Improving learner outcomes

‘I didn’t know my daughter had dyslexia.’ A mother and SENCO’s story.

Jacqui Webber-Gant

Author Jacqui Webber-Gant

Date 22nd Oct 2018


In our last blog we met Hannah, a highly accomplished graduate who received a late diagnosis of dyslexia. In fact, she was screened while studying for a post-graduate medical degree.

Hannah grew up in a supportive home where learning is valued highly – both her parents are teachers. Her mother, Sarah, is a SENCO in a primary school whose role is to work with all members of staff to help identify children who may need adjustments to support their learning.

We asked Sarah about any early indications that Hannah was struggling at school, and she recalls that she did seem to lose a bit of confidence and sparkle as she grew older. However, because Hannah was such a diligent student and doing so well at school, they had no idea that these changes might be due to a learning difference.

Sarah SENCO and Mum

Here, Sarah shares how she provides supports and strategies to be used in every class for children who may have dyslexic tendencies. She also runs targeted intervention groups that provide a structured and individualised multi-sensory approach for teaching reading and spelling.

Early identification of dyslexia in school

Sarah admits that she feels a bit embarrassed that Hannah’s learning needs were not identified earlier given her own professional role. In this video clip we hear Sarah and Hannah’s thoughts on this issue.

Sarah also:

  • offers advice to families about working in partnership with their child’s school
  • shares some tips for parents
  • recommends some charities and training courses that provide information and support for parents, teachers and learners

Sarah and Hannah – advice for families

Sarah has always been committed to her own professional development and has benefitted from taking part in the OLT dyslexia course – “This course has given me a really in depth understanding of dyslexia, and I’ve learnt about assessment tools and new strategies that I’ve been able to share with my colleagues.”

Further resources

For more support with identifying dyslexia download a copy of our free Auditory memory checklist to help with the assessment of auditory discrimination, sequencing and memory in the classroom. Enjoyed this blog? You can also read part 1 of our dyslexia blog ‘Hannah’s story, my dyslexia diagnosis’.

About the author

Jacqui is a Director of OnLineTraining. Contact Jacqui at or on Twitter @Team_OLT.


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