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Specific Learning Difficulties: Dyslexia

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 5532 words Published: 16th May 2017

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Reading has become essential skill for all societies. it affects social development of these communities. Students with dyslexia have difficulties in reading skill and that may impede the development of other skills they have. Moreover, Dyslexia has been defined by medical and social approach. The need to work with children with dyslexia direction to use intervention programs. For example, Reading Recovery program. In addition, teachers tend to teaching students with reading difficulties by Whole Language Instructions and Code- Emphasis Instructions. On the other hand, there many dyslexia friendly schools in deferent countries which provide many facilities for students with dyslexia. This paper will look into different definitions of dyslexia , causes of dyslexia will be discussed . Intervention for dyslexia will be examined in terms of stages of intervention in England , issues associated with intervention and also focus on a major world-wide programme: Reading Recovery. Teaching Methods for students with reading difficulties will be examined in terms of Whole Language Instructions and Code- emphasis Instructions. Finally, there will be discussion for Facilitating dyslexia friendly schools.



1. Definition of dyslexia…………………………………………………..

2. Causes of dyslexia…………………………………………………………

3. Intervention for dyslexia………………………………………………

3.1 Definition of intervention………………………………………

3.2 Stages of intervention in England……………………………

3.3 A major world-wide programme: Reading Recovery……..

3.4 Issues related to intervention…………………………………

4. Methods of teaching reading skills for children with dyslexia….

4.1 Whole Language Instructions……………………………

4.2 Code- Emphasis Instructions……………………………

5. Facilitating dyslexia friendly schools……………………………




Reading is a necessary skill for success in all societies, and the ability to read throughout various contexts effectively likely to improve self confidence and social progress as well as ones potential carrier. However, Reading difficulties is the problem that faces many students with dyslexia across different educational system. It seems clear that there are two main methods of conceiving LD in general and the natural reality concept of dyslexia. One main definition relates to psychological/medical model and the other is social model (Kevin, 1999).

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It is frequently point out that reading skill is complicated because it is based on two main processes which are coding, comprehension. They require learning all alphabetical characters and the outcome of knowledge as well as interaction with the reader’s own experiences and access to results through the text. According to H. Lee Swanson, Karen R. Harris, Steve Graham (2006 ) reading difficulties is deficit in learning processes which are include visual perception and perceptual Kinetic perception,.. etc. They established training programs for this processes which are prerequisite for learning to read, such as audio and visual perception. However, this trend has been criticized by researchers, because theoretical philosophy was weak and it was not based on scientific basic due to it was certified to see only virtual behavior. On the other hand, in the sixties and seventies of the last century has returned to focus on direct teaching and structured learning, which focus on Code -emphasis and Whole Language (Hoien, 2000).Unfortunately, there is no known medical alternatives to reduce the severity of cognitive processing delay in pupils with reading difficulties. Therefore, teachers are required to work instructional adjustments as a result, students with reading difficulties are to be successful in an suitable an academic environment that help to reduce reading difficulties (such as eliminate any source of disturbance at mainstream classrooms and resource room).

One of the most important instructional adjustments is use of basic procedures for appropriate intervention in early stage of educational ladder to avoid reading problems in students through use of various programs of intervention by specialized teachers and clinical psychologist to apply. Moreover, another instructional adjustment which is methods of teaching students with dyslexia how do they read?(Kevin L. Huitt ,1999 ).

On the other hand , dyslexia friendly schools are an appropriate environment for children with dyslexia are to provide effective support to them and they have awareness of the special needs of these students. They are to be provided with effective support and awareness of their additional requirements.

The aim of this brief essay is to discuss different definitions of dyslexia. Intervention to reduce reading difficulties in students with dyslexia will be discussed with a focus on stages of intervention in England , issues associated with intervention and also focus on a major world-wide programme: Reading Recovery. Teaching Methods for students with reading difficulties will be examined in terms of Whole Language Instructions and Code- emphasis Instructions . Finally, Facilitating dyslexia friendly schools will be discussed in brief.

1. Definition of Dyslexia

It seems a controversial issue relatively in the beginning, because dyslexia has defined in many approaches, some of the definitions reflect the theories of causation, while the other definitions in an attempt to describe dyslexia. It seems clear that dyslexia involves more than one condition as it conveys a conceptual difficulty in reading skills for the child as well as a number of other reasons (Rice, 2004).

