The ACT Government will set up a taskforce to investigate how schools can better support students with learning difficulties.

    About 600 Canberra residents have signed a petition calling for better recognition of the learning difficulty dyslexia within schools.

    Parent Jennifer Cross, whose son has dyslexia and struggles with reading and spelling, started the petition.

    She says the goal is to unlock funding and resources for the classroom, including technology that helps dyslexic students.

    “I’m hoping that by doing this petition, it will actually result in the students getting support at an earlier age because early intervention is the key,” she said.

    Jodi Clements from the Australian Dyslexia Association says Canberra parents with dyslexic students are having a hard time.

    “They’ve been told by their school that dyslexia is not recognised. They’ve been told that there’s no funding to help children identified with dyslexia,” she said.

For more, click here.

The Australian Dyslexia Association can be found here

Robina State School is recognised as a ‘Dyslexia Friendly School’ by the Australian Dyslexia Association

For more, click here.

As parents of children with dyslexia, we understand firsthand the struggle that millions of Americans with the condition face as they try to reach their full potential.

Dyslexia can be remediated with good education, but it is a persistent, lifelong challenge. This is not, and should not be, a Democratic or Republican issue.

Prompted by concerns about our own children and our constituents’ children, we set out to learn as much as we could about dyslexia and were amazed at how much is known and yet, far too often, not incorporated into policy. As a result, we’ve formed the bipartisan Congressional Dyslexia Caucus to educate other Members of Congress and advance policies to break down barriers faced by dyslexics.

For more, click here.

Stamp out rubbing-out

On May 17, 2012, in IDA, by Dare

Published by the Inland Empire Branch of IDA

The Resource

Erase Erasures

By C. Wilson Anderson, Jr., MAT

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 1984 and re-published in a monograph, 101 WAYS TO PROMOTE ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE, by the Minnesota Foundation to Promote Academic Excellence. Permission to reproduce is given by the author, CWA.

VOL. 23, ISSUE 1

# 16 ERASE ERASURES

A significant number of students have discovered that erasing words, lines and paragraphs is viewed by teachers as honest academic labor. These students use erasing as an avoidance behavior, usually to compensate for their inability – real or imagined – to spell, write legibly or compose intelligent thoughts in sentence form.

Those teachers who have in their possession stacks of papers not only full of erasure holes, but which also appear to have been slept on, can take heart. There is an alternative: the draw-a-line-through-the-mistake approach. It is a simple approach which does not cost the taxpayer’s money; in fact it saves money.

Instruct all students they are not to erase anymore. Instead, they are to draw a neat, single line through any error and continue with their work.

This approach produces several results. The first is that the line allows the teacher to see the mistake. This provides valuable insight as to the struggles a student experiences in writing. Secondly, the student’s time can be spent on getting as much information down with a minimum of interruptions. The third result is helping the student understand it is ok to make mistakes in class; that’s what rough drafts are for. The last result is that when all these errors surface, they can be noted and managed by both the teacher and the student.

Stopping the constant erasing is similar to breaking a bad habit. It is best done school-wide and in “cold turkey” style. The student’s initial resentment is soon lost in more productive work. Papers become neater, the writing becomes more legible and the level of production increases.

About Dysgraphia – Definition

Dysgraphia:

  • Is a processing problem.
  • Causes writing fatigue.
  • Interferes with communication of ideas in writing.
  • Contributes to poor organization on the line and on the page.

Dysgraphia can be seen in:

  • 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 tool.
Dysgraphia is not:

  • Laziness.
  • Not trying.
  • Not caring.
  • Sloppy writing.
  • General sloppiness.
  • Careless writing.
  • Visual-motor delay.

Dysgraphia is defined as a difficulty in automatically remembering and mastering the sequence of muscle motor movements needed in writing letters or numbers. This difficulty is out of harmony with the person’s intelligence, regular teaching instruction, and (in most cases) the use of the pencil in non-learning tasks. It is neurologically based and exists in varying degrees, ranging from mild to moderate. It can be diagnosed, and it can be overcome if appropriate remedial strategies are taught well and conscientiously carried out. An adequate remedial program generally works if applied on a daily basis. In many situations, it is relatively easy to plan appropriate compensations to be used as needed.

