“He is lazy, listless, he has a hard time learning to read, but when there is to play football, ah well, in that case the laziness suddenly disappears eh”. Here, even today children with dyslexia pass for lazy and listless. Because despite the acronym DSA, which stands for specific learning disorders of which dyslexia is the most widespread, has entered the common language concerning about 3 million of our compatriots, still today it is not clear to everyone what they are, what are the signs to recognize them and what to do once they are recognized.
More knowledge on learning disabilities
To promote knowledge about dyslexia and other DSAs – dysorthography, dysgraphia, dyscalculia – and to spread the most effective methodologies to deal with and manage them, the VII National Dyslexia Week is celebrated from 3 to 9 October, organized by Aid, the Italian Dyslexia Association at the same time. at the European Dyslexia Awareness Week, promoted by the European Dyslexia Association (Eda).
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The title of this edition, For a world without labels: inclusion and innovation, conveys the idea of the focus of the event: finding strategies capable of integrating the learning needs of all people with ASD, promoting an all-round inclusion of these people, and reiterating that effective tools for people with ASD are useful for to bring out everyone’s talent, at school and also in other contexts, according to the principles of the inclusive pedagogical model Udl, Universal design for learning, or, in Italian, universal design for learning.
“Specific learning disorders have an impact on the school and work path of millions of people, who can compensate for their difficulties through strategies and tools adapted to their learning style – he says. Andrea Novellipresident of Aid – Thanks to the contributions of scientific research and the application of inclusive teaching strategies, in recent decades important progress has been made in the management of DSA. to people with these neuro-diversities to bring out their full potential “.
They are not diseases but neuro-diversity
DSAs are not diseases, because they are not caused by organic damage nor are they dependent on neurological or intellectual deficits or psychological or environmental problems. They are, as Novelli said, neuro-diversities, that is, the different modes of functioning of the neuronal networks involved in the processes of reading, writing and calculating.
Not being diseases from the Dsa it is not cured, but the time and the rehabilitative activities allow a compensation of the difficulties. A dyslexic boy, for instance, can read and write, but he has to put in a lot of energy to do it right. He is exactly the opposite of a lazy and listless person.
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People with dyslexia have difficulty decoding texts, so reading for them is slower, less correct than expected based on age or class attended. Those with disorthography have difficulties in spelling and phonographic competence (the ability to correctly match signs to sounds or vice versa). People with dysgraphia have a difficulty with fine motor skills. Finally, dyscalculics have a difficulty in understanding and working with numbers. DSAs can appear together as well as in isolation, and can be accompanied by an attention disorder.
Data on DSA
Pupils attending Italian schools who have been diagnosed with a specific learning disorder are 4.9% of the total, a percentage that on balance corresponds to about 3 million people.
According to MIUR data on the 2018-2019 school year and published in 2020, dyslexia is the most common disorder, with 39.6% of the total, followed by dysorthography with 21.5%, dyscalculia and dysgraphia, respectively. with 20.3% and 18.6% of the total. Pupils with dyslexia represent 3.2% of the total number of pupils in primary and secondary schools, those with dysgraphia 1.5%, pupils with dysorthography 1.7% and pupils with dyscalculia 1, 6%. In Italy, university students with dyslexia up to 20 thousand.
What to do and who to contact
Although some signs of ASD may be evident as early as 5 years old, the diagnosis of specific learning disabilities is made after the end of the second grade (the indicators by age group at this link). At the end of the first grade the most frequent indicators are: difficulty in reading (slow deciphering of single letters, uncertainty in the use of syllables, poor control of the meaning of words); difficulty in writing (lack of autonomy in writing words, substitutions or deletions of letters, difficulty in the act of writing); difficulty in using numbers (errors in counting from 0 to 20, errors in passing from pronunciation to writing numbers from 0 to 20, difficulty in calculating in mind by 10).
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When a parent or teacher suspects that they are dealing with a dyslexic child, whatever the age of the pupil, it is important that a diagnostic evaluation is made. The diagnosis is made by expert specialists who use specific tests (the Consensus Conference, the Update and Review Panel of the Consensus Conference and the Istituto Superiore di Sanità have established a shared diagnostic process).
But who is the expert DSA specialist? “Following the State-Regions agreement Indications for the diagnosis and certification of specific learning disorders (SLD) of 25 July 2012, the individual Regions have legislated on the matter. Some regions have foreseen the possibility that the diagnosis is also carried out by accredited specialists or structures. In any case – explain to AID – clinical diagnosis, in Italy, can only be carried out by psychologists (L.56 / 89) and pediatric neuropsychiatric doctors “. (For further information: Aiditalia)
The event map
There are dozens of Italian cities involved in the National Dyslexia Week, with a program of free training and awareness events organized with the support of 60 provincial Aid sections (to find out about the whole program, go to the Aid Italia website: https: //www.aiditalia. org for the map of all events https://bit.ly/mappaSND2022 ). We have selected a few:
A Torino the round table will take place on Thursday 6 October 2022 from 2.15 pm to 5.30 pm at the Intesa Sanpaolo Gallerie d’Italia Inclusion and work: rights and opportunitieswith the aim of bringing the issue of DSA to the attention of the stakeholders concerned
Digital innovation will be at the center of the event on Saturday 8 October in Pratoat Officine Giovani: from 9 to 17, the regional day will be held Digital learning, organized by the Aid section of Prato in collaboration with the Regional School Office and the Municipality of Prato. Thirty-five schools of all levels in Prato and other Tuscan provinces involved in this event, which aims to be a real celebration of school and the family, with training, information and workshops for children and teenagers. Special guest of the day Giampaolo Morelli, alias inspector Coliandro who will share his personal history of dyslexia as a proactive stimulus for the boys.
Saturday 8 October, from 9.30 to 12.30, will be held at Roma organized by Aid-Roma in collaboration with the Lumsa University, On the other side of the chair. How does one hour of class work? Teachers will become students to try out the technological tools that make teaching suitable for every learning style and for every student, regardless of their characteristics.
A Napoli the high readability will be discovered with the inauguration of the High Readability Shelf set up at the Reading Point Born to Read of the National Library of Naples: the event, sponsored by the Municipality of Naples, will be held on Tuesday 4 October 2022, from 16.30 to 6.30 pm at the Rari Room of the National Library of Naples.