Partially compensated dyslexia

Reece is a boy of 9 years 5 months, who was referred for assessment with LASS 8–11 because of persistent spelling difficulties. His results (shown in Figures 30a and 30b) indicate that he is obviously very bright (Non-verbal reasoning: SAS 125; Verbal reasoning: SAS 112), with average reading skills in context (Sentence reading: SAS 102) but poor Single word reading (SAS 81) and Spelling (SAS 84). His phonological skills are satisfactory (Word chopping: SAS 96) and he can cope fairly well with Funny words (SAS 93), suggesting that he has absorbed some phonics knowledge. Nevertheless, the clear evidence of memory weaknesses (Sea creatures: SAS 85; Mobile phone: SAS 78) strongly suggests quite serious dyslexia. His high intelligence enables him to compensate for his difficulties to a certain extent (e.g. in prose reading) but he will definitely require further support otherwise he is likely to underperform in many areas of the curriculum.

Subsequent enquiries with Reece’s parents revealed that he had received some specialist tuition, focusing on phonic skills, when he was 6–7 years old. However, since this was from a private tutor, it had not appeared on his school records. The school immediately arranged for Reece to receive weekly support in spelling from the special needs coordinator, with daily practice activities using computer programs designed for this purpose.

 

Figure 30a. Reece – a case of partially compensated dyslexia

Figure 30b. Reece – a case of partially compensated dyslexia

Reece is bright and can read words in context, but not isolated, and has severe spelling difficulties. LASS 8–11 indicated memory problems, so he should have a course of AcceleRead, AcceleWrite, supplemented by using DocsPlus. At home he should have daily sessions on Starspell, using files suggested by the SENCo. He should be taught how to use Co:Writer6 or Texthelp Read&Write to develop predictive typing skills, and to increase his independence in spelling.