Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 25

Search results for: dyslexia

25 Positive Psychology Intervention for Dyslexia: A Qualitative Study

Authors: Chathurika Sewwandi Kannangara, Jerome Carson

Abstract:

The objective of this research is to identify strengths among the individuals with dyslexia and design a positive psychology intervention to support such individuals. Dyslexia is a combination of abilities and difficulties that affect the learning process in areas as such reading, spelling and writing. It is a persistent condition. The research aims to adapt positive psychology techniques to support individuals with dyslexia. Population of the research will be undergraduate and college level students with dyslexia. First phase of the study will be conducted on a sample of undergraduate and college level students with dyslexia in Bolton, UK. The concept of treatment in positive psychology is not only to fix the component just what is wrong, instead it is also to develop and construct on what is right in the individual. The first phase of the research aims to identify the signature strengths among the individuals with dyslexia using Interviews, Descriptions on personal experiences on ‘My life with Dyslexia’, and Values in Action (VIA) strength survey. In order to conduct the survey for individuals with dyslexia, the VIA survey has been hosted in a website which is solely developed in the form of dyslexia friendly context. Dyslexia friendly website for surveys had designed and developed following the British Dyslexia Association guidelines. The findings of the first phase would be utilized for the second phase of the research to develop the positive psychology intervention.

Keywords: dyslexia, signature strengths, positive psychology, qualitative study, learning difficulties

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24 A Mixed Method Study Investigating Dyslexia and Students Experiences of Anxiety and Coping

Authors: Amanda Abbott-Jones

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Adult students with dyslexia can receive support for cognitive needs but may also experience anxiety, which is less understood. This study aims to test the hypothesis that dyslexic learners in higher education have a higher prevalence of academic and social anxiety than their non-dyslexic peers and explores wider emotional consequences of studying with dyslexia and the ways that adults with dyslexia cope cognitively and emotionally. A mixed-method approach was used in two stages. Stage one compared survey responses from students with dyslexia (N = 102) and students without dyslexia (N = 72) after completion of an anxiety inventory. Stage two explored the emotional consequences of studying with dyslexia and the types of coping strategies used through semi-structured interviews with 20 dyslexic students. Results revealed a statistically significant effect for academic anxiety but not for social anxiety. Findings for stage two showed that: (1) students’ emotional consequences were characterised by a mixture of negative and positive responses, yet negative responses were more frequent in response to questions about academic tasks than positive responses; (2) participants had less to say on coping emotionally, than coping cognitively.

Keywords: dyslexia, higher education, anxiety, emotion

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23 A Quantitative Study Identifying the Prevalence of Anxiety in Dyslexic Students in Higher Education

Authors: Amanda Abbott-Jones

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Adult students with dyslexia in higher education can receive support for their cognitive needs but may also experience negative emotion such as anxiety due to their dyslexia in connection with their studies. This paper aims to test the hypothesis that adult dyslexic learners have a higher prevalence of academic and social anxiety than their non-dyslexic peers. A quantitative approach was used to measure differences in academic and social anxiety between 102 students with a formal diagnosis of dyslexia compared to 72 students with no history of learning difficulties. Academic and social anxiety was measured in a questionnaire based on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Findings showed that dyslexic students showed statistically significant higher levels of academic, but not social anxiety in comparison to the non-dyslexic sample. Dyslexic students in higher education show academic anxiety levels that are well above what is shown by students without dyslexia. The implications of this for the dyslexia practitioner is that delivery of strategies to deal with anxiety should be seen equally as important, if not more so, than interventions to deal with cognitive difficulties.

Keywords: Academic, Anxiety, Dyslexia, Quantitative

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22 College Faculty Perceptions of Instructional Strategies That Are Effective for Students with Dyslexia

Authors: Samantha R. Dutra

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There are many issues that students face in college, such as academic-based struggles, financial issues, family responsibilities, and vocational problems. Students with dyslexia struggle even more with these problems compared to other students. This qualitative study examines faculty perceptions of instructing students with dyslexia. This study is important to the human services and post-secondary educational fields due to the increase in disabled students enrolled in college. This study is also substantial because of the reported bias faced by students with dyslexia and their academic failure. When students with LDs such as dyslexia experience bias, discrimination, and isolation, they are more apt to not seek accommodations, lack communication with faculty, and are more likely to drop out or fail. College students with dyslexia often take longer to complete their post-secondary education and are more likely to withdraw or drop out without earning a degree. Faculty attitudes and academic cultures are major barriers to the success and use of accommodations as well as modified instruction for students with disabilities, which leads to student success. Faculty members are often uneducated or misinformed regarding students with dyslexia. More importantly, many faculty members are unaware of the many ethical and legal implications that they face regarding accommodating students with dyslexia. Instructor expectations can generally be defined as the understanding and perceptions of students regarding their academic success. Skewed instructor expectations can affect how instructors interact with their students and can also affect student success. This is true for students with dyslexia in that instructors may have lower and biased expectations of these students and, therefore, directly impact students’ academic successes and failures. It is vital to understand how instructor attitudes affect the academic achievement of dyslexic students. This study will examine faculty perceptions of instructing students with dyslexia and faculty attitudes towards accommodations and institutional support. The literature concludes that students with dyslexia have many deficits and several learning needs. Furthermore, these are the students with the highest dropout and failure rates, as well as the lowest retention rates. Disabled students generally have many reasons why accommodations and supports just do not help. Some research suggests that accommodations do help students and show positive outcomes. Many improvements need to be made between student support service personnel, faculty, and administrators regarding providing access and adequate supports for students with dyslexia. As the research also suggests, providing more efficient and effective accommodations may increase positive student as well as faculty attitudes in college, and may improve student outcomes overall.

