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The Parents' Guide to Specific Learning Difficulties

The Parents' Guide to Specific Learning Difficulties

Veronica Bidwell


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Packed full of advice and practical strategies for parents and educators, this book is a one-stop-shop for supporting children with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs).

Part one introduces a spectrum of SpLDs, ranging from poor working memory, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, through to ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), Specific Language Impairment and Visual Processing Difficulty. It explains clearly what each difficulty is, how it can affect a child's learning and how to help a child to succeed despite their difficulties. Part two includes a host of tips, tools and strategies to support your child's efforts in areas such as reading, writing, spelling and handwriting, as well as advice on motivation, confidence and managing life's setbacks.

Written by an experienced Educational Psychologist, this is the perfect guide for parents and carers who are looking for ways to support their child's learning, as well as for educators and teachers looking for advice on how to differentiate lessons and motivate pupils with SpLDs.

Veronica Bidwell is an Educational Psychologist with expert knowledge of Specific Learning Difficulties. She has been involved in education for over 30 years working in mainstream and special schools. She has run a leading independent Educational Psychology Service and has assessed many hundreds of pupils and provided advice and support to pupils, parents and teachers. She is a regular speaker and has lead numerous workshops and training sessions. She has also contributed to Dystalk, the leading learning difficulty website offering a series of talks given by experts in their fields. Veronica lives in London, UK
This is a terrific book. Veronica Bidwell's long experience and widely-recognised expertise is readily evident. She is able to link these qualities with an up-to-date knowledge of the science of neurodevelopmental conditions, particularly to the extent to which various difficulties often exist alongside each other. This is complemented by her vivid case studies. There is much for parents in here, with practical advice which has been tested in the field. Yet this is more than a book just for parents. Those who teach children with specific learning difficulties will find this an illuminating read and I recommend it to them too.
Professor Peter Hill MA MB BChir FRCP FRCPCH FRCPsych, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
This is the go-to book for parents with children who have specific learning difficulties. The book explains the varying specific learning difficulties and tells parents how to help. It is informative, practical and accessible without being patronising. It works either as a cover to cover read or as a book to dip into. If parents could spend a week with an educational psychologist asking every question they could think of, the result might be this book!
Jackie Murray, Principal Educational Psychologist, Fairley House School, UK
A treasure trove of useful information and practical advice for the parents of children with specific learning difficulties and anyone who teaches them. Difficult concepts are explained in ways that are easy to understand and chapters conclude with helpful key points. Filled to the brim with inspiring and interesting case studies that make it a fascinating read. It really is a must have.
Claudine Goldingham BA LLB (Dist.), a dyslexic and mother of two dyslexic and dyspraxic girls
Veronica Bidwell's inspirational "The Parents' Guide to Specific Learning Difficulties: Information, Advice and Practical Tips", which will doubtless become the bible for all, touches on a discipline which can, at times, seem over-complex and impenetrable - especially to troubled parents and teachers. Veronica brings her wit, charm and insight to her wealth of experience as an educational psychologist, working in mainstream and specialist schools. She has written what is essentially a textbook that is, not only accessible to all, but also a rollicking good read. I would chain this book to every parent's wrist.
Jo Petty, Director, The Dyslexia Teaching Centre, Kensington, UK

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
The Parents' Guide to Specific Learning Difficulties by Veronica Bidwell 3
Acknowledgements 7
Introduction 9
Part 1 - Understanding Specific Learning Difficulties 19
Chapter 1 - Information Processing 21
Chapter 2 - Working Memory 27
Chapter 3 - Dyslexia 40
Chapter 4 - Dyspraxia 68
Chapter 5 - Dyscalculia and Other Maths Difficulties 93
Chapter 6 - Attention Deficit Disorder with or \nWithout Hyperactivity – ADHD 109
Chapter 7 - Autism Spectrum Disorder 140
Chapter 8 - Auditory Processing Disorder 163
Chapter 9 - Specific Language Impairment 174
Chapter 10 - Visual Processing Difficulty 185
Chapter 11 - An Educational Psychologist’s Assessment 199
Chapter 12 - The WISC-IV: Understanding Test Scores and Spiky Profiles 218
Secrets of Success 222
Part 2 - The Parent Toolkit - Tips for Teaching 225
Chapter 13 - Teaching Tips 227
Chapter 14 - Tips for Reading 232
Chapter 15 - Tips for Spelling 244
Chapter 16 - Tips for Writing 255
Chapter 17 - Handwriting Tips 261
Chapter 18 - Tips for Maths 269
Chapter 19 - Tips to Help Him Handle Life’s Knocks and Setbacks 281
Chapter 20 - Tips for Positive Liaison with School Staff 284
Chapter 21 - Tips to Enhance Language and Communication Skills 289
Chapter 22 - Tips for Motivation 297
Chapter 23 - Tips for Confident Learners 301
Chapter 24 - Habits, Strategies and Study Skills 306
Appendix 1 - Explanation of Ages and Key Stages 321
Appendix 2 - Games and Activities for Parents and Children to Play 322
Glossary 328
Legislation 333
Further reading 334
Useful Resources, Organisations and Websites 337
Index 345
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