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20 June Pre-Conference: DAS REX House Learning Centre
Workshop 1: Helping Upper Primary of Lower Abilities Learn
Workshop 2: DAS Chinese Classroom
Workshop 3: Welcome to Speech and Language Therapy at DAS
Workshop 4: DAS Maths Experience
Workshop 5: EduTech at DAS
Workshop 6: Learning at DAS Academy
DAS Learning Journey: Visit to Anderson Primary School and DAS Ang Moh Kio Learning Centre

21 June Sessions: Stream 1 Research | Stream 2 Practical Research | Stream 3 Teaching Practical Workshops | Stream 4 Parent Workshops
21 June Sessions: Stream 5 Research | Stream 6 Practical Research | Stream 7 Teaching Practical Workshops | Stream 8 Parent Workshops
22 June Sessions: Stream 9 Research | Stream 10 Practical Research | Stream 11 Teaching Practical Workshops | Stream 12 Parent Workshops


PRECONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

Workshop 1
Helping Upper Primary of Lower Abilities Learn

By Rosalyn Wee & Ashabiena bte Mohd Ashraff
Students come to DAS with different areas of interest and capabilities. This session will present some of the strategies that Educational Therapists use in their classrooms to help students who might need more help in letter recognition, blending, and spelling despite being in upper primary. The audience will be guided on ways to help students increase their phonological awareness through videos of lessons, as well as, live demonstrations and activities. They will also be given the opportunity to create their own games/activities to help students with similar profiles.
Workshop 2
DAS Chinese Classroom

By Kong Yun Rui, Cailyn Kwan & Li Dong
This session covers an introduction to the DAS Chinese programme for learners with dyslexia at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. A background of the language education landscape in Singapore will be provided. Apart from understanding the principles behind the intervention provided to these learners, there will also be hands-on activities conducted. Practical word recognition strategies will also be covered.
Workshop 3
Welcome to Speech and Language Therapy at DAS

By Elizabeth Lim & Ho Shuet Lian
Children with dyslexia and other specific learning differences often have associated speech, language and communication difficulties. These include delayed speech and language development, imprecise articulation and social communication difficulties. Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) was introduced to complement the DAS Main Literacy Programme (MLP) at DAS. Individual assessment of students and intervention at individual and group levels is available in DAS. This workshop will present case studies of some SLT students as well as give our participants a peek into a therapy experience through fun hands-on activities.

Workshop 4
DAS Maths Experience

By Rebecca Yeo, Aishah Binte Abdullah (Albel) & Serene Low
This session introduces the participants the DAS Math programme at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. Participants will understand some of the difficulties that students with dyslexia encounter with Mathematics, as well as experience how our lessons at DAS help them work through these struggles. Apart from understanding the principles behind the intervention provided to these learners, there will also be sharing of strategies and some hands-on activities.

Workshop 5
EduTech at DAS

By Soofrina Mubarak
We will show you how DAS uses technology in its classrooms.

Workshop 6
Learning at DAS Academy

By Priscillia Shen and June Siew
Find out how you can gain training and skill yourself with the right knowledge to support students with learning differences by hearing what the DAS Academy has to offer

DAS Learning Journey

by DAS Learning Centre Managers and Vice Principal of Anderson Primary School
Participants will also experience a visit to a Government Primary School and our DAS Learning Centre located within this school.

 

KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS

Geetha Shantha Ram, Dyslexia Association of Singapore

Technology Advancing Education

Thursday, 21 June 2018


Education has made great strides in the last decade with a deliberate effort to increase the access to and use of technology in the teaching of learners with Specific Learning Needs. International research has continued to demonstrate the benefits while shifting the conversation from a basic use of technology to a high quality and purposeful implementation of technology in learning environments. The Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) has gone through a similar transition in its efforts to provide support to learners with dyslexia and other SpLDs, aiming to address edutech use through Teachers, parents and students. This talk will review studies conducted and explore various edutech initiatives that the DAS has implemented in a bid to advance SEN educational potential.

 

Susan Rickard Liow, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Elizabeth J. Teh, National University of Singapore, Singapore 
Mary Lee Lay Choo
, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Profiling Children at-risk for Language, Literacy and Learning Difficulties in Heterogeneous Bilingual Populations

Thursday, 21 June 2018


Early identification of language, literacy, and other learning is especially challenging in heterogeneous bilingual populations (Hammer et al., 2014; Kohnert, 2010). This is because young bilingual children need to be assessed in both their languages on a wide range of tasks in order to determine the most accurate picture of individual strengths and weaknesses.

In Part I, we will explain the theoretical background and the design of the tasks included in our CLAP (Cognitive Linguistic Assessment Profile) assessment battery which comprises Teacher and Parent report forms, and a series of linguistically and culturally appropriate tests with norms for three groups of 4 to 6 year-old bilingual children in Singapore (English-L1/Mandarin-L2, Mandarin-L1/English-L2 and Malay-L1/English-L2). The tests include measures of receptive and expressive vocabulary in two languages, sentence imitation, speech processes (articulation and phonology), short-term and working memory, nonverbal cognitive abilities, phonological awareness, reading and spelling skills, and socio-emotional processing.

In Part 2, we will then present profiles for a selection of case studies conducted in local preschools, and explain how bilingual children’s difficulties can be differentiated by teachers and clinicians before they decide which approach to intervention will be the most effective. These case studies will include children with English as a Second Language (ESL), Speech Sound Disorder, Intellectual Disability (ID), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), as well as Dyslexia.
Wong Meng Ee, National Institute of Education, Singapore
Deborah Chua, National Institute of Education, Singapore

Exploring Assistive Technology to Support Students with Dyslexia: Introducing Possible Solutions

Thursday, 21 June 2018


In recent years, there has been an increasing number of assistive technology devices available to meet different disabilities. Many individuals with dyslexia have difficulty in reading, writing and spelling. The present pilot study explored the use of assistive technology to improve access to reading for individuals with dyslexia. OpenBook, Voice Dream Reader and Read2Go were considered. Under consideration are such features as text-to-speech with word tracking, font size adjustments, colour settings and word spacing. Given the scarcity of studies on the usefulness of these assistive technology solutions as a learning tool for students with dyslexia, three teachers of dyslexia were each engaged to participate in a pilot study. Teachers were asked to evaluate the features with a general assistive technology evaluation rubric. Additionally, teachers were also interviewed qualitatively on their perspectives on the features of the software. Findings obtained from the pilot evaluation will be discussed with reference to features documented in the British Dyslexia Association Style Guide and in the relevant scholarship to be dyslexia-friendly. Findings will also be discussed in the context of literature that claim a reading continuum positioning rather than reading deficit account for individuals with dyslexia.
John Everatt, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Relationships Between Language and Literacy Development and Academic Self-Efficacy and Resilience

Friday, 22 June 2018


Learning to read underpins success within educational settings: difficulties with reading impact on all areas of a curriculum where reading is the key to independent learning. Poor educational achievement can lead to negative feelings about education, to poor self-concept and to behavioural problems, which may impact negatively on general well-being: individuals with literacy learning difficulties are also more likely to experience emotional and mental health problems. The current research has been investigating such relationships between literacy and psychosocial development, as well as ways to support literacy learning while targeting factors associated with poor self-concept and negative behaviours in children who experience significant challenges in their literacy learning.

The research has involved adults and adolescents with assessments of dyslexia, as well as early and late primary school children with evidence of reading/writing difficulties. In most cases, the data were consistent with relationships between academic self-concept/self-efficacy and measures of language and literacy as early as the children’s first year of school. Such relationships were larger for students with language and phonological difficulties, suggesting that those with a broader range of difficulties may suffer negative impacts on psychosocial development more than others. Interventions targeted at slightly older primary grade students has looked at ways of building resilience to challenges in learning, as well as providing strategies for overcoming reading/writing difficulties and for maintaining self-efficacy and reducing off-task behaviours. These results will be discussed to inform further developments in intervention work that considered well-being as well as academic achievement.