Keywords: dyslexia, faculty perception, higher education, learning disability

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21 Spelling Errors in Persian Children with Developmental Dyslexia

Authors: Mohammad Haghighi, Amineh Akhondi, Leila Jahangard, Mohammad Ahmadpanah, Masoud Ansari

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Background: According to the recent estimation, approximately 4%-12% percent of Iranians have difficulty in learning to read and spell possibly as a result of developmental dyslexia. The study was planned to investigate spelling error patterns among Persian children with developmental dyslexia and compare that with the errors exhibited by control groups Participants: 90 students participated in this study. 30 students from Grade level five, diagnosed as dyslexics by professionals, 30 normal 5th Grade readers and 30 younger normal readers. There were 15 boys and 15 girls in each of the groups. Qualitative and quantitative methods for analysis of errors were used. Results and conclusion: results of this study indicate similar spelling error profiles among dyslexics and the reading level matched groups, and these profiles were different from age-matched group. However, performances of dyslexic group and reading level matched group were different and inconsistent in some cases.

Keywords: spelling, error types, developmental dyslexia, Persian, writing system, learning disabilities, processing

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20 Neuropsychology of Dyslexia and Rehabilitation Approaches: A Research Study Applied to School Aged Children with Reading Disorders in Greece

Authors: Rozi Laskaraki, Argyris Karapetsas, Aikaterini Karapetsa

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This paper is focused on the efficacy of a rehabilitation program based on musical activities, implied to a group of school-aged dyslexic children. Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of auditory training including musical exercises in children with developmental dyslexia (DD). Participants and Methods: 45 third-, and fourth-grade students with DD and a matched control group (n=45) were involved in this study. In the beginning, students participated in a clinical assessment, including both electrophysiological (i.e., event related potentials (ERPs) esp.P300 waveform) and neuropsychological tests, being conducted in Laboratory of Neuropsychology, at University of Thessaly, in Volos, Greece. Initial assessment’s results confirmed statistically significant lower performance for children with DD, compared to that of the typical readers. After clinical assessment, a subgroup of children with dyslexia was submitted to a music auditory training program, conducted in 45-minute training sessions, once a week, for twenty weeks. The program included structured and digitized musical activities involving pitch, rhythm, melody and tempo perception and discrimination as well as auditory sequencing. After the intervention period, children underwent a new recording of ERPs. Results: The electrophysiological results revealed that children had similar P300 latency values to that of the controls, after the remediation program; thus children overcame their deficits. Conclusion: The outcomes of the current study suggest that ERPs is a valid clinical tool in neuropsychological assessment settings and dyslexia can be ameliorated through music auditory training.

Keywords: dyslexia, event related potentials, learning disabilities, music, rehabilitation

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19 Musical Notation Reading versus Alphabet Reading-Comparison and Implications for Teaching Music Reading to Students with Dyslexia

Authors: Ora Geiger

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Reading is a cognitive process of deciphering visual signs to produce meaning. During the reading process, written information of symbols and signs is received in the person’s eye and processed in the brain. This definition is relevant to both the reading of letters and the reading of musical notation. But while the letters of the alphabet are signs determined arbitrarily, notes are recorded systematically on a staff, with the location of each note on the staff indicating its relative pitch. In this paper, the researcher specifies the characteristics of alphabet reading in comparison to musical notation reading, and discusses the question whether a person diagnosed with dyslexia will necessarily have difficulty in reading musical notes. Dyslexia is a learning disorder that makes it difficult to acquire alphabet-reading skills due to difficulties expressed in the identification of letters, spelling, and other language deciphering skills. In order to read, one must be able to connect a symbol with a sound and to join the sounds into words. A person who has dyslexia finds it difficult to translate a graphic symbol into the sound that it represents. When teaching reading to children diagnosed with dyslexia, the multi-sensory approach, supporting the activation and involvement of most of the senses in the learning process, has been found to be particularly effective. According to this approach, when most senses participate in the reading learning process, it becomes more effective. During years of experience, the researcher, who is a music specialist, has been following the music reading learning process of elementary school age students, some of them diagnosed with Dyslexia, while studying to play soprano (descant) recorder. She argues that learning music reading while studying to play a musical instrument is a multi-sensory experience by its nature. The senses involved are: sight, hearing, touch, and the kinesthetic sense (motion), which provides the brain with information on the relative positions of the body. In this way, the learner experiences simultaneously visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic impressions. The researcher concludes that there should be no contra-indication for teaching standard music reading to children with dyslexia if an appropriate process is offered. This conclusion is based on two main characteristics of music reading: (1) musical notation system is a systematic, logical, relative set of symbols written on a staff; and (2) music reading learning connected with playing a musical instrument is by its nature a multi-sensory activity since it combines sight, hearing, touch, and movement. This paper describes music reading teaching procedures and provides unique teaching methods that have been found to be effective for students who were diagnosed with Dyslexia. It provides theoretical explanations in addition to guidelines for music education practices.