There are many of reliable definitions that have been adopted from a wide range of different instruction environments, such as definition of the British Association for Dyslexia (2001), which seems to be a descriptive definition , which indicate that dyslexia can be seen as : “A combination of abilities and difficulties which affect the learning process in one or more of reading, spelling, and writing. Accompanying weakness may be identified in areas of speed of processing, short-term memory, sequencing, auditory and / or visual perception, spoken language and motor skills. It is particularly related to mastering and using written language, which may include alphabetic, numeric and musical notation” ( Reid, 2002).

It is agreed widely that reading skill is key for all people to complete the learning process successfully and appears to be agreement that the learning process needs to be a large number of simple skills, which requires the functions are ordered from different regions of the brain (both left and right from the Broca’s area and Hamichaer ), moreover, the sequence of actions that may make it one of the most complex operations. It is clear that all teachers, practitioners and parents should have information about children with dyslexia and the most important problems they face, especially in reading to understand the definition of the educational process (British Dyslexia Association, 2003).

On the other, the World Federation of Neurologists (1968) defined it as; “Dyslexia is a disorder manifested by difficulty in learning to read despite conventional instruction and socio-cultural opportunity. It is dependent upon fundamental cognitive disabilities which are frequently of constitutional origin.” (Mortimore, 2003, by Reid, 1994, p.2).

If we pay enough attention to this definition it is clear that the greatest changes considerate on the late sixties that stress and characterized problems to complete reading process to be successful, and the new millennium, that is a interested far more than three different stages of description, the first, behavioural, which is the most important element for teachers and practitioners to work daily with children with dyslexia, particularly in the school, and second, cognitive which is more relate to teacher learning difficulties who is responsible for assessment of any kind of learning difficulties and then Preparation an individual education plan, third, the level of biological, which refers to dyslexia for kind of nervous-developmental in developmental deficit of biological origin(Frith, 2003).

However, if we compare the definition of the British Dyslexia Association in the definition of (2001) of dyslexia with the equivalent, which presented by the World Federation of Neurology (1968), we will note other potential conflicts, according to the conceptual dimension to the definition of dyslexia. On the other hand , it is perfectly balanced in those who wish to present the strengths and weaknesses of children with dyslexia: “dyslexia is a combination of difficulties, and capacity that may affect the learning process in one or more of the writing, reading and spelling. It might be possible, identify weaknesses in visual perception, processing speed of the short-term memory, sequencing, as well as audio, spoken language and motor skills. and that are relevant to mastering and using written language, which may contain the alphabet and identify the digital as well as musical.

2. Causes of Dyslexia

According to ( Rice, 2004 ) there is still no consensus on the underlying causes of dyslexia. It is frequently point out that not all the difficulty in reading or writing means dyslexia. However, there are many scientists who believe that inheritance and hearing problems at an early age may cause dyslexia. This will be discussed in more details.

2.1 Inheritance

May not be possible that dyslexia is not a strong characteristic that will be inherited, even if one or both parents have it. On the other hand, this may be possible. it clear that forty per cent of the people and explained that dyslexia has a history of learning difficulties in their family. According to Brain scanning of children with dyslexia by specialists in the field of medicine that bunches of cells beneath the surface in the front left side of the brain are responsible for reading problems (ibid.). This group of cells moving on the surface of brain cells while growing in the fetus, which does not occur with children with dyslexia. In addition, they have to be smaller mango cellular system, which is liable for recognition, for example, symbols and characters, which leads to difficult to read. They usually tend to use the right part for these skills, which are not designed for this job and that six times slower. It is clear that scientists consider these genetic variations and statistics that the inheritance is one of causes of dyslexia.

2.2 Hearing Problems at an Early Age

It is frequently point out that the first five years of a child’s life are important for the ability to read and write in accordance with natural languages. In the event that the child is suffering from colds or other continuously during the first years of his life, without medical intervention prior to the visit of the health center, may be exposed to ban prayer from time to time and thus may lead to hearing loss. This means that there is a break in the learning process of the child because of those problems in the hearing. If the child does not have the ability to hear words correctly, and thus lead to delays in the phonemic awareness of the child that leads to learning difficulties, such as dyslexia (Bradford, 2009).

3. Intervention for Dyslexia

3.1 Definition of intervention

According to Wall (2003) definition of intervention as ” An intervention is an interaction between two people to bring about change and, therefore, early years practitioners undertake interventions each time they are working with children. Interventions may be short, medium or long term and will be planned carefully to ensure effectiveness and appropriateness.” and He suggested idea which is what and how should practitioners draw up a plan or design different and useful intervention programs for each child as a case individually, by clarifying how it could encourage teachers or staff of these children collaborative work by each category of activity classroom, which can be caused by structured plan which made through specialists.

