Research Journal

APJDD Vol 9 No 1 (Jan 2022)

1. Editorial Comment

Angela J. Fawcett, Editor-in-Chief

It is a very great pleasure to publish this issue of the Asian Pacific Journal of Developmental Differences, now in its 9th year of publication, which is published by the Dyslexia Association of Singapore Limited.  We have now revised our mission statement to cover a broader range of learning difficulties, recognising the increasing evidence of co-morbidity between many disorders, and no doubt this will be reflected in our publications.  The response to the previous issues continues to be extremely gratifying, and we maintain these high standards in this issue and forthcoming issues. We are grateful for the support of the academics and professionals involved in resolving any issues arising, and ensuring our journal maintains high professional and ethical standards.

2. Educational Therapists' Perceptions after Training for an Enhanced Reading Comprehension Curriculum

Educational Therapists’ Perceptions after Training for an Enhanced Reading Comprehension Curriculum

Minqi Chua1*  and Lay See Yeo2

1. Dyslexia Association of Singapore

2. National Institute of Education, Singapore


This study examines Educational Therapists’ perceptions and teaching behaviour after receiving training in teaching an Enhanced Reading Comprehension Curriculum. It also examines the relationship between teaching experience and changes in perception. Findings showed that Educational Therapists’ length of teaching experience affected the frequency they taught skills following training, and only Educational Therapists with less than four years of experience taught more of the skills on which they were trained. The training also did not increase the perceived importance of skills covered for the most experienced group of Educational Therapists (more than four years of experience), although it did for less experienced Educational Therapists. Nonetheless, all Educational Therapists reported increased ease in teaching the skills covered during training. More experienced Educational Therapists with two and a half to four years of experience further reported an increase in their perceived ease in teaching the reading comprehension skills not yet covered in training, while this remained unchanged for the most experienced Educational Therapists. With these findings, curriculum teams and trainers need to consider the teaching experience of educators when implementing in-service training. They also need to consider feedback from educators and address possible resistance towards changes to ensure that training is effective.

Keywords:        Therapist Training, Dyslexia, Reading Comprehension Instruction

3. Empowering teachers, empowering the nation: Developing an accessible training system for dyslexia in Indonesia.

Empowering teachers, empowering the nation: Developing an accessible training system for dyslexia in Indonesia.

Kristiantini Dewi Soegondo1, Purboyo Solek1, Munadia1, Rima Natasha Hartanto1, Wiyarni Pambudi1, Rina Elizabeth1, R. Irma Rachmawati1, Yulianti Iman1, Dina Alia1, Athiyatul Aufie1, R. Nur Brusiana Suandi1, Ikfina Maufuriyah  

  1. Dyslexia Association of Indonesia
  2. Komunitas Peduli Anak, Jepara, Indonesia

This article reports a large-scale qualitative research project designed to increase awareness of dyslexia in Indonesia, in 3 phases, i) evaluating current knowledge ii) updating current knowledge and iii) providing in-depth training and application of skills, and disseminating this knowledge more widely. A large-scale questionnaire study of 1781 teachers revealed a high degree of misunderstanding and belief in myths about dyslexia within the teaching population in Indonesia.  In response to this perceived need, the Dyslexia Association of Indonesia undertook the development and dissemination of a training course for teachers, over a 5-year period, originally designed to be delivered in person, but most recently delivered online in 2021, in response to the limitations of Covid.  894 teachers in all benefitted from this training, delivered over 28 sessions.  Participants were asked to commit to attending regularly and completed a questionnaire survey, and reflection on the course.  Those who had achieved solid results from this initial training, based on the criteria of regular attendance and improvement on scores in understanding dyslexia, were invited to join a more focused in-depth bursary funded dyslexia workshop.  Finally, the trained teachers were invited to disseminate their knowledge more widely, and seven teachers elected to set up their own seminars and workshops and work on individual education plans for the children that they taught. In this article, the potential of this approach is discussed for reaching a wider population of teachers in a country spanning an area equivalent to eight of the earth’s circumference in scattered islands, This approach has the potential to increase dyslexia awareness and understanding, and ensure that appropriate support for dyslexia can be provided more widely in Indonesia.

Keywords:           Indonesia, dyslexia awareness, teacher training, dissemination

4. A Comparative Pilot Study of Curriculum-Based vs. Skill-Based Assessment for Dyslexia

A Comparative Pilot Study of Curriculum-Based vs. Skill-Based Assessment for Dyslexia

Sushree Sahu1, Vandana Shriharsh1, Triptish Bhatia1, Pragati Goel2, Nandini C. Singh2,3, Smita N. Deshpande1*

  1. Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Medical Sciences-Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi, India.
  2. National Brain Research Centre, Manesar, India.
  3. UNESCO-Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development, New Delhi, India


Introduction: Specific Learning Disability (SLD) is a certifiable disability for benefits under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act in India (2016) for which the NIMHANS SLD index is the legally mandated standard for assessment. We evaluated the NIMHANS battery against Dyslexia Assessment for Languages of India (DALI), a skill-based objective assessment.  Methods: School going children (17 consented, 15 included in the final analysis) from ages 5-10 years, and with IQ more than 85 on Malin’s Intelligence Scale for Indian Children, and standard scores 70 and above on Colored Progressive Matrices were assessed using the NIMHANS SLD index, curriculum textbooks, and DALI at the Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology of tertiary care, free teaching hospital in New Delhi. Various domains/tests were evaluated and categorized as comparable or non-comparable. Concordance analysis (kappa) was used to test for agreement in comparable domains and Spearman’s rank correlation was used to test for a relationship between all domains of NIMHANS battery and DALI.  Results: Significant concordance between curriculum textbooks and DALI was found on tests for English and Hindi Spelling, English Reading, and English Comprehension. Significant correlations were found on tests for Spelling (both languages), Reading (both languages), and Comprehension (English only) between curriculum textbooks and DALI.  Conclusion: We found curriculum textbooks, NIMHANS SLD index and DALI comparable in English tests for dyslexia and Hindi Spelling test. Given the complex education system and disparate examination testing systems in India, it might be beneficial to incorporate skill-based tests for SLD evaluation.