Keywords: alphabet reading, dyslexia, multisensory teaching method, music reading, recorder playing

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18 Listening to the Voices of Teachers Who Are Dyslexic: The Careers, Professional Development, and Strategies Used by of Teachers Who Are Dyslexic

Authors: Jane Mullen

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Little research has been undertaken on adult dyslexia and the impact it has on those who have professional careers. There are many complexities behind the career decisions people make, but for teachers who are dyslexic, it can be even more complex. Dyslexia particularly impacts on written and verbal communication, as well as planning and organisation skills which are essential skills for a teacher. As the teachers are aware of their areas of weakness many, make the conscious decision not to disclose their disability at work. In England, the reduction to three attempts to pass the compulsory English and Maths tests prior to undertaking teacher training may mean that dyslexics are now excluded from trying to enter the profession. Together with the fact that dyslexic teachers often chose to remain ‘hidden’ the situation appears to be counter to the inclusive rhetoric that dominates the current educational discourse. This paper is based on in-depth narrative research that has been undertaken with a small group of teachers who are dyslexic in England and firstly explores the strategies and resources that the teachers have found useful. The narratives of the teachers are full of difficulties as well as diversity, consequently, the paper secondly examines how life experiences have impacted on the way the teachers see their dyslexia and how it affects them professionally. Using a narrative methodology enables the teachers to tell their ‘stories’ of how they feel their dyslexia impacts on their lives professionally. The first interview centred around a limited number of semi structured questions about family background, educational experiences, career development, management roles and professional disclosure. The second interview focused on the complexities of being a teacher who is dyslexic and to ‘unlock’ some of their work based narratives visual elicitation was used. Photographs of work-based strategies, issues or concerns were sent to the researcher and these were used as the basis for discussion in the second interview. The paper concludes by discussing possible reasonable adjustments and professional development that might benefit teachers who are dyslexic.

Keywords: dyslexia, life history, narrative, professional, professional development, strategies, teachers

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17 A Prototype of an Information and Communication Technology Based Intervention Tool for Children with Dyslexia

Authors: Rajlakshmi Guha, Sajjad Ansari, Shazia Nasreen, Hirak Banerjee, Jiaul Paik

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Dyslexia is a neurocognitive disorder, affecting around fifteen percent of the Indian population. The symptoms include difficulty in reading alphabet, words, and sentences. This can be difficult at the phonemic or recognition level and may further affect lexical structures. Therapeutic intervention of dyslexic children post assessment is generally done by special educators and psychologists through one on one interaction. Considering the large number of children affected and the scarcity of experts, access to care is limited in India. Moreover, unavailability of resources and timely communication with caregivers add on to the problem of proper intervention. With the development of Educational Technology and its use in India, access to information and care has been improved in such a large and diverse country. In this context, this paper proposes an ICT enabled home-based intervention program for dyslexic children which would support the child, and provide an interactive interface between expert, parents, and students. The paper discusses the details of the database design and system layout of the program. Along with, it also highlights the development of different technical aids required to build out personalized android applications for the Indian dyslexic population. These technical aids include speech database creation for children, automatic speech recognition system, serious game development, and color coded fonts. The paper also emphasizes the games developed to assist the dyslexic child on cognitive training primarily for attention, working memory, and spatial reasoning. In addition, it talks about the specific elements of the interactive intervention tool that makes it effective for home based intervention of dyslexia.

Keywords: Android applications, cognitive training, dyslexia, intervention

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16 Correlation Analysis between Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS), Meares-Irlen Syndrome (MIS) and Dyslexia

Authors: Kaaryn M. Cater

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Students with sensory processing sensitivity (SPS), Meares-Irlen Syndrome (MIS) and dyslexia can become overwhelmed and struggle to thrive in traditional tertiary learning environments. An estimated 50% of tertiary students who disclose learning related issues are dyslexic. This study explores the relationship between SPS, MIS and dyslexia. Baseline measures will be analysed to establish any correlation between these three minority methods of information processing. SPS is an innate sensitivity trait found in 15-20% of the population and has been identified in over 100 species of animals. Humans with SPS are referred to as Highly Sensitive People (HSP) and the measure of HSP is a 27 point self-test known as the Highly Sensitive Person Scale (HSPS). A 2016 study conducted by the author established base-line data for HSP students in a tertiary institution in New Zealand. The results of the study showed that all participating HSP students believed the knowledge of SPS to be life-changing and useful in managing life and study, in addition, they believed that all tutors and in-coming students should be given information on SPS. MIS is a visual processing and perception disorder that is found in approximately 10% of the population and has a variety of symptoms including visual fatigue, headaches and nausea. One way to ease some of these symptoms is through the use of colored lenses or overlays. Dyslexia is a complex phonological based information processing variation present in approximately 10% of the population. An estimated 50% of dyslexics are thought to have MIS. The study exploring possible correlations between these minority forms of information processing is due to begin in February 2017. An invitation will be extended to all first year students enrolled in degree programmes across all faculties and schools within the institution. An estimated 900 students will be eligible to participate in the study. Participants will be asked to complete a battery of on-line questionnaires including the Highly Sensitive Person Scale, the International Dyslexia Association adult self-assessment and the adapted Irlen indicator. All three scales have been used extensively in literature and have been validated among many populations. All participants whose score on any (or some) of the three questionnaires suggest a minority method of information processing will receive an invitation to meet with a learning advisor, and given access to counselling services if they choose. Meeting with a learning advisor is not mandatory, and some participants may choose not to receive help. Data will be collected using the Question Pro platform and base-line data will be analysed using correlation and regression analysis to identify relationships and predictors between SPS, MIS and dyslexia. This study forms part of a larger three year longitudinal study and participants will be required to complete questionnaires at annual intervals in subsequent years of the study until completion of (or withdrawal from) their degree. At these data collection points, participants will be questioned on any additional support received relating to their minority method(s) of information processing. Data from this study will be available by April 2017.