It can be seen that intervention has become a significant key in resolving of psychological educational issues which is more effective to clarify access for these issues or problems and also it is useful in reaching positive results, especially for children with learning difficulties who are at risk for any particular type of learning difficulties. It is important to note that it should be look at if one parent has dyslexia, which is likely to move to one of their children as a result it is important there is focus on the family history, which may to be assisted to alert teachers and parents therefore, it may get appropriate intervention program for these children (Augur,1993 ).

If we pay enough attention to Augur indicate that developmental dyslexia is justified for certain reasons, first reason, it may be very difficult to clarify kind of developmental dyslexia that a child is born thought according to the results of brain injury as a result of stroke or an accident, etc..Moreover, the second reason which is that many specialists agree that most of these children, who are smart in most courses with the exception of some basic academic skills that need to develop and therefore it is likely that the teachers are providing success and development of the natural growth of children with dyslexia,

if they were with the fact that dyslexia may not be curable but it needs to useful intervention programs.

3.2 Stages of intervention in England

According to DfES (2003) that stages of intervention used in schools in Britain, with almost identical stages in America, called ( waves ). Wave 1, which is refer to initial education for literacy in schools in that there must be effective integration of all children, high quality and a daily reading and writing hour with appropriate differentiation required. Whereas, if the children do not respond correctly to primary classroom of literacy guidance therefore, intervention will be necessary. In addition, Wave 2 shows a set of specific interventions which are additional a specific time, which refer to some children who are in need of support services to accelerate development and they can work at or above age-related t the highest of expectations . Wave 3 which is describe the governance for a small number of children and intervention is necessary to provide specifically for the processor speed of evolution or allow children to achieve their potential.

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It is clearly that , this could include the 01:01 or specific interventions, so when it comes to older children, which is usually refer to the approach set out specifically for children that have been identified as requiring special education support by working in the school environment. The best example, as noted by the researcher that Wave 3 intervention which is reading recovery.

3.3 A major world-wide program : Reading Recovery

Reading Recovery has been designed by Marie Clay, who is a researcher in New Zealand (Reading Recovery Council , 2006). Mary did studies which allowed her to develop appropriate methods for the detection and intervention for reading difficulties for children. In addition, this program is studies based intervention that is applied in more than 10000 schools in New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. it was a developed to offer intervention for children who have reading difficulties ( Au, Mason1990).

According to Au, Mason (1990) The main of reading recovery is to offer intensive one-on-one support children who have reading difficulties in first grade and thus provide appropriate intervention to help them succeed before they improve their reading difficulties (Savage, John 1994). Moreover, it is aimed at less than twenty percent of school classes in first grade classroom . It is clear that it is not easy to make a decision about who children should be given to this program. children are taking a test and depending on the lowest scores for this test and then to hold this program for children got the lowest scores by trained teachers in the application of this program for children who have difficulties reading to reduce these difficulties and to read well (Kline, Anne 1997).

It is frequently point out reading recovery is developed to be compatible with the mainstream school system. Each school needs to confirm that teachers should have the ability to download the program continuously during the year. It is clear that it has the ability to work in a variety of levels for instance it works in effective way with school, teachers, children, and in education system to provide assistance in reducing reading difficulties in children (Reading Recovery National Network,2006 ). Savage, John (1994) pointed out that Reading Recovery which is a program works differently for each child who is in need of this program.

Selection of children for this program based on the report which is submitted by the teacher, and a survey about what child has knowledge of letters and concepts about print process, text reading . In addition, the program starts with what child is to have the ability to do, then it focus on what they are trying to learn and work what child need to learn about reading (Reading Recovery National Network,2006 ). According to Chapman, Turner ( 2003) the program is designed to work one-on-one instruction for thirty minutes a day for a period of twelve to twenty weeks through trained teachers. Moreover, it is designed to regular classroom reading guide. In addition, It is set out to assist based on child’s strengths. The main concentration on one-on-one lessons is concentrate on comprehending the various messages in reading and students have the ability to build messages in writing skill (Reading Recovery National Network).

According to Savage, John ( 1994 ) reading recovery include that :

Firstly : Reading Familiar Books : students tend to read books that they enjoy. and teachers will observe how child read this book then they will assist the child while children are reading this book.

Secondly : Assessment of reading strategies: the students will have a book that have never read it, in the previous lesson, the child will read that book for the teacher, then the teacher will use recorder while the child is read.

