SpLDs (Specific Learning Difficulties – or learning differences) are thought to affect 10% of the UK population. Most common amongst students are dyslexia and dyspraxia, with a small number of diagnoses of dysgraphia or dyscalculia.
In practice very many of the characteristics co-occur and overlap. SpLDs affect the way information is processed and learned, which can have a very significant impact on formal education and study, and self- confidence. Research shows SpLDs are neurological and not linked to intellectual ability, socio-economic or language diversity. Students with SpLD often have significant compensatory strengths and can be creative and innovative thinkers.
A predominant strategy for pre-University students with SpLD is to work harder for longer. This is not a realistic long term strategy for University as to do so means students miss out on valuable opportunities for social and cultural capital.
Good Practice Guide: Inclusive Teaching for Students with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs), Including Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia.