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Learning difficulties - Essay Example

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Focus on Dyslexia as a Case Study Introduction This paper discusses the learning disability, Dyslexia, which is regarded as one of the most predominant disabilities affecting individuals’ ability to read. Since reading is crucial in schooling, the academic performance of the dyslexic student may be at risk…
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Download file to see previous pages It will also discuss government and private citizens’ efforts in supporting individuals with Dyslexia. What is Dyslexia? Dyslexia is a learning disability related to an individual’s difficulty in obtaining skills in reading, writing and spelling (Special Needs Support Pages, 1999). It affects the development of literacy and language related skills (British Dyslexia Association, 2009). It is one disorder that is neurological in origin (International Dyslexia Association: Lyon et al., 2003). It is a permanent condition, however, it can be managed. For example, children with dyslexia have difficulty in spelling words. One way to overcome this is for them to view pictures of words in their minds because this helps them to retain the words and spell them out better (Morton, 2004). Although dyslexic children manifest difficulties in reading and writing words, they are often bright, creative and talented. Some of their strengths may include mechanical aptitude; artistic ability; musical gifts; athletic prowess; advanced social skills; and talents in computer/technology, science, and math (Yoshimoto, 2000). Concern for children with disabilities has already spread in the UK from the 1970’s thanks to some advocates such as Mary Warnock who raised the issues on helping children with special education needs (SEN). The Warnock Report in the year 1978 was developed to appraise the provision for children with psychological as well as physical disabilities. The report had sponsored ranges of special needs for children. It paved the way for the “Education Act” which was imposed in the year 1983. This act presented different methods to the description of children with SEN. It advocated that these children should be able to obtain the educational support from tutors in the classroom such as the provision of extra time and assistance compared to other students (Sturt, 2002). In 1996 the law on SEN stated that: “A child has special educational needs (SEN) if he or she has a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her” (Education Act, 1996, Section 312). This act mandates local education authorities (LEA) to offer resources in order to recognise and support specific learning problems in children. LEAs were imposed with additional tasks to make an evaluation of children in their disability area (Pumfrey & Reason, 1991). SEN Code of Practice (2001) is the government guidance on meeting the SEN of children with disabilities. Its principles include that children with special needs should have their needs met and that children will normally have their needs met in a mainstream school. With the Special Education Needs Code of Practice (2001), Dyslexia falls under the Communication and Interaction area of need. This area includes learners with speech and language difficulties, impairments and disorders. Children with SEN should have full access to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum, including the National Curriculum or, for younger children, the foundation stage curriculum. The children’s views should be taken into account and their parents should be treated as partners of the school (ACE, 2011). Much of what has been described are components of inclusive education. The Education Act of 2010 focuses on supporting inclusion and incorporation of dyslexic children rather than separation and segregation in the school. Inclusive education has evolved towards the idea that all children despite their ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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