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Supporting Students with Specific Learning Difficulties Dyslexia

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  • Supporting Students with Specific Learning DifficultiesDyslexia

  • Aims of the session

    Increased awareness

    Identify early signs

    Support dyslexic students

  • What is Dyslexia?The British Dyslexic Association definition:a complex neurological condition .The symptoms may affect many areas of learning and function, and may be described as a specific difficulty in reading, spelling and written language.

    3-10% of the population

  • DyslexiaDyslexia affects reading, writing and spelling, but can also influence mathematical skills. The condition is hard to define precisely because dyslexia often overlaps with other types of specific learning difficulties which can also affect spoken language and motor skills.

  • DyslexiaThe Greek definition of the word dyslexia

    means difficulty (dys) with words (lexia).

  • So what is it like to be dyslexic?

  • ScenarioA radiographer informs you that they think a student might be dyslexic.

    1. What would you do?

    2. If confirmed as being dyslexic, how would you support this student on placement?

  • ProcessIndentify potential problems

    Educational Psychologists Report

    Disability Services

    Assessment of Need

    Student Support Plan

  • DSA

    Equipment IT hardware + software, digital recorder, handheld spellchecker.

    Non-medical Helpers note taker, dyslexia tutor.

    General allowance often used for books, photocopying/coloured paper etc.

  • Visual

    Confused by letters, numbers, words, sequences, or verbal explanations.

    Reading or writing shows repetitions, additions, transpositions, omissions, substitutions, and reversals in letters, numbers and/or words.

    Complains of feeling or seeing non-existent movement while reading, writing, or copying.

    May lack depth perception and peripheral vision.

    Reads and rereads with little comprehension.

    Spells phonetically and inconsistently.

  • SpeechDifficulty putting thoughts into words

    Speaks in halting phrases

    Leaves sentences incomplete

    Stutters under stress

    Mispronounces long words, or transposes phrases, words, and syllables when speaking.

  • Motion SkillsClumsy, uncoordinated, poor at ball or team sports; difficulties with fine and/or gross motor skills and tasks.

    Can be ambidextrous, and often confuses left/right, over/under.

    Mistakes and symptoms increase dramatically with confusion, time pressure, emotional stress, or poor health.

  • So whats the fuss all about?SCOTLAND'S first openly dyslexic nurse faces being struck off after she started making mistakes on the wardsIt was discovered that Mrs Norval confused the drug Stemetil with sterile water when preparing an injection for a patient from The Times July 31, 2008

    I don't want to be treated by a dyslexic doctorShe is not being discriminated against. She is being weeded outpatient on her ward..

    To be blunt: someone who can't be sure to read 18mg rather than 81mg and who mistakes peroxone for paracetamol is not someone I'd want practising medicine on me - even if they had a wonderful bedside manner and a passion for medicine.

  • Fact or Fiction?Dyslexia is a wicked myth created by bad teachers, MP saysA Labour MP has claimed that dyslexia is a "wicked" myth invented by the education establishment to cover up poor teaching.

    Anger as experts claim dyslexia is a mythSophie Kirkham The Guardian, Saturday 3 September 2005 09.43 BST

    Neurological Differences Support Dyslexia Subtypes

  • So how do dyslexic people cope?

  • Radiography Research

  • Legislation

    DDA (1995)

    Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001

    Professional practice placements are covered under the Act under provision of services provided wholly or mainly for students enrolled on courses


  • DiscriminationWhen the HEI fails to make a reasonable adjustment placing the disabled student at a disadvantage compared to their peers.

    Reasonable Adjustments (Anticipatory)

  • Risk Assessment toolHow useful can this be?

  • Supporting Dyslexic StudentsHand held computers containing dictionaries of medical/nursing terminology and should be encouraged to use these to check spelling when writing patient documentation. Reading writing reports/notes

    More time may be required for the completion of written documentation and this should be handled sensitively.

    When administering drugs and calculating drip rates and drug dosages, they may need more time and support to achieve safe practice. Exposure factors/Drugs

  • Dyslexic StudentsMake a list of words that you have difficulty spelling and refer to this when completing documentation. Common practice

    Use a handheld spellchecker if you have one. Ipod

    Photocopy forms that you need to be familiar with and practice filling them in. Fill a photocopy in in rough then redo it, until you gain confidence.

  • Dyslexic StudentsIf in doubt ask someone to check that you have completed work correctly.

    Write messages and instructions down if you are worried that you may forget.

    Keep a notebook and use it to record things you may want to look up later. Ipods

    Repeat instructions to ensure that you have understood them.

  • The Role of the Mentor

    Students need to feel that their mentor is open and approachable and will react to their disclosure of dyslexia in a positive and supportive way.

    The mentors aim is to work with the student to help them to develop strategies that enable them to achieve the required standard of performance in practice. This may involve reasonable adjustments within the practice setting.

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