 


BREAKOUT STREAM 1: RESEARCH 

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Yimei Liu and Deborah Tan, Dyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
Examining Subtypes of Dyslexia and their Associated Cognitive Profiles

A pilot study carried out in two parts examined the prevalence of the subtypes of dyslexia and the cognitive profiles of Singaporean primary school students who were diagnosed with Dyslexia. Twenty-nine students with dyslexia and a control group of 29 students with no known learning difficulties participated in the first part of the study. Measures of phonological coding and orthographic coding were administered to determine if students with dyslexia belonged to either one of the six subtypes (pure or relative phonological dyslexia, pure or relative surface dyslexia, mixed dyslexia, or mild dyslexia). In the second part of the study, the deficits in orthographic or phonological coding of the 29 students with dyslexia were then correlated with various cognitive factors – phonological awareness, verbal short-term memory, rapid automatised naming (RAN), visual skills. Results in the first part of the study showed that about half (51.7%) of the dyslexic students displayed a dissociation in their phonological and orthographic processing skills. There were also dyslexic students who did not exhibit a clear dissociation between their phonological and orthographic skills - 31% of the dyslexic students showed relatively intact skills in both areas (mild subtype) whereas 17.2% had similarly impaired skills in both areas (mixed subtype). Results in the second part of the study showed positive correlations between phonological coding tasksand phonological awareness, verbal short-term memory and visual factors. Orthographic coding tasks only correlated positively with specific areas of visual skills. However, RAN did not correlate with both phonological coding and orthographic coding tasks.

Dr. Angela Fawett, Emeritus Professor, Swansea University, United Kingdom
Stress and Dyslexia

In this talk, you will discover why dyslexic children and adults are particularly susceptible to stress, based on their lack of automaticity, which means that they have to put in greater effort throughout their lives, even for skills not normally impaired in dyslexia.  Evidence for the adverse effects of stress on dyslexic processing is highlighted and research-based measures examined that can alleviate stress, raise self-esteem and increase success and happiness for dyslexics throughout the age range.

June Siew, Dyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
A Qualitative Study of Collaborative Practices Between Allied Educators and Teachers in Mainstream Primary School

Inclusive education in Singapore is relatively new (see Lim, Wong, & Tan, 2014; Tam, Seever, Gardner, & Heng, 2006; Weng, Walker, & Rosenblatt, 2015; Yeo, Ching, Neihart, &Huan, 2016). To support inclusion in mainstream schools, Allied Educators for Learning and Behaviour Support or AED(LBS) have been deployed to schools since 2005 with the responsibility of supporting children with mild special educational needs (SEN) such as dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (MOE, 2016). To date, there is at least one AED(LBS) in each primary school and in 92 secondary schools (MOE, 2016). Yet, the number of children with SEN in mainstream schools is quickly rising (Lim, 2016). To allow effective penetration of SEN support, AED(LBS) increasingly need to engage the support of mainstream teachers to ensure every student can thrive in an inclusive classroom. In this context, collaboration between AED(LBS) and teachers becomes a cornerstone of successful inclusion in mainstream schools. In the absence of any local published studies which focus on collaborative practices between AED(LBS) and teachers in the local mainstream schools, this study seeks to examine the current collaborative practices between AED(LBS) and teachers and identify the factors that enable or impede these practices. It is anticipated that these findings can lead to improved practices in our relatively new inclusive education system. This is an on-going study and preliminary results will be presented.

Priscillia Shen, Dyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
Identifying Dyslexic-type Difficulties in English-Chinese Learners in Singapore

With the increasing awareness of dyslexia in both monolingual and bilingual countries, there is a need for screening procedures that are valid for different languages and reliable to identify dyslexia differentiated from inexperienced second language learners. Although phonological deficit has been the consensus as being the underlying cause of literacy difficulties across languages and bilingual populations, other cognitive factors related to the different scripts of the languages should be considered for a more practical purpose of assessment development as well as a more appropriate educational support. Hence, there is a call for screening measures or analytical tools from a bilingual perspective that provides for a spectrum of dyslexic-type difficulties in two languages. The methodology follows the test development protocol suggested by Tashakkori and Teddlie (1998; cited in Teijlingen & Hundley, 2001), which involves a qualitative study exploring potential factors contributing to the construct under study, followed by the development of items, pilot testing, and finally a validation. The research is currently ongoing and the first phase has been conducted using qualitative case study approach. The objective of the case study is to identify the Singapore dyslexic-type difficulties bilingual learners have in either / both English and Chinese languages. Analysis of qualitative data adopts the grounded theory (Charmaz, 2006) to present a framework to explain how dyslexia affects learning of English and Chinese languages and its symptoms manifested in each language. The findings will form the basis for the development of the bilingual dyslexia screening tool prototype, which will be constructed and validated in a follow-up study.


BREAKOUT STREAM 2: PRACTICAL RESEARCH  

 Thursday, 21 June 2018

Ashraf Samsudin, Dyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
Geetha Shantha Ram, Dyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
A 360 Post-Sec Pact - Know, Find, Learn
 

The post secondary landscape in Singapore has evolved over the past decade and increasingly, more attention is being paid to learners with dyslexia attending Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL). Existing policies and funding cover students with more “visible” disabilities but miss out on students with the hidden handicaps ike dyslexia. Following consultations with various IHLs, it quickly became clear that to best support post-secondary learners with dyslexia, a holistic support model must be employed that combines raising of awareness, formal investigation of needs and training for teachers to identify and support learners in school. 

This presentation shares a vision - a 360 Post-Sec Pact, which individuals and schools are encouraged to consider if they are keen to empower post-sec learners. This pact is based on a framework that effective intervention begins with internal awareness raising, a formalised and systematic screening and identification effort and teacher readiness. Besides elaborating on this pact, this presentation will share some identification tools such as checklists as well as metacognitive strategies aimed at improving self awareness and executive functions to begin this process with post-secondary learners.

Eleonora Palmieri, Italy
Piero Crispiani, Italy 
Executive functions and its relation with Dyslexia: exercises to improve planning and self-regulation

Difficulties in executive functions, with particular reference to neural circuits, whose functionality requires effective exchange between the hemispheres, forms the basis for our Cognitive Motor Training ( The Crispiani Method) utilising cross pattern exercises as part of a larger research programme. Based on the prompt activation (incipit) of important early markers of executive functions such as planning the directionality from left to right, visual tracking, cognitive control, self-regulation, organization in space and time, inhibitory processes and monitoring the state of alertness, our children improve their performances and everyday living: walking, riding a bike and in many higher order functions, relating to school performance, and academic skills such as reading, writing and maths.
Swetha Krishna, Madras Dyslexia Association, India
Yashodhara Narayanan, Madras Dyslexia Association, India
Impact of Multiple Intelligences on the emotional wellbeing of the child with Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)

Typically a child with Specific Learning Disabilities is pushed from pillar to post in the process of identification and remediation of their difficulties. This along with the constant focus on their negatives leaves the child emotionally stressed and unable to perform academically. A vicious circle of underperformance follows.
This paper focuses on the use of Multiple Intelligences as a complimentary method in exploring the unique potential of these children and its impact on their emotional health. It primarily focuses on the methods used at HYDRA – a Multiple Intelligences based resource centre, where the unique natural potential and competencies of the SLD child are identified and nurtured. 
The paper starts with a short introduction to Dr. Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences. It will then take a look at why the use of Multiple Intelligences is vital for children with Specific Learning Disabilities. The practical aspects of how the process unfolds at HYDRA will be explored, through videos. Next it will take a detailed view at the impact this process has on the emotional wellbeing and self-esteem of the child, through a few case studies
Finally the paper aims to explore the further action points that can be taken in the use of Multiple Intelligences in creating a nurturing, harmonious environment that empowers and enables the child with SLD in realising his potential. 

BREAKOUT STREAM 3: TEACHING PRACTICAL WORKSHOPS

 Thursday, 21 June 2018

Maria De Palma, The Hospital for Sick Children, Canada
Uma Kulkarni, Dr Anjali Morris Foundation, India
Maureen W. Lovett, The Hospital for Sick Children, Canada
Rolling out an evidence-based Intervention for struggling learners and providing professional development for teachers through a global partnership in India: A pilot project.

We describe a pilot partnership between the Hospital for Sick Children’s Empower™ Reading Program (Toronto, Canada), a set of research-based literacy programs for children with reading disabilities, and the Dr. Anjali Morris Foundation (AMF) (Pune, India), a leader in services for Indian students at risk for LD and in teacher professional development. In June 2016, 10 AMF teachers were trained by the first author in the Empower™ Reading Decoding and Spelling (DS) program, which focuses on foundational literacy skills. Implementation of this 110-lesson program was conducted at AMF with 60 struggling readers.