Keywords: dyslexia, highly sensitive person (HSP), Meares-Irlen Syndrome (MIS), minority forms of information processing, sensory processing sensitivity (SPS)

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15 Robot Technology Impact on Dyslexic Students’ English Learning

Authors: Khaled Hamdan, Abid Amorri, Fatima Hamdan

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Involving students in English language learning process and achieving an adequate English language proficiency in the target language can be a great challenge for both teachers and students. This can prove even a far greater challenge to engage students with special needs (Dyslexia) if they have physical impairment and inadequate mastery of basic communicative language competence/proficiency in the target language. From this perspective, technology like robots can probably be used to enhance learning process for the special needs students who have extensive communication needs, who face continuous struggle to interact with their peers and teachers and meet academic requirements. Robots, precisely NAO, can probably provide them with the perfect opportunity to practice social and communication skills, and meet their English academic requirements. This research paper aims to identify to what extent robots can be used to improve students’ social interaction and communication skills and to understand the potential for robotics-based education in motivating and engaging UAEU dyslexic students to meet university requirements. To reach this end, the paper will explore several factors that come into play – Motion Level-involving cognitive activities, Interaction Level-involving language processing, Behavior Level -establishing a close relationship with the robot and Appraisal Level- focusing on dyslexia students’ achievement in the target language.

Keywords: dyslexia, robot technology, motion, interaction, behavior and appraisal levels, social and communication skills

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14 Neuropsychological Assessment and Rehabilitation Settings for Developmental Dyslexia in Children in Greece: The Use of Music at Intervention Protocols

Authors: Argyris B. Karapetsas, Rozi M. Laskaraki, Aikaterini A. Karapetsa, Maria Bampou, Valentini N. Vamvaka

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The main aim of the current protocol is the contribution of neuropsychology in both assessment and rehabilitation settings for children with dyslexia. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the significant role of neuropsychological assessment including both Psychometric and electrophysiological tests as well as to investigate the effectiveness of an Auditory Training program, designed via Music designed for children with Developmental Dyslexia (DD). Materials: In our study, participated 45 third-, and fourth-grade students with DD and a matched control group (n=45). Method: At the first phase of the protocol, children underwent a clinical assessment, including both electrophysiological, i.e. Event Related Potentials (ERPs) esp. P300 waveform, and psychometric tests, being conducted in Laboratory of Neuropsychology, at University of Thessaly, in Volos, Greece. Assessment’s results confirmed statistically significant lower performance for children with DD for all tests, compared to the typical readers of the control group. After evaluation, a subgroup of children with DD participated in a Rehabilitation Program including digitized musical auditory training activities. Results: The electrophysiological recordings after the intervention revealed shorter, almost similar, P300 latency values for children with DD to those of the control group, indicating the beneficial effects of the Intervention, thus enabling children develop reading skills and become successful readers. Discussion: Similar research data confirm the crucial role of neuropsychology in both diagnosis and treatment of common disorders, observed in children. Indeed, as for DD, there is growing evidence that brain activity dysfunction does occur, as it is confirmed by neuropsychological assessment and also musical auditory training may have remedial effects. Conclusions: The outcomes of the current study suggest that due to the neurobiological origin of DD, neuropsychology may give the means in both neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation, enabling professionals to cope with cerebral dysfunction and recovery more efficiently.

Keywords: diagnosis, dyslexia, ERPs, Music, neuropsychology, rehabilitation

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13 Designing Teaching Aids for Dyslexia Students in Mathematics Multiplication

Authors: Mohini Mohamed, Nurul Huda Mas’od

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This study was aimed at designing and developing an assistive mathematical teaching aid (courseware) in helping dyslexic students in learning multiplication. Computers and multimedia interactive courseware has benefits students in terms of increase learner’s motivation and engage them to stay on task in classroom. Most disability student has short attention span thus with the advantage offered by multimedia interactive courseware allows them to retain the learning process for longer period as compared to traditional chalk and talk method. This study was conducted in a public school at a primary level with the help of three special education teachers and six dyslexic students as participants. Qualitative methodology using interview with special education teachers and observations in classes were conducted. The development of the multimedia interactive courseware in this study was divided to three processes which were analysis and design, development and evaluation. The courseware was evaluated by using User Acceptance Survey Form and interview. Feedbacks from teachers were used to alter, correct and develop the application for a better multimedia interactive courseware.

Keywords: disability students, dyslexia, mathematics teaching aid, multimedia interactive courseware

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12 Hong Kong Chinese-Speaking Adolescents Diagnosed with Dyslexia: What Is and Is Not Improved?

Authors: Kevin Kien Hoa Chung

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The present study was to investigate cognitive-linguistic skills that might distinguish the improved dyslexics from the non-improved dyslexics. Twenty-eight improved dyslexics and 28 non-improved dyslexics were selected from a pool of 254 students diagnosed as dyslexics in Grade 1 to 2. These students were administered measures: morphological skills, visual-orthographic skills, rapid naming skills, working memory, reading comprehension, writing, word reading, word dictation, and one-minute word reading. Findings showed that the improved dyslexics performed better than the non-improved dyslexics in visual-orthographic skills, word reading, one-minute reading, writing, and reading comprehension. Furthermore, the improved dyslexics showed fewer cognitive-linguistic deficits compared with the non-improved dyslexics. Among the 4 cognitive-linguistic measures, morphological skills and visual-orthographic skills showed the greatest power in discriminating the improved and non-improved dyslexics. Results underscore the importance of cognitive-linguistic skills underlying the manifestations of the improved and non-improved dyslexia in Chinese adolescents.

