Specific learning difficulty (SpLD)

Specific learning difficulty (SpLD) is the term sometimes used for dyslexia but now generally accepted as also including the following:

  • dysgraphia
  • dyspraxia
  • dyscalculia

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning difference; a combination of strengths and weaknesses that affect reading, spelling, writing and sometimes numeracy. It can affect the way information is processed, stored and retrieved, with problems of memory, speed of processing, time perception, organisation and sequencing. No two people are affected in exactly the same way.

What is dyspraxia?

Developmental coordination disorder (DCD), also known as dyspraxia in the UK, is a common disorder affecting fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults.

An individual’s coordination difficulties may affect participation and functioning of everyday life skills in education, work and employment. Children may have difficulties with self-care, writing, riding a bike and play as well as other educational and recreational activities. In adulthood many of these difficulties will continue, as well as learning new skills, such as driving a car and DIY.

What is dyscalculia?

Dyscalculia is characterised by an inability to understand simple number concepts and to master basic numeracy skills. There are likely to be difficulties dealing with numbers at very basic levels; this includes learning number facts and procedures, telling the time, time-keeping, understanding quantity, prices and money. Difficulties with numeracy and maths are also common with dyslexia.

How we support students with an SpLD

At Blackpool and The Fylde College we aim to enable students to make the most of their time at College and help them to develop strategies to help overcome any specific learning difficulties. We can offer:

  • individual and/or group specialist support sessions
  • advice and guidance on the use of the latest assistive technologies and equipment, if appropriate
  • use of specialist software such as TextHelp Read & Write Gold which is available throughout the College network
  • liaison with tutors and raising awareness about students' needs
  • exam access arrangements, eg extra time, reader/scribe and assistive technology
  • coloured overlays and reading rulers for students who suffer from visual disturbance
  • dyslexia screening
  • support with applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)
  • development of strategies for improving social and communication skills
  • library book loan extensions by special arrangement

If you are an existing student and you think you may have a learning difficulty but you haven’t received a diagnosis, please contact us for advice and (if appropriate) to book a diagnostic assessment.

External agencies

In addition to the above we are proud of our links with the following external organisations, which specialise in supporting people with SpLD:

Contact us

For more information, contact the Student Support and Wellbeing Team on:

T 01253 504356
E learningsupport@blackpool.ac.uk