Book review: Specific Learning Difficulties – What Teachers Need to Know by Diana Hudson (2015)

I came across this book at an ASE event as it was part of their book sales. A quick flick through told me I needed to have a better look so I blew my Amazon Prime no-rush credits (if you have Amazon Prime you’ll know what these are!) and bought the Kindle edition.

I was very nearly put off the book as the first chapters talk about being right and left brained, and about VAK.  For those of you who don’t read around, these theories have been discredited and put out to pasture.  (This would be a good time to plug the excellent Naked Scientists podcast again who have an excellent piece on this myth here)

If you skim over the dodgy neuroscience in the first chapters you get the nuggets of gold that are useful to the mainstream classroom teacher. The book goes through a variety of specific learning difficulties and identifies the traits of each one, and strategies that the teacher can put into place.  Experienced teachers (especially those of us who work in the SEND sector) are likely to be familiar with most of the information in this book but it does serve as a useful refresher with the information in one place.

Should you buy this book?  It isn’t a science book and is useful for teachers of all subjects (although it has a stronger secondary bias than primary). If you want to know more about the specific learning difficulties covered in this book (e.g. dyslexia, ADHD, ASD) then it might be worth picking up a copy, similarly, if you want a handy reference guide (PGCE tutor) then this could be for you.

The book is £9.50 for a paperback copy for members from the ASE bookshop (I know a lot of my followers are members).  If you aren’t an ASE member then the book is currently £11.40 from Amazon (£8.96 on Kindle)

There’s also an interview with the author here.