Pre-, mid- and post-program results are available for 40 students who completed the program. Standard scores on the W-J Letter-Word Identification and Word Attack subtests demonstrate considerable improvement in decoding and word identification skills, with average standard scores on Letter-Word Identification increasing by more than a standard deviation, and by almost two standard deviations on Word Attack. By post-testing, students improved by an average of 28 test words on an experimental measure of multi-syllabic word reading.

These positive results led to the scale-up of Empower’s teacher PD starting in June 2017; 21 additional teachers from AMF and five schools are being trained and three AMF teachers are being trained in the Comprehension and Vocabulary EmpowerTM Program. Preliminary results of this expansion will be available by June 2018.

This partnership may inform future literacy intervention practices globally, providing programming and teacher PD in low- and middle-income countries, and building capacity to help those who struggle with literacy learning.

Chen Wei TengNorthlight School, Singapore
Working with Youths with extremely low language and literacy: A case study


This workshop aims to share strategies used to teach youths with extremely low language and literacy level. The sharing is based on experiences working with students from NorthLight School, a vocational school in Singapore which takes in students who fail their PSLE and who often experience a double whammy in life -- they often come from disadvantaged family backgrounds and have learning difficulties such as dyslexia, ADHD, speech and language impairment or intellectual impairment.

Very often, these youths have very low self-esteem and come with a huge dollop of emotional baggage towards learning. These teaching strategies are based on an adaptation of the Orton-
Gillingham approach typically used to work with individuals with dyslexia. 

Strategies shared will include:

  • Teaching decoding of single-syllabic and multisyllabic words to youths who experience a great deal of frustration in their learning and who need to see quick success
  • Touching the chords of their heart
    - motivating learning through music
    - building alliteration and semantic fluency via rhythm
    - teaching decoding and reading using music
  • Working with students with poor working memory
    - teach students to remember information by:
    a) getting them to use drawings to create meanings for themselves
    b) teaching them to learn via association
    c) helping to develop their access skills using mnemonics and stories
    d) explicitly teaching chunking skills
  • Use of assistive technology

BREAKOUT STREAM 4: PARENT WORKSHOPS

 Thursday, 21 June 2018

Tina Tan, SPARK, Singapore
Parent Advocacy - A Success Model

As a representative of SPARK, I will be speaking on how parents can better advocate for their ADHD children in the school context in order to build a collaborative working relationship with shared expectations and reduced pressure for all parties.

Harini Mohan, Madras Dyslexia Association, India
Rashmi Wankhede, Madras Dyslexia Association, India
Effects of Exposure on Self-Esteem in Dyslexics


Dyslexia has long been perceived to be a barrier for students not only in academic pursuits but in creative pursuits as well. This can be linked to the psychological trauma these students go through because of their academic shortcomings especially in traditionally study oriented societies in the Asia-Pacific region. A constant emphasis on their learning disability disheartens them and also imbibes in them the idea that scholastic achievement is the only metric for meritocracy. The situation is worsened when these students in mainstream schools observe students around them. However, it has been historically proven that students with dyslexia often possess latent talents and skills in fields that are not necessarily academically oriented, that measure up, if not supercede those of other students. It has long been the belief of MDA that such talents in vocational and creative activities are what must be utilised and tapped if we are to create students who can go on to better themselves and the society around them. With this simple idea in mind, MDA launched Dyslexia Week, a festival for awareness and talent based competitions designed to unearth hidden talents amongst dyslexics. With a healthy participation of 450 students, the festival is now looking to collaborate with organisations around the world. Our message is simple: It is not how smart students are, it is about how they are smart.

Su-Jan Lin, Professor and Chair, Special Education Department, National Kaohsiung Normal University, Taiwan
The Development of Education for Students with Learning Disabilities in Taiwan

In Taiwan, the child with Learning Disabilities had been provided the special education service acted by the Special Education Regulations in 1977. The term, learning disabilities, is a broad term used to define the child who exhibits significant learning difficulties in one or more of these areas: listening, speaking, reading, writing or calculation. The current definition and identification was required in the Regulation of Students with Disabilities and Giftedness by the Ministry of Education in 2013. The education for the students with learning disabilities has been developed for 40 years. The Ministry of Education in Taiwan has been publishing national statistics pertaining to special education annually since 1999. Those data come from the national Special Education Transmit Net that collects special education related information across the whole country. This report will present the tendency analysis with the incidence rate, education placement, gender and related issues for the students with learning disabilities in Taiwan.


BREAKOUT STREAM 5: RESEARCH

 Thursday, 21 June 2018

Weng Yiyao, Dyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
The effectiveness of family literacy programme on the early literacy achievement of Singaporean preschool children identified to be at risk of literacy difficulties

Early literacy lays the foundation for the acquisition of conventional literacy skills. Lack of adequate literacy skills has a profound impact on later school success. Family Literacy Programmes (FLPs) is an intervention that promotes active participation among families to improve their child’s literacy. This research explored the effectiveness of FLP on the early literacy achievement on Singaporean preschool children identified to be at risk of literacy difficulties. Two research questions were investigated: (a) Does FLP increases the early literacy attainment for preschool children at risk of developing literacy difficulties and are attending an existing literacy intervention programme?; and (b) What are parents’ perceptions of the effectiveness of FLP? Participants included 8 parents and 9 preschool children from 4 to 7 years old enrolled in DAS Preschool Programme. Data sources for analysis included pre- and post-test before and after intervention, post-workshop questionnaire and interview data. The research concluded FLP was not effective in the early literacy achievement on Singaporean preschool children identified to be at risk of literacy difficulties. However, parents had a positive perception of the effectiveness of FLP. Although FLP did not improve early literacy score, it provided skills and knowledge for parents to teach and guide their child in home-based literacy activities. Future research could look into how the content of FLP can be designed to train and provide parents with literacy knowledge, skills and instructional strategies. In-depth and research-based evidence should be implemented to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of FLP.

Tan Wah Pheow, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore 
Evaluating the MOE-Aided DAS Literacy Programme


Dyslexia is a learning disability that hinders the accuracy and fluency of word reading, spelling and writing, despite average or above average intelligence and adequate educational exposure (Peterson & Pennington, 2012; Thompson et al., 2015). Affecting over 700 million people worldwide, it is one of the most prevalent learning disability (Dyslexia International, 2014). According to Snowling (1980), most children with dyslexia have a phonological processing deficit, which is thought to hinder word recognition and interfere with the mapping of phonemes of spoken words and written letters. The phonological deficit hypothesis posits that dyslexics’ difficulty in mapping sounds to their corresponding letters causes them to struggle with reading and recognizing words. Past studies found that interventions aimed at developing phonological awareness improved dyslexics’ linguistic abilities. The Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) provides intervention through the MOE-Aided DAS Literacy Programme (MAP) to help students improve their phonemic awareness, phonics, morphology, vocabulary, reading fluency and comprehension, as well as writing abilities. The MAP adopts a holistic approach that caters to the profile and learning challenges of students accessing the programme, and is specifically designed for the local context. The present study evaluates MAP’s effectiveness by tracking 83 students’ (aged 7-9) literacy abilities over a period of 12 months. To overcome ethical and logistical constraints, an age-control study design was employed. Upon admission into MAP, students were categorized into one of four age-categories (7 - 7.5 years old, 7.5 - 8 years old, 8 - 8.5 years old, 8.5 - 9 years old). Students were assessed upon admission, and at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after admission. For each assessment session, students completed a speeded reading task, a writing task and a spelling task (further divided into sound-, letter- and written-spelling subtasks). Parallel forms were developed and employed for all the tasks across the sessions. To evaluate whether MAP intervention improved different linguistic abilities, students in the same age range, but with different lengths of interventions, were compared. For example, students in the 7 - 7.5 years old age-group after 12 months of intervention (age range = 8 - 8.5 years old) were compared to students in the 8 - 8.5 years old age group with 0 months intervention. Comparisons were made for intervention periods of 6 and 12 months. Participants’ performance for the different tasks were also tracked for each of the age groups. Based on the statistical analysis, three main findings emerged: (a) the MAP intervention improved performance in both reading and spelling tasks, but not the writing task; (b) improvements were more likely to be observed for younger participants; and (c) effects of MAP intervention were only apparent after 6 months. The findings will be discussed in the context of the existing MAP curriculum, and possible suggestions on improving it.

