DARE is pleased to note that the NSW DET recognises the importance of intensive literacy instruction for students at risk of reading failure. Unfortunately the available programs do not address the particular needs of students with a dyslexia profile. Students with these difficulties require a structured multi-sensory language approach. This is recognised by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)

    “The best methods will include structured, explicit and systematic teaching
    through multisensory tools.”

(World Dyslexia Forum Report, 3 – 5 February 2010, at UNESCO, Paris; p1.)

DARE advises that students with a dyslexia profile would benefit enormously if offered an intensive period of appropriate multi-sensory Orton-Gillingham instruction during school hours. Students who struggle at literacy are exhausted after school and are better able to learn early in the day.

DARE queries the inclusion of the words “of average or above average intelligence” in the selection criteria since intelligence is now not considered as an important factor in the lower order language areas involving phonological coding difficulties that characterise dyslexia.

An intensive period of one term’s length, coupled with weekly follow-up sessions of one – two hours weekly for the rest of the school year would be ideal for students with dyslexia.

DARE is a member of the Australian Dyslexia Association.

From NSWDET web-site:

    Support classes reading (R); these provide intensive support for individual students who have severe difficulties in reading. Intensive reading support aims to reduce the difference between the student’s actual reading ability and expected level in terms of age. Six students attend the class for five half day sessions per week for one term. These students return to their home schools for the remaining half day. The program involves detailed, ongoing student assessment, monitoring and the development of an individualised reading program. Students usually come from a variety of schools across a region. Following exit from the intensive reading class the support teacher (reading) may provide assistance for an additional term within the student’s home school. Students eligible for placement in a support class (R) are in Years 2-6 and within the average or above average range of intelligence but are reading significantly below their expected level.