Made by Mike Jones and Tiffany James
Why are we doing this?
Children with dyslexia are often deeply unhappy at school, experiencing feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, frustration and disengagement. Teachers are often ignorant of how to identify dyslexia or of the best way of helping children with dyslexia. Children are left to fail. This is what happened to the company founder and is still happening today because there are not enough specialist teachers to meet the number of children needing help. However, specialist teachers are a solution that is currently unaffordable to the education system and often unaffordable to parents.
We want to change how children with dyslexia are educated.
We believe that this can be done using technology to:
- 1.Educate and inform teachers how to recognise dyslexia and how to help dyslexic children
- 2.Encourage every school to give all children a quick dyslexia test (screening) when they start school, to identify an appropriate level of support
- 3.Provide, affordable, individualised, differentiated learning for everyone
How are we going to bring about change?
Nessy will change the way children with dyslexia are helped in schools by using technology.
Technology is an affordable solution, a scalable solution, an accessible solution – one that can reach those children with no access to a specialist.
Technology can be used to assess children, train and inform teachers, and provide an instructional solution that motivates students. This requires a shift from whole class, paper based learning to individualised, digital cloud learning.
The Nessy Approach To Learning
Learning with games and rewards is motivational and engaging and therefore more effective.
Game based learning should be within a controlled environment that guides the student to appropriate resources that are both structured and multi-sensory (doing, hearing, seeing simultaneously).
Concepts should be introduced with strategies and develop the 5 core elements of language in a structured progression. Learning rules and strategies explain the core concepts of language allowing students to understand rather than being expected to absorb spoken and written information.
Instead of whole class learning, instruction should be individualized and give children the opportunity to learn at their own pace.
All children will benefit from the Nessy approach and it is suitable to be used for general curriculum and for those who do not speak English as their first language (ESL/EAL).
There is no fault in the child. The defect is an instructional one.
Schools and educational professionals often blame a child for not trying hard enough, being 'lazy', or by placing the responsibility for a lack of reading progress upon the parent. We want to change this attitude of 'blaming and shaming'. The real problem is in the way the child has been taught and a lack of understanding.
Prevention is better than intervention
Children are best helped by assessing their needs at the earliest stages of schooling, and provided individualised, targeted instruction. We want to change the exisiting 'waiting to fail' approach. Delaying appropriate support extends the time it takes to learn. When support is delayed, and the child has not had the right kind of teaching, it becomes intervention.
Dyslexia is a learning difference that needs a different approach.
We do not regard dyslexia as something that needs a ‘cure’. For this reason, we do not use words like ‘remediation’. We believe the research proven Orton-Gillingham methodology is fundamentally the most effective way to help children with dyslexia learn to read and write. Mastering literacy will come with determination and by following a structured language based program which has been individualised. Learn at your own pace. Learn what you need to know. Research demonstrates that when this is done at the very beginning of school, many literacy problems with dyslexia are almost entirely prevented from developing - although dyslexia remains a lifelong condition.
Don't waste a good brain - have high expectations.
Using assistive technology helps but should not replace good teaching.
Accommodations, such as extra time are important, but even the most profoundly dyslexic can achieve success if they are taught in the right way. When there is too much emphasis upon providing assistance, and not enough given to effective teaching methods, children are denied the right to learn to read. Assistance becomes necessary when education has waited too long and failed to provide effective teaching. Dyslexia is not a reason to keep children ignorant so ed tech companies can profit from the disabling effects of never being taught to read. Dyslexics are very capable of achieving with the right teaching.
Not being able to read is disabling.
The identification of dyslexia as a disability is linked to funding and special arrangements in examinations. You may hear dyslexics called 'learning disabled' or as having a 'specific learning disability'. This does not mean they cannot become literate. We believe people with dyslexia can all learn to read and write with proficency when taught in the correct way although they will always process the information more slowly, and experience other difficulties such as cognitive processes linked to executive function.
Dyslexics are normal people.
We believe it is important to celebrate the achievements of ordinary people with dyslexia, to show struggling children that it is possible to succeed, with determination and the correct teaching methods. While there are many successful 'high-profile' celebrities with dyslexia who can inspire by example, too great an emphasis upon celebrity can be disheartening for children.
Dyslexia is a positive label.
Dyslexia is a part of you. It is nothing to be ashamed of and when someone finds out they have dyslexia, they are often relieved to find out. We don't think you have to use 'people first' language, i.e. I am a person with dyslexia. It is OK to say 'I'm dyslexic' or 'I have dyslexia'.
Vision therapy does not work for dyslexia.
It is a persistent myth that people with dyslexia are helped by vision therapy such as strange fonts, coloured glasses, overlays and coloured backgrounds. Vision problems are not the cause of dyslexia. Dyslexia is a language-based disorder so this is where the treatment should be focused. The way to help someone with dyslexia is by following an individualised program of structured literacy. The earlier this can be introduced, the more effective it will be.
- Learning happens when it is fun and motivational
- Learning happens when it is structured and guided
- Learning happens when it is explained in a way that uses learning strengths
Nessy Learning, established 1999
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Website - nessy.com