Neurodiversity Dr Ross Cooper London South Bank University
language? • of deficit? “Campensino!” • of empowerment? “Neurotypical?” • Are some more equal than others?
A social model of dyslexia We challenge the deficit models of dyslexia in favour of a social model that maintains that we are not ‘disabled’ by our dyslexia, but by the expectations of the world we live in. There is nothing ‘wrong’ with being dyslexic per se. We would argue that dyslexia is an experience that arises out of natural human diversity on the one hand and a world on the other where the early learning of literacy, and good personal organisation and working memory is mistakenly used as a marker of ‘intelligence’. The problem here is seeing difference incorrectly as ‘deficit’. Ross Cooper, 2006
How? • does the water get in? • can we stop it? • can we work out how serious the problem is? • can we measure it?
medication or repair • What can we do to fix the problem? • How meaningful is this to the learner? What are they learning?
Why? What have all the deficit theories got in common? Phonological deficit Visual processing deficit Automaticity deficit Working memory deficit. SEQUENCING
Pre-conditions for self taught reading • Frequent exposure to many kinds of books • Motivated to figure out reading for themselves • Request the same books over and over increasing the predictability of text • Available readers who answer childrens’ many questions about stories in books Dolores Durkin, Columbia University reported in Read Right, Dee Tadlock and Rhonda Stone
A 5th pre-condition? Having a strong desire to bring meaning to text. (or see patterns and overall meaning)
Scanning text to get to meaning It dseon’t mttaer in what oredr the ltteers in a word are prseetend. The olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteres are at the rhgit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can slitl raed it wouthit mcuh porbelm.
Research question?Who are the ‘self-taught readers’ Anecdotally 18 out of 19 I have talked to have dyslexia in the family and characteristic dyslexic traits. But many think both holistically and verbally!
Progression to university? Dyslexics at New College Southampton were less likely to think visually than non dyslexics! What’s stopping the visual dyslexics from getting there? Assessment through memory? Lack of visual meaning/purpose? In a factor analysis, extreme preference for thinking visually of verbally accounted for 47% of the variance in achievement.
Focus shift from the brain to the barriers
Ideology of deficit • difference = deficit • DSA (legislation) • schooling • workplace • family
What is needed for meaningful learning? • Feeling valued • High interest active learning • The big picture before the detail • Visual and verbal concepts • Multisensory learning environments to enable meaningful experiences (not just to support a ‘deficit memory’) • Meaningful feedback about what you are doing well and how to do it better. • Being allowed to move while learning
memorise E U C P I R T I G B
To find out more…. www.outsider.co-uk.com www.lsbu.ac.uk/lluplus