Chen Fang-Ju, Dyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
Lilian Yue, Dyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
Effectiveness of Reading Comprehension Instruction for Primary School Learners with Dyslexia


Reading comprehension not only involves the ability to read and recognise words, but also to be able to make meaning from what was read. Reading comprehension tasks can be a very challenging task to a learner with dyslexia as they experience difficulties in word recognition, a precursor to text reading. In addition, they also lack a knowledge of reading strategies to help them cope with their difficulties. Reading comprehension passages are an area which learners with dyslexia have great difficulties in when tackling the Primary School Leaving Exam (PSLE), a high-stake national examination to gain entry to secondary school. Chinese learners with dyslexia at Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) are taught comprehension strategies developed through incorporating Bloom’s Taxonomy and Singapore primary school’s textbooks. This study is set out to evaluate the effectiveness of the reading comprehension curriculum developed at the DAS using these reading comprehension strategies through a structured learning process of modelling, scaffolded practice and independent practice in increasing a learner’s ability to answer reading comprehension questions. The questions set emcompasses 6 types of questions, namely, knowldege, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation question types. Students in this study are aged between Primary 3 and Primary 5. Pre and post intervention survey will be done with the students. Their class work will also be collected for analysis. Feedback for classes are also collected from the educational therapists. The findings of the study would be used to inform current intervention and possible future developments in reading comprehension in Chinese for learners with dyslexia in Singapore.

Mary Mountstephen, Independant Learning Consultant, United Kingdom
Music Teachers and Dyslexia: Perceptions, Understanding and Observations

Academic studies that focus on primary teachers’ knowledge of dyslexia are relatively scarce; however some sources indicate that many teachers hold a number of misperceptions and varied interpretations of the nature of dyslexia and that these impact on expectations of classroom performance, (Soriano-Ferrer, Echegary-Bengoa & Malathesa-Joshi, 2015). Areas of deficits were identified in domains including general information, symptoms/diagnosis and effective interventions/ support. In music, there is a focus on sequencing, pitch, rhythm and links have been made between these and phonological awareness (Goswami, Huss, Mead, Fosker & Verney, 2012, Crispiani & Palmieri 2015). Overy (2003) refers to current theories suggesting that timing deficits may be a key factor and dyslexic children have been found to exhibit timing difficulties in domains such as language, music, perception and motor control. Thus, music teachers are a unique position to observe weaknesses and strengths in their students’ performance, based on a secure, research based knowledge about dyslexia. In this presentation I will provide some background to this field and provide an overview of my findings in relation to the responses a small group of teachers made to a survey about their knowledge, perceptions and observations in relation to aspects of dyslexia. The intention is to use the findings to inform professional development programmes, providing music teachers with appropriate research and knowledge to support their observations and interventions.


BREAKOUT STREAM 6: PRACTICAL RESEARCH

 Thursday, 21 June 2018

Ong Puay Hoon, Dyslexia Association of Sarawak, Malaysia
Ng Kum Loy, Dyslexia Association of Sarawak, Malaysia
Getting Reading Right with Smarter Phonics in Sarawak, Malaysia: Empowerment of Preschool Children in the English Language

Literacy is the ability to read, write and learn. Because of its “multiplier effect”, literacy helps eradicate poverty, reduce child mortality, curb population growth, achieve gender equality and ensure sustainable development, peace and democracy. In 1947, UNESCO recognized the acquisition of literacy as a fundamental aspect of an individual’s development and human rights (UNESCO, 1947). Its ‘Education for All’ movement is a global commitment to provide quality basic education for all children, youth and adults.

An approximate three percent of the total number of primary school children in Sarawak was said to have failed to achieve the minimum criteria of English language in the Literacy and Numeracy Screening (LINUS) Test in 2016 (State Education Department, 2017). Although there has been no systematic research, it is suspected that a significant proportion of these failures has risk for dyslexia and/or other learning disabilities.

The SMARTER*phonics program was developed by the Dyslexia Association of Sarawak to empower all emergent readers, with and without risk for dyslexia and other learning disabilities, with basic decoding and encoding skills in English. It is currently being adopted by all preschools in the state. This article presents the outcomes of a six-month implementation of SMARTER*phonics among 740 preschool children (aged 5-6 years old) in terms of comparative analysis of scores from pre- and post-tests. In addition, the post-test scores obtained by these children will be compared to a control group of 99 children who were not exposed to the program at the end of the school year. The outcomes point to the importance of phonics-based instructional programs which are structured, cumulative, specific and multi-sensorial to teach preschool children to read and write in English.

Angelica Benson, Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, United States of America
Andy Russell, Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, Australia
The Imagery-Language Foundation: Teaching All Children to Read and Comprehend


Based on 32 years of instructional experience with 45,000 at-risk readers, we know that the dual coding of imagery and language is critical for language comprehension and word reading (Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, 2017). Imagery is a basic sensory-cognitive function connecting us to the language we hear and the print we read. There are two distinct types of imagery—symbol imagery and concept imagery—intrinsic to word reading, orthographic processing, and reading comprehension.

This presentation examines the effect of imagery-based, sensory-cognitive instruction on word reading and comprehension in children with reading difficulties. A consistent, repeated finding is that students with reading difficulties have shown significant word reading and comprehension improvements with imagery-based sensory-cognitive instruction.

Do these same improvements hold true for students diagnosed with dyslexia or autism spectrum disorders? Behavioral and neurological research validates the imagery-language connection resulting in lasting effects on word attack, word recognition, comprehension and specific areas of brain function in at-risk readers, including students with dyslexia or autism spectrum disorders (Eden et al., 2004, Oulade et al., 2013, Krafnick et al., 2015, Murdaugh et al., 2015, Murdaugh & Maximo et al., 2015, Christodoulou et al., 2015, Romeo et al., 2017).

Supported by Dual Coding Theory (Paivio, 1979), key research findings, and 32 years of instructional experience, this session reveals that imagery is a primary sensory-cognitive power source that can be developed and brought to consciousness for reading independence in children, including struggling readers, and those previously diagnosed with dyslexia or autism spectrum disorder.

Emilyn See, Dyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
Joanne Tan, Dyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
Exploring the effectiveness of the English Examination Skills Programme on struggling non-dyslexic learners

The effectiveness of sequential, cumulative and multisensory intervention programmes on learners with dyslexia has been proven in multiple academic literature. This study serves as a follow-up on a previous research which explored the classroom practices of the English Exam Skills Programme (EESP). In comparison between students with dyslexia and a control group, the study found significant progress in their grammar, vocabulary and comprehension components of their English examination paper after intervention.

Aligning with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework, the EESP is postulated to benefit all learners, including struggling learners with or without a diagnosis of SpLD or any learning disorders, and are scoring below 65% in their school English Language examination papers. This study seeks to investigate the possible effectiveness of the EESP on a group of struggling non-dyslexic learners after a 20-week intervention.

Keywords: English Exam Skills, structured intervention, dyslexia, struggling learners, UDL

Siti Aishah Shukri, Dyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
Sathi Menon, Dyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
Impact of DAS Maths Intervention: An exploratory case study of struggling primary school learners without dyslexia

DAS Maths has been helping our existing students with dyslexia since 2009 as a 3rd hour programme, conducted once a week. While the programme has been known to benefit our students with dyslexia (Yeo, Bunn, Abdullah, Bte Shukri & Oehlers-Jaen, 2015), there is little information on whether the same type of intervention would be of any benefit for non-dyslexic students who are also having difficulties in mathematics. This case study aims to investigate the impact of conducting the DAS Maths intervention on struggling learners without dyslexia and at the same time, explore the profile of these learners whose scores improved after going through the remediation. Two students of Primary 3 and Primary 5 were selected to undergo a 20-week intervention with a group of students with dyslexia in their own respective class. A pre and posttest at the start and end of each term were conducted and teachers were interviewed to state their observations about how their teaching instructions were received by the two students. The two students made considerable improvements which were parallel to their peers in the same class. The results showed that there are profiles of struggling learners without dyslexia who could also benefit from the DAS Maths remediation. Analysis on their profile is still in progress. Additionally, observations made by teachers will also have implications for future understanding of teaching practices.


