Literacy Support

Literacy Support

Children and Young People with Specific Learning Difficulties can have difficulties with some or all aspects of literacy. Not all difficulties with literacy are dyslexic difficulties and Yes@ Areté Learning Trust recommends a structured approach to observations and assessments to identify the key reasons behind a literacy difficulty.

Information & Resources for Schools

Definition of dyslexia on the SASC website (May 2024)

  • Dyslexia is primarily a set of processing difficulties that affect the acquisition of reading and spelling.
  • In dyslexia, some or all aspects of literacy attainment are weak in relation to age, standard teaching and instruction, and level of other attainments.
  • Across languages and age groups, difficulties in reading and spelling fluency are a key marker of dyslexia.
  • The nature and developmental trajectory of dyslexia depends on multiple genetic and environmental influences.
  • Dyslexic difficulties exist on a continuum and can be experienced to various degrees of severity.
  • Dyslexia can affect the acquisition of other skills, such as mathematics, reading comprehension or learning another language.
  • The most commonly observed cognitive impairment in dyslexia is a difficulty in phonological processing (i.e. in phonological awareness, phonemic decoding skill or phonological memory). However, phonological difficulties do not fully explain the variability that is observed.
  • Working memory, orthographic skills and processing speed problems can contribute to the impact of dyslexia and therefore should be assessed.
  • Dyslexia frequently co-occurs with one or more other developmental difficulty, including developmental language disorder, dyscalculia, ADHD, and developmental coordination disorder.
  • A briefing paper about the Delphi study, through which the definition was developed, can be downloaded from the SASC website here.
  • For a powerpoint presentation please click here.

Visual perception is our ability to process and organize visual information from the environment. Children with visual perceptual problems may be diagnosed with a visual processing disorder. They may be able to easily read an eye chart (acuity) but have difficulty organizing and making sense of visual information. Visual perception is our ability to organise and process visual information. Visual Perception Difficulties can impact on a student’s reading, writing and maths skills.

People with Mearles-Irlen Syndrome (visual stress) may or may not also have other specific learning difficulties. Signs that a student may have some visual stress difficulties include:

  • Rubbing eyes, staring (to hold words), excessive blinking, sore or watery eyes
  • Tiredness and poor attention span
  • Looking away from the page, or moving and changing position frequently
  • Poor comprehension of text
  • Losing place or missing out words/ lines when reading
  • Reading slowly without expression or meaning
  • Students with visual stress may experience one or all of the following:
  • Blurring of print
  • Movement of print
  • Pattern through text
  • Colours
  • Visual discomfort, nausea and headaches