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It is important to emphasise that our role in helping people with reading and spelling difficuties is not in the diagnosis of dyslexia. However, we do carry out an initial assessment, using standard tests, to determine whether a student is dyseidetic or dysphonetic i.e. to see if dyslexia is in fact is detected. We also establish a student's reading and spelling ability, indicating a suitable starting point , as well as identifying the most appropriate computer colour scheme for their individual needs.
We use a specialised, user friendly computer programme based on the principle known as connectionism, and incorporates a multi-sensory approach involving sight, hearing, touch and speech.
Although the rate of learning for each individual student will vary, the improvement achieved will be permanent.
The system is based on students learning, very quickly, how to use the talking computers, and then working their way through a series of gently graded touch-typing lessons that involve reading and spelling. In this way, students strengthen the relevant connections within their brains helping them to overcome their difficulties.
Our emphasis is very much on a student learning in a different way , rather than being taught in the conventional way. A student is always in control of the situation and is able to progress at a comfortable rate, without being under any form of pressure. There is always a tutor on a 1:1 basis to support and encourage as well as to explain spelling rules and strategies to assist with literacy problems.
The system used was first validated in 1993 by Devon County Council and in July 1998 an evaluation was published in the British Journal of Educational Technology, written by Richard Scrase, a science teacher with 14 years experience of teaching children with Specific Learning Difficulties. He wrote the paper during a term as School Teacher Fellow Commoner at Sydney Sussex College, Cambridge and was part of the "Reading by Computer" project.