Thursday, December 18, 2008
ABRACADABRA: A Literacy Resource
ABRACADABRA is an interactive computer tool designed for use in Canadian primary schools. This web-based software was designed by CSLP (The Center for The Study of learning and Performance ).It is meant to aid beginning readers of English.
It covers all literacy skills :
- Sound,letter and words ( alphabetics)
- Reading fluency
Research studies have indicated that ABRACADBRA could be a useful tool to help second language learners as well as struggling readers
Most Turkish children study English at school, so ABRACADBRA might be a useful programme to try out with your child to help with their language learning at home.Remember that generally if your child has dyslexia they will often experience difficulty in learning foreign languages.They often encounter problems with English because the syllable structure is complex and correspondence between letters and sounds is inconsistent.As a result they will generally find it very hard to read in English.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The Number Race software is designed for remediation of dyscalculia in children aged 4-8. The Cognitive Neuroimaging Research Unit which produced the software say that it may be useful for the prevention of dyscalculia, or to teach number sense in kindergarten children without specific learning disabilities. The software was developed in France by Anna Wilson and Stanislas Dehaene.
Go to the following page to download free in English or French,German,Dutch and Spanish.
If you understand limited English it is still possible to use this.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Maths Online Games
Many dyslexic children have problems in maths. They could find difficulty with topics such as multiplication, telling the time, fractions, place value, and decimals .
A dyslexic child will usually need to work extra at home in order to grasp certain concepts.
Games work particularly well with dyslexic children as they provide a welcome change from maths worksheets, which they do mainly at school. Games can help children to practice their maths skills and reinforce topics learnt . There are a lot of good educational sites on the web which have maths games.Unfortunately most of the sites are in English.However if you understand just a little English you can generally help your child to play these games.
Below I have listed some good sites to start to look at :
Woodlands Junior school site , UK – this has won very many web awards ,it’s a great site –
These games were devised by a former teacher – James Barrett.
Coxhoe School ,UK – They have a whole list of useful links for maths.
Maths Cats :
Ambleside Primary School,UK :
Count us in – games to help children understand basic number concepts from ABC – Australia.
Here are some links to particular games I have tried with my child.
Football subtraction game :
Variety of multiplication practice games ( Flash cards and magnetic fun )
Woodlands Junior school site – interactive multiplication games:
The Table Trees
Multiplication Grid – Maths Cats
Spitfire game – ICT games
Division bingo from bgfl.org
GREATER OR LESSER
Pizza party -
Missing numbers - subtraction
Looking at Dyslexic Brains
Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle are beginning to understand how dyslexic brains work. Dr.Virginia Berninger and Dr. Todd Richards lead a team of researchers whose studies have shown that the brains of children with dyslexia work about five times harder than other children's brains when performing the same language task.
As a result parents of dyslexic children must bear this in mind when doing homework with their children - and give frequent breaks. In addition teachers should reduce homework to a reasonable amount.
Dr Berninger said :
‘People often don't see how hard it is for dyslexic children to do a task that others do so effortlessly. We can't blame the schools or hold teachers accountable for teaching dyslexic children unless both teachers and the schools are given specialized training to deal with these children’ '"
Monday, December 15, 2008
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents to eliminate all TV viewing for children under age 2 and to limit screen time (including computer use) for older kids to no more than an hour or two a day.It is known that too much TV can negatively affect brain development in children.
Researchers have found some evidence to connect TV viewing to general attention problems in children.
I think that too much tv/ computers can certainly have a negative effect, especially on children with dyslexia or other learning disabilities. As a parent,I feel that you need to set reasonable limits.You need also to try to reduce your own tv viewing in order to be a good role model to your kid !! If they see you doing something else other than watching the tv – maybe they will pick up on your example. !!
Other points to note concerning tv :
Never let your child do homework while the television is on …..
It is advisable not let your child have a tv or computer in their bedroom since you can’t monitor how much and what they are watching.
Make an agreement with your child over tv/ computer viewing and make sure you stick to it !!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
They are asking for parents and individuals to send in their real life stories or profiles of dyslexics.These can be sent anonymously .
