Does spelling practice help children with dyslexia learn sight words?
We have once again been contacted by Leeds Uni to take part in their Dyslexia Research Project
From Leeds Uni – “Do you have a child aged 11-16 with a diagnosis of dyslexia? We are running an online study to see whether spelling practice can help young people with dyslexia learn words by sight so that they can read more fluently. The study will involve taking part in a video call where we quickly measure your child’s reading and spelling ability. After this we will give you a link to the online part of the study, where your child will learn some specially created novel words; their learning will be measured immediately after and then again after a delay of a few days.”
We are very pleased that Leeds Uni came to us for this study. It allows our members to have input into the current research.
Helen Bowden, CEO of the BDA asks… “When was the last time you handwrote anything important, that was going to impact on the rest of your life? Not often I imagine, considering digital is now the norm. We always have spelling, punctuation and grammar aids integrated into the technology we’re using. (Without) specialist support for dyslexia, the result is lower academic attainment that often impacts on future life chances”.
And to really get the best out of using a computer, typing by touch is essential for Dyslexia and other needs, like Dyspraxia, Dysgraphia, ADHD, ASD. Typing by touch uses a different part of the brain from writing with a pen; the skill becomes unconscious and automatic, using powerful muscle memory. Touch typing has many benefits: a different, effective way to spell, words are patterns and finger movements programmed into the subconscious. It improves accuracy & speed, decreases cognitive load on the attention & conscious brain, freeing it to focus solely on what to write and it reduces visual stress keeping eyes focussed on the screen, not jumping between screen & keyboard.
Yorkshire Rose Dyslexia is promoting touch typing to help Dyslexic children in their region, working with local schools, running their own computer club to teach typing and helping parents to get their children learning at home. Pat Payne, YRD Chair, says “touch typing is one simple, measurable way to help Dyslexic children that can change how they do written work in just a few weeks – if only other things were as quick to solve. Children can learn at school or at home, or a combination of both. Just a few weeks of regular practice can show fantastic results”.
Of the many typing programs around, YRD uses Englishtype because it was designed by an Educational Psychologist specifically to help Dyslexic children learn to type and unlock all the extra benefits of typing using muscle memory. The multi-sensory design and unique colour coding of the keyboard makes learning easy & fun, and a variety of different activities to program the muscle memory with carefully selected, relevant & useful vocabulary. The children say they love learning with Englishtype, playing games & winning outfits for their onscreen typing companion.
Whether you teach your child to type in a few weeks or months, or longer, YRD recommends it is one of the best things you can do to help your dyslexic child.
As you may know, there has been much recent discussion and debate about Dyslexia and several Local Authority’s have decided to stop identifying children with dyslexia and instead intend to provide one intervention approach to the teaching of all children with literacy difficulties despite the cause. This approach takes no account of the other difficulties experienced by dyslexic children and adults.
During this year’s APPGs, there will be three meetings looking separately at the human, societal and educational impact of dyslexia. To frame the other sessions, areas also to be looked at will be, the impact on individuals and their families and the human impact of going through education and life with dyslexia.
In preparation for this year’s APPGs, the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) has been collecting information to gain a better insight into the current parental experience of dyslexia, exploring the emotional cost and impact on a family. This evidence will be presented at the meeting on Wednesday 24th April 2019. Future meetings will be exploring the Educational Costs and the Social Costs of dyslexia.
Please write to your MP with a brief story and asking them to attend this meeting, one of three that will be looking at the Human Cost of Dyslexia.