ADA Mission Statement:
ADA are concerned with the well being, identification and educational intervention of all who struggle with aspects of spoken and written language.The ADA believes that all individuals with dyslexia or a related difference deserve the right to understand their learning difference and have access to evidence based instruction and provisions when and where required.
What approaches do the ADA support?
The ADA supports and provides training in structured literacy with the additional of a multi sensory component. The M in MSL stands for Multi sensory and the SL stands for structured language and literacy. MSL is evidence based instruction with the addition of a multi sensory component. Direct, explicit and structured language instruction with the addition of a multisensory component can be supplemented (added on to existing curriculum) in a general classroom setting to assist all students including those with dyslexia and related difficulties.
Information in a nut shell:
Dyslexia is language based and is lifelong and cannot be cured but it can be treated with the right kind of teaching approaches.The instruction needs to be direct, explicit and structured (to name a few critical features) with a focus on teaching the skills required for reading, spelling and writing. The approach needs to consider the way each child’s brain can process, retain and re-use those skills when required.
A child with dyslexia will take a lot longer to acquire the required skills (that dyslexia impedes upon) but it is possible. With an understanding of evidence based practices, current reading research in science, linguistics and education a well trained teacher or educator can begin to identiy dyslexia and assess the areas required for instruction so that teaching can commence as soon as possible.
ADA’s strong aim is to Raise Dyslexia Awareness:
ADA Dyslexia Awareness Channel is on YouTube, here are the links: Channel 7 ADA Interview and ADA Teens and Dyslexia short film.
ADA want to ensure that we provide scientific supported facts:
Dyslexia is a language based difference it cannot be identified through behavioural/optometrist visual tests or audiologists reports nor can it be treated through isolated visual or ear exercises or lenses. Read: https://ranzco.edu/media-and-advocacy/blog/eye2eye-spring-2016-feature-article
ADA want to offer schools the opportunity to learn and be recognised for their commitments to their students including those with dyslexia:
“Being a dyslexia aware school is not about being a special school. It’s about being a school where all teachers understand and appreciate diversity. All general classroom teachers have acquired through specialist training the skills to teach every student in their classroom. It’s about all teachers and children (whole school community) respecting the fact that we can all learn regardless of our innate differences. A dyslexia aware school knows the importance of giving a fair go for those that need it. Dyslexia aware schools provide a level playing field so that every child has equal access to the curriculum and provisions where required for tests and exams” ADA
ADA want to provide the facts that need to be guiding a proper and effective dyslexia diagnosis (profiling):
Research From the University of British Columbia,Vancouver Psychometric IQ (WISC) assessments and discrepancy are not required for the identification of dyslexia or related differences. This has been well researched and documented since 2006 Read:
Supporting scientific research on why Psychometric tests IQ tests (WISC IV) are not required for dyslexia identification. Read:
Robert J Sternberg PhD: “I define [intelligence] as your skill in achieving whatever it is you want to attain in your life within your sociocultural context,by capitalizing on your strengths and compensating for, or correcting, your weaknesses” (Personal Communication, July 29, 2004)
Sound advice based on many years of being in the forefront of hearing the issues parents and schools face:
Often parents as well as schools are bombarded with websites that present their own interpretation of dyslexia geared at selling their product. They can become confused about what dyslexia is and is not and when to assess and if they need a ‘diagnosis’ to have assistance. Many feel that they are let down by the lack of access to research based information. Sadly this fact of little or no consistency in information drives the need for both teachers and parents to search outside the system for advice and help (often opening up the risk of finding non evidence based information and support).
The hard truth:
With the support of ADA times are changing for both parents and schools. Parents report to ADA that they want their schools to be equipped to assist and not send them outside on what ADA refer to as the “wild goose chase’. ADA acknowledge that there are many schools that seem to be ill equipped and so parents have little choice but to seek outside services. The ADA provides a directory to assist parents in this situation. The directory may also assist schools until they have the training to be self sufficient in assisting such parents and children. When schools are well trained they can manage the identification process and they know how to teach based on an evidence based approach.
An offer of solution:
ADA offer a whole school solution and can assist schools on how to identify and teach students with dyslexia. Many parents learn that formal identification and or diagnosis given outside of school does not guarantee that a school has the specialist skills to teach their child and or know how to apply provisions and or adjustments. So how can parents help break this cycle? Advocate for teacher training in your school and ensure that the training offers an evidence and scientific foundation on identification practices and the teaching required. When schools are educated and trained effectively they realise that improved teacher training in language and literacy whole class early (K-2) begins to make sense and reduces the amount of children struggling to learn to read.
Perhaps the key starting factor is to have dyslexia identified as soon as possible and if this cannot be done in a school (usually due to lack of training being offered) then the ADA can assist. The ADA offers a pre assessment screening to start the process of identification so that no time is wasted in assisting the student in question AT SCHOOL and giving school information on how to help them in the classroom.
“Time is of the essence when it comes to dyslexia and associated challenges, the sooner the right instruction and provisions begin the more the child is protected from secondary effects of lowered self esteem”ADA
ADA Approved School, providing a key model for other schools:
Meet Bentleigh West Primary School whose journey to improve student literacy outcomes began with one trained MSL teacher now AMADA, Sarah Asome. The school is guided and supported by Principal, Steven Capp, who now has all staff trained in the MSL and OG approach. General classroom teachers are all trained in MSL. This allows them to deliver MSL (supplementary) whole class and minimise the number of students who struggle. Whole class delivery provides a thorough response to early prevention when delivered in the early years . Early prevention is the key along with a whole school approach to bring consistency and reduce the number of students who without direct and explicit instruction may continue to struggle. The results have been amazing. Read more about Bentleigh West Primary School: http://www.fivefromfive.org.au/principal/
ADA continues to provide information and services for:
Schools (both government and independent), sectors of the Australian Government, Universities, Print and Social Media, Workplace Employment Agencies and Private Colleges and others.
See who ADA have assisted: Click