Keywords: adolescents, chinese language, improved dyslexics, non-improved dyslexics

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11 Effectiveness of Visual Auditory Kinesthetic Tactile Technique on Reading Level among Dyslexic Children in Helikx Open School and Learning Centre, Salem

Authors: J. Mano Ranjini

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Each and every child is special, born with a unique talent to explore this world. The word Dyslexia is derived from the Greek language in which “dys” meaning poor or inadequate and “lexis” meaning words or language. Dyslexia describes about a different kind of mind, which is often gifted and productive, that learns the concept differently. The main aim of the study is to bring the positive outcome of the reading level by examining the effectiveness of Visual Auditory Kinesthetic Tactile technique on Reading Level among Dyslexic Children at Helikx Open School and Learning Centre. A Quasi experimental one group pretest post test design was adopted for this study. The Reading Level was assessed by using the Schonell Graded Word Reading Test. Thirty subjects were drawn by using purposive sampling technique and the intervention Visual Auditory Kinesthetic Tactile technique was implemented to the Dyslexic Children for 30 consecutive days followed by the post Reading Level assessment revealed the improvement in the mean score value of reading level by 12%. Multi-sensory (VAKT) teaching uses all learning pathways in the brain (visual, auditory, kinesthetic-tactile) in order to enhance memory and learning and the ability in uplifting emotional, physical and societal dimensions. VAKT is an effective method to improve the reading skill of the Dyslexic Children that ensures the enormous significance of learning thereby influencing the wholesome of the child’s life.

Keywords: visual auditory kinesthetic tactile technique, reading level, dyslexic children, Helikx Open School

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10 Developing Writing Skills of Learners with Persistent Literacy Difficulties through the Explicit Teaching of Grammar in Context: Action Research in a Welsh Secondary School

Authors: Jean Ware, Susan W. Jones

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Background: The benefits of grammar instruction in the teaching of writing is contested in most English speaking countries. A majority of Anglophone countries abandoned the teaching of grammar in the 1950s based on the conclusions that it had no positive impact on learners’ development of reading, writing, and language. Although the decontextualised teaching of grammar is not helpful in improving writing, a curriculum with a focus on grammar in an embedded and meaningful way can help learners develop their understanding of the mechanisms of language. Although British learners are generally not taught grammar rules explicitly, learners in schools in France, the Netherlands, and Germany are taught explicitly about the structure of their own language. Exposing learners to grammatical analysis can help them develop their understanding of language. Indeed, if learners are taught that each part of speech has an identified role in the sentence. This means that rather than have to memorise lists of words or spelling patterns, they can focus on determining each word or phrase’s task in the sentence. These processes of categorisation and deduction are higher order thinking skills. When considering definitions of dyslexia available in Great Britain, the explicit teaching of grammar in context could help learners with persistent literacy difficulties. Indeed, learners with dyslexia often develop strengths in problem solving; the teaching of grammar could, therefore, help them develop their understanding of language by using analytical and logical thinking. Aims: This study aims at gaining a further understanding of how the explicit teaching of grammar in context can benefit learners with persistent literacy difficulties. The project is designed to identify ways of adapting existing grammar focussed teaching materials so that learners with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia can use them to further develop their writing skills. It intends to improve educational practice through action, analysis and reflection. Research Design/Methods: The project, therefore, uses an action research design and multiple sources of evidence. The data collection tools used were standardised test data, teacher assessment data, semi-structured interviews, learners’ before and after attempts at a writing task at the beginning and end of the cycle, documentary data and lesson observation carried out by a specialist teacher. Existing teaching materials were adapted for use with five Year 9 learners who had experienced persistent literacy difficulties from primary school onwards. The initial adaptations included reducing the amount of content to be taught in each lesson, and pre teaching some of the metalanguage needed. Findings: Learners’ before and after attempts at the writing task were scored by a colleague who did not know the order of the attempts. All five learners’ scores were higher on the second writing task. Learners reported that they had enjoyed the teaching approach. They also made suggestions to be included in the second cycle, as did the colleague who carried out observations. Conclusions: Although this is a very small exploratory study, these results suggest that adapting grammar focused teaching materials shows promise for helping learners with persistent literacy difficulties develop their writing skills.

Keywords: explicit teaching of grammar in context, literacy acquisition, persistent literacy difficulties, writing skills

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9 Derivational Morphology Training Improves Spelling in School-Aged Children

