Dyslexia Awareness Week runs from 3 to 9 November and is an annual event that aims at not just raising awareness, but also showcasing the amazing achievements that people with dyslexia have made.

This year's theme is "Dyslexia Matters..." and will cover everything from creating a dyslexia friendly environment, supporting and encouraging those
with dyslexia, and an ongoing campaign to include dyslexia awareness in initial teacher training.

Find out more about Dyslexia Awareness Week.

Specific Learning Difficulties (or SpLDs), affect the way information is learned and processed. They are neurological (rather than psychological), usually run in families and occur independently of intelligence. They can have significant impact on education and learning and on the acquisition of literacy skills.

SpLD is an umbrella term used to cover a range of frequently co-occurring difficulties, more commonly:

  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia / DCD
  • Dyscalculia
  • ADD / ADHD

Some common characteristics of SpLDs

  • Memory difficulties
  • Organisational difficulties
  • Writing difficulties
  • Visual processing difficulties
  • Reading difficulties
  • Auditory processing difficulties
  • Time management difficulties
  • Sensory distraction: an inability to screen out extraneous visual or auditory stimuli
  • Sensory overload: a heightened sensitivity to visual stimuli and sound; an inability to cope with busy environments

Visual stress

  • Between 35-40% of pupils with dyslexic difficulties may experience visual disturbance when reading
  • Text can appear distorted and words or letters appear to move or become blurred
  • There may be difficulties tracking across the page
  • White paper or backgrounds can appear too dazzling and make print hard to decipher
  • Good lighting can help overcome some visual problems and in particular the avoidance of white boards and white paper. Coloured filters can help settle down visual disturbance
  • SpLDs can also co-occur with difficulties on the autistic spectrum such as Asperger Syndrome

To find out more go to the British Dyslexia Association website.

For further information on SpLDs contact your Disability Tutor, who can organise bespoke training on SpLDs in conjunction Disability Learning Support.

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