Thirdly : Working on Letter recognition: The student will be trained to look at the different letters, and begins to be familiar with them.

Fourthly : Introducing new books :The teacher will choose a number of different books that are suitable for student’s reading level.

Finally : Reading new books: The teacher will show a new book for the student, and then the student will be supposed to read it in the next lesson. In addition, the teacher and student will discuss the book and provide assistance to prepare for the understanding of the story in that book before read it.

It is clear that Reading program was designed to meet the special the individual needs of reader who has difficulties in reading, which seems different from child to child. Working Individually with students, preparing lessons depend on the individual needs of the child, will help to develop children’s reading (hapman, Iversen, & Tunmer 2005). It is clear that the reading recovery has extensive one-on-one instruction.

Not surprising to anyone that Intensification of the program and work individually with students which is influential to stage of intervention for those students who have reading difficulties. Recent research indicates that the method of one-on-one is more effective in teaching in regular classes that lead to achieving the individual needs for each student (Chapman, Tunmer 2003).

Reading Recovery Council (2006 ) pointed out that many of the children are in different levels reading skill , establishment of lesson for all student is not always effective to that a student who does not understand what may be understood by other child and therefore teachers can create a lesson that will contain five elements: working with letters, reading books which are familiar to student, observe and record what is read by the student and reading new curriculum (Barnes, Bonnie 1996). it is possible to assist students achieve effective reading performance by the individual needs of them early. In addition, working individually with students to guide them educating reading strategies as well as to provide some time for the application so that they will be capable to achieve in grade stage (Educational Commissions System of the States 2000).

It seems clear that the strategy of one-on-one which allows teachers to provide students all comments, compliments and questions that the teacher knows a student who has the ability to answer those questions. In addition to, the reading recovery teachers have the ability to help the student and give feedback for the work he is doing (Barnes, Bonnie 1996). On the other hand , Reading recovery will take 30 minutes for each student .It must take into account that there are some things that may be affect the students when they are in the classroom, for example: days of illness, field trips and workshops (Barnes, Bonnie 1996).

Barnes, Bonnie (1996) indicate that time consuming is one of the problems related to educating Reading Recovery through the amount of paperwork which are side by side with the teaching of reading recovery to individual students. For example, a written analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the child, the report of the expectations of progress through the identification of long-term and short-term goals to child daily lesson programme.

Another drawback of reading recovery is teachers. Many teachers do not usually have support from their colleagues in the school as well as they have difficulty in access to feedback on their lessons . Moreover, there are many teachers in the classroom do not have a sense of the impact of reading recovery program on the children because it is presented only one or two students in their classrooms (Noble, Jo Anne 1995). In addition, There are many teachers who are working only has the half-time reading recovery teacher. Therefore, they have the ability to service only about eight children each academic year. In addition, many schools have approximately a hundred and fifty first grade students f, this is evidence that only about sex or seven percent of children have the ability to receive reading recovery programme (Barnes, Bonnie 1996).

As has been mentioned before the goal of reading recovery is to guide children in learning techniques and assist to practice time , children have the ability to deliver on grade level (Frankas, George 2000).However, reading recovery is working , regardless of economic status, gender and social status of the group of children that led to the acceleration of the effective progress this programme (Educational Leadership 1990).

Centre, Wheldall (1992) pointed out that to make reading recovery programme more effective must change three elements: Behavioural change in teachers. The child behaviour change acquired through teachers. There is a need for the school to change the regulatory requirements for administrators and teachers.

It is clear that the results of reading recovery program is that it offers effective intervention for students in grade school and then treatment, instead of falling into the failure in reading difficulties for these children. In addition, it is providing strong support for teachers and enable them to become more effective in reading recovery programme . Moreover, the most important outcome of the program is to be has number of children in grades 2-6 to have a few problems in reading difficulties once and then the program is implemented effectively and correctly (Noble, Jo Anne 1995).

3.4 Issues associated with intervention

It is frequently point out that there is controversy about how to build effectively intervention program . Researcher will present the most important factors agreed for potential success in the planning and production of the correct intervention program. First, it taking into account the assessment procedures and examination in psychology that can explain exactly what are the skills which need to develop in children. According to Fawcett and Lynch (2000)to examine dyslexia test (designed by Nicolson and Fawcett, 1996) will be the most successful for all the teachers to their schools. In addition, this test has become highly efficient because it is interested in semantic and verbal fluency as well as knowledge of numbers. Another reason which is how quickly the application of this test. For example, it is take one minute to the task of writing and one minute in the skill of reading, moreover, spelling and other skills that could take two minutes.

