1st Edition

Supporting Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties in Schools A Guidebook for ‘A Nasty Dose of the Yawns’

By Plum Hutton Copyright 2022
    68 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Speechmark

    This guidebook, designed to be used alongside the storybook A Nasty Dose of the Yawns, has been created to educate readers on the practical, social and psychological impacts of dyslexia on children and young people.

    Providing an easy-to-read introduction to dyslexia and literacy difficulties, this resource is rooted in theory and takes a holistic approach to supporting children with dyslexia. Chapters cover not only strategies to support literacy before and during their school lives, but also offer an understanding of the emotional challenges that come with struggling to master a skill that other people pick up so easily.

    Key features include:

    • an accessible guide to dyslexia and literacy difficulties
    • chapter-by-chapter discussion points for use with A Nasty Dose of the Yawns, supporting young people’s reading of the story, helping them to understand dyslexia and encouraging them to recognise their strengths
    • case studies and strategies to help parents and practitioners recognise the challenges faced by children with dyslexia, and to provide additional support.

    This is an essential resource for parents, teachers and other professionals supporting children aged 8–12 with literacy difficulties or dyslexia.

    Introduction  A Note on the Language used in this Guide  Synopsis of A Nasty Dose of the Yawns  The Main Messages in A Nasty Dose of the Yawns  Understanding Literacy Difficulties  Some Causes of Literacy Difficulties  Specific Difficulties with Literacy/Dyslexia  The Psychological Impact of Dyslexia  Low Self-Esteem  Anxiety, Stress and Depression  Disruptive Behaviour  Cognition and Executive Function  Impact on Parents and Family Relationships  Poorer Life and Employment Outcomes  Using A Nasty Dose of the Yawns to Promote Discussion  Supporting Children with Early Literacy Skills  Supporting Children Before They Start Formal Education  Early Support When Children Start School  Supporting Children with Persistent Literacy Difficulties  General Strategies  Role Models with Dyslexia/Literacy Difficulties  Hearing and Auditory Issues  Visual Issues  Reading  Spelling and Writing  Phonic Skills  Speed of Processing  Working Memory  Executive Function  Conclusion  References


    Plum Hutton is a chartered educational psychologist and former learning support teacher. She holds a doctorate in educational psychology. She has more than 15 years of experience working as a local authority educational psychologist and latterly has transferred to independent practice. Through her work she has pursued and delivered training on many areas of professional interest, including supporting children with persistent anxiety, attachment difficulties, literacy difficulties and sensory processing differences.

    Plum is a keen storyteller. She has gathered inspiration for her writing from her work, the challenges of parenthood and also through a nomadic existence as an Army wife, which has taken her to many locations across the UK and as far afield as East Africa.

    "Dr Plum Hutton has used her wealth of knowledge and experience of dyslexia to deliver a book which is informative but also amusing and captivating for children. Weaved throughout the story are the challenges faced by the hero who has dyslexia, but his strengths are highlighted as he saves the day! The accompanying guidebook provides helpful questions to challenge thinking in this area and offers valuable information about this specific difficulty."

    Jane Jackson, Head of Learning Support, Dragon School


    "It has been so refreshing to read such a clear explanation of the different aspects that make up the dyslexia concept.  This is a gift to parents and schools who need a professional but easy-to-digest understanding of dyslexia. This understanding is then put into a living context, by the hilarious, imaginative and emotionally intuitive story about a child surmounting the barriers that dyslexia-type difficulties can cause. The activities that sit alongside the story make this ‘package’ a wonderful and pragmatic resource for parents and schools."

    Caro Strover, Educational Psychologist


    "I can honestly say I now know an awful lot more about dyslexia and the unique challenges it brings – it was a really interesting, accessible read and will be useful both personally and professionally. Thank you!"

    Emma Judge, Parent


    "A Nasty Dose of the Yawns is beautifully written, illustrating how difficult it can be for a child or young person living with dyslexia. The story is heart-warming, empathic and yet filled with humour. It provides subtleties of how adults can support a young person struggling to read and write, focus on their strengths and maintain confidence and self-esteem. The book appeals to school pupils and adults alike.

    The supporting guide, which is evidenced-based, provides very useful and pragmatic strategies and guidelines on how best to support pupils who have dyslexia. The story and the supporting guide perfectly complement each other."

    Karin Twiss, Senior Educational Psychologist and Strategic Lead for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Conditions.