The Parents' Guide to Specific Learning Difficulties: Information, Advice and Practical Tips

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Veronica Bidwell

The Parents' Guide to Specific Learning Difficulties
352 pages
ISBN: 9781785920400

Packed full of advice and practical strategies for parents and educators, this book is a one-stop-shop for supporting children with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs).

Part one introduces a spectrum of SpLDs, ranging from poor working memory, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, through to ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), Specific Language Impairment and Visual Processing Difficulty. It explains clearly what each difficulty is, how it can affect a child's learning and how to help a child to succeed despite their difficulties.

Part two includes a host of tips, tools and strategies to support your child's efforts in areas such as reading, writing, spelling and handwriting, as well as advice on motivation, confidence and managing life's setbacks.

Written by an experienced Educational Psychologist, this is the perfect guide for parents and carers who are looking for ways to support their child's learning, as well as for educators and teachers looking for advice on how to differentiate lessons and motivate pupils with SpLDs.

Table of Contents


  1. Information Processing.
  2. Working Memory.
  3. Dyslexia.
  4. Dyspraxia.
  5. Dyscalculia and Other Maths Difficulties.
  6. Attention Deficit Disorder with or without Hyperactivity (ADHD).
  7. Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
  8. Auditory Processing Disorder (APD).
  9. Specific Language Impairment.
  10. Visual Processing Difficulty.
  11. An Educational Psychologist's Assessment.
  12. The WISCIV, Understanding Test Scores and Spikey Profiles.

Part 2: The Parent Tool Kit - Tips for Teaching.

  1. Teaching Tips.
  2. Tips for Reading.
  3. Tips for Spelling.
  4. Tips for Writing.
  5. Handwriting Tips.
  6. Tips for Maths.
  7. Tips to Help a Child Handle Life's Knocks and Setbacks.
  8. Tips for Positive Liaison with School Staff.
  9. Tips to Enhance Language.
  10. Tips for Motivation.
  11. Tips for Confident Learners.
  12. Habits, Strategies and Study Skills.

Appendix 1. Explanation of Ages and Key Stages.

Appendix 2. Games and Activities for Parents and Children to Play. Glossary. References.

"A treasure trove of useful information and practical advice for the parents of children with specific learning difficulties and anyone who teaches them. Difficult concepts are explained in ways that are easy to understand and chapters conclude with helpful key points. Filled to the brim with inspiring and interesting case studies that make it a fascinating read. It really is a must have."
- Claudine Goldingham, BA LLB (Dist.), a dyslexic and mother of two dyslexic and dyspraxic girls

"This is a terrific book. Veronica Bidwell's long experience and widely-recognised expertise is readily evident. She is able to link these qualities with an up-to-date knowledge of the science of neurodevelopmental conditions, particularly to the extent to which various difficulties often exist alongside each other. This is complemented by her vivid case studies. There is much for parents in here, with practical advice which has been tested in the field. Yet this is more than a book just for parents. Those who teach children with specific learning difficulties will find this an illuminating read and I recommend it to them too."
- Professor Peter Hill, MA MB BChir FRCP FRCPCH FRCPsych, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

"Veronica Bidwell's inspirational "The Parents' Guide to Specific Learning Difficulties: Information, Advice and Practical Tips", which will doubtless become the bible for all, touches on a discipline which can, at times, seem over-complex and impenetrable - especially to troubled parents and teachers. Veronica brings her wit, charm and insight to her wealth of experience as an educational psychologist, working in mainstream and specialist schools. She has written what is essentially a textbook that is, not only accessible to all, but also a rollicking good read. I would chain this book to every parent's wrist."
- Jo Petty, Director, The Dyslexia Teaching Centre, Kensington, UK

"This is the go-to book for parents with children who have specific learning difficulties. The book explains the varying specific learning difficulties and tells parents how to help. It is informative, practical and accessible without being patronising. It works either as a cover to cover read or as a book to dip into. If parents could spend a week with an educational psychologist asking every question they could think of, the result might be this book!"
- Jackie Murray, Principal Educational Psychologist, Fairley House School, UK