BREAKOUT STREAM 7: TEACHING PRACTICAL WORKSHOPS

 Thursday, 21 June 2018

Hani Zohra Muhamad, Dyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
Sujatha Nair, Dyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
Case Management Discussion - Supporting Challenging Learners

Learning difficulties may arise from learning disorders such as dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), specific language impairment (SLI), dyspraxia, dysgraphia, sensory processing, auditory processing and many others. In addition, emotional and behavioural issues can also lead to barriers to learning. The situation can be made worse if a student diagnosed with any learning disorder displays emotional and behavioural issues. In an increasingly complex world, teachers have to be aware of which diagnosis is impacting more on the learning difficulties of students as this would suggest on how the learning needs are to be met and how a class with such students can be managed efficiently. Teachers teaching a class of various profiles of learners would find classroom management demanding as behavioural challenges surface. It is well-documented that a teacher will not be able to teach efficiently if he/she has to handle emotional and behavioural issues of students. At the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS), Educational Therapists (EdTs) with students who display challenging literacy and behavioural needs are supported by a group of Educational Advisors (EAs). These students are observed for their learning needs and strategies are implemented to mitigate their difficulties. Action plans and goals are set for the semester as a form of progress monitoring towards specific achievement. Case management discussions when done right, result in the most satisfying and comprehensive support for students and teachers, whose lives we aim to enrich and empower. With the benefit of a multidisciplinary team and their varied perspectives, we can plan, coordinate and review the care of our students.


BREAKOUT STREAM 8: PARENT WORKSHOPS

 Thursday, 21 June 2018

 

Personal Stories of Dyslexia

Terran Aw, Founder BearyFun Gym
Children born after the 1980’s would not recognise the Primary 7 and Primary 8 system, which Mr Aw was a part of. Struggling academically, his teachers commented on his yearly report book that he was not putting in effort and was plain lazy. He was failing so consistently that he had to transfer school, and transfer again to a school that supported Primary 7 and 8 students. After Primary 8, Terran could not qualify for secondary school so he was enrolled into the Vocational and Industrial Training Board (VITB), the predecessor of today’s Institute of Technical Education (ITE). There, his first two years consisted of general skills before he went on to specialise in mechanical fittings. Terran took courses in early childhood movement, and applied the techniques when he taught children gymnastics. Through his job, he met many parents who have come up to tell him that their children have dyslexia. They connect immediately, because Terran truly understands them. At the age of 42, Terran was diagnosed with dyslexia. Though painful to acknowledge but he accepted his problem. And by accepting his problem, he felt more relieved and grateful that he was able to achieve what he has accomplished despite having dyslexia. Now, he sincerely hopes to convey to more children who are facing issues, not to be in despair.

Gary Seow, Founder of KYDZ International
During my school years, I had great anxiety when I was called to read out loud in class. I did poorly in handwriting competitions, I constantly failed my spellings. I first learnt to spell “fish” only in Primary 3. I knew I was not lazy, but I could not understand why my efforts did not correlate with my test results. It was very disturbing when I couldn’t do well like my classmates. At various points in my life, I began to wonder why I took a long time to read, not remembering new words that I just learnt, or recognise a certain word and then cannot recognise again a few minutes later. I may be a dyslexic who is essentially what I call a “non-speller”, but tha does not mean that I am a “non-learner”. This is who I am, I may be incompetent in some areas but I can excel and be successful in other areas. Starting my own business around 2005, becoming an entrepreneur is a lifeline for me to get through rough patches. I regained my confidence and found my purpose in life and I can use my strengths to do many good things. If you suspect your child rejects reading, get an early diagnosis. Do something early for your child. Personally, I wish I didn’t have to spend so many years in confusion and anxiety.

Chef Heman Tan, Iron Man Chef, Iron Supper Club
Life started out difficult for Heman at a young age. He saw his eldest sister killed right in front of him in a car accident when he was 5 years old. The trauma experienced at such tender years affected him well into adulthood. When Heman started primary school, he realise that he had difficulty coping with schoolwork and lagged far behind his classmates. Instead of slowing guiding him, his teachers just assumed that he was stupid and lazy. They were often visibly frustrated; asking him questions such as “Is your heart here? Are you with me?” It got much worse when he came down with a fever while in Primary 3, which left his left ear half deaf. Being unable to get the right sounds was an obstacle to putting in effort in school. Even though Heman tried his best, his grades were not showing it. When his son was diagnosed with dyslexia, things took a turn. He went onto Google to learn more about dyslexia and realised the signs of dyslexia were exhibited in himself. Through all the challenges that he has faced in his life, Heman does not seem fazed. In fact he sees them all as an opportunity to learn and do better. Heman offers a pearl of wisdom to parents of children with dyslexia: Recognise the child’s strenghts and not just his/her weaknesses. Boost their strength as we strengthen their weakness. Read slowly with your child, you’ll be surprised at what it can do.

 

 


BREAKOUT STREAM 9: RESEARCH

 Friday, 22 June 2018

Dr. Angela Fawett, Emeritus Profressor, Swansea University, United Kingdom
Dyslexia and Learning - The Triangle Hypothesis as an Explanatory Framework for Dyslexia

For many years, our research has been tracing the deficits in dyslexia to a problem in learning, in automatisation, procedural learning and in delayed neural commitment, and this evidence has been presented internationally. Recently, we have argued that it is important to recognise the positive aspects of dyslexia, that can compensate for many of these deficits, the peak of the triangle in this new theory. In this talk, I shall introduce our latest hypothesis, and complete the triangle hypothesis of dyslexia, presented for the first time at this conference. The triangle hypothesis proposes a 2nd ongoing source of problems for learning in dyslexia, based on consistent mishandling of the learning issues, by lack of awareness of the manifestations of dyslexia in education. An emphasis on rote learning and a rigid approach, that fails to recognise learning differences, exacerbates and compounds the underlying problems, creating learned helplessness in dyslexic children, who may therefore never fulfil their potential. This theory suggests that early recognition and appropriate support is the best way forward to ensure that dyslexic children develop resilience, flourish and manifest their many strengths, rather than giving up the lifelong struggle for success. The talk will be illustrated with experimental findings and evidence from research over a 30-year period.

Suvarna Rekha Chinta, Moolchand Neuroscience Centre, India 
Bipin Indurkhya, International Institute of Information Technology, India

Effects of Executive Attention Deficits in Children with Dyslexia: Beyond Phonology in Bilingual Dyslexics

This study compares attention and phonological abilities among bilingual children with and without dyslexia. These abilities were examined with Attention Network Test (ANT) and phoneme awareness (PA) tests, respectively. Data were collected from twenty-two dyslexic children (12 boys and 10 girls) and compared with 22 typical children (12 boys and 10 girls), matched on chronological age (M = 11.5; SD = 0.25), IQ and ADHD score. This study demonstrated a high statistical significance between the groups with (p< .005), in executive and alerting networks, whereas least difference observed in the phonological task. Significant gender differences pronounced in ANT, dyslexic boys performed poorly than dyslexic girls. Further, there was a moderate positive correlation between reading ability and attention ability, whereas a weak correlation between reading ability and phonological ability among dyslexic children. Results supported this growing body evidence that has found more of Executive attention network deficit and attenuated phonological processing among bilingual dyslexics.

Fumie Shibuya, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Akira Uno, University of Tsukuba, Japan

Test of the Double Deficit Hypothesis in Dyslexia: Comparison in Two Japanese Writing Systems

The Double Deficit Hypothesis (DDH; Bowers and Wolf, 1993), suggests that dyslexia results from a combination of phonological awareness and naming-speed problems. Papadopoulos, et al. (2009) reported that the degree of transparency in a writing system affects the level of dyslexia in Latin and Greek languages. In the present study, we investigated how the writing system affects the DDH using Hiragana and Kanji. Hiragana is quite transparent, while in contrast, Kanji is an opaque writing system. The participants were 564 children in elementary school from first to sixth grade. We conducted cognitive ability and reading tests of Hiragana and Kanji in all the participants. In Hiragana, four groups were found based on the scores in phonological and naming-speed test: double-deficit group (DD; n = 1), phonological deficit group (PD; n = 4), naming deficit group (ND; n = 3), and a group we could not classify based on DDH (Other; n = 1). On the other hand, in Kanji, three groups were found: PD (n=6), ND (n = 1), and Other (n = 11). We could not find DD in Kanji. We could find a single naming speed deficit group in both writing systems, however the DD group did not show the severest reading difficulty, in comparison with other groups in Hiragana, as would be predicted by the DDH. Our data suggested that the degree of transparency may not explain the results of dyslexia based on the DDH.

