What is Dyslexia?

The Scottish Government, Dyslexia Scotland and the Cross Party Group on Dyslexia in the Scottish Parliament has developed this working definition of dyslexia:  

Dyslexia can be described as a continuum of difficulties in learning to read, write and/or spell, which persist despite the provision of appropriate learning opportunities.  These difficulties often do not reflect an individual's cognitive abilities and may not be typical of perfomance in other areas.

The impact of dyslexia as a barrier to learning varies in degree according to the learning and teaching environment as there are often associated difficulties such as:

  • auditory and/or visual processing of language-based information
  • phonological awareness
  • oral language skills and reading fluency
  • short-term and working memory
  • sequencing and directionality
  • number skills
  • organisational ability

Motor skills and co-ordination may also be affected.

Learners with dyslexia will benefit from early identification, appropriate intervention and targeted effective teaching, enabling them to become successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.

The vast majority of pupils with dyslexia will be educated within mainstream primary and secondary schools in Fife.

The identification and assessment of dyslexia is an ongoing process, over a period of time, rather than the result of a single test.

Concern can be expressed by parents, a teacher or other professionals.  It is important that dyslexia is identified as early as possible.  This concern will trigger a gathering of information relating to a range of potential factors.

The information will include:

  • Discussion with parents to explore the learner's developmental history, family history and other relevant home factors
  • Investigation of his/her learning history from school record keeping
  • Classroom observation, involving a range of staff, of how the pupil learns, the coping strategies adopted, the areas where help is needed and his/her reaction to differing learning situations
  • Comparison of pieces of reading or writing using different support strategies
  • An analysis of first draft extended writing

Pupils with dyslexia can be supported by the use of a range of strategies eg

  • use of ICT
  • mind mapping
  • photocopying text and use of a highlighter to identify key content

Further strategies and more information can be found on Dyslexia Scotland website as well as within the undernoted publications.

Jennifer Allan, Headteacher Support for Learner's Service (East Area) 
Tel: 03451 55 55 55 + Ext 44 21 26 Contact Jennifer Allan online
By Post: Rothesay House Rothesay Place Glenrothes Fife KY7 5PQ

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