Authors: Estelle Ardanouy, Helene Delage, Pascal Zesiger

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Morphological awareness contributes to the acquisition of reading and spelling in typical learners as well as in children with learning disorders. Indeed, the acquisition of phoneme-grapheme correspondences is not sufficient to master spelling, especially in inconsistent orthographic systems such as English or French. Several meta-analyses show the benefit of explicit training in derivational morphology on reading and spelling in old children (who have already learned the main grapheme-phoneme correspondences), but highlight the lack of studies with younger children, particularly in French. In this study, we chose to focus on the efficiency of an intensive training in derivational morphology on spelling skills in French-speaking four-graders (9-10 years of age). The training consisted of 1) learning how to divide words into morphemes (ex: para/pente in French, paraglider in English), as well as 2) working on the meaning of affixes in relation to existing words (ex: para/pente: to protect against – para - the slope -pente). One group of pupils (N = 37, M age = 9.5) received this experimental group training in morphology while an alternative training group (N = 34, M age = 9.6) received a visuo-semantic training based on visual cues to memorize the spelling difficulties of complex words (such as the doubling of “r” in “verre” in French -or "glass" in English-which are represented by the drawing of two glasses). Both trainings lasted a total of 15 hours at a rate of four 45 minutes sessions per week, resulting in five weeks of training in the school setting. Our preliminary results show a significant improvement in the experimental group in the spelling of affixes on the trained (p < 0.001) and untrained word lists (p <0.001), but also in the root of words on the trained (p <0.001) and untrained word lists group (p <0.001). The training effect is also present on both trained and untrained morphologically composed words. By contrast, the alternative training group shows no progress on these previous measures (p >0.15). Further analyses testing the effects of both trainings on other measures such as morphological awareness and reading of morphologically compose words are in progress. These first results support the effectiveness of explicitly teaching derivational morphology to improve spelling in school-aged children. The study is currently extended to a group of children with developmental dyslexia because these children are known for their severe and persistent spelling difficulties.

Keywords: developmental dyslexia, derivational morphology, reading, school-aged children, spelling, training

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8 To Prepare a Remedial Teaching Programme for Dyslexic Students of English and Marathi Medium Schools and Study Its Effect on Their Learning Outcome

Authors: Khan Zeenat, S. B. Dandegaonkar

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Dyslexia is a neurological disorder which affects the reading and writing ability of children. A sample of 72 dyslexic children (36 from English medium and 36 from Marathi medium schools) of class V from English and Marathi medium schools were selected. The Experimental method was used to study the effect of Remedial Teaching Programme on the Learning outcome of Dyslexic students. The findings showed that there is a Positive effect of remedial teaching programme on the Learning outcome of English and Marathi medium students.

Keywords: remedial teaching, Dyslexic students, learning outcome, neurological

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7 A Qualitative Study About a Former Professional Baseball Player with Dyslexia

Authors: Matthias Grunke

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In this qualitative study, we interviewed a young man with learning disabilities who played professional baseball for two years. Individuals with severe academic challenges constitute one of the most vulnerable groups of our society. Science has to find ways on how to arm them against life’s challenges and help them to cope with the many risk factors that they are usually confronted with. Team sports like baseball seem to be a suitable means for that purpose. In the interview, our participant talked about his life as a student with severe learning difficulties and related how his career in baseball made his academic challenges appear much less significant. He gave some meaningful insights into what helped him to build a happy and fulfilling life for himself, not only in spite of his challenges but also because of what he's learning disabilities taught him. Support from significant others, a sense of purpose, his fighting spirit ignited by sports, and the success that he experienced on the baseball field were among the most relevant factors. Overall, this study highlights the importance of finding an outlet for young people with learning disabilities where their academic difficulties retreat into the background and their talents are validated.

Keywords: baseball, inclusion, learning disabilities, resilience

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6 Childhood Sensory Sensitivity: A Potential Precursor to Borderline Personality Disorder

Authors: Valerie Porr, Sydney A. DeCaro

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TARA for borderline personality disorder (BPD), an education and advocacy organization, helps families to compassionately and effectively deal with troubling BPD behaviors. Our psychoeducational programs focus on understanding underlying neurobiological features of BPD and evidence-based methodology integrating dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and mentalization based therapy (MBT,) clarifying the inherent misunderstanding of BPD behaviors and improving family communication. TARA4BPD conducts online surveys, workshops, and topical webinars. For over 25 years, we have collected data from BPD helpline callers. This data drew our attention to particular childhood idiosyncrasies that seem to characterize many of the children who later met the criteria for BPD. The idiosyncrasies we observed, heightened sensory sensitivity and hypervigilance, were included in Adolf Stern’s 1938 definition of “Borderline.” This aspect of BPD has not been prioritized by personality disorder researchers, presently focused on emotion processing and social cognition in BPD. Parents described sleep reversal problems in infants who, early on, seem to exhibit dysregulation in circadian rhythm. Families describe children as supersensitive to sensory sensations, such as specific sounds, heightened sense of smell, taste, textures of foods, and an inability to tolerate various fabrics textures (i.e., seams in socks). They also exhibit high sensitivity to particular words and voice tones. Many have alexithymia and dyslexia. These children are either hypo- or hypersensitive to sensory sensations, including pain. Many suffer from fibromyalgia. BPD reactions to pain have been studied (C. Schmahl) and confirm the existence of hyper and hypo-reactions to pain stimuli in people with BPD. To date, there is little or no data regarding what comprises a normative range of sensitivity in infants and children. Many parents reported that their children were tested or treated for sensory processing disorder (SPD), learning disorders, and ADHD. SPD is not included in the DSM and is treated by occupational therapists. The overwhelming anecdotal data from thousands of parents of children who later met criteria for BPD led TARA4BPD to develop a sensitivity survey to develop evidence of the possible role of early sensory perception problems as a pre-cursor to BPD, hopefully initiating new directions in BPD research. At present, the research community seems unaware of the role supersensory sensitivity might play as an early indicator of BPD. Parents' observations of childhood sensitivity obtained through family interviews and results of an extensive online survey on sensory responses across various ages of development will be presented. People with BPD suffer from a sense of isolation and otherness that often results in later interpersonal difficulties. Early identification of supersensitive children while brain circuits are developing might decrease the development of social interaction deficits such as rejection sensitivity, self-referential processes, and negative bias, hallmarks of BPD, ultimately minimizing the maladaptive methods of coping with distress that characterizes BPD. Family experiences are an untapped resource for BPD research. It is hoped that this data will give family observations the critical credibility to inform future treatment and research directions.

