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Success Despite Learning Difficulties

  • Note: this is a past research project that is now complete.


    This project pilots a resilience program for students who have specific learning disabilities/dyslexia that has been adapted for use in primary school and for optimum embedding into schools.

    Despite skilled teaching and average general ability, most people with specific learning disabilities (dyslexia) will never learn to read or write with ease. Many of these people lead successful lives. The ability to be resilient and to take control of their circumstances is known to be a key to this success. The inclusion of school-based dyslexia resilience programs has therefore been included in the recommendations of the recent "National Action Agenda" report by the National Dyslexia Working Party (reporting to The Hon. Bill Shorten, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children's Services).

    A coping program (LDSuccess) to help adolescent students deal successfully with their specific learning disabilities was recently designed and piloted by Dr. Nola Firth. In the current project we are trialing an adaptation of LDSuccess for younger (Grade 6) students. We are also investigating the effect of linking the program to a coping program for all Grade 6 students and of ensuring all teachers at the schools concerned have opportunity to receive learning disabilities professional development.

    102 grade 6 students and their teachers in 2 primary schools are involved in the study. We are exploring the effect of the program on areas such as academic results and the way the students cope with difficult issues in their lives. We will also ask teachers about how the program has affected the school and whether it will be maintained. The results of the study will assist us to plan for a similar, but much larger study. 


    Nola Firth


    Success and Dyslexia: Sessions for coping in the upper primary years by Nola Firth and Erica Frydenberg - October 20, 2011 | Link

    New manual points to a fresh approach to dyslexia | The Age | Link

    Radio National podcast | Nola Firth's interview on the Life Matters program | October 24, 2011 | Link