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  • Early Years
    Difficulty learning nursery rhymes Difficulty paying attention, sitting still, listening to stories Likes listening to stories but shows no interest in letters or words Difficulty learning to sing or recite the alphabet A history of slow speech development Muddles words e.g. cubumber, flutterby Difficulty keeping simple rhythm Finds it hard to carry out two or more instructions at one time, (e.g. put the toys in the box, then put it on the shelf) but is fine if tasks are presented in smaller units Forgets names of friends, teacher, colours etc. Confusion between directional words e.g. up/down Family history of dyslexia/reading difficulties Difficulty with sequencing e.g. coloured beads, classroom routines Substitutes words e.g. "lampshade" for "lamppost" Appears not to be listening or paying attention Obvious 'good' and 'bad' days for no apparent reason
  • Primary Years
    General signs to look for are: Speed of processing: slow spoken and/or written language Poor concentration Difficulty following instructions Forgetting words Written work Poor standard of written work compared with oral ability Produces messy work with many crossings out and words tried several times, e.g. wippe, wype, wiep, wipe Confused by letters which look similar, particularly b/d, p/g, p/q, n/u, m/w Poor handwriting with many ‘reversals’ and badly formed letters Spells a word several different ways in one piece of writing Poor pencil grip Produces phonetic and bizarre spelling: not age/ability appropriate Reading Slow reading progress Finds it difficult to blend letters together Unusual pronunciation of words No expression in reading, and poor comprehension Hesitant and laboured reading, especially when reading aloud Misses out words when reading, or adds extra words Fails to recognise familiar words Loses the point of a story being read or written Numeracy Confusion with place value e.g. units, tens, hundreds Confused by symbols such as + and x signs Difficulty remembering anything in a sequential order, e.g. tables, days of the week, the alphabet Time Has difficulty learning to tell the time Poor personal organisation Difficulty remembering what day of the week it is, their birth date, seasons of the year, months of the year Difficulty with concepts – yesterday, today, tomorrow Skills Poor motor skills, leading to weaknesses in speed, control and accuracy of the pencil Memory difficulties e.g. for daily routines, self-organisation, rote learning Confused by the difference between left and right, up and down, east and west Performs unevenly from day to day Behaviour Uses work avoidance tactics, such as sharpening pencils and looking for books Seems ‘dreamy’, does not seem to listen Easily distracted Is the class clown or is disruptive or withdrawn Is excessively tired due to amount of concentration and effort required
  • Secondary Years
    Written work Has a poor standard of written work compared with oral ability Has poor handwriting with badly formed letters or has neat handwriting, but writes very slowly Produces badly set out or messy written work, with spellings crossed out several times Spells the same word differently in one piece of work Has difficulty with punctuation and/or grammar Confuses upper and lower case letters Writes a great deal but 'loses the thread' Writes very little, but to the point Has difficulty taking notes in lessons Has difficulty with organisation of homework Finds tasks difficult to complete on time Appears to know more than they can commit to paper Reading Is hesitant and laboured, especially when reading aloud Omits, repeats or adds extra words Reads at a reasonable rate, but has a low level of comprehension Fails to recognise familiar words Misses a line or repeats the same line twice Loses their place easily/uses a finger or marker to keep the place Has difficulty in pin-pointing the main idea in a passage Has difficulty using dictionaries, directories, encyclopaedias Numeracy Has difficulty remembering tables and/or basic number sets Finds sequencing problematic Confuses signs such as x for + Can think at a high level in mathematics, but needs a calculator for simple calculations Misreads questions that include words Finds mental arithmetic at speed very difficult Finds memorising formulae difficult Other areas Confuses direction - left/right Has difficulty in learning foreign languages Has difficulty in finding the name for an object Has clear difficulties processing information at speed Misunderstands complicated questions Finds holding a list of instructions in memory difficult, although can perform all tasks when told individually Behaviour Is disorganised or forgetful e.g. over sports equipment, lessons, homework, appointments Is easily distracted. May find it difficult to remain focused on the task Is often in the wrong place at the wrong time Is excessively tired, due to the amount of concentration and effort required
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