Alex is 11 years and 7 months old. He is in
his final year of primary schooling and will be entering high school in the
following year. Alex seems to understand much more than he articulates. He
tends to stutter or stammer when under pressure, and overall mispronounces
many of his spoken words. Alex also has trouble finding the right word to say
According to Alex’s parents, an
architect and a professional writer, he has not had an easy time at school.
His speech problems were identified prior to entering school, and he was
placed in a program to encourage articulation development. After six months
he was dismissed from the program as his speech had been considered to have
Alex’s mother noted that over the
years, when trying to read with him he would find any excuse to avoid it.
Alex’s parents also noticed quite early on his growing disinterest in books.
Alex appears to be increasingly ‘sulky’ and tries to avoid schoolwork of any
kind. Alex has difficulties with isolated words and struggles to read his
His mum said Alex is a whiz at solving
complex puzzles and likes to make model airplanes in his spare time. Alex
also excels at maths, with excellent problem solving and reasoning skills.
Alex’s mum has also noted that he asks her frequently why he can’t read, and
why is he in a different reading group to his peers at school.
Alex’s reading is laboured; words are
mispronounced, substituted or omitted. Words correctly read in one sentence
may also be misread when repeated in another sentence. Alex does not like to
read aloud, and will go to great lengths to make himself inconspicuous when
this is expected of him. Increasingly, he will ask to go to the toilet when
his turn is approaching. If called upon, he often acts up, making the words
into a joke, or tumbling onto the floor and laughing so that he is sent out
of the room. When writing, Alex’s letters are misshapen and wobbly. He avoids
writing and resorts to breaking his pencil or pen, distracting rather than
commence any writing task set either at school or at home.
Alex performed poorly on a non-word reading
test, and demonstrated great difficulty deciphering words on a single word
reading test, opting for seemingly random guesses, or alternatively, making a
guess at a word based on a known word with similar letters. In contrast, Alex
does not generally demonstrate difficulties with comprehension. For example,
Alex is able to read short passages silently, and answer questions about it,
using clues such as pictures in the book. His comprehension is better when a
text is read to him, and he retains greater details about texts when
listening to it being read aloud or recorded. But he struggles when he is
required to decode text and his comprehension is seriously impeded. He seems
to work very hard, but his work does not reflect this.
Alex’s parents are concerned he will
get left behind in high school, and are seeing the effects on his
self-esteem. They report he is negatively self-effacing, puts himself down and
gives up trying. He has also recently given up even trying to do some things,
because he feels he cannot achieve anything and says ‘the effort isn’t worth
it’. He compares himself unfavourably with his peers and thinks he is
‘stupid’ and worse.
You are required to use the information
presented in the vignette to construct a case study that will identify the
strengths and weaknesses of Alex, age 11 years 7months, a student who will
shortly be making the transition to High School.
your casestudy, make recommendations about the appropriate intervention Alex
would benefit from. Refer to the Rose Review (2009) or Greg Brooks (2016)
both reports offer guidance on what works for children and young people with
dyslexia and literacy difficulties.
recommendations also as to what could be done to improve self‐esteem, and
motivate Alex. Cite references that address research into the negative
aspects of dyslexia, as well as drawing upon a range of different modalities
to allow Alex to demonstrate his knowledge and understanding without
producing an excessive amount of writing.
or background information about the student e.g. age/gender/Grade or Year group. Brief
developmental history and outline initial difficulties
Reported Learning difficulties: summarise the difficulties that the student
reportedly has with oral language, literacy skills, and self‐esteem
and Interests: summarise reported strengths.
action: what actions would you take to
begin working with the student?
Testing? Referral? Involve other professionals e.g. Psychologist/speech therapist other? Check
hearing and vision?
and Spelling Intervention plan: what programme would you develop or
addressing the student’s literacy difficulties? Would you use a specific
programme? (e.g.Lexia online?) Structure your plan around specific skill
areas. What would be your shorter‐term objectives/longer terms objectives?
Scale: How long would your proposed
plan last? How many sessions? One to one? /small group? How would you
establish a baseline of skills at the entry point onto this programme? How
would you examine progress made at
the end of the intervention programme?
Try to suggest ways that you could
address the selesteem issues and raise confidence levels that the student
requires. What resources would you employ to work with the student that would
be age appropriate? In your recommendations, take all factors into account.
Important too is the student’s perspective, and the parents involvement/home‐
In your summary make recommendations for the school that the student
attends. This section should take into
account of initiatives such as the ‘dyslexic friendly’ schools;’ the Disability Standards in Education (DSE) and
look at responsibilities teachers have to meet this student’s needs. Would he be a subject
of the National Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD)? What ‘reasonable
adjustments’ would you recommend?