PLEASE SEND YOUR STORIES in English or Turkish.
Write World Dyslexia Forum – Personal story -Turkey at top of letter
OTHERWISE TURKEY WILL NOT BE COUNTED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mr Ali Tinaz Tuygan (Ambassador )
Permanent Delegation of Turkey to UNESCO
Maison de l'UNESCO
1, rue Miollis
75732 PARIS Cedex 15
Chairperson of Turkish National Commission for UNESCO
Göreme Sokak, 7/9
It is a simple technique which is widely used to help slow or struggling readers.Many dyslexic associations recommend this as a technique for parents to try with their dyslexic child in order to improve their reading skills.
Who is it for ?
2nd grade students and above, who are slow readers .Volunteers could be the child’s mother or father, a university student – in fact even an older pupil could help.The student would need to be two years older or in 2 classes above the child.
Why do we use Paired Reading ?
to increase fluency and accuracy.
Research has shown an marked improvement in reading age.After 6 weeks, if done regularly fluency increases by 3 times and comprehension by 5 times.
Increases childrens confidence and self-esteem.
There are social benefits as well to both students and volunteers. There is sometimes less bullying of the younger children as a result of carrying out paired reading.
How to do Paired Reading ?
Together with the child you read outloud.
Decide on a quiet signal to be used by the child when he or she feels she is ready to read alone – like a tap on the hand.
If the child makes a mistake give the child 5 seconds to self-correct , if they don’t
Point to the word.
Say the word and get the child to repeat the word.
Then you will join back in reading together again- until again the child feels confident to read again by him or herself.
Give plenty of praise – for example if the child self- corrects – uses words like bravo, well done etc
When and how often should paired reading be done ?·
It can be done at home or school 3 times in a week for about 20 minutes.It must be carried out for at least 8-10 weeks .
Which type of books should be read ?
Books or magazines can be used as long as they are at the childs reading level.The child should be allowed to choose their own book or magazine to read as long as it isnt too hard for them.Preferably choose a book with a large font – small print will be more diffcult to read. With the child read the first page of the book together, if he or she makes more than 5 mistakes then this book is too hard for them , so ask the child to select another book
(Takvim newsparer -Pervin METİN)
We know that in every school all over Turkey there will be other pupils like Beyhan.There are many children, just like her, who are of normal or above intelligence with learning difficulties.Due to Turkey’s general education problems, many teachers and parents know nothing about dyslexia. For this reason, many children suffer in their school life.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
1) If you feel your child is not progressing as they should at school or at pre-school make sure you consult with a psychologist for an assessment.If children are identified early enough they this can make a big difference to their future progress.
2) As a parent you need to boost your child’s confidence and self-esteem by lots of positive feedback.
3) It is useful if you can try to develop your child’s talents, for example art,sports etc.
4) Be prepared for the bad days your child has at school, when he comes home angry and de-moralised.As a parent you need to be more understanding and patient !!
5) You will have to try to assist him with his homework.Remember it will probably take him twice the time as other students to complete a piece of work.Neurologists have found that the brains of dyslexic children work 5 times harder than other childrens brains when performing the same language task.For this reason, your child may tire quickly. You will need to go over what they have learned again and again, in order to check they understand the topics well.
6) Your child may need the regular support of a psychologist or teacher.Always ask the psychologist about their experience and qualifications in regards to dyslexia.Also, always ask for a written report after your child has been assessed and tested.
7) When choosing a school try to choose one where the class size is small.If at all possible, select a school with a less competitve environment !! In addition you should look for sympathetic,patient and understanding teacher.
The United Nations Convention on the rights of the child -articles 28 and 29.
EVERY CHILD HAS AN EQUAL RIGHT TO EDUCATION – (including those who have a disability).
Unfortunately in Turkey there is insufficient knowledge of dyslexia.In addition there not enough trained professionals who know anything about dyslexia and learning dsabilities.
Parents need to come together as a group to work to highlight this problem and to fight for the rights of their children.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
THE ROCK. You want to do the best for your child and do what you can at home to support them. You look for private tuition, sit with them to do homework etc. However the child is often very difficult because they don't want to do the extra lessons at home, they don't want to do their reading etc.The constant battle to get homework done or even getting them to school etc creates a very stressful environment of arguments and tantrums and can have a negative effect on your relationship with the child and can affect other family members.
