With many teachers not trained to spot dyslexia, Sally Bouwman shares her advice for detecting the disorder.
Dyslexic pupils use distraction tactics, such as breaking their pencils, to avoid reading out loud, says Sally Bouwman. The one thing my postgraduate teacher training course had simply not prepared me for was that more than a third of my first class of seven and eight year-olds might not be reading and writing with any degree of confidence.
Granted, it was a school in special measures, and many of the pupils did not have the clear structure, support or guidance at school, or, in some cases, at home, that would help progress their literacy skills. But it seemed many of these children would do anything to avoid reading out loud or putting ideas onto paper, often with inventive, distraction tactics: "Miss, I need to go to the loo, I'm going to wet myself," "Miss my pencil keeps breaking."