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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:13 pm 
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I am interested to know how other members help their SpLD young people to study and revise more effectively. My Dd with dyslexia studies long and hard but ineffectively. For example I discovered this morning that she intended to spend the day inputting French Vocab into Quizlet when there are already 10's of complete vocab lists for the exam GCSE exam body that her school uses already with open access for her to use. It took me a good 10 minutes to persuade her that they were good enough. She looks for perfection and will use perfection as a way of procrastinating. How do others get SpLD YP to focus on what actually matters like exam style practice questions and what is actually a helpful way for dyslexics to revise?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:32 pm 
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Location: Reading
Eccentric wrote:
I am interested to know how other members help their SpLD young people to study and revise more effectively. My Dd with dyslexia studies long and hard but ineffectively. For example I discovered this morning that she intended to spend the day inputting French Vocab into Quizlet when there are already 10's of complete vocab lists for the exam GCSE exam body that her school uses already with open access for her to use. It took me a good 10 minutes to persuade her that they were good enough. She looks for perfection and will use perfection as a way of procrastinating. How do others get SpLD YP to focus on what actually matters like exam style practice questions and what is actually a helpful way for dyslexics to revise?


For a start, my DD made a german vocab quizlet in a very short space of time by copying and pasting from the official AQA vocab list, so it shouldn’t have taken her all day to do the French one. However, depending on how she inputted the words into quizlet, you might find that it was a means of revising the words in its own right.

My DD had issues with biology. She knew the stuff, but was struggling to answer the questions in the way she needed to to get the marks. She also didn’t want to sit and write down the answers either, so I offered to sit with her and ask her the questions, while I had the mark scheme in front of me. The key was I ‘offered ’ though, I didn’t insist. After the first session she agreed it made sense and was helpful, so we did another couple of sessions. Given the grade she got it obviously worked. It’s tricky to do this with every single subject though, as it does need time.

We did try and get her to do papers, but she didn’t really want to. There’s only so much you can do. Hopefully the school are getting her to do papers, so maybe more at home is to much of the same. At this stage it’s for mock exams and it’s a learning experience of what works and doesn’t for her tbh.

Dyslexia and perfectionism are two different issues though. (I’m dyslexic myself). As a student I preferred to do past papers rather than read through stuff and take notes. That’s what worked for me. However I don’t need to have everything perfect.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 7:42 pm 
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Thank you Tinkers.

Dd did say that there is a quick way to copy and paste into quizlet but that it still involves ammending commas and the like which she said would take her all day. If the full vocab lists are already there it seems a bit pointless to copy, paste and amend them.
I agree perfectionism is not a part of dyslexia however my Dd has developed perfectionism as her way of coping with her dyslexia. I think that every person is different and her coping mechanism seems to be to never give up and to strive until she achieves what in her eyes is perfectionism. Hence the quizlet vocab list being less than perfect because she herself hasn't produced them. She has accepted that the lists are good enough now and that her time will be better served on other things.
For years I thought that she simply worked mega hard and then about 9 months ago I realised that the hard work had turned into paper shuffling, writing lists, organisation and literally anything else that didn't involve anything actually productive because she was beginning to find that she was unable to keep up with her perfectionistic attitude once the work load increased to such an extent that it was simply no longer possible for someone with a slow processing speed. she is still very focused but is struggling to know what and how to focus. We had a very useful conversation today in which she decided that she would revise better in shorter bursts in the local library so we will give that a go. I have been out at work a lot of late and she has been left on her own to revise and has ended up getting very frustrated with herself for not doing enough hence my intervention in trying to help her to work out what is productive and what is not and what is going to help her the most in the short amount of time she has left before the mock exams.
I do keep reminding her that they are mocks and that the whole point of mocks is that they are intended to teach her how to do better at the real thing.
As a non dyslexic I am trying my best to understand but she says I simplify things too much and I can't understand why she makes everything so complicated. Ne-er the twain shall meet.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:44 pm 
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I think the hardest thing is to understand how your Dc's brain works when it is very different to your own.
Those with Splds often find it hard to be flexible in their approach.

My experience is that short bursts helps as does interactive learning and avoiding writing if that in itself is difficult.

Recording questions to play back and record answers which can then be checked against mark schemes might help.

With rote learning it can help to follow a path around the house or any other kind of association.

Sometimes using white boards with info in different colours can help visual recall.

My dcs generally found it easier to learn information if they could put it in a logical 'story' rather than an abstract way.

There's also a theory that learning things briefly many times over a period gets them into long term memory rather than relying on short term memory.

Time management van often be an issue so helping with planning and agreeing realistic targets with a view to doing her best across the board rather than focus on one thing might be necessary.

There can be a greater risk of feeling overwhelmed and panicking so being able to break each day into manageable targets can help.

Eventually there may need to br acceptance that exam performance doesn't match ability. Thats the fault of the system because their brains work differently.

GCSEs may be the hardest level because of the breadth required. Hopefully at A level and beyond she can choose subjects that play to her strengths.

