Specialist dyslexia tutors help children work faster and more accurately with greater confidence.
Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in: phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.
There are several tests for dyslexia. A psychologist or specialist teacher will run a selection of these to create a picture of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. A specialist in dyslexia interpretation can then consider this picture and decide whether or not the individual is dyslexic.
Tests for dyslexia
i) Tests of underlying ability; these can be split into verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning. This provides a picture of an individual’s skills where literacy (in the sense of reading and writing) is not required. This provides a background to the rest of the assessment.
ii) Various tests of reading: Single word reading will be considered, as well as reading texts and comprehension of texts. Reading speed will also be considered. In addition, reading non-words will be considered as well as reading sight words at speed. An overall picture of reading skills will then be obtained. Dyslexic people will often have a slow reading speed or a low score in single word reading and/or non-word reading.
iii) Writing and spelling skills will also be considered. A single word spelling test will be administered as well as a free writing task. Depending on the age and ability of the individual, further tests may be used such as those that look at copying speed. Dyslexic people will often have limited spelling skills; they may also have difficulties with punctuation and sentence structure.
iv) Tests of phonological awareness and processing will also be used. A dyslexic individual will usually have difficulties in this area so this is considered carefully.
v) Tests of auditory memory will usually be administered. Dyslexic people often have poor short-term and/or working memory.
It is important to stress that no single test from the list can provide proof of dyslexia. For example, poor spelling by itself may not be an indicator of dyslexia but, combined with other features, it may well be one of the indicators.
When these tests have been administered, the specialist teacher will then pull the information together in a report. A judgment will then be made on the presence of dyslexia. Recommendations for future support will be given.
Simply Learning Tuition Dyslexia Assessments
We work with several dyslexia experts. Lois Hood, is one of our leading Dyslexia tutors. For the past ten years she has worked as a dyslexia specialist both in schools and privately. In 2005 she gained her Diploma in Dyslexia and Literacy from the University of York.
The study of Dyslexia is still a relatively new field and it is very important to keep up to date with current thinking and new developments. Thus, Lois regularly attends training with the British Dyslexia Association, Dyslexia Action and PATOSS. Lois is currently studying for her Certificate of Competence in Education Testing.
DYSLEXIA CASE STUDY
We began working with Leo a year and a half ago, when he was aged 6. He was bright boy, but his parents were concerned about his progress in reading and writing. We provided an academic assessment with a trained dyslexia specialist, which confirmed that Leo was dyslexic.
We introduced Ella, a qualified teacher with over 15 years experience in specific learning difficulties.
She has focused mainly on Leo’s handwriting, grammar and comprehension, using rhyme as a spelling and vocabulary aid. As he struggles to concentrate for long periods, Ella uses short and exciting activities to break up work, and has developed a weekly independent research task, where Leo is set a project based around a topic of his choosing.
DYSLEXIA IS NO BAR TO SUCCESS
One of the expert tutors we work with, Adam, has written a fascinating post on his own experiences with dyslexia and how it has informed his professional life. You can read about his journey here.
Thinking one thing and writing another is frustrating. Specialist tutors address all the traits of dyspraxia including disorganization, erratic handwriting, lack of focus and a weak short-term memory.
Henry, 13, came to us just before he entered Year 9 at the Moat School, which focuses on specific learning difficulties. Whilst he was receiving specialist attention for his dyspraxia, he needed a private tuitor who could give him one-to-one attention.
We introduced Lisa, a specialist SEN tutor. She delivered the Lindamood-Bell programme, dedicated to improving Henry’s sensory-cognitive functions in order to help him to cope better with his dyspraxia.
Henry was identified as an auditory learner, so Lisa has incorporated the use of speech, music, and rhythm into his lessons.
Lisa has now been working with Henry for over a year and a half. He is now making good progress towards his GCSEs.
Is your child doing brilliantly in most subjects but struggling with numbers? We can test for dyscalculia and other learning difficulties.
Georgina is in Year 5 at a leading London prep school, and is working hard towards her 11+ Common Entrance exams. However, her progress in Maths has been held back by her mild dyscalculia. She was struggling to gain an understanding of mathematical concepts that may come more naturally to other children, such as comparing fractions, percentages and decimals.
We introduced Richard, one of our most experienced tutors.
