New Zealand web articles on dyslexia and helping dyslexics
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Reader/writer assistance for dyslexic students for examinations and assessments at secondary schools. An article by Trevor Crosby, Dyslexia Parent Support Group, Mt Albert, Auckland. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) can allow special assessment conditions for certain students so they have a better chance of achieving equality of educational opportunity in assessments and examinations. Dyslexic students can qualify for reader/writer support and extra time if they meet NZQA criteria. This article outlines the NZQA requirements, and provides parents with suggestions they can use in discussions with their secondary schools when seeking special assessment conditions for their child.

Notes for my teacher, "Everything I would like you to know, but I am too shy to tell you", compiled by Sharon Olsen for Room 13, Rangeview Intermediate School, Auckland.

Sarah Macfarlane, Massey University (2000), “Gifted children with Learning Disabilities: a Paradox for Parents”.

Cathy Wylie (31 July 2000) “ Picking up the pieces. Review of Special Education 2000. Section 5 Adequacy of Special Education Grant to meet moderate special needs.(See pages 80-89 in this downloadable 118 page pdf document). Also see the Massey University/Ministry of Education special education review site, especially the phase 3 report on Special Education Grant use, chapter 11, showing that SEG was often needed for high needs students and was consequentially insufficient for moderate needs students. "In particular parents expressed concerns with aspects of their child's funding and the greatest area of dissatisfaction related to levels of funding for students with moderate needs. Predominantly these parents spoke of students with learning difficulties for whom there did not seem to be any funding. Parents believed that many of their children were slipping through the system and not accessing the resources they required." (page 173).

Daniels' Court Case: In September 1999 a parent of a child with special education needs, Linda Daniels ("Mum set for long fight"), filed judicial review proceedings in the New Zealand High Court on behalf of her daughter of the special education policy introduced in 1996 known as Special Education 2000 or SE2000. 15 other parents were also involved. The judgment was delivered in April 2002. The judge found that special education decisions relating to SE 2000 were inconsistent with the Education Act. For the first time the "rights" of all students were defined. The Government decided to appeal the judgment after considering the findings and the implications for the education system as a whole. (Judgement can be downloaded as a 155 kb Word document). The Appeal was heard 12-13 November 2002, and the decision was reported 29 August 2003 (The Crown will gather and analyse information about special education resources at school and area level to improve special-needs provision. Local parents and teachers were consulted during the exercise, which will be completed by the end of 2004.) The results of the consultations are reported in the "Let's Talk Special Education" series of District Reports by the Ministry of Education, and a July 2006 follow-up and District Reports on actions taken. Four New Zealand Herald articles concerning this case are by Dita de Boni, 5 April 2002, "Delight as court rules for special-needs pupils", John Minto, 22 April 2002, "Government needs a lesson in special needs", Andrew Laxon, 8 May 2002, "Court rulings set to teach politicians a hard lesson" and 29 August 2003, "Agreement in special-needs row"

Dyslexia rules, KO?, Andrew Scott-Howman, Bell Gully. The applicant in Ross v Waimakariri District Council (unreported, Employment Relations Authority, Christchurch, 2 August 2002) was employed in October 2000 as an Asset Engineer. A requirement of this position was a qualification in engineering. The Authority concluded that Mr Ross had not acted unreasonably in failing to list dyslexia as a health condition (or as a condition which might be aggravated by his job). It found that the employer had suspended Mr Ross in an unfair manner and that he had been dismissed unfairly.

Professor Tom Nicholson, Auckland University, many articles relating to reading and acquisition of reading skills. Some extracts from his book "Reading the Writing on the Wall", published 2000, also downloadable.

Dr Karen Waldie, Department of Psychology, University of Auckland presented information at the 2003 SPELD conference on "Long-term outcome of children diagnosed with reading disability: findings from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development study". The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Disability Study is tracking the health and development status of 1037 children born in Dunedin between 1 April 1972 and 31 March 1973. Dr Waldie's study focussed on outcomes for children with reading disabilities compared with children without reading disabilities. Findings of the longitudinal study include: [1] 7.7% of participants in childhood stages had reading disabilities. [2] No significant differences between the groups on the basis of gender, ethnicity, birth weight, mode of birth delivery, breast feeding/duration, or age at first walking or talking. [3] There were significant differences in the highest education level of the biological parents and in the biological mother's reading scores, indicating that there is a strong hereditary component in reading disabilities. [4] At ages 5, 7, and 9 children with reading disabilities differed significantly from children without reading disabilities by having higher scores on the worried/fearful, hyperactive, and antisocial factors on the Rutter child behaviour scale. [5] At ages 13 and 15 children with reading disabilities differed significantly from children without reading disabilities by having higher scores on the conduct disorder, anxiety, and inattention factors on the Peterson & Quay behaviour problem checklist. [6] Reading disabilities had a negative impact on school qualifications, education attainment, and total income. This reinforces the need for early identification and intervention.

Professors Bill Tunmer and James Chapman, Massey University School of Education report on their research supporting the use of a word-based strategy (phonics) as the primary instruction method for the teaching of reading.

Stocktake/evaluation of Existing Diagnostic Tools in Literacy and Numeracy, in English. A Report to the Ministry of Education by Cedric Croft, Ed Strafford, Lia Mapa of the New Zealand Council for Educational Research, 2001.  The section on reviews of 12 published tests includes 9 tests selected from available literature chosen on the basis of the match between their constructs and content, and the appropriate New Zealand curriculum statement. For the three identified during the questionnaire surveys, Diagnostic and Remedial Spelling and the Schonell Reading Tests were selected by virtue of their frequency of reported use. The Prose Reading Observation, Behaviour and Evaluation of Comprehension was cited less frequently, but was included as it was published in 1999, and appeared to offer alternative dimensions for assessing reading comprehension in the classroom.

Learning to live with dyslexia. New Zealand Herald article, 21 Feb 2001. Kendal Mullane did not know she was dyslexic until she was 13. She has spent years thinking she was dumb and "slow." ...

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