Beth O'Brien, National Institute of Education, Singapore 
Kwok Fuyu, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 
Annabel Chen Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Phonological Processing Skills for Typical and Atypical Readers in Singapore

Phonological awareness is a strong correlate and predictor of reading across languages (Melby-Lervåg & Lervåg, 2011; Kidd et al., 2015). Difficulties with phonological processing are a hallmark of dyslexia (Snowling, 2000; Stanovich, 1988), leading to the predominant view of the phonological core deficit model for dyslexia. This is in spite of alternative multiple deficit models (Pennington, 2006). Moreover, most research on dyslexia is of Western origin, and has only recently broadened to other regions and contexts. Etiology and diagnosis often are founded upon the phonological core deficit view, but questions remain about the suitability of this emphasis across various contexts. In this study based in Singapore, we compare the performance of dyslexic children with typical child (aged 6-10) and adult (aged 19-34) readers on subtests of the CTOPP-2. Phonological awareness tasks (blending and phoneme isolation), rapid naming tasks (for letters and digits), and a memory task (forward digit repetition) were administered to the groups, along with English word reading. Using ANOVA, we find that the groups did not differ on phonological awareness performance. For the rapid naming tasks, the adult readers performed better than the children, and the adult group performed better than the dyslexic children on the memory task. Correlational analysis showed that word reading was related to rapid naming and memory scores for the children altogether, while word reading by adults was related to phonological awareness as well as rapid naming and memory scores. Results are discussed with implications for diagnosis of reading disorders.


BREAKOUT STREAM 10: PRACTICAL RESEARCH

 Friday, 22 June 2018

Serena Tan AbdullahDyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
The Emphasis on the Explicit Teaching of Reading Comprehension to Learners on the DAS Main Literacy Programme

"Reading comprehension is defined as the “process of simultaneously extracting and constructing meaning through interaction and involvement with written language” (Snow, 2002). Aside from experiencing difficulty in reading, spelling and writing, learners with dyslexia also struggle with comprehending text that involves higher-order thinking processes which is required of them to extrapolate meaning from the text and make sense of what they have read. Therefore, the explicit teaching of reading skills and textual features such as the employment of annotation is highly emphasised in the delivery of Reading Comprehension to learners at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS). This presentation will also include a few sample comprehension questions taken from the Reading Comprehension curriculum pack, the corresponding section of text relevant to those questions to highlight the systematic process and structure put in place to guide and scaffold learners to understand the text better. 

Ho Shuet Lian, Dyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
Lee Er KerDyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
Sharon ReutensDyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore

Elizabeth Lim, Dyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
Speech, Language and Communication Needs - Case Studies

Case Study 1: A six-year-old Kindergartner was occasionally difficult to understand due to speech that was not as clear as that of his classmates. He enrolled in speech-language therapy where he participated in fun and interactive activities focusing on correct placement and practice of the target sounds. The boy's marked improvement in speech made him much more intelligible.

Case Study 2: A seven-year-old student in Primary1 made speech errors which were either unusual or not appropriate for his age. Certain sounds, such as /k/, /g/ and /r/, were initially not stimulable. Through speech-language therapy, he was later able to produce these sounds either in isolation or in words through multisensory and visualization activities to learn correct placement and production of target sounds.

Case study 3: A seven-year-old Kindergartner diagnosed with moderate-severe language disorder possessed a limited vocabulary. During speech-language therapy sessions, a combination of direct intervention techniques was used to improve vocabulary acquisition in a small group setting. Results show an improved recall and understanding of words targeted, as well as a slight gain in non-targeted words.

Case study 4: A nine-year-old student in Primary 3 with language impairment presented with errors in in syntax. In speech-language therapy sessions, direct intervention in explicit teaching of sentence structure and the use of connectors were employed to facilitate improvement in both receptive and expressive language orally and in writing.

Sharyfah Nur FitriyaDyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
An Evaluation of the Preferenced-based Teaching Approach for Children with Dyslexia and Challenging Behaviours

Dyslexia is characterised by difficulties inaccurate and/or fluent word recognition, reading comprehension, written expression and poor spelling. Research studies have mainly focused on helping students’ diagnosed with dyslexia through educational remediation. However, little research has been done on increasing on-task behaviour and attentiveness while reducing behavioural problems for students’ diagnosed with dyslexia. In Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS), students’ diagnosed with dyslexia tend to get disengaged in the classroom setting. This small-scale qualitative case study used a non-concurrent multiple baseline design across three participants and was conducted at DAS between August 2016 to March 2017. Its goal is to examine the effectiveness of a preference-based teaching approach. A preference-based teaching approach involves identifying student preferences within the classroom setting and designing teaching programmes for each student in consideration of these preferences. An evaluation of the preference-based teaching approach was carried out through a video observation of 15 teaching sessions and questionnaires. Analysis of the questionnaires revealed that the participants enjoyed the sessions and found the preference-based approach fulfilling. The video recorded sessions were analysed by the researcher and the Inter-observer agreement (IOA). The sessions revealed that all three students’ performed 100% on-task behaviours and active engagement from sessions eight to 12. The study concluded that the preference-based teaching approach had an effect on the on-task behaviour and attentiveness level for all three students’ diagnosed with dyslexia. The findings of this study can be used to improve teachers’ lesson planning skills with the aim to increase students’’ on-task behavior and active engagement levels.


BREAKOUT STREAM 11: TEACHING PRACTICAL WORKSHOPS

 Friday, 22 June 2018

Wong Kah LaiDyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
Weng YiyaoDyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore

Our Literacy World: The Preschool Class at DAS

DAS preschool programme is designed for the Kindergarten One and Two preschoolers identified to be at risk of developing literacy difficulties. The small group remediation programme equips our students with learning strategies that can be applied to their classroom setting. Differentiated teaching strategies to teach literacy will also be shared. Through hands-on activities, this workshop will also showcase some of these literacy and differentiated teaching strategies that we adopt within our classrooms.

Gowri Ramanathan, ARLC, India
Sanskruti Shah, ARLC, India

A Stitch in Time

KEY : Our main aim at Ananya is to identify the child who may be at risk for possible learning difficulties and to facilitate the child in the way best suited for him or her, without labelling him or her.

There is a very old and powerful saying, ‘a strong foundation is the key for a good building’. Education is not only about imparting what we know, but also about understanding the uniqueness in every child, and providing a fair chance for the holistic development of the child, depending on his strengths and needs.

As the child grows, lets be involved and pay attention to the developmental progress and difficulties the child undergoes. We can nurture, support and provide resources to maximize the child’s abilities, as early as possible, so that no vital links are left unnoticed.

To acquire any skill, first the pre-skills develop. Then, with constant stimulation the skill is exhibited by the child appropriately. If there is a lag in the development of a pre-skill, then automatically there will be a lag followed in the areas connected to that pre-skill. It is extremely important to try and bridge this gap in order to pre-empt any future failure the child may face.

The paper will focus on:-
                 
1) The vitality of early intervention and why it should not be over looked.
2) The areas to look out for while conducting the informal assessment at the pre primary level.
3) How to make connections of the child’s skills displayed today with the future development of his skills.
4) The possible cause of any academic delays.
5) How this timely intervention will provide a platform for the caregivers to make a unique structured plan and work towards the overall development of the child, thus bringing out the best in him and make school a happier place.

6) Early intervention to address learning delays can make a crucial difference in the child’s life.


BREAKOUT STREAM 12: PARENT WORKSHOPS

 Friday, 22 June 2018

Vilasini Diwakar Mala Raju Natarajan
Resource Room - Remedian Education for Children with SLD within the School Premises - The Need of the Hour

Children with Specific Learning Disabilities need timely remedial support/ intervention in their school going years to optimize their academic performances Lack of this support creates increasing discrepancy between their abilities and performances.Children fail to perform to their full potential despite being of average to above average intelligence.They flounder and is lost. Such remedial support is not easily accessible but when established within the school environment can make a vital difference to this scenario and is beneficial in multiple ways. This presentation advocates the inclusion of a Remedial center in the mainstream school to support the education process of a child with Dyslexia to ensure that no child to fall through the cracks. First it highlights how such a centre can create a Dyslexia Sensitive Educational Environment. It focuses on the need to identify and to provide remediation to the child with Specific Learning Disabilities within the school milieu. Then the paper uses case studies of SLD children in mainstream schools where MDA has set up resource room centres to demonstrate the positive impact of the project on critical stakeholders like the management of the school, parents and teachers and importantly details how the strategies used for teaching the students have universal implications and could valuably benefit all students in the classroom. The paper lastly discusses the process of setting up of such a centre.It presents evidence to show that running a remedial centre within the school campus is sustainable, scalable, replicable and is pivotal to supporting students with SLD in their critical years of learning.

