Once the LASS 8–11 tests have been used, teachers will want to know how to use their student’s strengths to develop the identified areas of weakness. Looking at the whole profile will provide them with evidence of the areas that need attention and at the same time indicate where the strengths are, so that those strengths can be used to mitigate or remediate the problem learning areas. Analysis of the problem areas may provide insight into the nature of the problem.
When specific areas of learning difficulty have been identified by LASS 8–11, there are a wide range of teaching strategies that can be used to build on the student’s strengths to mitigate or remediate the weaknesses. Most schools will already have a range of spelling games, worksheets, prompt cards, teaching schemes and devices, which can now be selected and used in a more focused way. Suggestions are made in this chapter on how such materials can be put to most effective use. To supplement and extend existing support materials, there are equally – or, sometimes, more – effective ICT solutions that can be introduced to extend the range of strategies at a teacher’s disposal.
Throughout this chapter, teachers will find recommendations regarding software and other resources. Teaching strategies and suggested software for pupils with dyslexia and other literacy difficulties have been reviewed by Reid (2016) Crivelli (2013), Keates (2002) and Stansfield (2012) and Shaywitz, Morris and Shaywitz (2008). The Rose report (Rose, 2009) also gives an overview of strategies for supporting students with dyslexia. For further suggestions on suitable software see the British Dyslexia Association New Technologies Committee website (www.bdatech.org) which is updated on a regular basis. For other teaching resources visit (www.bdadyslexia.org.uk).
Teachers should be aware that the educational software that is recommended in this manual may have been withdrawn from sale, superseded or augmented by new programs since this manual was published.
Use of LASS 8–11 does not imply any obligation to follow a particular line of teaching, and teachers, as professionals, will naturally wish to use their own judgement regarding what is, and is not, suitable for any given pupil. Nevertheless, it is strongly recommended that teachers read the teaching advice provided in this manual, as it is likely that they will find ideas and strategies that they had not previously considered. This is especially likely if the teacher is not very experienced in working with pupils who have specific learning difficulties.