According to Pumfrey and Reason (2001) enhance the quantity and quality of cognitive development of children is significant factor to reach the appropriate intervention for them, it is important to take into account to confirmation that intervention at the earliest time that in order to that this procedure may not lead to a delay which is undesirable for children who have reading difficulties. In the same context, we may emphasize that the assessment procedures and examination need to be more focus by that stage, even before the application to avoid any future problems (Talcott,, 1997). However, the researcher as a teacher for special education as well as lecturer at the Department of Special Education recognizes that there are no tests in a uniform and there is a clear lack of evaluation of courses in schools in Saudi Arabia.

It is clear that this is an opportunity for the researcher to obtain the correct method of assessing and screening for children who have difficulties reading in schools and the transfer of these measures and the right strategies for the development of the educational process in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Talcott, (1997) indicate that there is an Other factor which is related to people who may play an active role of detection of children who have dyslexia. Therefore, there are some people around the children who have learning difficulties and they who provide full care to alleviate the difficulties that may be in these children as well as they are trying to find the appropriate methods in educational process such as, parents, professionals as well as specialists in health care

4. Teaching Methods of Reading Skills for Children with Dyslexia

As has been mentioned before is that in fact the intervention to address reading difficulties in children with dyslexia is a successful strategy to provide support appropriate for them. But it is frequently point out that , it is to look for on the strengths and weaknesses of the learner and learning styles appropriate through the school by the teacher, which is suited to the needs of each individual. Because it is known to us that each and every child with dyslexia is different according to the file and function of cognitive and learning styles appropriate to him (Reid ,1997 ).

4.1 Whole Language Instruction

According to the study carried out by Frank, 1978, it was having an impact in supporting the Whole Language Instruction, teaching reading is a natural counterpart to learn to speak the sense of learning to read instinctive. In addition, Whole Language Instruction may focuses on education to be of total to the part and not vice versa (e.g. learning the skills not included in the Whole language instruction), and learning to write must occur through fun activities functional meaning, and the focus on education priority, instead of keeping the roots. Moreover, it consenter on the learner who is the center of education rather than the curriculum and education should be based on individual interaction.

It is clear that it may supports education in a social environment. Moreover, the teacher is the one who set the curriculum to be concepts are interrelated rather than dividing them up into multiple skills or subsets of content and evaluation focuses on the strengths of the learner. It seems that Whole Language Instruction is a tool to deal with the class and adjust and it may provides disadvantaged students to be able to overcome reading problems ( Pressely, 1994). However, according to Mather (1992 ) Whole Language Instruction team believe that retail could disrupt learning process, so they are opposed to direct teaching of encoding, because it split the language into separate clips and skills, which may lead to the language is not used, as well as a waste of time. The Whole Language Instruction may provide meaning to the texts and it is focusing on both reading and writing, as learn the rules of language may be done without the need to teach voice.

It is clear that Educators and researchers stress fact that learning may be the best when there is enjoyable environment for learning and learner will be active participant in learning process as well as the teacher must take into account individual differences between children. These principles focus upon the way of Whole Language Instruction in learning to read, the child will read full text and then he begins to recognize words and letters with helping by teacher and the child will feel motivation when he is reading and that is the most important needs, which increases the capacity of the child with dyslexia to learn to read correctly (Fuhler,1993 )

Learner (2000 ) pointed out that there are basics of teaching reading difficulties by using method of Whole Language Instruction as following :

Firstly : Reading is one of the elements of internal language which is very close to oral language and written language, so teachers who use this method confirm the language written and oral reading lead to the child will be improved , when he learn to read and there is a relationship between linguistic vulnerability in children and reading difficulties, children who have language problems or mobility are likely to develop problems in writing in the early stages.

Secondly : The method of verbal language may be acquired by the natural use, according to the teachers who use Whole Language Instruction that children may learn to speak without the need for special training and this means that children will learn to read naturally through exposure to learn to read by focusing on language and books which related to fluency of language.

Finally : Teachers who use the method of Whole Language Instruction avoid use of separate teaching which does not focus on the link between parts of the meaning of language, as well as the way of teaching that focuses on use of separate exercises, and they believe that books that divide natural language into small pieces and mysterious that could make teaching is difficult. In addition, Whole Language Instruction users think that learning of characters is normally by way of education , it is clear that learning of letters should not be separate, but it is normally acquired through reading.

4.2 Code- emphasis Instruction

It is clear that we should understand the strategies of coding in Whole Language I


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