureau for Students with
   ADDISS – Attention Deficit Disorder Information
    and Support:
   Quality Assurance Agency:

               Marie-Louise Anesio, April 2007        37

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