After spending some time going through the concepts she was finding most difficult, it soon became apparent that Georgina’s confidence in maths had been knocked, as she was doubting her judgment in even the most simple calculations.
Richard has incorporated repetition, short activites and rewards that have helped Georgina to regain a sense of achievement. She is now much more comfortable in approaching new mathematical problems and ideas, managing her dyscalculia well in the run up to her 11+.
Speech and Language Processing
Tutors use visual and kinesthetic learning techinques to overcome processing and auditory difficulties. We work closely with one of the world’s leaders in this field, Valerie Savage of Harley Street.
Aidah, 9, has been raised internationally, living in a number of countries across the Middle East and Europe. She has been struggling to get to grips with three languages, among them English. Her family asked us to provide home schooling tuition for a full academic year, with a view to reintegrating her into a British independent school in September 2015.
After the first term of home schooling, Aidah was making slower progress than expected. A full academic assessment with a speech and language therapist revealed that her receptive and expressive language skills were delayed by 2 and a half years.
With a limited vocabulary and working memory, she was also struggling to make progress in all of her subjects.
As well as introducing weekly sessions with the speech and language therapist into Aidah’s home schooling programme, we were also able to incorporate the therapist’s recommendations into the tutor’s curriculum. Her language needs are now being targeted on a daily basis, and she is now making much faster progress towards school reintegration.
ADHD / ADD
Mis-diagnosis and over prescription are common. In many cases a tutor who provides stability and confidence building will help children develop sustainably.
Fred, 10 yrs old, had been through a series of schools in the last 12 months. He had problems with the use of language and had weak social skills in general and a high level of anxiety. However, he was very strong at numerical processing and had a photographic memory. He was also extremely good at one to one work. In the past he had been excluded from several schools and had run away from one. Several of his school teachers had overreacted to his ADHD and caused him great distress. As a result he had lost trust in his teachers.
We introduced tutors to provide a two month period of home schooling to i) settle anxiety ii) continue academic progress iii) give us time to help his parents find a more suitable school.
Within a few days, the difference was evident
“Also, just to say to both of you, thanks for all your help this last week. Fred has had a terrific week of learning, which is amazing really, given that he only left school last Weds”
We were able to secure Fred a place at Fairley House school, and after several weeks his parents wrote to us;
“He feels like he fits in and is no longer the odd one out or the naughty one. They've said that by 13 he'll be able to transfer back into mainstream”
Aspergers and Autism on the spectrum requires a particularly patient tutor. With that tutor you can see you child enjoying learning, feeling they can cope, being creative, expressing themselves and relieving frustration.
Leo's family asked us to provide homeschooling. Leo, 7yrs old, was two years behind his peers in terms of literacy. He had suspected mild Aspergers and needed help with boundary setting and consequence. Leo also had a problem discriminating sound: he could hear normally but found it difficult to discriminate between different sounds, making blending and rhyming and phonological awareness very difficult. Our tutor worked with him each weekday morning to bring him up to the level at which he could rejoin school.
"Leo completed two "test days" at Fairley House yesterday. He loved the school and fortunately the feeling was mutual. We had a meeting with the headmistress yesterday afternoon and Leo will start there after half-term. It would of course be lovely to stay in touch as Leo may well need more help in the future, but while he is at Fairley House this seems unnecessary as the teaching there is already tailor made and he is lucky enough to be in a class of 5 pupils. Thank you so very much to both of you for all your hard work and expert help! Many, many thanks!" Kind regards, Nina
Gifted and Talented
Children’s horizons should never be limited. G & T tutors will challenge your child academically but also develop their life and social skills.
When Charles' family came to us when he was aged only 14, he had just been named as the Most Multilingual Child in Britain, speaking an impressive 6 languages. As well as his mother tongue English, Charles was fluent in Russian, Mandarin, Arabic, French, German and Spanish. He was studying the IB Middle Years programme at Le Foley in Switzerland, and needed extra support in his English.
We introduced the family to a residential tutor, Valerie, who joined the family on their Scottish estate over the Summer. Alongside academic support, Hilary establish a strong pastoral relationship with Charles, developing his social skills so that he could talk more confidently and articulately about his linguistic talents in university interviews. We also brought in a second tutor, Jeff, who honed Charles’ analytical skills through teaching Economics and Humanities.