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DAI (Details)

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DAI certification

One of my cheif educational priorities is special educational needs, SEN. This is what urged me to complete a course with The DAI last year which qualifies me to teach at any of the DAI workshops across the country. I have since worked in the DAI workshop in Maynooth with students ages 8 -11 years old. 

The DAI suggests that teachers supply dyslexic students with handouts, of their powerpoint presentations, with words blanked out and get them to fill in the missing words from the powerpoints (please see appendices 3) as opposed to getting them to take notes as many students with dyslexia find it difficult to take adequate or legible notes.(Nicholas, 2009) However this tactic need not just apply to the students with SEN as research has shown that when you apply teaching strategies to assist dyslexic students in your classroom, the whole class will benefit, including gifted and talented students. (MacKay, 2006) Thus through a little change in a teacher’s practice the SEN students, as well as the rest of the class, potentially, will greatly benefit.

What is Dyslexia

Dyslexia symptoms vary from person to person but a common trait is that people with dyslexia read at levels significantly lower than other people their age.

The Dyslexia Research Trust claims that the main signs of dyslexia is difficulty reading and sufferers may reverse numbers and letters, and struggle with spelling. 

Children who speak later than others, find rhyming words difficult and can't distinguish between word sounds may also have the condition. 

Dylsexic children may also reach other milestones later, such as crawling, walking, throwing or riding a bike. 

A dyslexic may be clumsier than their peers, often get left and right mixed up and have trouble concentrating.

The association additionally claims people with dyslexia are more likely to develop hay fever, asthma, eczema, and other allergies.

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Shared Reading

Shared reading, also known as paired reading or guided reading, one way to help students with dyslexia improve word recognition and reading fluency, is when a teacher reads a story while the class looks at the text and reads along with the teacher. Shared reading can also be done one-on-one, with the student and an older student, a classroom aid or at home with a parent.

Reading aloud to students with dyslexia helps to foster positive attitudes toward reading as well as:

  • Helps students make connections between written words and spoken words
  • Encourages discussion about stories to aid in comprehension
  • Promotes reading strategies such as predicting what will happen next
  • Helps increase vocabulary
  • Increases word recognition
  • Improves oral communication

This type of approach to learning reading works best when the student has a high interest in the book that is being read and the book is easy to read. Large print and pictures are important for beginning readers

What its like to be Dyslexic

Tips for supporting students with dyslexia in the classroom

  • Recognise the confusion and frustration of the student and avoid situations that increase pressure.
  • Do not equate genuine variability of performance with lack of effort.
  • Provide support with additional recording mechanisms where appropriate (e.g. appropriate literacy software, charts, diagrams, dictaphones, electronic dictionaries, models, voice recognition software and word processors with spellchecker).
  • Employ line trackers and/or coloured overlays as appropriate.
  • Provide opportunities for the student to re-learn and over-learn.
  • Encourage the process of drafting and redrafting.
  • Amend worksheets to make them understandable.
  • Provide assistance with elements of the writing process, such as the using of planning sheets and editing checklists.
  • Read questions aloud.
  • Encourage self-correction.
  • Practise memory games.
  • Use a structured multi-sensory literacy programme with the student.
  • Establish the students’ strengths and their individual learning styles.
  • Teach a range of word-attack skills (e.g. contextual cues, look and say, phonics, punctuation and word shapes).
  • Use a graded-reading programme that is appropriate to the student’s level of literacy skills as well as his/her interest level.
  • Provide supplementary reading material that is below the student’s assessed reading level, which allows the student to read independently (i.e. less than two errors in one hundred words).
  • Use a rehearsal-reading system. Instead of calling on students at random to read aloud, assign each student a specific passage a day in advance.
  • Start with the student’s free writing when selecting spellings to learn. Target specific spelling patterns that the student requires assistance with as evidenced in the student’s free writing.
  • Correct spellings positively and allow students credit for correct letters or sounds in words.
  • Employ a number of multi-sensory methods when teaching spellings and consider the use of the strategy of look, copy, trace, picture, cover, write and check selectively.
  • Construct logs or diaries of essential words.
  • Break tasks into small steps and allow adequate time for completion.
  • Select and highlight most important errors, not all errors – focus on the nature of the errors (quality) rather than the number of errors (quantity).
  • Teach study skills (e.g. highlighting central points, mind-maps®, mnemonics, etc).
  • Give regular constructive praise and encouragement and maintain high expectations.
  • Limit copying from the board. Write in different colours on the blackboard.
  • Expect students’ work to be erratic and inconsistent.
  • Encourage students to repeat the directions for completing a task.
  • Use visual cues to help the students to organise themselves.
  • Acknowledge that extra time is needed by students in order to complete tasks.
  • Use appropriate computer software to support reading, spelling and writing (e.g. Wordshark®, Numbershark®, etc).
  • Encourage the use of spelling dictionaries such as ACE Spelling Dictionary® and spellcheckers such as the Franklin®.
  • Particularly at post-primary level consider the use of some non-printed learning materials such as taped books, recorded classes and curriculum texts on tape.
  • Remember a student with dyslexia may have great difficulty with figures (e.g. learning tables), reading music or anything which entails interpreting symbols. Learning foreign languages can be particularly difficult.

Diagram detailing the different areas of Information and Communication Technology supporting Dyslexia


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LK - 30 March 2017, 5:01 PM
As experts from point out, often parents are asked to wait and see. Yet parents often know when something is amiss. The child who had trouble with rhyming, difficulty learning the alphabet, may have been slow to talk and now is having difficulty with reading, needs to be tested. The sooner this child is tested (and current tests can now be done down to 5 1/2 yrs old), the sooner she can be helped. This will help preserve her self-esteem and her innate love of learning.
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Kimmie - 27 July 2017, 10:06 AM
Cool guide! Thanks for sharing. You can find more info on I'll use your advice in my work with students.
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stephensam - 09 October 2017, 6:49 AM
The tips is most useful for the students life. It will helps to keep the university into more discipline.
Thanks & Regards
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