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Guidance on Dyslexia

Currently there is no universally accepted definition of dyslexia that is based on scientific findings.

Hertfordshire's Integrated Services for Learning team (ISL) has agreed to define dyslexia based on three widely recognised definitions; namely:

  • the Rose Reportiii(2009)
  • the British Psychological Societyiv(2005) and
  • the current British Dyslexia Association definitions.

Dyslexia is a term used to describe difficulties with developing and acquiring accurate and fluent word reading and/or spelling, which is severe and persistent in nature despite personalised learning opportunities(ie differentiated learning based on identified strengths and difficulties) and evidenced-based intervention, (ie there is strong research to suggest that the interventions produce the expected and desired outcomes).

Dyslexia is underpinned by difficulties in some or all of the following:

  1. Phonological awareness: the ability to identify, perceive and manipulate sounds in words
  2. Verbal memory: the ability to store, process and manipulate verbal information
  3. Verbal processing speed: the ability to retrieve familiar words quickly and accurately
  4. Visual processing speed: the ability to visually recognise familiar words/symbols/patterns quickly and accurately.

Dyslexia should be recognised as a continuum (from mild to severe) across a range of abilities rather than a discrepancy between intelligence and literacy skills. Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor coordination and personal organisation, but these are not by themselves markers of dyslexia. An assessment of dyslexia is a process not an event and should happen over time, taking into account a child/young person’s patterns of strength and needs.

The Educational Psychology and Specific Learning Difficulties teams have been working together to develop guidelines for schools to support work with literacy difficulties including dyslexia.

Primary and Secondary Head Teachers and parents have helped to shape the final document.

It is intended that these guidelines will support Hertfordshire schools with identifying and responding to difficulties through the 'assess – plan – do'  review cycle, which is in line with the current SEN code of practice.

You can find the full guidance documentat https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/dyslexiaguidance

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