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Cahlelnges with Dyslexia

My experiences working with a student who has dyslexia

Daniel Lock

on 28 April 2010

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Transcript of Cahlelnges with Dyslexia

Russel Fun loving boy who
struggles with Dyslexia Now in grade six, Russel's
parents wish for him to move in
the regular stream of education He likes to play sports
and is very active at recess He reads at a Grade 3 level
even though he is finishing the sixth
grade. His severe dyslexia hinders
his ability to read, write and
comprehend complex written language Artifact The Rough-Face Girl
is a book that the class
was using as part of their
Aboriginal studies unit One of the projects was to draw one of
the pictures in the book, and Russel chose the
cover This was only a small part of their projects
on aboriginal studies. All of the class drawings were to be featured in the hallway for other students to see
The Class Russel was in a Special Education
classroom with approximately 10 other
students The other students suffered from
disorders such as Autism, severe ADHD
and Down Syndrome Because of this varied class, many of the students
were vary excitable and this sometimes made it hard
for Russel to concentrate Working with Russel Working with Russel was an interesting experience for me
for a few reasons
Russel was the first person I had ever taught with any kind of disability
Russel`s condition not only prevented him from reading well but also extended to processing information easily
Russel would sometimes get distracted by other things going on in the class which slowed things down tremedously
The first time I worked with Russel, he was showing
me his presentation on Inuit Culture. His writing was obviously in need of help.
His grammar and spelling were at a very low level. I took some time to allow Russel to read from
his source material, before continuing with his
project. As read outloud I realized that he
was going word by word in an attempt to show
me that he could read.
However when I asked him what it was all about,
he had a much harder time than I wouldve thought. I broke the paragraph into sections for him and
had him reread the sentences. The second time through
seemed much more natural because he was familiar with the words
Now he understood much more about what was being said.
I think the chunking helped him as well as the repetition My Challenges Having never worked with students of Russels age,
I was unsure of exactly how to relate to them It was a relief when I recognized
some of the books in the class from
when I was their age When I found out that Russel liked soccer
I used that to gain a connection with him Goal! Once Russel trusted me it was easier to get to
work. Not only had I never taught young kids, but I had never
taught students with disabilites either Russel needs a lot of help understanding
writting, as well as help with spelling and
grammar The story of the Rough-Face girl is like
Cinderalla, where a lower class girl ends up
marrying the prince. In this story, the girl became
ugly through doing chores and being burned by
fire. Because of this she was shunned by the village,
but in the end through her inner beauty was able to
attain a high standing.
I think of special needs students as similar to the
Rough-Face girl. One level they are accepted and
tolerated, but also have a harder time later in life in
finding jobs and being independant. However through hard
work they can overcome the adversity and attain a higher
standard of living. Throughout this field experience I was
constantly forced to adapt to everyday
behavioural problems not just from Russel
but from all of the students in the class The Standards Commitment to Students and Student Learning I believe that the entire field excercise was to fully
understand this Standard of Practice. Everyday,
Special Eduction teachers are proving their commitment
to the students and their learning. Everyday they are
challenged by their students who require so much extra
help, sometimes in surprising ways.
During my placement, I did my best not only to help Russel
but also to help the other students when they had questions,
and there were always questions. When working with Russel
I constantly strived to motivate him into doing his personal best,
and for him to be happy with his work. Professional Knowledge and Professional Practice These two standards are inextricably linked together. In this field
placement, both my professional Knowledge and Practice were expanded.
My knowledge became something tangible. Before, I had always had an
idea of what dyslexia is, and what special needs are in general, as well as
what I had learned in class. By participating in this class and helping Russel I gained an active and personal knowldge of what it truly means
to have special needs and what it is to teach them.
My practice was expanded in the same way. Throughout my university
education there has been discussion on strategies and philosophies of
teaching as well as the psychology of teaching. All of it was just theory
floating in my head until I met Russel. Again by interacting with him I was able to fully understand these concepts and put them into practice
through the constant challenge of keeping him interested in learning. Cahlelnges With Dyslexia
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