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Specialist dyslexia teaching

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by rmc4, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Hello,

    I am looking for some advice about becoming a specialist dyslexia teacher. I am a graduate who has been working as a teaching assistant in a junior school for the past 18 months. This experience has helped me to realise that I don't really want to be a general classroom teacher, but I find helping pupils on a one on one basis, especially those children who have dyslexia, extremely rewarding. Through working with dyslexic children I have also become increasinly interested in how we learn to read and write. I'd love to learn more about phonics teaching - we don't do much phonics work as a junior school, but I think it would be so helpful for all us TAs working with children with specific learning difficulties to have full phonics training, as these kids obviously haven't kept up with the teaching of phonics in the infants.

    I suppose my main question is do I have to do a PGCE before I can pursue my interest in specialist dyslexia teaching? I have no desire to return to a full time university course in the current economic climate and with the worrying fees increases. Apart from the GTP, are there any alternatives for people interested in working specifically in SEN?

    Thanks in advance for any help people can offer. It has been really difficult working out what I actually want to do career-wise and I think I've finally found something I am good at. Working with my dyslexic children really brightens my day!


     
  2. Hello,

    I am looking for some advice about becoming a specialist dyslexia teacher. I am a graduate who has been working as a teaching assistant in a junior school for the past 18 months. This experience has helped me to realise that I don't really want to be a general classroom teacher, but I find helping pupils on a one on one basis, especially those children who have dyslexia, extremely rewarding. Through working with dyslexic children I have also become increasinly interested in how we learn to read and write. I'd love to learn more about phonics teaching - we don't do much phonics work as a junior school, but I think it would be so helpful for all us TAs working with children with specific learning difficulties to have full phonics training, as these kids obviously haven't kept up with the teaching of phonics in the infants.

    I suppose my main question is do I have to do a PGCE before I can pursue my interest in specialist dyslexia teaching? I have no desire to return to a full time university course in the current economic climate and with the worrying fees increases. Apart from the GTP, are there any alternatives for people interested in working specifically in SEN?

    Thanks in advance for any help people can offer. It has been really difficult working out what I actually want to do career-wise and I think I've finally found something I am good at. Working with my dyslexic children really brightens my day!


     
  3. I suggest you investigate the Sound Reading System - the Dyslexia-SpLD trust found the programme to be in the top category of effectiveness as an intervention; 'remarkable', in all three areas, for all ages:

    -for reading accuracy in Y2-adult

    -for comprehension in Y2 -adult

    -for spelling in Y2-adult
    www.soundreadingsystem.co.uk
    I use it myself with 'dyslexics' and it is wonderful.
     
  4. It's very rewarding specializing in a field. However, may I recommend that you continue in the classroom for a few years yet. My reasons are -
    Not all children struggling to read are identified as dyslexic. Some may be experiencing Irlen Syndome or Binocular Instability.
    Observing the 'whole' child in a classroom gives you greater insight into how s/he operates and performs across other areas of the cuurriculum. You then can observe his/her strengths & development needs.
    That experience gives you the chance to work with other agencies or specialists - invaluable.
    Whilst doing this, study modules which directly help the children in your care.
    I am suggesting this as it's what I did! This way of specializing made me more knowledgeable about supporting my pupils. I had more case studies to draw from. I was able to advise & support my colleagues and inform parents so that it became a strong partnership in the child's teaching & learning.
    Best of luck and keep posting. There will be other views & experiences out there.
     
  5. RJR_38

    RJR_38 New commenter

    I'm currently doing a course with Dyslexia Action that will qualify me to be a specialist dyslexia teacher/tutor. The course is a postgrad qualifcation (either a year or 2 years depending on whehter you want the certificate or diploma) and they insisted everyone was a qualified teacher. I think you need the experience of a classroom and a range of abilities/difficulties before you specialise in something like this.
     
  6. Hmm so I guess training as a teacher is the only way forward. I wish I had just done a PGCE straight after uni rather than thinking about it for all these years. It just seems such a lot of work to go back to now.
     
  7. And I forgot to say thank you for all your replies and suggestions. It has given me plenty to think about.
     
  8. Beb

    Beb

    Hi mc4,
    I also completed the Post Grad Diploma with Dyslexia Action, which I found invaluable BUT I wasnt a Qualified teacher when I completed it, they may have changed the entry requirements but when I applied i detailed my previous experience and they were happy to accept me and ofcourse my money.
    I have since qualified as a teacher and now teach in special and love it.
     
  9. gcf

    gcf

    As someone who completed a year long part-time SpLD course to teach children with dyslexia and who was involved with one-to-one teaching for some years I would heartily endorse the recommendation to train to use SRS. It is a superb programme and in one week of training I learned infinitely more about how to teach children to read than anything learned through the normal dyslexia courses. Post training, the results in teaching children to read was immediate and dramatic. Do have a look at the website.
    Certainly you should be able to move on now - good luck!
     
  10. teach321

    teach321 New commenter

    Sorry to hi-jack this thread....I am currently working towards AMBDA qualification and would like to be a specialist dyslexia teacher when I'm finished. Where are these types of jobs generally advertised?
     
  11. Teach321: apart from TES you should look at the PATOSS website, and Dyslexia Action, and the BDA website. Also your local newspaper.
     
