Hidden Dyslexia (Scotland) HD108

This course is designed to raise teachers’ awareness of how dyslexia can be masked in the classroom environment and to help them explore the likely impact of unrecognised dyslexia on pupils’ learning and behaviour.

Section 1  Introduction

This first introductory section in 3 short parts sets the context for the course, with links to relevant national and international initiatives for reference.

The slide presentations introduce:

  • causes of dyslexia
  • some current definitions of dyslexia
  • reasons why dyslexia is not always identified in the early years at primary school
  • some topics explored in greater depth later in the course

Section 2  Developmental issues

This section identifies some early childhood conditions that are often part of the history of dyslexic children. Topics covered include:

  • delayed speech
  • glue ear
  • childhood asthma
  • visual/perceptual problems
  • motor difficulties
  • binocular instability/convergence insufficiency
  • Developmental Coordination Disorder

Section 3  Masking factors

This section begins to consider why dyslexia may be hidden. After identifying the main reasons for a failure to recognise dyslexia, consideration is given to:

  • Dyslexia and underachievement
  • Dyslexia concealed by ability and behaviour
  • Misidentification of Behavioural Disorders in Able Dyslexic Children
  • Dyslexia and multilingualism

Section 4  Coping strategies

This section highlights some of the coping strategies commonly used by learners to conceal their dyslexia that are often perceived by teachers as behaviour or attitude problems.

  • talking to and copying from peers
  • lost/forgotten homework and equipment
  • lack of concentration and organisation

These coping strategies may cause the dyslexic learner to appear to lack interest or application in class. Poor quality written work may be attributed to laziness or carelessness rather than an indication of dyslexia.

Section 5  Avoidance strategies

This section highlights how some coping strategies become avoidance strategies as the curricular demands on dyslexic learners increase to an unbearable level. These avoidance strategies may cause the dyslexic learner to become withdrawn and uncooperative or violently disruptive in class, or to truant regularly.

Section 6  Co-occurring conditions

This 2 part section explores visual and auditory processing factors and other developmental conditions that may co-occur with dyslexia.  Co-occurrence (or co-morbidity) refers to either the presence of one or more disorders in addition to dyslexia or the effect of these on dyslexia.

Co-occurring conditions reviewed include:

  • Visual Stress
  • Dyspraxia
  • ADHD

Some medical conditions and physical impairments that may co-occur and perhaps conceal dyslexia are also considered.

Section 7  Identification of dyslexia

This 2 part section explores reasons why some aspects of dyslexia do not become apparent until learners begin to experience difficulties in the upper primary or secondary curriculum – and why the signs of dyslexia are not always recognised as such by primary class teachers and secondary subject teachers.

Part 2 identifies some barriers to learning experienced by dyslexic learners and considers the impact in them of different learning and teaching styles.

Section 8 Hidden Dyslexia

This section identifies some characteristics of Hidden Dyslexia and considers these alongside likely dyslexic triggers for poor classroom behaviour.

Before starting this final section, a review of CPD Bytes Course Paper Hidden Dyslexia is recommended.

Pupils whose dyslexia has not been recognised or fully understood will probably not be successful learners, so are unlikely to be motivated to learn, causing possible classroom management issues.