Dysgraphia is an inefficiency which seldom exists in isolation without other symptoms of learning problems. While it may occasionally exist alone, it is most commonly related to learning problems involved within the sphere of written language. Difficulty in writing is often a major problem for students, especially as they progress into upper elementary and into secondary school. Rosa Hagan has stated, “Inefficiency in handwriting skills provides a barrier to learning, whereas efficiency in basic handwriting skills provides a tool for learning. Once this tool is established, it can help reinforce many other areas kids are having difficulties with.”

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    The dyslexia racket and the alternative

    John Bald on the “Special Educational Needs” industry that thrives on failure

    Shortly after I started teaching in a secondary school, in the early seventies, I had a conversation with an eleven year old who had “bunked off” my English class, and who, I discovered, could not read. No-one had told me about this when I took over the class – a colleague asked me if I didn’t believe in “self-fulfilling prophecies” – and the deputy head told me with equanimity that “lots of boys in the first year can’t read”.

    There is plenty of source material for this, but a principle should be that everything a child does not understand should be unpacked, and explained so that they do understand it. This means that teachers need to know the spelling system inside out, both in its regular and irregular features – very few do, as the irregular features are rarely explained in training. Psychologists should no longer be allowed to write reports without making an impact on the problem. At the moment, they are basing reports on tests that any teaching assistant could administer, and most make no contribution to solving the problem…

For more, click here.

NB: while this article appears on a political party forum, DARE is non-partisan.

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    Half of the juveniles arrested during last year’s summer riots in Britain were educational failures who had not mastered the basics by the age of 11, said the Government.

    Children are tested continuously and continually at school to find out what they have learned in English, Maths and Science and, eventually, in every subject. Why don’t we introduce an assessment near the beginning of a child’s educational journey, say at the end of KS1 at seven years old, to find out HOW they learn not just WHAT they learn? Perhaps we wouldn’t need to build so many prison cells if children with dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADD, ADHD, Asperger Syndrome or other learning challenges were identified and helped early on, before problems took root.

For more, click here

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    Developmental reading disorder, or dyslexia, occurs when there is a problem in areas of the brain that help interpret language.

    It is not caused by vision problems. The disorder is a specific information processing problem that does not interfere with one’s ability to think or to understand complex ideas. Most people suffering from dyslexia have normal intelligence, and many have above-average intelligence. This may appear in combination with developmental writing disorder and developmental arithmetic disorder. All of these involve using symbols to convey information. These conditions may appear alone or in any combination. Dyslexia is a genetic disorder, which may run in the families.

For more, click here

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    One’s intelligence appears unrelated to the specific brain pattern that causes dyslexia, researchers reported Thursday. The findings are important because they suggest that IQ shouldn’t be considered by education specialists when diagnosing dyslexia. In fact, doing say may bar some children from receiving special education services to improve reading comprehension.

For more, click here.

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    I became interested in working with people who have dyslexia when I began volunteering in schools. My son was diagnosed with dyslexia and I began volunteering to read with the children when he was in kindergarten. He’ll be graduating from college in December. I took some courses through the International Dyslexia Association to learn how to teach in elementary school….

Read more: < ahref="I became interested in working with people who have dyslexia when I began volunteering in schools. My son was diagnosed with dyslexia and I began volunteering to read with the children when he was in kindergarten. He'll be graduating from college in December. I took some courses through the International Dyslexia Association to learn how to teach in elementary school. To read on, click here

DARE Comment

We need multi-sensory educators in Australia. The need is greatest throughout rural and outer-metropolitan areas. The Australian Dyslexia Association runs excellent courses which are accredited by the International Dyslexia Association.
Please contact the ADA through their site:
www.dyslexiaassociation.org.au

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