Reflect on the intervention you used with the learner in your supervised teaching practice and support your intervention based on evidence and theory.
Reflection is a process whereby an individual reviews an experience, so that they can describe, analyse and evaluate it (Reid, 1993:305). During the reflective process, one can grapple with the interaction between science-based theory versus personal interpretation of an experience (Kolb, 1984). This allows for a better understanding of a situation, enabling cognitive and behavioural changes to take place. Reflection of personal practices are vital in allowing for individual growth (Jarvis, 1992: 180), as well as a better understanding of issues, resulting in professional development (Moon, 1999). In this essay I will initially reflect on the key identifying features of dyslexia, and how this brain-based disorder can have life-long effects on an individual.
I will go on to look at how being aware of the identifying characteristics can assist with early identification and effective intervention, which can change the trajectory of dyslexia. Finally, I will reflect on the supported intervention process that I undertook with a learner, describing her key difficulties and how these were targeted in personal, individualised lessons, using a multi-sensory intervention compiled by Kelly and Phillips (2016) called ‘The Conquering Literacy Programme’.What is Dyslexia?Dyslexia’s key identifying characteristics are poor reading and spelling (Rose, 2009:30), which is caused by a discrepancy in the storage, processing and retrieval of speech sounds, known as a phonological deficit (Libermann et al., 1974 in Schlesinger and Gray, 2016 :220). This genetic condition has an anatomical basis in the brain (Frith, 1998:191), and presents with a diverse set of symptoms and different severities in each individual.
It is present across a range of intellectual abilities (Rose, 2009:33), and it appears despite adequate instruction and effort (Lyon et al., 2003 in Norton and Wolf, 2012:430). Research has shown a phonological deficit can interfere with acquisition of letter knowledge (Ehri, 2014 in Schlesinger and Gray, 2016 :220); phonemic awareness (Uhry, 2013:11), and the ability to decipher the alphabetic code (Shaywitz, 2008 in Schlesinger and Gray, 2016:220), which cumulatively result in: An extreme difficulty in learning to read words accurately and quickly (Uhry, 2013:11). Poor reading fluency, which in turn affects reading comprehension (Kelly ; Phillips, 2016:67).
Difficulties with self-esteem, independent reading and interest in learning, all of which have long-term effects on motivation and achievement (Wolf, 2011:47).Significant difficulties with writing and spelling (Reid, 2011:4), as well as poor grammar, punctuation and letter reversals (Reid, 2011:8-9). We also know dyslexia affects working memory capacity (Kelly ; Phillips, 2016:36), as well as rapid automatized naming (Norton ; Wolf, 2012:430). Nicolson ; Fawcett (1994: 149) have shown that individuals with dyslexia have to work much harder to produce a similar standard of work as their peers, resulting in rapid tiring and distractibility. These dyslexia manifestations may be present in isolation or in any combination in the developing child.
Multiple genetic, neurological, and environmental factors interact to increase the risk of dyslexia, while protective factors (such as early intervention, growth mindset, and task-focussed behaviour) can provide resilience and reduce the probability of dyslexia in at-risk children (Catts ; Petcher, 2018:33). In order to help children with dyslexia become effective readers, we need to promote 1) early identification of risk for dyslexia and 2) develop a personalized intervention (Ozernov-Palchic ; Gabrieli, 2018:15).The child whom I identified to work with, presented with… (name a few of the difficulties he/she had in order to link your theory to your child)Early Identification of Dyslexia The most effective way to identify dyslexia is through Neuroimaging, which can reveal brain differences in children at risk for reading difficulty from birth (Ozernov-Palchic ; Gabrieli, 2018:16).
However, this specialised assessment tool is unlikely to become part of an assessment battery in the near future. Ozernov-Palchic ; Gabrieli (2018:15) identify the following ‘best predictors of future reading ability’ that should be assessed: 1) Phonological Awareness, 2) Rapid automatized naming, 3) Letter knowledge and 4) Vocabulary. These assessments are particularly useful because they can be used before a child learns to read, allowing for early intervention strategies to be implemented (Uhry, 2013:12).