One of Dyslexia Scotland's young ambassadors, Rachel, spoke at our education conference last year, explaining the things she finds difficult and what teachers can do to help.
As well as the more common difficulties with reading, writing and spelling, Rachel finds it hard to remember instructions, think on the spot and do timed activities. All pupils with dyslexia are different, but she gave her 10 top tips for teachers:
Don’t ask me to read out loud in the class
Allow me to use technology to help with things like copying from the board
Give me extra time with big pieces of work
Give me time to review new topic vocabulary before the topic starts
Don’t worry about neatness
Break tasks and instructions into chunks
Let me use my iPad to take notes
Give me time to think of the answer and don’t ask me a question unless I put my hand up
Help me capture my strengths and praise them
Don’t tell me I just need to try a bit harder!
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We hope that lots of teachers and pupils in schools across Scotland have been wearing Ellie’s Blue Dyslexia Ribbon to mark Dyslexia Awareness Week, which ends tomorrow. The Dyslexia Awareness Week page of our website has a range of resources and information to help you raise awareness in schools.
Of course, raising awareness of dyslexia isn’t just for this week. On the Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit, teachers and school staff can complete three free modules which support the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) Professional Standards, Professional Update and Professional Recognition.
Following a series of workshops run by our ambassadors Paul McNeill and Rossie Stone in Falkirk, Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire and South Lanarkshire, watch out for a professional learning resource for teachers before the end of the year. The pack will include presentations, a dyslexia cartoon comic, film footage from the workshops and tips for teachers wanting to deliver in their own areas.
We’re also looking forward to celebrating the incredible achievement of GTCS Professional Recognition in dyslexia and inclusive practice on 30 January with teachers who’ve taken part in a pilot programme over the past two years. Education secretary John Swinney will be handing out the awards at GTCS headquarters in Edinburgh.
Lena Gillies is national development officer for Dyslexia Scotland