How do I book an assessment?
Please complete an Initial Inquiry form.
School support for secondary school students
Question: My daughter’s dyslexia is not being catered for at her secondary school. What could I do?
Specific advice for teachers of students with SLD.
Question: A pupil that I teach, XXX had an assessment done earlier in the year. As a class teacher I feel I have tried to implement the findings.
I did however feel they were quite generalised and would like to know if there are any specific learning strategies I could work on with XXX or helpful web sites.
Answer: I have been forwarded your request for further information about specific learning strategies to use with your student XXX who has a mild SLD.
Our recommendations are described in the conclusion of the report. These recommendations are good guidance for a specialised tutor: such as specific programmes to teach phonics systematically and touch/ typing lessons.
You will also see from XXX’s formal report that nine classroom accommodations are listed (p7). Some are necessarily of a general nature as there are many variables in each child’s situation. We cannot presume to tell the teacher what will work specifically in their class. Each teacher should keep our advice in mind and use their professional judgement as to what will best achieve the outcomes for the child.
The conclusion also recommends teachers check out the TKI website for inspiration. However, it may be easier for you to follow the links in our site: https://www.seabrookmckenzie.net/services-for-educators/
Go into Resources for teachers. You will find many links to all sorts of guidance for teaching students with dyslexia in the classroom.
The Differentiating and adapting the curriculum section has many specific ideas.
Under Websites for teachers, click on Responding to Individual needs.
Scroll down to the section on Dyslexia. You will find a wealth of information.
The Dyslexia Foundation also has some great resources to help teachers.
Thank you for being willing to support XXX in your class and for taking the time to email us.
Executive functioning skills
Question: I am currently undertaking an inquiry into the development of Executive Function skills in our students. I am also looking at how the development of Executive Functions skills enable students to cope, and thrive, throughout the many transitions they face in their schooling life.
As I am teaching in a high school, the main transition point that I am focusing on is from year 8 to year 9 (Primary to Secondary). However, our students face transitions constantly: during activities in class, from class to class (and teacher to teacher) and between semesters (for our Junior Students).
As the SENCO, I read many reports that come from your organisation. I have noted that many mention Executive Functions as an area of weakness. Working memory in particular.
My questions to you are:
Thank you very much for your time.
Answer: I am a psychologist at Seabrook McKenzie, so have been forwarded this email to respond to. Your research sounds very interesting and valuable. In order to respond to your queries I have copied some sections from the understood.org website which sums up my general opinion (based on experience rather than research in my case).
So in answer to question 1:
“Trouble with executive skills isn’t a diagnosis or a learning disability on its own. But it’s a common problem for kids who learn and think differently. All kids with ADHD have difficulties with executive function. And many kids with specific learning disabilities have challenges in some executive skills”. I certainly agree that children with SLD (especially in the more severe cases) seem to have difficulties in varying degrees and combinations of all three of the main areas identified on the Understood.org website:
In answer to question 2:
I think that the skills associated with executive functioning play a very significant role in transition processes generally, and in particular between primary and high school (due to so many differences in these environments). In particular, we see many children with SLD who have difficulties with attention, organisation, planning and prioritising, regulation of emotions, and self-monitoring that can cause issues with adapting to or coping with such changes and differences. Therefore, I think the development of these skills is very important, though would consider this to be a lengthy process with a lot of support/external management required before skills are able to be adopted by children independently.
In answer to question 3:
Executive functions aren’t specifically in my area of expertise and I am sure you will have so many ideas on areas we don’t even explore. As we are more focused on academic performance, we tend to look at difficulties from that lens, though are very aware of the effects of executive function difficulties and the effects they have on children with learning disabilities in order to function in general (e.g. navigating the environment in order to access curriculum, interpreting and understanding instructions, difficulties coping with expectations of others that they be able to ‘self-manage’, interacting socially and understanding rules/expectations of others, and even just processing and making sense of the environment around them).
I hope these thoughts help. We wish you all the best with your research and would certainly be interested to hear the outcomes down the track.