Know your limits – Part 2Joseph Manja
In the first article of this series teachers were reminded that, while it was not their job to diagnose special educational needs (SENs), they could, never the less, provide valuable information regarding educational problems that their students were having in class. In this second article of the series, a brief overview of dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) will be given.
Dyslexia is a learning disorder characterized by difficulties in reading and spelling. A checklist for dyslexia would include the following indicators:
- Demonstrates mismatch between spoken and written responses
- Has problems with number/letter formation
- Often reverses words when reading or spelling e.g. bat/tab
- Has problems sequencing letters appropriately when spelling
ADHD is a learning disorder characterized by significant problems regarding attention, hyperactivity, or acting impulsively. A checklist for ADHD would include the following indicators:
- Careless mistakes in all work
- Easily distracted from tasks
- Does not seem to listen when spoken to
- Leaves their seat in classroom where remaining seated is expected
- Often blurts out answers
- Has difficulty waiting for a turn
Finally, if you think a student might have a SEN, it’s very important not to jump to conclusions and make a diagnosis. Teachers need to be careful not to label and diagnose students. Always, first, seek the counsel of your supervisor and specialists here at the college regarding any of your special needs students.