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Dyslexia and Learning Disability Conference

  • Published: 2010-09-29 : SPELD NZ.
  • Synopsis: SPELD NZ dyslexia and specific learning disability conference 2010 at the Langham Hotel Auckland from 8 to 10 October

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Creating Successful Strategies for Schools - Auckland 8-10 October.

Tickets are available now for the SPELD NZ dyslexia and specific learning disability conference 2010 being held at the Langham Hotel, Auckland from 8 to 10 October. The theme of this year's conference is developing successful Strategies in Schools for students who learn differently and is geared towards giving educators and families the tools to help their children succeed at school.

See www.speld.org.nz or call 09 6240839 for more information on speakers and registrations.

More than 50% of the UK's prison population is dyslexic and there is a similar estimate for New Zealand. MRI imaging has shown that dyslexics have different brain wiring to the rest of the population, which if it isn't harnessed successfully at school age, can lead to a host of educational and social problems.

With the right support in schools, the 'different thinking' of dyslexics and others with alternative learning styles can be harnessed very successfully. The result is often innovative and original thinking leading to creative and business success. Famous New Zealand dyslexics include Sir Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop, Paul Henry, Sir Peter Leitch, and researcher Dr Ingrid Visser Orca. Further afield Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines and Tom Cruise are both dyslexics who with help have turned their unusual brain wiring to their advantage.

SPELD NZ is a voluntary organization that support people who learn differently. SPELD helps educators and others improve learning outcomes for young people with specific learning differences including dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD.

SPELD national president Marion Fairbrass explains: "We do this by training teachers; supporting families in helping diagnose learning differences and providing tutoring to help when required; referring members to other agencies who can also help; and by highlighting the positive side of having a specific learning difference."

"One of the downsides of being a different kind of learner is highlighted when dyslexics learn to read and write - the mechanics of school are often difficult and unrewarding and school can feel like living in a foreign country and not knowing the language. If you travel, you know how that feels - bewildering and confusing, you can often feel ignorant and alone."

SPELD highlights diversity in education. We don't necessarily want to 'fix' dyslexics, we want to help equip them with the skills to understand 'the foreign language' whilst nurturing their special qualities. See www.speld.org.nz or call 09 6240839 for more information on speakers and registrations.

Speakers include:

Dr Loretta Giorcelli, OAM (awarded for services to education) from Sydney Australia, a life- long educator and psychologist talking about what it means to be a dyslexia friendly school and the links between learning and behavior for socially vulnerable students. Dr Giorcelli is well known world-wide for her work in special education and has worked with parents, families and teachers throughout Australia.

Dr Lorraine Hammond from the Faculty of Education, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia, speaks about evidence-based practice in teaching- what research tells us about the most effective ways to teach ALL brains and the results of her latest research in 30 Western Australian primary schools.

Dr Karen Waldie from Auckland University shows us on Sunday how research is fundamental in understanding and re-mediating dyslexia and dyscalculia and sets us straight on the myths and facts on the genetic basis of Autism and ADHD.

Nathan Mikaere-Wallis from Canterbury University develops the importance of brain development. Presenting learning experiences at the correct stage of brain development has a direct correlation to the success of that learning experience and to the child's learning confidence.

Laughton King, dyslexic teacher and psychologist has had a lifetime of experience in education. His books and talks are well known for their positive attitude. "As a dyslexic - I have a fair understanding of the nightmare that many of these children are living through. There is nothing wrong with the child- just as there is nothing wrong with a diesel engine- we just need to learn that it works differently from a petrol engine, and needs different fuel."

Our charismatic dinner speaker, Sian Jaquet, is a successful (dyslexic) life coach and motivator. Sian's career path has been boundary-less, culminating in her present role as a professional life designer. Her wealth of experience has been gathered across the world, and over many years in her various roles - from working in the media and public speaking, to teaching, social work, and coaching.

Sian has a natural empathy and warmth, and is recognized internationally as a committed advocate for the welfare of people, young and old. She's gained her skills at the coalface, helping those too vulnerable to have a voice in society and she firmly believes in keeping it real. Sian shoots from the hip, is great at thinking on her feet and is never lost for words.

SPELD provides the following services across New Zealand:

  • Support for families.
  • Information and advice on dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities.
  • NZQA approved training courses for parents, caregivers and other interested people
  • NZQA approved training course for qualified teachers and those with relevant university qualifications.
  • Individual tuition by qualified teachers with specialist training in dyslexia and specific learning disabilities.
  • Individual student screening and assessment services for those suspected of dyslexia or other specific learning disabilities.

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