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Whether you’re a parent of a child with dyslexia or you suspect your child might have a reading disability, it is important to understand the facts, myths and realistic possibilities.

How do you know what you think you know about dyslexia and reading disabilities?

How can reading disabilities be helped?

What is wrong with our current education system and what should we do about it?

Below are 4 captivating Ted Talks that shed light on these fundamental questions.

Sal Khan: Let’s teach for mastery, not test scores

Sal Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, identifies the problems with our current educational model and the emphasis on test scores. Khan argues the current educational system fails students because it:

1. Standardises students by age

2. Shepherds students at single pace

3. Tests all students in the same way at the same time

4. Then moves the entire class on regardless of gaps identified by testing

While a child may miss 40% of a foundational reading skill, they will usually be rushed along to a more complex one, even if the basics have not been grasped.

Here at the Reading Ropes, the importance of mastering the foundations lies at the heart of our philosophies on learning, it is the cornerstone that sets students up for success (and failure).

Dr. Kelli Sandman-Hurley: What is Dyslexia?

If you want to understand the essence of dyslexia in less than five minutes, then this video was made for you.  Kelli dispels the common myths surrounding dyslexia and summarises the key decoding, spelling and  other learning difficulties impacting those with dyslexia. She also identifies how MRI scans have shown physical changes to the brain’s neurological pathways following intensive multi-sensory reading interventions.

Jessica Collins: Dyslexia, dispelling the myths

Jessica, a seventeen-year-old from London, offers an insightful and clear overview of the lived experience of dyslexia and the emotional toll this can take. She also explores the latest neuroscientific findings on dyslexia while highlighting structural problems with diagnosis and classroom support.

Jessica emphasises that although there is no cure for dyslexia, with early intervention, one-on-one attention, phonics training and the use of assistive technology, reading difficulties can indeed be significantly improved.

A must watch talk from a very lucid and eloquent young woman.

Sir Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigms

This talk craftily traces the historical underpinnings of our current approaches to education, highlighting how these approaches are flawed, destructive and alienating of certain types of students.

Ken argues against batching students by their ‘date of manufacture’ and insists we should rather celebrate differences and individual learning styles. He talks about the drain on children’s attention in the modern world and the desperate need for engaging content. Some of Ken’s thinking is controversial but it is cleverly argued and will likely challenge many of your commonly held perceptions on education.