Soofrina MubarakDyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
Going Beyond Instructional Technology Integration Models in Instructional Designs with EdTech

Almost every educational institution day is attempting to begin or already on their journey to incorporate educational technologies into the lesson designs. The instructional designers or educational technologists of these institutions would have had looked at various prominent instructional technology integration models such as the TPaCK, SAMR, RAT, TAM, TIP and TIM, some of which this presentation will cover in greater detail. The question remains though, on what makes a model valuable to instructional designers and educators. Instructional technology integration models are extensively used in trainings for educators as well as educational research in understanding and evaluating pedagogical integration of educational technology in educational institutions. Just as theoretical constructs are embraced and applied into practice and research, one should note that they are diverse and appear to be chosen under uncritical, tribalistic (Kimmons, 2015; Kimmons and Hall, 2016) or anarchic (Feyeraband 1975) ways. Some technology integration models have had the advantage of greater dispersion and thus seem more prominent such as the TPaCK. For example, the TPaCK is very popular amongst researchers whereas the SAMR model is more popular among instructional designers and educators but what is not as clear are 1) what are the elements underlying this dispersion of preference; 2) what characteristics of such models make them implorable by various groups of users and 3) how these models should be adopted, adapted and critically assessed with regards to other models. Analytical discussions about such theoretical pluralism will limit advocacy for generalist theoretical constructs which most people in the field of educational technology are familiar with without ignoring those that we are not.

This presentation will therefore critically analyse some of the instructional technology integration models, of which some come from the same theoretical constructs, to suggest how models can be brought together to create a unique approach for the educational institution. This is because the needs, focus and preference of each stakeholder (researcher, educator, policymaker, administrator, etc.) within the same institution is diverse and it is unrealistic to expect a single theoretical construct to meet these needs and objectives satisfactorily.


POSTER PRESENTATIONS 

Soleha Razali, Dyslexia Association of Singapore, Singapore
The effectiveness of memory games in improving fluency and reading comprehension of children with dyslexia

This research study examines the effectiveness of memory games intervention in improving reading fluency and reading comprehension of children with Dyslexia. A total of 22 students diagnosed with Dyslexia participated in the research study. First, it was examined whether there are any transfer effects to reading fluency and reading comprehension on children with Dyslexia after going through the memory games intervention. Next, it was explored whether the lower ability students made more improvements than the higher ability students. Unfortunately, the memory games intervention did not produce any results. The reading fluency and reading comprehension of children with Dyslexia did show significant improvements after going through the memory games intervention. However, the lower ability students did make more improvements as compared to the higher ability students. Even though no significant results were found in this research study, there are room for improvements that can be made to find out the true effectiveness of memory games intervention in improving reading fluency and reading comprehension of children with Dyslexia.

Kong Wai Kuen, Singapore
How I guide a child with language development delay

A 5 years old focus child who is currently studying in Kindergarten 1. Some learning activities done one to one which focus on learning through engaging him in the activities and toys that the boy likes. Throughout the activities, I have followed this method: - Constantly ask questions to assess and to check the child’s understanding, - Then prompt him if he cannot answer. - After prompting, wait for 5 seconds for his response. - Then praise him for attempting and answering correctly. Activity 1: Asks the child to talk about his cars that he is playing. Then tell him that I am writing down his story so that we could read his story again after I have written them down. He continues to say while I write down. After writing down we go through and read the story told by him. After a few rounds, try to point out a few words that he is not sure and after he has familiarized, ask him if he would like to copy the story in his own handwriting. He complies and through this activity, he learns talking, reading and writing. Activity 2: Asks the child to pick up a book from a few pre-selected books that he likes. Then read together with the child. Pointing to the words one by one on each page of the book. Read together with the child. After a few rounds, asks the child to read, while helping him to point each word. Through this activity, he learns new words and reading a book on his own.

Sudha Ramasamy, Madras Dyslexia Association, India
Developing A Dyslexia-Friendly Environment in classroom

This paper is aimed for teachers who have heard the term dyslexic, know they may have students within their class who possibly could be dyslexic but have no further knowledge of how to adapt their teaching style to assist them.
The presentations introduce teacher to dyslexia, and shares ways teachers can adjust their teaching, taking very little additional time, to include dyslexic students and at the same time reach many other students with learning difficulties.
The presentation details components of a creating an environment which embraces the use of the word dyslexia; promotes a clear and practical valid understanding of dyslexia for young teachers.
A dyslexia-friendly classroom environment encourages dyslexic students to follow their strengths and interests.
This paper identifies how the “classroom” and “institution” can be made dyslexia friendly, thus creating an inclusive learning environment. When teachers use the strategies they not only help dyslexic students learn, but engage and improve learning for all students in the class. Additionally, a dyslexia-friendly environment allows educators to be alert to problems and identify children who might be dyslexic.
This paper shares guidelines about the changes we can make in the physical environment, adapting new strategies to implement in our classroom. Help the teacher to choose the right tool that fit each student’s needs as a learner.
Whilst this paper is aimed at supporting dyslexic individuals, many of the strategies suggested here would be equally appropriate for those who are not dyslexic as well as those who are. The aim here is to suggest a range of approaches and strategies that can be adapted to suit the needs of many individuals.

Takashi Gotoh, Mejiro University, Japan
Akira Uno, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Naoki Tani, University of Tsukuba, Japan
The effects of font type on reading accuracy and fluency in Japanese children with developmental dyslexia
Purpose : The purpose of this study is to clarify the effects of different types of Japanese font on reading performance in Japanese speaking children with developmental dyslexia.
Methods : Participants included 36 children with typical development and 23 children with developmental dyslexia from fourth to sixth grades elementary school student. We conducted rapid reading tasks and hearing of the introspectiveness. In this study, we used four kinds of stimuli: two scripts (paragraph and kana non-words) by two font types (Round-Gothic and Mincho style font). We asked participants to “read the words and paragraph as fast as you can without making mistakes”. We analyzed duration time of reading, number of errors and self-corrections. After the reading tasks, participants were required to answer which font type was easy to read.
Results : Typical development and developmental dyslexic group did not show significant differences in duration time of reading, number of errors and self-corrections between two types of font. On the other hand, the answer in subjective readability from the group with developmental dyslexia showed significant differences and children with developmental dyslexia had impression that Round-Gothic as the font easily to read.
Discussion : In this study, Round-Gothic and Mincho style fonts did not improve reading performance for children with dyslexia. However, Round-Gothic style font tended to be recognized “readable font” subjectively by children with developmental dyslexia. Our results suggest that subjective readability for the Round-Gothic style font contribute to reduce mental burden of reading among children with developmental dyslexia.
Dhita Natasha Dwiriyanti, Zainab Hospital Pekanbaru, Indonesia
Dian Larassati, Zainab Hospital Pekanbaru, Indonesia
Yoan Utami Putri, Zainab Hospital Pekanbaru, Indonesia

Profile of Children with Expressive Language Delay in Zainab Hospital Pekanbaru, Indonesia

A language disorder is an impairment that makes it hard for someone to find the right words and form clear sentences when speaking. It can also make it difficult to understand what another person says. There are three kinds of language disorders. Receptive language issues involve difficulty understanding what others are saying. Expressive language issues involve difficulty expressing thoughts and ideas. Mixed receptive-expressive language issues involve difficulty understanding and using spoken language.
The objective of the study is to identify characteristically related to children and their parents associated with expressive language delay.
The study conducted with all the children in Zainab Hospital Pekanbaru Indonesia diagnosed as expressive language disorder in 2017. Protocol for the Identification of Risk Factor for Language and Speech Disorders (PIFRAL) was used for this study
Descriptive statistics and student’s t test were used to analyze the frequency and relationship between between risk factor.
The onset of the complaint occurred after [±SD] 41,76 ± 12,108 months old and mostly are male gender (72.7%).
Most of them (54,5%) whose mother had just completed high school and 60.6% of a mother in the category “doesn’t work.
Out of the 33 participants, 20 were the first child in the family (60.0%). Deleterious oral habits (64%,) and bilingual (51.5%) were significant to incidence of expressive language disorder in that children.
Conclusion: Most of children are the first boys. They are mainly raised by a mother with low levels of education and do not work. But many of them have bad oral habits , bilingual and this are significant.

