The theme of Dyslexia Awareness Week this year is ‘Making Sense of Dyslexia’, chosen to fit in with Education Scotland’s 2014 report ‘Making Sense: Education for Children and Young People in Scotland’.
Lots of people think that we just work with children and adults with dyslexia and parents but that’s not so. Earlier this month, over 300 delegates attended our Education Conference and heard about some of the important developments resulting from the recommendations of the report, including new professional learning resources for teachers: a ‘Route Map through Career Long Professional Learning for Dyslexia and Inclusive Practice’ and interactive reading and writing resources that have been added to the Online Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit.
This year our branches across Scotland have organised a great variety of events for anyone to attend. Our branches organise meetings for anyone with an interest, but the majority of people who come along tend to be parents and teachers. Often at these events, parents will talk about their confusion and frustration about an apparent reluctance from schools to carry out assessments for dyslexia. On the other hand we hear from teachers of continued cuts to budgets and classroom support and a lack of proper training to assess pupils for dyslexia. There is often potential for a heated situation but what’s interesting is how often both parties find it useful to hear the other’s perspective.
Parents are usually not being unreasonable and out for a fight for the sake of it – they are worried and stressed about the possibility that their son or daughter hasn’t had their needs properly identified or that they’re not getting the help they need. Teachers are facing huge workloads, increasing targets and are expected to be experts in all areas – but they do want to help every pupil they teach, whatever their needs.
Our message to parents is always that the best outcome for their child will be if they have a good relationship with the school. It’s true that both sides sometimes need to work on this but we believe that one of the most valuable things about our branches is providing a forum where both sides can meet in a neutral place.
So if you’re a teacher, why not come along to any of the events during Dyslexia Awareness Week and find out more about what we’re about?
Find out about individual and school membership of Dyslexia Scotland here.
Click here to see all the events and resources for Dyslexia Awareness Week on 2 – 8 November.