Make dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia testing free on the NHS.

Photo Credit: KootenaiUrgentCare Flickr via Compfight cc

An important step has been taken by British citizens who started a petition aiming to make dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia testing free on the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.

Today a cost of such test costs around £500, which is not affordable for many British families. While schools may help with the costs of a test if they believe one is necessary, they are not obliged to do so. Therefore many young British children are not diagnosed at a young age, leading them to have difficulties while learning, feeling discouraged and in some cases being bullied by their classmates.

Diagnosing learning disabilities at an early age needs to be a national goal and would help many children and avoid mental health issues in the future.

If you are eligible, please don’t to forget to sign the petition here.

Make dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia testing free on the NHS. Click To Tweet

Weekly roundup: Reading & dyslexia, Events

Photo Credit: jayneboo Flickr via Compfight cc

A new book on reading and dyslexia by Mark S. Seidenberg

In the newly published Language at the Speed of Sight Mark S. Seidenberg, professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison as well as Senior Scientist at Haskins Laboratories, discusses the science of reading and points out the disconnection between research and education. Seidenberg believes that the core of the problem lies within education. He emphasises that the way children are introduced to reading can create discrimination in economically poorer areas and even discourage reading completely from a younger age. This situation particularly affects children with reading disabilities such as dyslexia, as the difficulty to read is often misbelieved to be linked to the lack of hard work, rather than a physiological problem. The inability to read can lead to as far as illiteracy and should thus be addressed from the youngest age.

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What is multi-sensory learning?

Multi-sensory learning with shapes, color, touch

If you’ve spent any time reading up on interventions for learning disabilities then you have probably come across the term multi-sensory learning. The phrase pops up fairly often in descriptions of dyslexia therapies, for example. But what exactly is multi-sensory learning, other than a buzzword? Read on to find out.

We absorb information in many different ways. Sometimes we learn by seeing, such as when we read a text. Or we may learn by hearing, as when a teacher explains a lesson to us.

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Weekly roundup: learning disabilities

Headlines

Dybuster weekly roundup learning disabilitiesA month ago the U.S. Senate voted to designate October National Dyslexia Awareness Month (read more). The news was greeted with enthusiasm on blogs and social media accounts focused on learning differences. That was balanced last week by this article in the Huffington Post by Jessica R. Toste. A sobering look at education equality, the article argues the need for not only inclusion for individuals with learning disabilities, but also the special educational resources they require to succeed. From the article:

…the supplemental instruction required by students with learning disabilities needs to be delivered in smaller group sizes…[but] one should not misinterpret the demand for specialized instruction as dismissive of the critical importance of inclusive schooling.

Toste argues that the push for inclusive schooling has sometimes resulted in students with learning disabilities being unable to keep up in the general classroom. What are your experiences with inclusive schooling? Thoughts and comments? Read more.

Resources

If the details of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) are difficult to navigate, hop over to the Edmentum blog and this post on learning disabilities classifications. The article gives a detailed overview of the categories of learning disabilities as defined by IDEA. A diagnosis within one of these categories paves the way to an in-depth evaluation and an individualized education plan.

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