Special Educational Needs

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Special Educational Needs


There are many definitions of dyslexia. A very simple one would be that dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty which makes it hard for some people to learn to read, write and spell correctly. The Dyslexia Association of Ireland defines dyslexia as a specific learning difficulty affecting the acquisition of fluent and accurate reading and spelling skills. This occurs despite access to appropriate learning opportunities. People with dyslexia may experience greater stress and frustration as they endeavour to learn, resulting in heightened anxiety, particularly in relation to literacy acquisition. People with dyslexia may also have accompanying learning strengths

A problem learning to read and/or spell should alert parents and teachers that a specific learning disability such as dyslexia may be present. This applies particularly when a child’s progress seems at odds with his or her general level of ability. Each child with dyslexia has a unique profile of strengths and weaknesses.  Indicators of dyslexia differ at different ages.


    Is still reading slowly and without fluency, with many inaccuracies.
    Misreads words (e.g. hysterical for historical) or information.
    Has difficulty changing reading rate.
    Has an inadequate store of knowledge due to lack of reading experience.
    Continues to experience serious spelling difficulties.
    Has slow and/or illegible handwriting.
    Has better oral skills than written skills.
    Has difficulty planning, sequencing and organising written text.
    Has difficulty with written syntax or punctuation.
    Has difficulty skimming, scanning and/or proof reading written text.
    Has trouble summarising or outlining.
    Has problems in taking notes and copying from the board.
    Procrastinates and/or avoids reading and writing tasks.
    Does not complete assignments or class work or does not hand them in.
    Is slow in answering questions, especially open-ended ones.
    Has poor memorisation skills.
    Still mispronounces or misuses some words.
    Has problems recalling the names of some words or objects.
    Has poor planning and organisation skills.
    Has poor time management skills.
    Has more difficulty in language-based subjects (e.g. English, Irish, History) than in non-language based subjects (e.g. Mathematics, Technical Graphics).
    Lacks self-confidence and has poor self-image.


  • Don’t feel guilty. You did not cause your child to have dyslexia and you could not have prevented it.

  • Don’t blame anyone else – the child, the teacher, the other parent. Dyslexia is a fact of life – accept it and think of positive things you can do.

  • Talk to your child about dyslexia and explain how it may affect the child and what you both can do to overcome it.

  • Read with your child. Paired Reading is a wonderful technique which encourages reading for pleasure and meaning.

  • Talk to your child - It is very important to keep in touch with how a young person with dyslexia is coping, because dyslexia affects the whole personality, not just schoolwork.

  • Listen to your child - Learn to hear what the child is saying and note what is not being said. Pick up on tone of voice indicating possible worries. Ask open questions, e.g. “How do you feel about that?” or “What do you think of that?”


Rosses Community School

Co. Donegal

 Tel: 074 95 21122


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