dyslexia n.
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  1. Dyslexia By Jodi Pitts EDU 6644 November 19, 2011

  2. Definition • Developmental dyslexia is a disorder manifested by difficulty learning to read despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and adequate socio-cultural opportunity. The World Federation of Neurology. Wikipedia, 2009.

  3. Causes • The exact causes of dyslexia are unknown. However some studies state that it may be influenced by inheritance and/or hearing problems at an early age. • Inherited factors: Dyslexia is often found in families. Research has been done on the brains of dyslexic people, and brain scans have shown that cells lie beneath the surface of the brain in dyslexic individuals, whereas the cells lie on the surface of the brain in non-dyslexic people. These cell clusters are often found at the left and front of the brain, which are areas important for reading and writing. Brains of dyslexic children have shown differences in right and left brain activity. Non-dyslexic children use the left side of the brain for language work, whereas dyslexic children have to use both the right and left sides. • Hearing problems: Small children with frequent ear or throat infections may be more prone to dyslexia, as the developing brain may not link the sounds it hears when the ears are congested. This lack of hearing may also delay a child’s phonemic awareness.

  4. Prevalence • Dyslexia is estimated to range from 5-17 % of school-aged children, with as many as 40% of the entire population reading below grade level. • Dyslexia is the most common and most studied of the learning disabilities, affecting 80% of all individuals identified as learning disabled. National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy, 2005.

  5. Characteristics • Writing and Motor Skills • Trouble with writing or copying; pencil grip is unusual; handwriting varies or is illegible. • Clumsy, uncoordinated, poor at ball or team sports; difficulties with fine and/or gross motor skills and tasks; prone to motion-sickness. • Can be ambidextrous, and often confuses left/right, over/under. • Math and Time Management • Has difficulty telling time, managing time, learning sequenced information or tasks, or being on time. • Computing math shows dependence on finger counting and other tricks; knows answers, but can't do it on paper. • Can count, but has difficulty counting objects and dealing with money. • Can do arithmetic, but fails word problems; cannot grasp algebra or higher math. • Memory and Cognition • Excellent long-term memory for experiences, locations, and faces. • Poor memory for sequences, facts and information that has not been experienced. • Thinks primarily with images and feeling, not sounds or words (little internal dialogue).

  6. Characteristics Continued • Behavior, Health, Development and Personality • Extremely disorderly or compulsively orderly. • Can be class clown, trouble-maker, or too quiet. • Had unusually early or late developmental stages (talking, crawling, walking, tying shoes). • Prone to ear infections; sensitive to foods, additives, and chemical products. • Can be an extra deep or light sleeper; bedwetting beyond appropriate age. • Unusually high or low tolerance for pain. • Strong sense of justice; emotionally sensitive; strives for perfection. • Mistakes and symptoms increase dramatically with confusion, time pressure, emotional stress, or poor health.

  7. Developmental Factors • Symptoms or characteristics of dyslexia can vary slightly from person to person. • Age may also influence symptoms. • Pre-school age children • Learn new words slowly • Have difficulty rhyming words • Late in establishing a dominant hand • Early elementary school-age children • Difficulty learning the alphabet • Difficulty with associating sounds with the letters that represent them (sound-symbol correspondence) • Difficulty identifying or generating rhyming words, or counting syllables in words • Difficulty segmenting words into individual sounds, or blending sounds to make words • Difficulty learning to decode words • Difficulty distinguishing between similar sounds in words; mixing up sounds in multi-syllable words

  8. Developmental Factors Continued • Older elementary school children • Poor spelling • Slow or inaccurate reading • Difficulty associating individual words with their correct meanings • Difficulty with the concept of time • Difficulty with organization skills • Difficulty comprehending rapid instructions, following more than one command at a time or remembering the sequence of things • Reversals of letters (b for d) and a reversal of words (saw for was) are typical among children who have dyslexia. • Children with dyslexia may fail to see (and occasionally to hear) similarities and differences in letters and words, may not recognize the spacing that organizes letters into separate words, and may be unable to sound out the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word. The World Federation of Neurology. Wikipedia, 2009.