Kristiantini Dewi, Dyslexia Association of Indonesia
Purboyo Solek, Dyslexia Association of Indonesia
Level of Understanding Dyslexia Among Indonesian Professionals, Teachers and Society

This study is a simple survey upon understanding level of Indonesian people regarding dyslexia done within 6 months started in May 2017, using Google form questionnaires. Total respondents were 1178 persons, coming from various islands of Indonesia. Most of them were teachers, female, aged ranged 30-39 years old, bachelor degree. Approximately 20% respondents believed that dyslexia had low IQ and therefore they would put dyslexic students in special class set for low IQ students.

Nearly 750 respondents knew that dyslexia is a genetic based condition, while the rest thought that it was due to poor parenting, poor teaching, impairment of spine, and TV/Gadget exposure. About one third of respondents believed that poor diet, finger hypotonic and impairment of spine were the underlying medical problems in dyslexia. M

ost of respondents (80.5%) knew that dyslexia often has comorbid, and 50.8% believed that the comorbidities were Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD). While the rest believed that dyslexia may occur with Intellectual Disability, Autism, Spine Impairment, and Speech Delayed.

Most of the respondent (77.6%) still believed in fancy treatment for dyslexia which was Sensory Integration Therapy (51.7%), diet, hiking, riding dolphins, colored lenses, while only 22.4% understood that dyslexia needs remedial intervention.

Most of the respondents (89.8%) agreed that dyslexia could be identified early, nevertheless one fifth of respondents still believed that early identification would healed dyslexia.

Conclusion: The level of understanding of dyslexia among Indonesian people across professional backgrounds are still very poor. Further education to those professionals is a must.

Keywords: dyslexia, teacher, professional, Indonesian people

Dian Larassati, Zainab Hospital Pekanbaru, Indonesia
Yoan Utami Putri, Zainab Hospital Pekanbaru, Indonesia
Dhita Natasha Dwiriyanti, Zainab Hospital Pekanbaru, Indonesia

Association Between Screen Time and Expressive Language Delay Children in Zainab Hopital Pekanbaru, Indonesia

The use of interactive screen media such as televisions, smartphone and tablets by young children is increasing rapidly. The American Academy of Pediatric (AAP) recommends that children ≥ 2 years of age should have < 2 hours of screen time per day and that children< 2 years of age be discouraged from television watching. Recommendations for use by toddlers are crucial, because effect of screen time are potentially more pronounced in this group. Therefore, need to identify screen time factors that may have impact on language development. This study investigated the association between children’s exposure screen time and expressive language delay The source of data was collected in Zainab Hospital during 2017. The subjects of this study were children with expressive language delay. In addition, normal children were used as control subject. Linguistic ability were reviewing by language Milestone and Denver II, The data were analyzed by chi-square test. Odds ratios and 95% confidence interval were presented. There were 24 boys and 19 girls; mean 41,8 ± 12,108 month of the case group and 17 boys and 14 girls, mean 36,45 ± 12,129 month of the control group were enrolled. Children with ≥ 3 hours screen time had around 3.2 times (OR 3,167 95% CI: 1.139-8.806) more risk of expressive language delay. Children with expressive language delay spent more time screen time than normal children (3,61 ± 0,0609 hours/day vs.2,00 ± 0,949 hours/day; p= 0,025). Conclusion: children had screen time more than 3 hours /day were approximately 3,2 times likely to have expressive language delay than normal children.

Yoan Utami Putri, Zainab Hospital Pekanbaru, Indonesia
Dian Larassati, Zainab Hospital Pekanbaru, Indonesia
Dhita Natasha Dwiriyanti, Zainab Hospital Pekanbaru, Indonesia

Risk Factors Identfication in Children with Expressive Language Delay in Zainab Hospital Pekanbaru, Indonesia

Speech and language development represent a meaningful indicator of a child’s development and cognitive ability. Identification of children at risk for development delay may lead to early intervention services and family assistance at young age. This study investigated the risk factors of children and their parent related to the expressive language delay. The case-control study included 33 children with expressive language delay and 31 normal children. Expressive language delay was diagnosed by reviewing language milestone and Denver II. The following risk factors were identified by using PIFRAL (Protocol to Identify Risk Factors for Language Speech Related Changes). The differences of relationship between risk factors were tested by chi square test. The sample in this study was adjusted in 2 models. Model 1 was adjusted for due date above 37 weeks group. Model 2 was additionally adjusted for birth weight above 2500 grams group. The significant risk factors in model 1 were effects of maternal education’s level (p= 0.011), positive family history (p= 0.010), jaundice (p= 0.036), deleterious oral habit (p=0.0001), time spending with mother (p=0.0001), and speaking more than one language (p= 0.005). In model 2, the significant risk factors were effects of maternal education’s level (p= 0.037), deleterious oral habit (p=0.0001), time spending with mother (p=0.0001), and speaking more than one language (p= 0.005). Based on this study, the significant risk factors for children with expressive language disorder in a term and normal birth weight were deleterious oral habit, time spending with mother, speaking more than one language and maternal education’s level.

Omar Hassan, Center for Child Evaluation and Teaching, Kuwait
"I Read and Write!" Evaluation a Multi-Sensory Structured Language (MSL) Programme for Arabic

“I Read and Write!” is an individualized, structured language training program and materials for teaching persons with moderate to severe difficulties with learning to read and spell in Arabic. The program is designed for use in a one-to-one or small group (two-three students) tutorial setting and focus on Modern Standard Arabic generic to the Gulf Region. Areas of literacy targeted are early reading skills (phonological awareness and letter awareness), decoding/encoding, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension, as well as written expression skills. While the material will be geared for Chall’s reading stages 1-3 (approximate reading and spelling grade levels K/1 through grade 7/8), The program’s broad skills goals will be indexed to key curricular benchmarks for Gulf region language curricula for grades 1-9; the purpose of doing this is to demonstrate the curricular relevance of the materials to teachers and school administrators throughout the Gulf, but the skills are relevant for all other Arab countries and learners of Arabic.

Elizabeth Ow Yeong Wai Mang (DR), Teaching Fellow, NIE (Early Childhood and Special Needs Education Academic Group) 2018 and beyond / HOD (Student Well-being), Henry Park Primary School (2006-2017)
"An Autoethnographic Exploration in the search for the Enhancement of Learning for Students with Special Needs 

This is a longitudinal autoethnographic inquiry into the quest to explore the support for students with special needs in a mainstream primary school in Singapore. By employing information gleaned from multiple interviews with both students and teachers, the research explores the current issues and problems faced by this particular group of children in their learning in the mainstream classroom. Issues perceived by both students and teachers include problem in completing writing assignments, a lack of interest in the subject matter taught, as well as a short attention span during daily work. Rising from the input of this initial generation of information, this research further explored the autoethnographical journey of the researcher as a teacher who started as a novice in constructivist-oriented teaching, illustrating the researcher’s attempts to use the elements of constructivist-oriented teaching to resolve the issues and problems of students with special needs in her classes. The researcher’s journey continued four years later, with her being a more experienced constructivist-oriented teacher. Her mode of teaching is grounded on Lev Vygotsky’s social constructivist views, especially those articulated in his theory of dysontogenesis, which emphasises the empowerment of individuals rather than a focus on their impairments or deficiencies, suggesting how students with special needs should be offered the opportunity to maximise their potential. Information generated from this research is presented as an autoethnographical novel, which is a detailed appraisal-based description of the educational experience. This part of the research concludes that constructivist-oriented approaches offer a viable platform for the teaching students with special needs, making them more enabled, although all educational stakeholders have to be adequately equipped to sustain such approaches. A framework is then proposed for teachers who can exercise multiple roles to effectively work with students with special needs in the mainstream classroom