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Dyslexia SA 6 point plan

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Bill Hansberry

on 5 March 2016

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Transcript of Dyslexia SA 6 point plan


Levelling the Playing Field

Dyslexia Aware Schools Model
SACE Reforms: Special Provisions
Specialist Remediation Programs
Early Identification and Intervention
Recognition of Mental Health implications
Pre Service Teacher Education

Reforming an Unjust System
Numerous reports from parents and teachers that the SACE Board frequently and unfairly refuses special provisions for students with learning disabilities.
SACE bases its decisions to grant or reject Special Provisions on own assessments: these are not necessarily sensitive to the range of difficulties experienced by those with a learning disability.
SA appear to have blindly adopted interstate models
Parents of children with learning disabilities have been told by SACE staff...
Parents report that deliberately SACE delays contact...
SACE Special Provisions Advisory Panel does not have a qualified specialist in learning disabilities on the panel.
SACE Board be investigated and reformed.

Dyslexia Aware Schools
is based on a model used in the UK, developed by Neil MacKay, a leading international authority on Dyslexia.
Whole school training:
Changes attitudes and perceptions
Fine tunes teaching practice to better accommodate dyslexic learners
Improves literacy outcomes for all learners through effective pedagogy, also benefits students with other challenges
Presents dyslexia as a preferred way of learning rather than a disability - someone else's problem

Self-review cycle:
●Schools address key questions in regards to how they support dyslexic learning styles

Data gathered for 3 target students as the benchmark
School identifies strengths well as areas for development, and formulate an action plan
with all stakeholders
●After approximately 6 months a second audit is conducted to assess impact.
Accreditation visit where assessors look for “evidence in action and determine whether the initiative is influencing site policy”
Assuming the school meets criteria, it is is awarded the Quality Mark for 3 years
Estimated Costs
In the UK the only cost is the training
The accreditation process is shared between interested & qualified assessors: passionate specialist teachers, released from their sites to evaluate other sites.
This builds capacity in these teachers that benefits their own sites.
●Neil MacKay hopes to train trainers in South Australia @ $1600 a day.
Neil visited the Gawler area in October 2012 and 350 teachers attended his training and were inspired
Leaders report that teachers have been able to implement practical strategies immediately.
●Neil returned to in March 2013 for 8 days of teacher workshops to meet widespread demand
Severe Dyslexia:
Intensive Intervention
A percentage of children continue to have persistent and severe difficulties in spite of quality classroom instruction and early intervention
These students run a high-risk of non-school completion and the associated risk factors *
Policy makers must recognize that these children need intensive, regular, ongoing intervention.
Current LAP programs in Government schools rarely meet any of these criteria.
Children experiencing severe difficulties (identified as dyslexic), require a programs that address core issues in processing and retaining the alphabetic code and the structure of the English language.
Closing the reading gap is best achieved when remediation is delivered in a withdrawal situation and it is regular, consistent and available to students for a minimum of three school years.
This teacher must able to identify dyslexia*, understand student's strengths and weaknesses and be proficient in a research backed program so to deliver it in small groups - 2:1
Some programs that meet these criteria are:
The Dyslexia Institute Literacy Program (DILP), The Hickey Multi-Sensory Literacy Program, Orton-Gillingham, Beat Dyslexia Kits, Lexia
Recommendation and Costs:
Each site would need to fund specialist teacher(s) at a FTE load to provide a one-hour per week sessions to every two students eligible for intensive support.
Other costs would include resources, physical space and training of these specialists.
South Australia
Spotting Dyslexia early
Compulsory Teacher Training in Common Disorders
and Specific Learning Disabilities:
Recommendation 1

All pre-service teachers completes training in common neuro-behavioural disorders

• Attention Deficit Disorders
• Tourettes Syndrome and Motor Tic Disorders
• Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
• Hyperlexia
• Autism Spectrum Disorders
• Most learning disorders

– reading & spelling
 Dysgraphia - writing
 Dyscalculia - maths
 Language – expressive/receptive Dyslexia – reading & spelling
 Dysgraphia - writing
 Dyscalculia - maths
 Language – expressive/receptive
Recommendation 2
All pre-service and practising teachers receive compulsory training in:
a) Evidence-based reading instruction and successfully complete a ‘Certificate in Reading Instruction’: cf the requirement at Durham University. *
b.Effective, research-based strategies that support students with neuro-behavioural disorders including: resilience development, use of non-print mediums, and the development of whole school policies.
Recommendation 3
That employment by state education departments and the private sector requires new and practising teachers to successfully complete recognised courses in:
1. How to recognise and support students with neuro-behavioural disorders, including learning disorders, and
2. How to teach reading to students of any age
The South Australian Government’s refusal
to recognise dyslexia as a learning disability worthy of funding is in contradiction of the Melbourne Declaration of Educational Goals (2008) and more importantly, the Disability Discrimination Act (1992).

Research from across the globe highlights:
A high rate of socio-emotional and behavioural turbulence in children who experience long term reading difficulties.
Dyslexic females are more likely to have negative perceptions of teachers’ and peers’ resulting in poor academic success and poor self-concept.
Dyslexic females more likely to misbehave in school, compared to non-dyslexics and dyslexic males.
Dyslexic males are more likely to internalise their emotional discomfort and significantly underachieve.
Dyslexic individuals have lower self-esteem and elevated emotional and behavioural difficulties than those without...
Years of school failure results in emotional suffering, disengagement and anti-social behaviours.
This vulnerable group require early intervention; with reading difficulties and more general psycho-social adjustment.

Literacy under-achievement has high hidden social and economic costs

Dyslexic students are at a significantly higher risk of depression, obesity, welfare dependence, involvement in gangs, incarceration. The causal link between reading disability and long term disadvantage, increased risk of mental health issues and involvement with the criminal justice system are too real to ignore.

South Australian dyslexic students and their families are suffering. Millions of dollars poured into adolescent mental health would be better spent on early identification and intervention of reading disabilities.

That the South Australian Government recognise dyslexia as a learning disability with societal costs too large to ignore, and provide funding to schools so they can provide dyslexic students with equitable access to education.
The effects of dyslexia on mental health
From the beginning there is an intertwining of oral language, cognition and written language through early childhood - one of the richest times for language growth. (Wolf, 2008)
Phonological Awareness: The single most important factor and predictor of successful literacy acquisition
Earliest Referral/Screening/Identification of students at risk of/having reading difficulties
Moving On To School – Tier 1 and Tier 2 Instruction
Tier 1 (prevention) – quality multi-sensory, explicit classroom instruction at all year levels
Tier 2 (targeted intervention with trained literacy teacher) - quality multi-sensory, explicit, small groups (as outlined in Specialist Remediation Programs
Earliest School Screening (Term 1) - (for those not identified at Kindergarten)

Essential Classroom & Intervention Program Components
Reading & Spelling Linked Simultaneously
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