Learning Disability Week runs from Monday 22nd to Sunday 28th June and is a national campaign by Mencap. It provides a great chance to raise awareness about the issues that are important to people with learning disabilities and those of their families and carers. To coincide with Learning Disability Week, Dr Peter Gardner, one of the UK’s foremost authorities on dyslexia, has launched a free factsheet for parents called “Getting Help for Your Special Needs Child”. “The parents of many children with special educational needs are unaware of their rights when it comes to educational provision” says Dr Peter Gardner, Chartered Educational Psychologist and Founder Director of Appleford School in Shrewton, Wiltshire (one of the country’s leading schools for children with dyslexia).

18th-22nd May has been designated as "Xtraordinary Week". The aim is to raise awareness, and focus on the strengths and talents, of dyslexic children everywhere. To coincide with the awareness week I have written a free Fact Sheet on Dyslexia which provides information about the condition. Children who have dyslexia can have problems with reading, writing or spelling. It is believed that one in 10 children have some form of dyslexia, which is Greek for "difficulty with words". Parents naturally want the best for their children. They know that good literacy skills are the building blocks to educational success and a satisfying career. But many parents are in the dark about their child's special educational needs and how best to help them.

Appleford has been selected as the first junior school in the world to test 'ginger spell' software. The software which will shortly be installed on all Appleford's computers allows pupils to 'automically correct unusual spelling mistakes, misused words and correct grammatical errors plus others. www.gingersoftware.com...

Appleford School, in Shrewton, was the choice for Wing Cdr Craig Mason and his wife Leonora when they selected a school for their son Cameron. The Wiltshire school for children with dyslexia and associated learning difficulties was the perfect place to suit the family’s needs. Cameron has Asperger’s Syndrome - which is on the autistic spectrum. Lifelong, it affects how a person makes sense of the world, processes information and relates to other people. People with Asperger’s typically have difficulties with social communication, social interaction and social imagination. Cameron also has dyslexic traits. The Mason’s found it difficult to get Cameron’s state school to understand and meet his needs. After numerous meetings with his state primary school, and Cameron’s apparent unhappiness at the school, the family realised that they needed to take action, and swiftly. The only other option open to them was the private sector. After contacting other private schools in the area, which recognised they couldn’t accommodate Cameron’s special needs, Appleford School was suggested. Having never heard of Appleford School, they were very impressed with what they found. The school reassured them by giving Cameron an initial assessment and putting him on varying therapist programmes to aid in social interaction and enable coping strategies for peer group situation. This, the small class numbers and the nurturing by experts hired by the school have enabled Cameron to progress with confidence. Cameron says “Appleford is a good school because I can trust the teachers. If you’re in trouble with your work they listen to you. There’s plenty of acres to run around in and I love the food”.

Appleford, the school for children with dyslexia and other learning difficulties, had another successful Apple Day today (17th October 2008). Traditionally held on the Friday before Autumn half term, the event started from humble origins. Two or three fundraising activities at the original event has grown...

To arrange an interview with Dr Peter Gardner, about the new factsheet for dyslexic girls, please call him on 01275 472598. Parents with dyslexic daughters can now get free advice sheet Dyslexic girls may not be getting “a fair crack of the whip” when it comes to diagnosing their condition says one of the UK’s foremost authorities on dyslexia . The term dyslexia comes from the Greek for ‘difficulty with words’. It is believed that one in 10 children has the condition. Dr Peter Gardner, who is the co-founder of a specialist school for children with dyslexia and related conditions, says there are many girls whose dyslexia has not been recognised. To help Mums and Dads to understand the particular problems facing girls, Dr Gardner has launched a free fact sheet on the condition. Dr Gardner says: “It appears to be likely that there are many girls whose learning difficulties and dyslexia have not been and are still not adequately recognised. “The fact that many boys are referred because of reading/literacy difficulties, is likely to be because of the way that they express their frustration in an outwardly directed fashion, as contrasted with girls who, tend to internalise their feelings to themselves in class”.

Appleford pupils took delivery this week of some new, very high-tech laptops. These are a fraction of the size, weight and price of conventional laptops but come with all the very latest bells and whistles. They have an inbuilt web-cam and can communicate wirelessly and by Bluetooth as well as with more conventional direct connection. Having solid state memory they are