We are a group of parents, community members, educators and health professionals concerned with the well-being and success of people with dyslexia and dyslexia type learning needs (DTLN).
Dyslexia SA Incorporated is a not for profit charity group, dedicated to empowering families and raising awareness of Dyslexia. We are committed to improving the learning outcomes of individuals as measured by NAPLAN results and school attendance/completion data.
We will do this by adhering to our six point plan
Earliest Screening and Intervention
‘Today we possess sufficient knowledge regarding the components of reading to diagnose almost every child in kindergarten (Reception) at risk of learning difficulties.’ Maryanne Wolf 2008. The single most important factor and predictor of successful literacy acquisition is phonological awareness. Screening of phonological awareness by teachers to identify ‘at risk’ students should be done in their first term at school. Tier 1 (Prevention) Quality, multi-sensory, explicit classroom instruction at all year levels. Tier 2 (Targeted intervention with a trained literacy teacher) Excellent, multi-sensory explicit small group instruction.
Dyslexia Aware Schools
Whole school training – Focusing on changing attitudes and perceptions to improve literacy outcomes for all learners. Presenting Dyslexia as a preferred way of learning rather than a disability. Schools who meet the criteria are awarded the DAS Quality Mark.
Severe Dyslexia – Tier 3 – Intensive Intervention
A percentage of children who have received early intervention and high quality classroom programs will experience persistent and severe difficulties with the literacy demands of the regular classroom. These students will be at a high risk of non-school completion. Principles of Tier 3 specialist teaching must include: An integrated program of phonology, syllable instruction, morphology, syntax and semantics; direct thorough instruction; structured and sequential learning; multi-sensory activities and meta-cognitive strategies.
Special Provisions in SACE Examinations for those with Learning Disabilities Changes to be made:
Recognition by the SACE board of the processing difficulties of all students with Dyslexia and Specific Learning Disabilities and the need for SACE to allow extra time and accommodations in alignment with the recommendations from current research. Dyslexia and Specific Learning Disabilities do not ‘go away’ they impact on a person for life. The SACE board needs to be prompt in its response to applications for accommodations.
Mandatory Pre-service teacher training and ongoing professional development in regard to learning disabilities including Dyslexia
Currently, knowledge of learning disabilities varies greatly across Australia. Many teachers complete their pre-service training with little or no understanding of learning disabilities, their symptoms, and effective strategies to assist students (Louden et al, 2000). All pre-service and practising teachers must receive compulsory training in evidence based reading instruction, on how to teach reading to students of any age.
The effects of Dyslexia on Mental Health
The Melbourne Declaration of Educational Goals 2008 outlined two goals – 1. Australian schooling promotes equity and excellence. 2. All young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals and active and informed citizens. Literacy under-achievement has high hidden social and economic costs. The connection between under-achievement in literacy (especially in reading), poor behaviour, reduced health and well-being and crime is a major community health issue (DeWalt et al, 2004). Governments need to recognise Dyslexia and provide funding to schools so students with Dyslexia have equitable access to education.
- Empowering early years settings, schools, work places and families to support and assist individuals with Dyslexia or Dyslexic Type Learning Needs to access positive, meaningful, responsive and relevant education and employment.
- Supporting Education sectors in implementing evidence based Wave/Tier 1, 2 and 3 quality teaching as part of a Dyslexia Aware School model to ensure they are provided with the opportunity for learning success in reading, writing and spelling.
- To raise awareness of Dyslexia within the community.