Low general ability

Dani is a girl aged 10 years 2 months. Her teachers have regarded her as a pupil of somewhat below average general ability, and in particular it has been noted that she had immature language skills. Her parents have raised the question of whether Dani has dyslexia and so LASS 8–11 was administered by her class teacher. The results are shown in Figures 31a and 31b. With an SAS score of 84 on Non-verbal reasoning, it is clear that Dani is rather below average, although her Verbal reasoning score is within the average range.

It is notable that Dani appears to be holding her own in some areas, such as reading accuracy (Single word reading) and Spelling. Her phonic skills (Funny words) are also in the average range, suggesting that decoding has been well taught. Her main problem is with Sentence reading (SAS 81), which suggests problems of comprehending text. However, her diagnostic test results are all in the average range, so it is rather unlikely that she has dyslexia.


Figure 31a. Dani – a case of low general ability

Figure 31b. Dani – a case of low general ability

The special educational needs coordinator felt that the level of Dani’s difficulties, when considered in the context of her intellectual ability, did not justify a significant amount of additional support. However, arrangements were made for her to participate in regular shared reading work with pupils from the local college who visited the school to support literacy work every week as part of their community education programme, with the objective of developing her text comprehension ability.

Although Dani is of low intelligence, she has learned to read words, but she has problems with sentences. If she used Clicker5 as her writing tool, she could have grids of words supplemented by pictures, if needed, for new curriculum words. She could have her own talking word book and banks of phrases to stimulate better sentence construction.