Keywords:           Dyslexia, Curriculum, NIMHANS SLD index, DALI

5. Home-Based Psychoeducational Strategies for Supporting Children with Specific Learning Disabilities during School Closures

Home-Based Psychoeducational Strategies for Supporting Children with Specific Learning Disabilities during School Closures

Julia Ai Cheng Lee1*

  1.  Universiti Malaysia Sarawak


Specific learning disabilities (SLDs) refer to a diverse academically related disabilities manifested by significant difficulties in listening, speaking, reading, handwriting, spelling, writing, reasoning and/or mathematics. With the long school closures and the lack of face-to-face teacher presence during the Covid-19 pandemic, it can be challenging for parents to support their children with SLDs during home-based learning. One of the biggest challenges during home-based learning is homework completion by children with SLDs; another challenge is the competition one can observe between doing schoolwork and playing games on technology gadgets. Thus, the focus of this article is to draw from a range of extant literature regarding evidenced-based prescriptive strategies for the psychoeducational support of children with SLDs, many of whom have self-regulation challenges, which include difficulty in shifting attention and sustaining mental effort. The prescriptive strategies aim to provide useful research-to-practice information to parents and caregivers on strategies for improving home-based education for exceptional learners with SLDs during the long school closures. These prescriptive strategies can be applied in the daily home-based support of children with SLDs for their academic success and wellbeing.

Keywords:      psychoeducational support, specific learning disabilities, children, parents, school closures, home-based learning, Covid-19 pandemic

6. Motivation and Vocational Decision of Secondary School Students with Dyslexia

Motivation and Vocational Decision of Secondary School Students with Dyslexia

Joanne Tan Shi Huey1

1. Dyslexia Association of Singapore

This study investigated the vocational decisions of adolescent students with dyslexia. The study aimed to examine the possible relationship between motivation and vocational decision of secondary 3 and 4 students with dyslexia and to explore other possible influences which may contribute to the vocational decision-making of this particular group of students. A mixed model research design was employed using both a paper-pen questionnaire and phone-call interviews. Statistical analysis revealed that both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation types were not significantly related to decision making. However, the participants who had a clear indication of their vocational decisions were found to have high motivational levels, meeting all three needs of competence, relatedness and autonomy through the interview sessions. Of the seven identified influences that were thought to affect vocational decisions, social media was found to be the least important factor while the family was found to be the most important factor.

In addition to providing rich data from their personal perspectives, the interviews revealed an unexpected factor on the concerns regarding the working environment. The implications for future research highlight the very individual responses elicited from this group of dyslexic students in Singapore, prompting educators, practitioners and parents of this target group to understand the vast individual differences of these students instead of searching for a pattern.

Keywords:   jobs, vocations, decision-making, Singapore, teens, students, dyslexia, adolescence, motivation, Self-Determination Theory (SDT)

7. See me, hear me: Successes and challenges of students with invisible disabilities at university in Singapore

See me, hear me: Successes and challenges of students with invisible disabilities at university in Singapore
Damaris Carlisle1*
1. Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore
Singapore has undergone a gradual shift towards a social model of inclusive education since the Compulsory Education Act came into force in 2003 (Republic of Singapore, 2000).  With the aim of supporting disabled students, the Singapore government has increasingly provided resources and facilities in schools (Ministry of Education Singapore, 2018), resulting in larger numbers of these students continuing to tertiary education.  Eleven individual interviews were conducted with students with invisible disabilities studying at different universities across Singapore.  Their lived experiences provide insights into their realities and concerns as they reflected on their first-year at university and the successes and challenges they encountered as students with disabilities.  Whilst support has improved since the announcement of support offices at institutes of higher learning (Siau, 2014), challenges remain ranging from attitudes to academic barriers, from systemic hurdles to concerns about career prospects.  This has implications for policy, practice and research at the tertiary level in Singapore.
Keywords:           challenges, invisible disability, special educational needs, successes, university

8. The effectiveness of phonemic awareness intervention in student with dyslexia

The effectiveness of phonemic awareness intervention in students with dyslexia

Rexsy Taruna1*

  1. STIKes Mercubaktijaya, Padang, Indonesia


The purpose of this research project was to determine the impact direct instruction in phonemic blending would have on improving phonemic blending, phonic and word reading fluency. Five dyslexic students, four boys and one girl, between 7 years and 9 years received an individually adjusted phonemic blending intervention. Phonemic awareness or blending intervention was given by a speech therapist twice a week during the intervention phase (60 minutes per session; 16 sessions; 960 minutes). All five dyslexic students in this study developed phonemic blending, phonic and word reading fluency as a result of an individually adjusted phonemic awareness intervention.

Keywords:           dyslexia; phonological awareness; phonemic awareness; phonemic blending; phonic