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Letterland for Neurodivergent Learners?

I am often asked if I think Letterland is fit for purpose for neurodivergent children - especially those learning with dyslexia, ADHD and who are autistic?

If you think you might have neurodivergent children in your KS1 class in Autumn 2023, perhaps consider an alternative to Letterland - even though it is now a validated Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme.

I'm not sure why validated as onset and rime used, children can be shown 'blends' rather than just 'how to blend' it doesn't really align with the DfE validation guidelines. The 'decodable readers' do not seem to fit the criteria either?

ND kids need phonics instruction to be really, really clear - map phonemes and graphemes. No other sound units. Letterland can make it harder for children to stick to mapping speech sounds and graphemes - and to think SOUND (phonemes) and past the initial stages it will also be really difficult for many of our kids with poor phonemic awareness and working memory issues to see past the character on the letters, ignore those speech sounds, and think of the actual speech sound used. As they are embedded it is even harder to 'detach' than traditional phonics. 

Have included an image from the Letterland website showing the word 'kn igh t'

I have also shown the word 'village'.

After a relatively short period of time the children will be stuck with these pictographs - as the correspondences are so limited. 

I am unsure how they would display high frequency words eg 'was' 'any' or 'said'

There are alternative SSP programmes, which I consider more inclusive. There are 45 validated systematic synthetic phonics programmes in the UK. If you want my opinion on any then just message me. I'm analysing them all - with regards to how well they are likely to meet ND student needs.

I appreciate anyone trying to make the written code come to life, and be 'visible'. But this is going to make brains have to really work hard, and many may not experience enough success to keep them engaged past the initial period, when the code is presented as if transparent. There are better ways - that keep it simple - and take a direct route to teaching kids to map.

As stated within facebook posts please take me at my words and understand that I am being direct for the sake of our ND kids.
If I could do so and not p*ss people off I would. 

Miss Emma x
#neuroreadies #neurodivergent #letterland #phonics #ssp

Letterland - is it fit for purpose for ND children in the UK?



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