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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.

Post Date: 07 - Dec - 2019


Case Study

Vignette: Alex, aged 11y 7m

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 in conversation.

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 sufficiently improved.

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 school texts.

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.

1.         In 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.

2.         Make 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.


         Introduction: 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

         Strengths and Interests: summarise reported strengths.

         Recommended 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?

         Reading 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?

         Time 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‐ school relationships

         Summary 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? 

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