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FREE DfE funded Neurodiversity training for educators

Discussion in 'Education news' started by akeeley73, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. akeeley73

    akeeley73 New commenter

    A group of dyslexia charities will be delivering DfE funded neurodiversity training for primary, secondary and post16 educators. The training events will take place across the country between September '16 and January '17.

    The training aims to provide educators with more information about neurodiversity, specific SpLDs and strategies for supporting neurodiverse learners in the your educational setting.

    Follow this link to book your place at an event near you http://neurodiversitytraining.eventbrite.com
  2. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Even were there an identifiable neurological cause of childhood dyslexia as we are told it exists within our classrooms, what possible information could be given at these events which would be of use to teachers? What, are we brain surgeons now?
  3. akeeley73

    akeeley73 New commenter

    The events will provide information about a range of SpLDs including dyscalculia and dyspraxia as well as dyslexia. The training will identify simple reasonable adjustments which can be made in all teaching environments making education more accessible to all. No brain surgery needed!
  4. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    So whoever is promoting their CPD at this event will be telling attendees how they can cure putative neurological conditions with some kind of Feng Shui? I make adjustments in my classroom for people with mobility problems and visual impairments &c, not for people who have difficulty reading, writing, calculating or catching a ball. Teaching a child is what makes a difference, not labelling them for the benefit of the neurobollocks industry.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2016
  5. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    Reading what you've written it sounds like you don't have a clue about dyslexia etc.

    You can easily make simple adjustments to include dyslexics (or any other flavour of neurodiversity) and it will also make things easier for everyone in the classroom. The key thing is you are just providing support to the learners ability to access the material where the difficulty is reading. I say this as a dyslexic, I have no problem intellectually with loads of concepts but I've got a much slower reading speed than I should have based on ability alone.

    Being able to use the label of dyslexic is useful for when I need something to explain why I need some extra support with some things. So it does very much benefit my education.
    Flere-Imsaho likes this.
  6. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Nobody does, this is the point.

    In what sense is 'a much slower reading speed' unrelated to reading ability or intellect?
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2016
  7. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    ?? I have a 22 page report from the diagnostic assessment I had which involved various tests to gage my cognitive abilities with respect to things like phonics and intelligence.... There have been studies that show how different areas of the brain activate in dyslexics and non-dyslexics when you get members of both groups to read. So your comment isn't really that accurate.

    From the assessment I had done my IQ was determined to be point X, so with someone for an IQ of X my reading speed is 4/5th of the speed it should be compared to a non-dyslexic of the same IQ.
  8. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Yes, people can print out sheets of paper bearing numbers set within arbitrary scales and show pretty false colour images of the brain but ask them what causes dyslexia and they have not got the first clue.

    IQ is one of those arbitrary scales I mentioned above. If you wish to say that intelligence has nothing to do with reading ability then you will need to say why and If not intelligence then what?
  9. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    There are genes that have been identified as linked to dyslexia and there is certainly evidence of differences in terms of brain structure. Hence the significance of the difference between the areas of the brain activated when a dyslexic is reading compared to a non-dyslexic reading. This results in can be described as a 'clunky' reading process. These differences also effect things like visual and auditory processing and short term/working memory. On the flip side of this there are areas that dyslexics do better in.

    I'm aware of the limitations to IQ tests, however if they are treated carefully they can still be used as a tool in certain circumstances. Which is partly why I didn't give any numbers when I gave that as an example. In a nut shell if you sit me down with another person of comparable ability that is not dyslexic and ask us to read something then despite the fact I can deal with the same stuff as them I still take longer to read. This is due to the fact that, as mentioned above, there are differences in how my brain handles the process of reading which mean it's more difficult for me to extract the meaning so I take longer to read.

    It's a bit like having a, mostly, high spec computer very similar to the high spec one your mate has, however yours has a problem with the processor as it's from an earlier model so it runs some programs slower.
  10. aypi

    aypi Senior commenter

    My Learning Style is olfactory, and the scent I have now is strong, and it is not coming from Vince.
    Scintillant and Vince_Ulam like this.
  11. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Actually Vince although Dyslexia is a variable condition there are a number of ways that students who have it can be helped in the classroom without too much extra work.

    Just brushing it aside and not being willing to talk about it or be bothered with it is something far too many staff do already.

    I'm Dyslexic and so are a number of my students
    sueemc and Moony like this.
  12. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Here's an example

    I have a really excellent student who has a form of dyslexia where he needs green paper. So I got him some.

    How much extra work was that.
    sueemc and Moony like this.
  13. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    There are particular genes which have been linked to dyslexia by particular researchers but these have not been shown to cause it as they only account for something less than 0.5% variance in reading disability.

