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Dyslexia Support in Dorset with 
Emma Hartnell-Baker

In our ongoing quest to embrace the most effective teaching strategies for children at risk of dyslexia, we've identified a crucial area for attention: the use of picture embedded mnemonics. Creative and engaging they may be, but this method poses significant challenges for learners struggling with phoneme recognition.

For children at risk of dyslexia, the primary focus should be on phonemic awareness, without the added complexity of linking sounds to specific images and words. The dual requirement of remembering the word and its associated sound can lead to confusion. This is particularly true when a child might forget the word, the sound, or encounter difficulties in articulation. Moreover, the task of memorising and later dissociating these images from their sounds, especially when they don't correspond, can be daunting. The practice of associating the sound /a/ with 'apple' or 'ant', for example, becomes problematic with words like "any", "was", "father", or "village", where the expected sound and the mnemonic don't align.

Given these considerations, we advise against the use of picture embedded mnemonics for children at risk of dyslexia. Our aim is to lessen the cognitive load on these learners, concentrating on fostering clear and direct phonemic awareness. This strategy simplifies the learning process, facilitating a more efficient and effective development of reading skills.

As an alternative, we champion the use of embedded phoneme characters. This method simplifies learning by consistently associating each phoneme with a character that accurately represents its sound value. Such a strategy diminishes cognitive load, enabling immediate recognition of phonemes, independent of the graphemes they're associated with.

Embedded phoneme characters provide a straightforward way for children to grasp phonemic sounds, rendering the reading process more intuitive. Adopting this method can lay a robust foundation in phonemic awareness and reading skills, leading to a more positive and fruitful learning experience.

For those exploring effective support strategies for children at risk of dyslexia, this approach is worth considering. It promises to transform learners into confident, proficient readers, reducing frustration and confusion along the way.

Come to the Workshops and Chat to Miss Emma about your Dyslexic Child

NeuroReadies - OrthoGraphix - Speech Sound Mapping Dyslexia

Emma Hartnell-Baker from Ortho-Graphix Ltd Scoops National Award for Innovation Innovate UK is delivering a £6.2 million* boost to the UK’s future innovation leaders. Out of nearly 3,000 applicants, 233 high-potential entrepreneurs from every nation and region of the UK receive funding and tailored business support. Emma Hartnell-Baker from Dorset is among the award winners, dedicated to revolutionising the way non-speaking children communicate with pioneering thought-driven technology.

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