The reason the child is being difficult at home is because they find school a very stressful place where they're constantly put under pressure to get work finished, struggling with reading, or are fighting emotions where they've been told their work is just not good enough. They're very much aware of their limitations when they compare themselves with their own peer group. They often keep their emotions in check in school and vent their frustrations, anger, upsets at home. The last thing they want is to come home and find its a continuation of school more reading, more work etc.
HARD PLACE. When the homework, reading practise etc fails to get done at home, you are viewed, by the school, as unsupportive parents. If you go into the school asking for help etc. you are viewed as "pushy parents"
One important thing to do is to boost the child's self-esteem and confidence. Encourage him to do things he's good at. e.g football, drawing, skateboarding etc.
There are no quick fixes as far as progress is concerned.Progress can be very slow, often only a few months improvement in a year. I tend to find some of my pupils seems to plateau for a while then suddenly make a big jump in improvement, so don't get disheartened.However if progress is not being made then everyone needs to evaluate if the current support is appropriate and what if anything, needs to be altered.Sometimes the scores at school don't show the actual progress being made.They can often perform better at home than at school with their lessons
Printed with kind permission from Sheridan Sharp – a mother of children with dyslexia as well as being a special needs teacher.
THANKS a lot to Sheridan for allowing me to use her words – I couldn’t have written it better myself she really sums up how the parent can be stuck between the school and the child.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
This guide was developed in collaboration with specialists from various countries as part of the EU – project Grundtvig2 ‘Dyslexia – Parents’ and Teachers’ Collaboration’.The participating countries included Austria,Germany,UK, Luxemborg,Czech Republic, Poland and Turkey.
There is good evidence that when diagnosis of dyslexia is made early in school most children with dyslexia can be brought up to their normal classroom work, while identification delayed until late in the primary stage results in successful progress by less than half the children. If delayed until secondary school the percentage of successful remediation drops to 10-15%.
See below link
Downloadable factsheets No 19- Understanding Dyslexia - Prof Singleton - page 8
- Reading what Prof. Singleton had written really brought home to me the importance of catching this problem early and doing something about it !!! If you have any suspicions that your son or daughter may have dyslexia go and get it checked out!! Sometimes teachers may dismiss your worries as being an over-anxious mother but my advice is to listen to your inner sense and go to get your child properly assessed by a psychologist. The next step is to ensure that you obtain the proper support for your child to assist with his/her school work. You will probably need to see a professional person twice a week as well as you yourself helping your child.
- The problem in Turkey is that dyslexia and other learning difficulties are little understood by parents and teachers alike so often children are diagnosed with this problem at quite a late stage in their school career( or at worse missed completely !!). As Singleton points out - late identification means less chance of bringing the child up to the same level as the other children in their class
- Only 30 % of Turkish children attend pre-school which also has major ramifications. Unlike in other countries e.g. UK- more children attend pre-school and they start school one year earlier than Turkey. There are NO early identification tests available here unlike in the UK. As a result I think many children are not picked up early enough and many go completely un-diagnosed which is even more disturbing
- Unfortunately- even if you are do manage to identify your child has dyslexia there is also an additional problem here in Turkey in that it is difficult to find a properly suitably qualified professional teacher or psychologist who is knowledgeable in this area. There are some but not always easy to find…
Most parents in Turkey have little idea of how they can help their children with this problem.Children may be going to a psychologist or have a private teacher but parents, in addition ,also need to assist their children on a regular basis.I hope that this blog will offer some hints and tips to parents on their long journey with this problem.
As I know from direct experience, when you discover your child has dyslexia you feel upset and alone, especially when you not living in your native country.In Turkey many people are reluctant to talk about this subject openly and to admit their child has dyslexia.As it is- these children are just like any other kids- just they learn differently – they are not stupid or lazy !! .By setting up this blog I hope to bring parents together who are coping with this problem and to share ideas,information and solutions to every-day problems we face with our kids.