Keywords: alexithymia, dyslexia, hypersensitivity, sensory processing disorder

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5 Errors and Misconceptions for Students with Mathematical Learning Disabilities: Quest for Suitable Teaching Strategy

Authors: A. K. Tsafe

Abstract:

The study investigates the efficacy of Special Mathematics Teaching Strategy (SMTS) as against Conventional Mathematics Teaching Strategy (CMTS) in teaching students identified with Mathematics Learning Disabilities (MLDs) – dyslexia, Down syndrome, dyscalculia, etc., in some junior secondary schools around Sokoto metropolis. Errors and misconceptions in learning Mathematics displayed by these categories of students were observed. Theory of variation was used to provide a prism for viewing the MLDs from theoretical perspective. Experimental research design was used, involving pretest-posttest non-randomized approach. Pretest was administered to the intact class taught using CMTS before the class was split into experimental and control groups. Experimental group of the students – those identified with MLDs was taught with SMTS and later mean performance of students taught using the two strategies was sought to find if there was any significant difference between the performances of the students. A null hypothesis was tested at α = 0.05 level of significance. T-test was used to establish the difference between the mean performances of the two tests. The null hypothesis was rejected. Hence, the performance of students, identified with MLDs taught using SMTS was found to be better than their earlier performance taught using CMTS. The study, therefore, recommends amongst other things that teachers should be encouraged to use SMTS in teaching mathematics especially when students are found to be suffering from MLDs and exhibiting errors and misconceptions in the process of learning mathematics.

Keywords: disabilities, errors, learning, misconceptions

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4 A Computerized Tool for Predicting Future Reading Abilities in Pre-Readers Children

Authors: Stephanie Ducrot, Marie Vernet, Eve Meiss, Yves Chaix

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Learning to read is a key topic of debate today, both in terms of its implications on school failure and illiteracy and regarding what are the best teaching methods to develop. It is estimated today that four to six percent of school-age children suffer from specific developmental disorders that impair learning. The findings from people with dyslexia and typically developing readers suggest that the problems children experience in learning to read are related to the preliteracy skills that they bring with them from kindergarten. Most tools available to professionals are designed for the evaluation of child language problems. In comparison, there are very few tools for assessing the relations between visual skills and the process of learning to read. Recent literature reports that visual-motor skills and visual-spatial attention in preschoolers are important predictors of reading development — the main goal of this study aimed at improving screening for future reading difficulties in preschool children. We used a prospective, longitudinal approach where oculomotor processes (assessed with the DiagLECT test) were measured in pre-readers, and the impact of these skills on future reading development was explored. The dialect test specifically measures the online time taken to name numbers arranged irregularly in horizontal rows (horizontal time, HT), and the time taken to name numbers arranged in vertical columns (vertical time, VT). A total of 131 preschoolers took part in this study. At Time 0 (kindergarten), the mean VT, HT, errors were recorded. One year later, at Time 1, the reading level of the same children was evaluated. Firstly, this study allowed us to provide normative data for a standardized evaluation of the oculomotor skills in 5- and 6-year-old children. The data also revealed that 25% of our sample of preschoolers showed oculomotor impairments (without any clinical complaints). Finally, the results of this study assessed the validity of the DiagLECT test for predicting reading outcomes; the better a child's oculomotor skills are, the better his/her reading abilities will be.

Keywords: vision, attention, oculomotor processes, reading, preschoolers

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3 Challenges and Professional Perspectives for Pedagogy Undergraduates with Specific Learning Disability: A Greek Case Study

Authors: Tatiani D. Mousoura

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Specific learning disability (SLD) in higher education has been partially explored in Greece so far. Moreover, opinions on professional perspectives for university students with SLD, is scarcely encountered in Greek research. The perceptions of the hidden character of SLD along with the university policy towards it and professional perspectives that result from this policy have been examined in the present research. This study has applied the paradigm of a Greek Tertiary Pedagogical Education Department (Early Childhood Education). Via mixed methods, data have been collected from different groups of people in the Pedagogical Department: students with SLD and without SLD, academic staff and administration staff, all of which offer the opportunity for triangulation of the findings. Qualitative methods include ten interviews with students with SLD and 15 interviews with academic staff and 60 hours of observation of the students with SLD. Quantitative methods include 165 questionnaires completed by third and fourth-year students and five questionnaires completed by the administration staff. Thematic analyses of the interviews’ data and descriptive statistics on the questionnaires’ data have been applied for the processing of the results. The use of medical terms to define and understand SLD was common in the student cohort, regardless of them having an SLD diagnosis. However, this medical model approach is far more dominant in the group of students without SLD who, by majority, hold misconceptions on a definitional level. The academic staff group seems to be leaning towards a social approach concerning SLD. According to them, diagnoses may lead to social exclusion. The Pedagogical Department generally endorses the principles of inclusion and complies with the provision of oral exams for students with SLD. Nevertheless, in practice, there seems to be a lack of regular academic support for these students. When such support does exist, it is only through individual initiatives. With regards to their prospective profession, students with SLD can utilize their personal experience, as well as their empathy; these appear to be unique weapons in their hands –in comparison with other educators− when it comes to teaching students in the future. In the Department of Pedagogy, provision towards SLD results sporadic, however the vision of an inclusive department does exist. Based on their studies and their experience, pedagogy students with SLD claim that they have an experiential internalized advantage for their future career as educators.

