3.1. Effective communication

1. Parents and carers, 2. learners, 3. staff.
Figure 9 Effective Communication

Effective communication, respect and partnership working are key requirements between schools and families. They are essential in supporting appropriate and effective identification, planning and monitoring of literacy difficulties and dyslexia and maintaining positive relationships.

All partners need to feel that they are included and that there is transparent and regular communication. This could be done via phone calls, emails and letters – please ensure that the communication method used is appropriate for the family. Dyslexia can be hereditary and there may be situations where the parents /carers also have literacy difficulties. A regular short message to a parent about progress can be extremely effective in avoiding a situation escalating negatively.

It is important that:

  • Effective consultation involves the parents/carers and the child or young person who is entitled to participate
  • Parents and carers feel that they are being listened to and their views are valued
  • Parents and carers are informed about all the support their child receives. This will reduce perceptions that no supports are in place, as often they are discreet and the learner may not be fully aware of the additional support they are receiving
  • Parents and carers are provided with information on what assessment and support means within the ‘needs led’ Scottish educational context - the ‘label’ of dyslexia is not in itself required in order for resources or support to be made available for learners. Nevertheless, the label of dyslexia can be very valuable to the learner and their family in terms of the learner’s sense of self and understanding from others.
  • Local authority staged levels of intervention are followed and information on the process is made available to the parents and carers.
  • Sources of advice and support are shared: for example Enquire [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] and Dyslexia Scotland.

Activity 5 Reflective Log

Think about the role of communication in supporting a person with dyslexia. Who are the partners? How do you communicate with them?

  1. Write approximately 200 words in your Reflective Log on your understanding of the importance of effective communication and identify some of the challenges in discussing dyslexia.
  2. Watch the clip which highlights the importance of effective communication.
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  • a. In your Reflective Log, note the key themes and recommendations the presenter highlights.
  • b. Consider this information in relation to your own practice and note areas for improvement.

3. Supporting learners and families

3.2. Appropriate support approaches