    Unsurprising as the organisation of any brain can differ relative to any other brain as a result of training, see Maguire's 2000 study into the right hippocampi of taxi drivers. The key thing here is training.

    You are not of comparable ability with another person if you take significantly longer than they to achieve the same task. That you cross the same finishing line some time after another person does not mean that you ran parallel to that person throughout. It cannot be had both ways, either dyslexia is an objective and discrete disability or people labelled dyslexic simply function towards the lower end of the natural spectrum of ability as, perfectly naturally, many, many people always have.

    Except that nobody has ever seen the processor, nobody knows what it is supposed to look like and nobody has a clue how it operates. All in all, a poor analogy which interferes with the process of teaching and learning.
  14. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    It is so 'variable' as to encompass virtually anything which can and should be taught in Primary school. Cannot read? You are dyslexic. Cannot calculate? You are dyslexic. Cannot read a clock? You are dyslexic, &c. Of course children can be helped with these tasks. That they can be helped with these tasks tells us that they may learn to do these tasks unsupported as we both know many adult dyslexics are capable of performing in their daily lives without sheets of coloured plastic, teaching assistants and extra time.

    I am not brushing aside reading difficulty, I simply do not accept the popular narrative that is dyslexia. It is frustrating as a teacher to be faced year-on-year with children, parents and other teachers who insist that some of our pupils cannot perform the same simple tasks as their peers and yet who insist that they should be given the same opportunities without undergoing remedial work.
  15. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    What objective evidence is there that this person needs green paper in order to work to an acceptable standard? There is none. I have encountered children who insist that they need blue paper, yellow paper, pink paper or similarly coloured sheets of plastic. It's nonsense. When I went to school I had several friends who insisted that they could not work without their gonk on their desk. They always seemed to work well enough without them when confiscated but they liked the attention.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
  16. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Dyslexia exists Vince - not for all reading issues I grant you, but it does exist.

    ...and it is genetic.
    Moony likes this.
  17. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    As a description, undoubtedly. There are children who have difficulty learning to read and some who cannot read. This has always been the case.

    If it is then this has not been shown. See Schumacher et al 2007.

    Here is some useful material from Durham's Prof. Julian Elliott:

    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
  18. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    Yes, all brains work slightly differently, but when one persons brain is working differently to an extent it's not in the 'normal' range of functioning then they can have problems

    Again, ignorance is being displayed here. I am not at the lower end of the ability spectrum, I'm an intelligent person and can happily handle a range of high level metacognition and the like, I just have some specific difficulties with things. Which is why dyslexia is a specific learning difference/disability.

    On the flip side to the things that feed in to my reduced reading speed I'm pretty good at dealing with problem solving and the like.

    I'm pretty sure the field of neuroscience has a good, if developing, handle on how the brain ticks.

    Mind you, I'm getting the impression that when it comes to this sort of thing you're rocking with willfull ignorance all the way to the top. You are the sort of teacher that will, for a dyslexic, damage their enthusiasm for learning and their self confidence as you slide the glass ceiling over their heads.....
  19. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    You are brushing this aside, and in a very crass manner.

    Having a difficulty in doing something doesn't mean that you can't do it. I've worked my **** off as a teen, and still keep an eye one picking up new things even now, to get my English to a standard where it's pretty much about average. If I'd had any more teachers like you teaching me then maybe I'd not have been so encouraged to improve.
  20. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Obviously but if someone's brain is working differently to the extent that they fall outside of the normal range of ability then they should not be expected to be able to access mainstream education.

    You can say that but I may as easily and more justifiably make the counter claim given that, counter to your claims, there is no identified genetic nor neurological basis for dyslexia. I will not do that, of course, because it is lazy.

    For example, with reading. I am not saying that people calling themselves dyslexic are generally of lower ability, I would just like you to accept the inconsistency in claiming to be a slow reader and denying a low ability in reading.

    If dyslexia is a disability then you cannot deny that dyslexics are at the lower end of the ability spectrum. However, if dyslexia is a learning difference that may be overcome by different teaching then we can consider seriously the possibility that dyslexia is due to bad teaching. Given that no causes have been identified for dyslexia this is an efficient explanation. Let me ask you, are you willing to accept the possibility that any difficulties you currently ascribe to dyslexia are the product of bad teaching?

    Not really. We can watch for certain differences in tasks against time and assumed norms but it's a black box at the end of the day.

    You see, if you had good arguments you would not need to resort to calling me ignorant or implying spite when I am sure that you, as a teacher, also accept that there are some children who are just incapable of work at certain levels.

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