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Unlocking Literacy: Empowering Older Neurodivere Learners/those with SEND

A Journey to Inclusivity

In the world of education, the pursuit of inclusive learning environments is paramount. One crucial aspect is ensuring that older Neurodiverse learners/ those learners with SEND/more complex needs are equipped with the tools and support necessary to thrive in literacy. These learners possess unique strengths and challenges, and catering to their specific needs in literacy education is a transformative step towards empowerment and inclusivity.

Navigating the terrain of literacy can pose significant challenges for older learners, and often emotional barriers will be the most significant ones to break down. However, with the right strategies, tailored support, meaningful opportunities and a commitment to inclusivity, these challenges can be overcome, paving the way for a fulfilling educational journey.

Provide access to inspiring, meaningful and relevant text

Making literacy relevant by connecting it to personal experiences and interests is key here. Alongside varied teaching methods, personalised learning plans, and adaptive resources tailored to their specific learning styles can significantly impact their progress. By recognising their strengths and employing teaching techniques that cater to their abilities, educators can create an environment where these learners feel supported and motivated.

I would recommend checking out these brilliant blogs from Louise Selby as well as her catalogue of high interest lower level books below. Keep an eye out for my review of her fantastic book 'Morph Mastery: A Morphological Intervention for Reading, Spelling and Vocabulary'.

Understanding the morphological regularities in English helps to support both spelling and reading comprehension. The activities in this book follow three engaging ninja-like characters, Prefa, Root and Sufa, who represent the three core components of morphology (prefixes, root words and suffixes). It's an exciting and meaningful approach to developing reading skills for all.

High Interest Lower Level Reading Books Catalogue
Download PDF • 386KB

As always don't forget to check out the ever changing Phonics Books website and catalogue of resources. They have some engaging stories, adventures and non-fiction texts that older learners will enjoy, watch out for the new range 'Lost in Paris' due in 2024!

The Power of Technology

If you have attended any of my training or booked me to support your school or organisation, you will know how much I recommend the effective use of technology. Incorporating technology is a powerful tool in addressing the unique needs of older learners.

Technology should be used to

  • Engage learners

  • Used to facilitate/support access/learning styles

  • To construct and build knowledge (You have to check out Chat GTP)

  • To facilitate collaboration between learners

  • To support repetition and over learning (there are so many incredible apps and programs to support here)

It is important to remember that we must focus on pedagogy first and technology second.Be clear about what the learner needs, where the gaps in knowledge are and their strengths. I love the resources from Miss Aird, so do check out some of the brilliant links below.

Ensure you make the most of text-to-speech software, speech recognition tools, and specialised apps to provide invaluable assistance, making literacy more accessible and engaging for all. These technological advancements serve as equalizers, allowing these learners to express themselves, comprehend texts, and engage with literacy in ways that were once challenging. The emphasis is on learning to read so we can read to learn!

Furthermore, a supportive and understanding community plays a pivotal role in the educational journey of older learners. Encouragement, patience, and the provision of a safe space for expression and learning are fundamental. Building a community where these learners feel respected, understood, and supported fosters their confidence and enthusiasm for literacy.

Look After Your Own Professional Growth

We must all invest in continuous training and professional development to better cater to the diverse needs of older learners. This ongoing commitment to understanding and implementing best practices in teaching ensures that these learners receive the support and guidance they require to flourish in literacy.

If you are on social media take a look at who I repost or am following for tips and tricks!

Twitter @drsarahmoseley

Linkedin Facebook Instagram

Dr Sarah Moseley

I have some exciting courses coming up in the next few months as well as a new online offer for 2024, so look out for this.

Unlock fresh knowledge, build on your good practice, enhance your skills, and gain valuable insights for just £58 each!

Book through the link to get two places on each part for the price of one.

These are also ideal for staff teams and larger groups on training days too (just ask).

  • The focus of this course is to address the disparity between sensory engagement and traditional literacy learning with the aim of bridging this divide.

  • To create an Inclusive Literacy Curriculum with reading holding a meaningful role for all.

  • To make literacy accessible to every individual, opening a world of knowledge, imagination, and opportunity.

  • Embracing technology and a more inclusive definition of the reading community are essential steps toward providing equal educational opportunities for all learners.

Click on this image to find out more about the upcoming PMLD conference. Look out for an announcement about my World Education Summit talk too.

Look out for my guest sessions with a range of fab companies, and find out more by clicking the Tweet opposite!

In conclusion, empowering older learners in literacy is a collaborative effort that demands a holistic approach. By recognising their strengths, employing tailored strategies, integrating assistive technologies, fostering a supportive community, and continually enhancing teaching methodologies, we can pave the way for a more inclusive and enriching educational experience for all.

My final recommendation is to check out the incredible voices of some fabulous professionals via the links below

Let's champion inclusivity in literacy education, empowering older learners with to embark on a journey where their voices and stories are heard and valued. Don't forget to check out my book too.

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