Frequently Asked Questions
Specialist Teacher Training
Please note that information for specialist teacher training and materials can be found in the accreditation section of the website.
Teachers may also find further information in Education (Schools/FE/HE)
The SpLD Trust website has a useful online tool, the Professional Development Framework, giving detailed information on the levels of knowledge and skills required across the education workforce to support all learners with dyslexia/SpLD.
A. Do bear in mind that a screening test should only be used as an indicator of those pupils at risk of dyslexia. This should not be treated as a diagnosis, and the categories of probability are only a guide.
You will find a list of recommended tests on our information sheet Screening and Assessments
For information on computerised screening tests see the BDA Technologies website
We also offer short training courses for teachers on screening for dyslexia
A. There seems to be a fair amount of misinformation on this subject, possibly also related to budget restrictions. There is no magic age when it appropriate to assess for dyslexia, although an assessment can be more detailed where some levels of literacy are a factor.
Where differentiation has not been successful, and particularly where a child is becoming distressed or showing behavioural problems, an assessment should be carried out. Leaving a child to fail can be very harmful psychologically.
Specialist intervention at a young age is always recommended to enable the child to fully access the curriculum. At a later age, this will be harder to achieve.
Children with suspected dyslexic difficulties should be referred to the Educational Psychologist. Dyslexia is not funded by the NHS and parents cannot ask their GP for an assessment. A private assessment from a Chartered Educational Psychologist specialising in Specific Learning Difficulties would cost around £400 or more. Most parents would be unable to afford this.
A. You will find helpful titles for teachers on this subject in our list of Books on Dyslexia
We also offer short training courses for teachers
A. First, a good understanding of dyslexia and related specific learning difficulties is vital throughout the school. Short courses and Inset training would be recommended. The BDA Training Department can offer this training.
There is an organisation DysTalk for teachers and parents who are looking for information on how to optimise a child's learning. Their website features talks on various topics by leading experts.
Dyslexic pupils learn in a different way to non-dyslexic pupils, so that any support should be dyslexia specific and offered on a one-to-one basis. Putting dyslexia pupils in a remedial group for slow learners and other special needs will not be appropriate. In addition, dyslexia occurs independently of IQ and should not be equated with low ability.
For detailed information on dyslexia support, see Resources for Supporting Dyslexic Pupils
A. There is a helpful website, http://www.phonicbooks.co.uk This includes a video of the correct way to say individual letter sounds.
For information on synthetic phonics, see http://www.syntheticphonics.net/
Ofsted have produced guidelines for inspectors: Getting them ready early. This publication focuses on early reading, including systematic phonics, and inspection methodology. (Oct.2011)
Phonicshark software has been approved by the Department for Education for 50% match-funding. This is created from Wordshark and provides a low-cost resource to support the teaching of synthetic phonics in KS1.
A. Around 35-40% of people with dyslexia suffer with a visual stress difficulty where text appears to move around or look distorted in some way. Coloured filters, either as overlays or glasses with coloured tinted lenses have been found to helpful. Coloured filters will help to make the text visually clearer and more comfortable to see, and therefore can aid the learning process, but they will not teach a child to read. To be effective, an individual will need assessing to find the precise colour tint.
For further information and specialist practitioners, see Eyes and Dyslexia
For an inexpensive first step, try a multipack of different coloured Crossbow Reading Rulers
A. You would be looking at ATS Level 5 Certificate course in teaching pupils with specific learning difficulties. See Specialist Teacher Courses
A. You would be looking at AMBDA Level 7 Diploma in teaching pupils with specific learning difficulties.
See Specialist Teacher Courses