  12. dolfrog

    dolfrog New commenter

    The psycholinguistic models of how we learn to read write and spell have evolved from research into Alexia or acquired dyslexia. Research about those who have lost the ability to read due to brain injury, stroke, dementia or a progressive illness.
    Obviously there under different causes for the similar dyslexic symptom for those who have Developmental dyslexia, which has a genetic origin. There are three cognitive subtypes of developmental dyslexia, auditory, visual and attentional, or any combination of the three. And due the different nature of these cognitive deficits there they require different forms of support and coping strategies to compensate for the different types of disabilities.

    I have just complete a web site listing my online PubMed research paper collections cover three main categories Communication and Neurology research paper collections
    http://dolfrog.org/PM-Communication-Neurology.html
    Dyslexia and Related Issues research paper collections (by topic, by year of publication, and my favorite researchers)
    http://dolfrog.org/PM-Dyslexia.html
    and Invisible Disability research paper collections
    http://dolfrog.org/PM-Invisible-Disabilities.html

    This could help provide some useful information for your course.
     
  13. A minor quibble, but worth considering; I think it would be more accurate to say that some forms of developmental dyslexia have genetic origins. The auditory, visual and motor anomalies that give rise to reading difficulties are the outcomes of physiological processes, and these can be affected by environmental factors, such as diet or noise or light. It's important to bear in mind that there might be a number of different causes for each 'cognitive subtype of dyslexia'. That it might not be a case of gene - dyslexia - cognitive sub-type, but rather gene - physiology +environment - cognitive anomaly - reading difficulty.
    That looks useful, thanks.
     
  14. dolfrog

    dolfrog New commenter

    An AMBDA qualification means that you are a qualified remedial program provider to some dyslexics, and you will have Associate Membership of a charity which tries to increase the awareness of dyslexia.
    Unfortunately this is only one of many types of remedial program required by the different subtypes of dyslexics.

    You really do not to have a full and comprehensive understanding of the auditory processing , visual processing and attention cognitive issues which can cause the dyslexic symptom before you can claim to have a real understanding of dyslexia.
    So the AMBDA is just one small step towards your goal of being able to help all dyslexics
     
  15. dolfrog

    dolfrog New commenter

    While trying to use the new posting format here i fort to state the that auditory, visual and attentional issues which cause the dyslexic symptom all have some genetic origin.
    Developmental dyslexia is of genetic origin, The subtypes of cognitive information processing disorders which cause developmental dyslexia are of genetic origin.
    Alexia or acquired dyslexia where the physiological and environmental issues belong.
    So in my own case my Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is of genetic origin, and BECAUSE i have APD I am dyslexic.

    Dyslexia is a man made problem, having problems with a man made communication system the visual notation of speech.
    Dyslexia is language dependent, so it is possible to by bilingual in say Japanese and English, and only dyslexic in English, due the different cognitive skill requirements of the different writing systems and their orthographies.
    However the genetic sensory information processing disorders exist and create a range of problems regardless of the communication systems chosen by your society. Dyslexia only exists when man uses graphic symbols to represent the spoken word. So in societies which do not use this form of communication there is no dyslexia, but the genetic auditory processing, visual processing and attention problems do exist.

    So a diagnosis of dyslexia is a screening process for genetic clinical or medical problems which are the underlying issues that cause the dyslexic symptom
    This is what the international dyslexia research has been re[port for about a decade now, but which our dyslexia industry choses to ignore and would prefer you did not know about because it questions how they define dyslexia and would seriously affect their income.
     
  16. dolfrog

    dolfrog New commenter

    elsiepiddock

    How I hate having to live with APD at times LOL
    i forgot to mention the research program based on the concept of Developmental Dyslexia being of Genetic origin.
    The Jyväskylä Longitudinal study of Dyslexia which is now some 13 years in progress, has been following children at genetic or Familial Risk of dyslexia since birth. And they are suggesting that it is possible to identify potential dyslexics from this group from the age of 6 months, and from this be able to provide adequate support and coping strategies pre-school.
    I have included a link to my collection of research papers that are related to this Longitudinal study on my Dyslexia research paper web page, in the Dyslexia by topic section, and i also have a collection of Heikki Lyytinen's, the projects leading reseacher, research papers included in the "My favorite Dyslexia Researcher" section.

    I still have not worked out to post links in this new set up here but this is the link to that web page
    http://dolfrog.org/PM-Dyslexia.html
     
  17. Sorry to disagree, dolfrog, but I think this is an important point, especially in relation to research into the causes of dyslexia. My understanding is that the distinction between developmental dyslexia and acquired dyslexia is whether or not the person with the dyslexia could previously read without difficulty. In other words, in acquired dyslexia it's both the dyslexia and the cause of the dyslexia that are acquired.
    But by definition, all children who have problems learning to read (ie they have not previously been able to read) have developmental dyslexia, regardless of cause. Even if the cause of the child's learning-to-read difficulties is acquired and not something the child is born with (a viral infection could cause undetected brain damage or disrupt the absorption of nutrients essential for efficient cognitive processing) because it has led to a problem in learning to read, the dyslexia is developmental. Nine times out of ten we don't know the cause of the reading difficulties, so although we know that some forms of developmental dyslexia are of genetic origin, it isn't safe to assume they all are.
    That might be the case, but as far as I am aware APD is not a single, uniform disorder, so someone else diagnosed with APD might have developed their symptoms due to an environmental factor.
    I agree completely with what you say about dyslexia and language. But I would, again question the assumption that sensory processing abnormalities must be genetic in origin.
     

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