Keywords: specific learning disability, SLD, dyslexia, pedagogy department, inclusion, professional role of SLDed educators, higher education, university policy

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2 Auditory Perception of Frequency-Modulated Sweeps and Reading Difficulties in Chinese

Authors: Hsiao-Lan Wang, Chun-Han Chiang, I-Chen Chen

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In Chinese Mandarin, lexical tones play an important role to provide contrasts in word meaning. They are pitch patterns and can be quantified as the fundamental frequency (F0), expressed in Hertz (Hz). In this study, we aim to investigate the influence of frequency discrimination on Chinese children’s performance of reading abilities. Fifty participants from 3rd to 4th grades, including 24 children with reading difficulties and 26 age-matched children, were examined. A serial of cognitive, language, reading and psychoacoustic tests were administrated. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) was also employed to study children’s auditory sensitivity. In the present study, auditory frequency was measured through slide-up pitch, slide-down pitch and frequency-modulated tone. The results showed that children with Chinese reading difficulties were significantly poor at phonological awareness and auditory discrimination for the identification of frequency-modulated tone. Chinese children’s character reading performance was significantly related to lexical tone awareness and auditory perception of frequency-modulated tone. In our MEG measure, we compared the mismatch negativity (MMNm), from 100 to 200 ms, in two groups. There were no significant differences between groups during the perceptual discrimination of standard sounds, fast-up and fast-down frequencies. However, the data revealed significant cluster differences between groups in the slow-up and slow-down frequencies discrimination. In the slow-up stimulus, the cluster demonstrated an upward field map at 106-151 ms (p < .001) with a strong peak time at 127ms. The source analyses of two dipole model and localization resolution model (CLARA) from 100 to 200 ms both indicated a strong source from the left temporal area with 45.845% residual variance. Similar results were found in the slow-down stimulus with a larger upward current at 110-142 ms (p < 0.05) and a peak time at 117 ms in the left temporal area (47.857% residual variance). In short, we found a significant group difference in the MMNm while children processed frequency-modulated tones with slow temporal changes. The findings may imply that perception of sound frequency signals with slower temporal modulations was related to reading and language development in Chinese. Our study may also support the recent hypothesis of underlying non-verbal auditory temporal deficits accounting for the difficulties in literacy development seen developmental dyslexia.

Keywords: Chinese Mandarin, frequency modulation sweeps, magnetoencephalography, mismatch negativity, reading difficulties

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1 Phenotypic and Molecular Heterogeneity Linked to the Magnesium Transporter CNNM2

Authors: Reham Khalaf-Nazzal, Imad Dweikat, Paula Gimenez, Iker Oyenarte, Alfonso Martinez-Cruz, Domonik Muller

Abstract:

Metal cation transport mediator (CNNM) gene family comprises 4 isoforms that are expressed in various human tissues. Structurally, CNNMs are complex proteins that contain an extracellular N-terminal domain preceding a DUF21 transmembrane domain, a ‘Bateman module’ and a C-terminal cNMP-binding domain. Mutations in CNNM2 cause familial dominant hypomagnesaemia. Growing evidence highlights the role of CNNM2 in neurodevelopment. Mutations in CNNM2 have been implicated in epilepsy, intellectual disability, schizophrenia, and others. In the present study, we aim to elucidate the function of CNNM2 in the developing brain. Thus, we present the genetic origin of symptoms in two family cohorts. In the first family, three siblings of a consanguineous Palestinian family in which parents are first cousins, and consanguinity ran over several generations, presented a varying degree of intellectual disability, cone-rod dystrophy, and autism spectrum disorder. Exome sequencing and segregation analysis revealed the presence of homozygous pathogenic mutation in the CNNM2 gene, the parents were heterozygous for that gene mutation. Magnesium blood levels were normal in the three children and their parents in several measurements. They had no symptoms of hypomagnesemia. The CNNM2 mutation in this family was found to locate in the CBS1 domain of the CNNM2 protein. The crystal structure of the mutated CNNM2 protein was not significantly different from the wild-type protein, and the binding of AMP or MgATP was not dramatically affected. This suggests that the CBS1 domain could be involved in pure neurodevelopmental functions independent of its magnesium-handling role, and this mutation could have affected a protein partner binding or other functions in this protein. In the second family, another autosomal dominant CNNM2 mutation was found to run in a large family with multiple individuals over three generations. All affected family members had hypomagnesemia and hypermagnesuria. Oral supplementation of magnesium did not increase the levels of magnesium in serum significantly. Some affected members of this family have defects in fine motor skills such as dyslexia and dyslalia. The detected mutation is located in the N-terminal part, which contains a signal peptide thought to be involved in the sorting and routing of the protein. In this project, we describe heterogenous clinical phenotypes related to CNNM2 mutations and protein functions. In the first family, and up to the authors’ knowledge, we report for the first time the involvement of CNNM2 in retinal photoreceptor development and function. In addition, we report the presence of a neurophenotype independent of magnesium status related to the CNNM2 protein mutation. Taking into account the different modes of inheritance and the different positions of the mutations within CNNM2 and its different structural and functional domains, it is likely that CNNM2 might be involved in a wide spectrum of neuropsychiatric comorbidities with considerable varying phenotypes.

Keywords: magnesium transport, autosomal recessive, autism, neurodevelopment, CBS domain

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