  9. Student Needs • Make sure to teach phonics so that the reader understands how letters are linked to sounds, or phonemes, to make words. • Expose children to written sight words as frequently as possible. This may help familiarize them with print. • Make learning to read as enjoyable as possible. • Incorporate words into everyday life. • Spend time practicing trouble words with the use of a whiteboard or sidewalk chalk, so that children can easily erase, wash off, or change the letters while learning, and don’t feel as though the paper keeps them from correcting mistakes. • Practice reading in a comfortable and unintimidating environment (such as aloud to a pet or stuffed animal). That way they can practice reading aloud and moving their lips to form the words, but without the pressures of being critiqued. • Incorporate play and game time into learning. (For example, play a sight word game by hiding letters around the room, finding them, and practicing reading them.) • Read aloud to a child, and choose a commonly used word that is “their word” for the book. They can sit back and listen to the story, but participate through repetition by reading their assigned word. • Use hand motions when teaching. The children can learn to associate letters spelled in the correct way (for example with confusing letters such as “b” and “d.”) • Teach students about famous people that have dyslexia, and how they have overcome this to be successful.

  10. Student Needs Continued • Children with dyslexia need more time to articulate single words or word strings than normal readers. (Kasselimis, D.S., Margarity, M., & Vlachos, F. 2008.) Teachers should take into consideration strategies for incorporating phonics and word study into reading instruction. • Identifying students in need of special instruction should be done in early elementary, in order to provide the fastest intervention and support. (Harn, B., Lianan-Thompson, S., & Roberts, G. 2008.) • Students with the most intensive needs may benefit from small group instruction, so that their needs may be targeted more specifically. (Harn, B., Lianan-Thompson, S., & Roberts, G. 2008.) • Students may show improvement when provided comprehensive reading interventions in small groups, using explicit instructional delivery principles, and provided to them in addition to the instructional time devoted to reading in the general classroom. (Harn, B., Lianan-Thompson, S., & Roberts, G. 2008.)

  11. My Role in the IEP • As the special education teacher it is my responsibility to test a student and develop their Individual Education Plan (IEP) once they qualify. • I then meet with the parent for a pre-IEP meeting to discuss possible goals and objectives. • I send invitations to team members and conduct the IEP meeting. • I am responsible for implementing the IEP and collecting data to show yearly progress.

  12. Team Collaboration • I am in contact with the school psychologist and coordinate dates for meetings and contacting the parents. • Share information with the Occupational Therapist and/or Speech Pathologist. • Regular contact with the general education teacher • Consistent contact with the parent(s) Emails, phone calls, notebooks, behavior sheets, notes

  13. Family Support Needs • Time for other children • Time for adult relationships • Financial Stress • Expand your knowledge base • Work together • Emphasize the positive

  14. The Program Plan • Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) first and foremost to receive instruction in academic areas such as reading, writing, and math in the general ed setting with special education as an intervention program. • Universal Design for Learning would be implementing some or all of the modifications, adaptations, and strategies listed below. • Different levels of Learning Standards to meet individual students needs

  15. Modification, adaptations & strategies • More time to take tests • Read tests aloud • Listening to textbooks on tape • Use computer programs designed to improve or increase phonemic awareness • One-on-one tutor help in reading, math, & writing • Sensory & motor skill therapy • Shorten assignments • Receive instruction in a small group setting for reading, writing and/or math

  16. References • Altieri, J. (2008). Fictional characters with dyslexia: What are we seeing in books? Teaching Exceptional Children. 41 (1), 48-54. • Crisp, V., Johnson, M. & Novakoviæ, N. (2007). Dyslexia and examinations: Questioning the Questions. Literacy Today., 17. Davis, R.D. (1992). 37 Common Characteristics of Dyslexia. Retrieved November 18, 2011 from Davis Dyslexia Association International, Dyslexia the Gift Web site: • De Kleine, E. & Verwey, W.B. (2009). Motor Learning and Chunking in Dyslexia. Journal of Motor Behavior. 41 (4), 331–337. • Dyslexia Treatment: Your Hints and Tips.Retrieved from <> • Elliott, J., & Gibbs, S. (2008). Does dyslexia exist? Journal of Philosophy of Education. 42 (3-4), 475-491. • Harn, B., Lianan-Thompson, S., & Roberts, G. (2008). Intensifying Instruction. Journal of Learning Disabilities. 41 (2), 115-125. • Harrison, A.; Edwards, M., & Parker, K. (2008). Identifying student feigning dyslexia: Preliminary findings and strategies for detection. Dyslexia. 14: 228–246. • Kasselimis, D.S., Margarity, M., & Vlachos, F. (2008). Cerebellar Function, Dyslexia and Articulation Speed. Child Neuropsychology, 14: 303–313. • National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy. (2005). Retrieved from < > • The Solution to Dyslexia. (2002). Reading from Scratch. Retrieved from <> • The World Federation of Neurology.Wikipedia. (2009). • Ucle´s, P., Mendez, M., & Garay J. (2008). Low-Level Defective Processing of Non- Verbal Sounds in Dyslexic Children. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Dyslexia 15: 72–85.