Darrell [8 years 6 months]

Darrell is rated by his teachers as bright but he has also been described as lazy, forgetful and disorganised. In class discussion he typically shines, but when it comes to getting his work down on paper he is a cause of constant frustration for his teachers. His spelling is particularly poor. Although his reading skills are below average he is usually able to make reasonable sense of what he reads using intelligent guesswork. Darrell’s results on Rapid are shown in Figure 21.

Figure 21. Rapid results for Darrell

Rapid rated Darrell as having a ‘high’ probability of dyslexia. Inspection of the individual test results shows that he has very little by way of phonic decoding skills and his auditory sequential memory is very poor. These are classic signs of dyslexia, particularly at this age. His phonological processing ability is a little better. The recommendations in Darrell’s case would include the following:

● An intensive multisensory phonics teaching scheme needs to be commenced without delay. A list of suitable teaching schemes is given in Developing phonic decoding skills.

● Darrell will need regular (preferably daily) practice in applying his new phonic skills in both word recognition and spelling. This could be achieved most effectively by use of the computer program Wordshark 5.

● Learning the spelling of essential words would be facilitated by use of the program Superspell 2, which provides enjoyable practice.

● Memory training should be carried out, e.g. using the computer program Mastering Memory.

● Use of programs for reporting work that incorporate speech feedback (e.g. Clicker 7 or SymWriter 2) would help Darrell to overcome many of his writing difficulties.

If a more detailed understanding of Darrell’s difficulties is required, it is recommended that he should be tested on LASS 8–11. This would enable a check of his intelligence to be carried out as well as measuring his levels of reading and spelling, which could then be monitored regularly to ascertain progress in response to intervention.