Today, (31st January), I was debating with Professor Julian Elliot at UCL on whether dyslexia should remain as a label. I was called brave for agreeing to the #dyslexiadebate but I was beginning to wonder if I was just stupid! Still, Professor Elliot was welcoming and respectful and as is often the way with such …

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The Inclusive College

It was a pleasure to give the keynote on The Inclusive Classroom at Cardiff and Vale College this week. The day was organised by  James Donaldson, Head of additional learning needs and wellbeing for the college.  After a phone call, we discussed what I should include in my talk and I thought about it in …

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Dyslexia Dyslexia Reading Difficulties SpLD SEN SEND Specific Learning Difficulties

Treat the Need not the Label

Every few months a newspaper report comes along to claim ‘dyslexia doesn’t exist’ or ‘ADHD is made up’. Of course, this is usually a sensationalist version of a new report showing controversial research in the field. Yesterday, Tom Bennett wrote an article on the misdiagnosis of ADHD and dyslexia. https://www.tes.com/news/school-new…r-dyslexia-and-adhd-are-over-diagnosed-crypto For a SENDCo this can …

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The Last Post (on this anyway)

I’m responding to this where @thinkreadtweet replies to a blog I wrote about dysteachia. We’re in danger of playing ping pong at who is the most successful at teaching children to read I know. But @thinkreadtweet says children with low intelligence cannot be taught to read and I vehemently disagree.  I’ve taught lots of students with SEN …

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Day 28 – logic or instinct – let tech help – Assistive Technology #28daysofwriting

Well I’ve come to the end of my 28 day series. An idea started by @tombarrett and picked up and run with by @staffrm, @mrlockyer & @pepsmccrea. And the final push I needed was @ictevangelist’s tweet offering a free Staffrm mug for anyone who manages the full #28daysofwriting. I have been encouraged daily by @digitaldaisies …

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Day 26 – #5 Simple Tips to Help With Reading from a Screen – Assistive Technology #28daysofwriting

#youwillseehowdifficultitistoreadthiswithoutspace There is a US study which claims to show that increasing the gap between letters may make reading easier for struggling readers. VoiceDream will do this for you (Day 14) but for most students this is not possible. Some easier steps may help however: 1. A larger font – this can be seen just …

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#28daysofwriting Assistive Tech SEND Specific Learning Difficulties Staffroom Twitter

Day 18 – Who needs handwriting anyway? #28daysofwriting – Assistive Technology

Having poor handwriting in the grown up world is not taboo – not like being unable to read anyway. We tend to joke about bad handwriting; doctors and teachers are professions renowned for scruffy handwriting. For a child with illegible writing in school however it can be utterly miserable – there’s no pride, just shame, …

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Day 17 – the Exam Pen in an upside down video #28daysofwriting

So far I have concentrated on students who have poor skills – in exam arrangement speak this means those eligible for readers and scribes (standardised score of 85 or a range of scores between 85-90). But what about those students who are ‘a little bit weak’ reading? They can read quite well and relatively fluently …

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Day 16 – Do we really need to read and write? #28daysofwriting Assistive Technology

I was recently introduced at a training session as ‘the woman who will persuade you that reading and writing are not required to succeed in school’ – I laughed nervously saying ‘well, not quite but……’. Reading and writing are vital, of course, (and talking) but Assistive Technology has come on so much that if you …

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Day 12 – Clicker6 – Assistive Technology – #28daysofwriting

Crick has a very big stand at Betts. They are a very big company in the SEN world. This can make you suspicious – is it all flashy bang wallop? I don’t think so, in fact I think Clicker is one of the best Assistive Technologies for young, struggling readers and writers. I’m not on …

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