My DCs are grown and some have excelled academically but they still find certain aspects extremely challenging. They have developed coping strategies but there are still some difficulties that they have to accept they can not reasonably meet head on, both in academic life and more generally.

Re the 'complicated' issue. One of my DCs finds it helps to draw spider diagrams with their thoughts then they can look back on them to simplify for themselves. I the past we used to talk it through ( ie mum listened!) then we'd try to organise thoughts more clearly.

Very best wishes to you and your DC in working through this. I know how hard and frustrating it can be.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:14 pm 
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I don’t kniw much about GCSE, but, gemerally for people with SpLD, multisensory teaching works well.

different colours for different strands/themes, talk it, chant it..listen to it..you get the idea!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:56 am 
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Typically for dyslexics the short term memory is rubbish, but the long term memory is excellent. (DH has described me has being a cross between a goldfish and an elephant).

Talking and writing stuff are both good ways to get stuff into the long term memory. So chanting as mentioned by Yoyo would make lots of sense.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:41 am 
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Thank you all. Some very useful tips. Tinkers you are bang on my dd has an extraordinary long term memory. She can recite all the Greek myths that she listened to on cds when she was about 6 verbatim 9 years on yet play the memory game with her and she is absolutely useless.
Listening to things does seem to help but there are very few mp3s or cds in existence for exam revision (a gap in the market maybe) making them is very time consuming. I have been recording her OCR history text books for her to help her to remember the material but to record everything would be nigh on impossible. She says she doesn’t want me to ask her exam style questions verbally because she says she needs to get used to reading and answering them as they will be presented in the exams.
I fear that she is in for a hard fall soon. She does so well in all of her classes, hr school report was exemplary and is predicted all 7,8s and 9s and her likely to achieve grades are usually higher than her predicted grades but I am not sure that this is going to translate in the exams. It makes me so cross that even dyslexics have to take the linear route. Dd and I am sure other spLD YP would have done much better before the GCSEs changed. Although actually the thing she is struggling with the most is the music composition course work. Despite being an amazing diploma level musician and composing some fantastic peices she is really struggling to get what is in her head onto Sibelius and that is not time constrained.
What will be will be.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:51 am 
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If she is anything like me, simply listening is not enough. My brain switches track and starts thinking about other stuff, rather than actually listening to what’s been said. I even do this when talking to people, and actually miss what they say. It might need to be more engaging than just listening. She might be different but worth seeing how well it is actually working for her.

It might be worth getting her to mix and match when it comes to doing questions, maybe some verbally asked and verbally answered, some verbally asked and she writes the answer, some she reads but verbally answers. If she finds reading and writing mentally draining (I know I do at times and start misreading quite badly) it might help still getting the questions and revision done without the added mental effort of reading and writing on top.

I’d also talk to the music teachers about composition, as it’s not obligatory to use Sibelius and there maybe other ways to get stuff into it anyway.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:01 pm 
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To be honest, everything that has been said here is relevant to anyone for revision. I am not sure that one way works for anyone and a multiple strategy approach is probably best. You can learn all the facts but if you don’t practise the exam technique, you can still fail to gain the marks, for example.

Over in our household, DS2 has decided that he is taking the whole of Christmas off and will start his revision when school starts again - whilst it feels odd to me, I know he knows he will run out of steam otherwise - he tends to use a read, make a revision card and reread the card, approach. He has piles of revision cards on his desk and just uses them to refresh his memory (although he has stuck a few mind map type things on his wall too). Both my boys are fans of using different colours - I think this helps it stick in their minds.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 3:02 pm 
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Tinkers wrote:
If she is anything like me, simply listening is not enough. My brain switches track and starts thinking about other stuff, rather than actually listening to what’s been said. I even do this when talking to people, and actually miss what they say. It might need to be more engaging than just listening. She might be different but worth seeing how well it is actually working for her

I’d also talk to the music teachers about composition, as it’s not obligatory to use Sibelius and there maybe other ways to get stuff into it anyway.


I am going to speak to her music teacher after the holiday. Because dd has only just been diagnosed it is taking a little bit of time for everyone to catch up.
Again Tinkers you have hit the nail right on its head. Listening does not appear to help for anything other than short spaces of time. Dd loses concentration. However we have found that if we play things just before she goes to sleep at night then it does seem to go in.
I have such huge admiration for dyslexics now. I never really appreciated how hard it was for them to do things that I find so easy. Yet people like you Tinkers and my Dd manage anyway and still succeed.

This holiday has been a bit experimental in regards to revision techniques. Watching videos like free science lessons and making revision cards from the videos has worked very well. It’s a shame that there isn’t a similar resource for other subjects. Or do they? She seems to be doing very well in maths and find revision for that simple because it si just a matter of practice questions and right or wrong answers. She sometimes makes frustrating mistakes though she will say a number out loud and right a different number on the page.

Dd finds that if she wears ear defenders it helps enormously because it blocks out all other sound she wears them all the time at home, does anyone know if she might be allowed to wear ear plugs in the exam?


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