Kimberley discussed changes in the school experience across generations with Lottie Barr from Voyeur, Virgin Blue’s in-flight magazine. You can find more information on the changes in schools over time, study pressure and performance anxiety, by visiting our resources page or discussing it on our forum.
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If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please contact us to schedule a time. Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media. View our media appearances to-date.
Visit the New Quirky Kid Shoppe for more assistance in improving your child school experience. Below are some recommended resources
I enjoyed my drive down to Canberra for the AARE Conference(Australian Association for Research in Education) to present my Ph.D. findings for the first time to the public at the National Convention Centre. For the initial two days, I was inspired by Assoc. Prof. Lesley Rex’s eloquent keynote address (Michigan University) and Prof. Martin Westwell (Cambridge/Oxford University) combination of English humour and intellect, as they both lead the audience on a fascinating exploration of directions in research and education in Australia and overseas.
The delegates were all very friendly and happy to share stories about their ventures in NT Indigenous communities (Dr. Wendy Giles) and those with similar research topics were eager to gather and share references or powerpoints to make the most of our commonalities – It was an enlightening experience!
After sufficient build-up, the time came to present my project to my new found colleagues…and thankfully, it was well-received. My Monash Supervisor, Assoc Prof. Helen Watt was in the audience for additional support but I managed to breeze through my explanations of graphs and stats without incident. I must say my return trip to Sydney through the flood plains on the outskirts of Canberra at sunset was filled with a combination of elation and relief.
Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. It refers to a cluster of symptoms, which result in people having difficulties with specific language skills, particularly reading. People with dyslexia may also experience difficulties in other language skills such as spelling, writing and speaking. Dyslexia is referred to as a learning disability because it can make it very difficult for a person to succeed academically in the typical school environment.
During our visit to New York in the USA we visited The International Dyslexia Association stand to complement our skills and knowledge about Dyslexia. Since then we also attended to the SPELD conference featuring experts in learning difficulties, including Dyslexia. Please find more information below.
What causes Dyslexia?
The exact causes of Dyslexia are still unknown. However, anatomical and brain functioning studies have shown differences in the way a person with dyslexia’s brain develops and functions. It is also known that dyslexia is not due to either lack of intelligence or motivation to learn.
Who can have dyslexia?
Dyslexia occurs in people of all backgrounds and intellectual levels. It has also been found that dyslexia runs in families, and so dyslexic parents are very likely to have children with dyslexia. People who are very bright can also be dyslexic. They are often gifted in areas that do not require strong language skills, such as art, computer science, dance, drama, design, maths and science.
What are the effects of dyslexia?
The impact that dyslexia has is different for each person, and depends on the severity of the condition. The most common effects are problems with reading, spelling, and writing. Some people with dyslexia do not have difficulties with early reading and spelling tasks, but experience difficulties when more complex language skills are required such as grammar, comprehension and written expression.
People with dyslexia can also have problems with spoken language. They may find it difficult to express themselves clearly, or to comprehend what others are saying as they speak. Such language problems are often difficult to recognise, but they can lead to major problems in school, the workplace, and in relating to other people. The effects of dyslexia reach well beyond the classroom.
Dyslexia can also affect a person’s self-image and self-esteem. Students with dyslexia often end up feeling “dumb” and less capable of tasks than they actually are.
What are the signs of dyslexia?
The problems displayed by individuals with dyslexia involve difficulties in acquiring and using language. Reading and writing letters in the wrong order is just one manifestation of dyslexia and does not occur in all cases.
Other problems experienced by people with dyslexia include:
- learning to speak
- organizing written and spoken language
- learning letters and their sounds
- memorizing number facts
- learning a foreign language
- correctly doing math operations
What can be done about it?
Dyslexia is a life-long condition. With proper help, people with dyslexia can learn to read and write well, and early identification is the key. If you believe your child may have dyslexia, please contact us to arrange a dyslexia assessment.
Information for this article was gathered from The International Dyslexia Association, from The Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service and Professor Maggie Snowling during our participation at the SPELD Conference 2009.
Jacqui Olsson attended the 2009 SPELD Conference on Wednesday, 7th October 2009.This year’s conference focused on Reading and Language difficulties, and guest speakers from Australia and Overseas presented on topics such as dyslexia and language impairment, methods of teaching vocabulary, improving the quality of students’ written texts, development and assessment of students’ spelling skills and managing disruptive behaviour. To learn more about these issues, please visit our resources page.
SPELD NSW is an association of parents and professionals interested and involved in advancing the education and general well-being of children and adults with Specific Learning Difficulties or learning disability.
If you believe your child may be experiencing learning difficulties, please contact us to arrange an appointment.
We have become members of the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE). The AARE is the national association for fostering educational research in Australia. AARE facilitates contact between educational researchers and supports the development of high-quality educational research.
This is in line with Kimberley O’Brien, our principal child psychologist, current Ph.D. research topic: Self-esteem and social relationships among students in transition to Year 7. Kimberley has been conduction this research for 4 years under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Helen Watt from Monash University.
Kimberley will present her initial finding on the next International Education Research Conference n Canberra in November 2009.
The Quirky Kid clinic offer in school workshops addressing transition, bullying, self-esteem and relationships. Please contact us on 02 9362 9297 for more information or to book a workshop on your school.