A CASE STUDY OF A STRUGGLING LEARNER
A CHILD THAT LEARNS DIFFERENTLY
Discover how DAS supports struggling learners like Ben, who may not have a dyslexia diagnosis but face unique learning challenges. With programmes and a commitment to helping every learner thrive, DAS is transforming the way we understand and support students who learn differently.
In the world of education, every child’s journey is unique, with its own set of twists and turns. Today, we’d like to introduce you to Ben, a bright, bold, and resilient 7-year-old boy who is facing his own academic challenges. Ben’s story is not just about struggle; it’s about resilience and the power of support.
The Beginning of Ben’s Journey
Ben’s journey started with a loving and supportive family. He read every night with his mother, who noticed that despite his best efforts, Ben faced hurdles in reading, spelling, and writing. His handwriting is untidy, and those pesky letter reversals persisted. When reading, he sometimes struggled with the sequencing of sounds, mixing up beginnings and endings, or simply guessing at words.
Online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic posed an additional challenge. Ben found it tough to keep up with his schoolwork, leading to him transferring to a different school and being retained in Primary 1.
A Familiar Connection
Ben’s mother, who herself has dyslexia, recognised similarities between her childhood struggles and her son’s experiences. This realisation and concerns raised by Ben’s teacher led her to take proactive steps to support her son’s learning journey and she took him for an assessment at DAS.
Ben’s path led him to a DAS SpLD Assessment Services and an understanding Educational Psychologist who conducted a psycho-educational assessment. Through a series of psychometric tests, the assessment explored Ben’s learning profile, highlighting both his strengths and areas of challenge.
Ben’s assessment unveiled a “spiky” profile, showcasing significant strengths and areas needing support.
Challenges included a lower processing speed, difficulties in working memory, and struggles with visual-spatial abilities. Writing, marked by reversals, was also challenging, though spelling was on par for his age. Reading assessments revealed an average ability but below-average performance in oral reading for his age.
On the flip side, Ben demonstrated exceptional talents. His fluid reasoning, the capacity to think logically and problem-solve in novel situations, was superior. His verbal comprehension, the ability to understand and communicate using words, was also impressive.
The Path Forward
While Ben’s assessment didn’t result in a diagnosis of a specific learning difference like dyslexia, it provided valuable insights. Ben’s challenges were linked to visual perceptual and processing difficulties, leading to a referral for occupational therapy. Furthermore, recommendations for in-school support were made, focusing on improving processing speed and working memory—a hallmark of the Orton-Gillingham approach to instruction and learning.
What is in Ben’s Educational Future?
Ben’s story offers an important perspective. His journey highlights the evolving landscape of support for struggling learners. Thanks to recent changes at DAS, students like Ben, who might not fit a specific diagnosis, can now access our programmes. Ben’s profile aligns with that of a struggling learner, making him an excellent candidate for the Orton-Gillingham approach to learning.
DAS offers support to Struggling Learners
Ben’s story is a testament to the power of recognising and addressing the unique challenges that learners face. It’s a reminder that every child has incredible potential, waiting to be unlocked. At DAS, we’re here to support these journeys, no matter where they begin. If you or someone you know has a struggling learner, we’re here to help them find their path to success. Stay tuned for more inspiring stories, and let’s continue to celebrate the triumphs of all learners, one success story at a time.
5 October 2023