Teachers' course on specific learning disability

Behavioural issues can develop as a child loses confidence and self-belief, Speld spokeswoman Sue...
Behavioural issues can develop as a child loses confidence and self-belief, Speld spokeswoman Sue Radcliffe says. Photo: Getty Images
A group of Dunedin teachers will become pupils again for two days next week when they attend a Speld NZ introductory course on children with specific learning disabilities (SLD).

Speld spokeswoman Sue Radcliffe said the NZQA level 3 course, to be held at Dunedin Community House next Thursday and Friday, aimed to help teachers recognise the signs and symptoms of SLD in their classroom.

"The earlier they are identified - age 6-7 is ideal - the sooner they can take advantage of our one-on-one customised remedial intervention programme that teaches them to manage their disability and gain literacy and numeracy skills.

"Without intervention, many SLD children will inevitably fail. We know that negative outcomes can develop as the child realises they differ to their peers.''

She said behavioural issues, including disruption, bullying, truancy and youth offending - or conversely, isolation, withdrawal, depression and self-harming behaviours - could develop as a child lost confidence and self-belief.

The programme worked on children's learning issues by teaching them in the way they learned, and more importantly, it celebrated the child's unique talents and gave them confidence in their abilities so they developed greater self-esteem.

"Once a child disengages with learning, not only does the individual suffer, but whole families, classrooms, teachers and the community loses socially and economically.''

She said there were still spaces on the course, and scholarships from the Otago Community Trust were available for teachers throughout Otago, to cover the cost of attending the workshop.

"It is a chance for them to learn how to recognise the signs and symptoms of SLD, to realise these children are bright and intelligent, and to understand the level of challenge these children face on a daily basis.''



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