Smallridge-2009

Authors: Smallridge, Danella.

Article: Delving into Dyslexia.

Publication: Report . New Zealand Sciences Mathematics Technology Teaching Fellowship 2009

[Full Text]

This inquiry investigates the nature of dyslexia, reviews the way schools can
meet the needs of dyslexic learners and compares a couple of popular
specialist interventions. A large body of research evidence has highlighted
the complex nature of dyslexia. Phonological awareness is a significant
factor in dyslexia and has been the focus of a large amount of overseas
research and the development of interventions. The current cognitive and
motor study conducted in conjunction with the Action, Brain & Cognition lab at
Otago University, has found a consistent and significant difference in
reactions times for dyslexic learners on a simple visual-motor response task.
This adds weight to the New Zealand Ministry Literature Review on Dyslexia
(2007) which states that dyslexia is more complex than merely a simple
phonological deficit.

Based on my learning from current research and the study of specialist interventions, help for dyslexic students must consider: early diagnosis and intervention; general classroom accommodations; specialist 1:1 teaching in literacy & underlying cognitive weaknesses;
developing self-esteem through strengths; fine-tuning classroom literacy
teaching; using multiple memory hooks; addressing any sensory and motor
difficulties; teaching social skills; and enhancing metacognition. Davis
Dyslexia and SPELD NZ are both recognized providers of specialist teaching
interventions for dyslexic learners. This study examines each in detail, and
comments on observed strengths and weaknesses.