Speech therapy. Learning Disabilities for 300,000 Students. New guidelines are coming

The migration phenomenon and the consequent bilingualism, or the certification of the disruption required for entry into the world of work and training, are at the heart of the new guidelines on the management of DSAs, to which the Federation of Speech Therapists has contributed. They will be presented in the framework of the European Day of Speech Therapy on 6 March. There are still differences in diagnosis between northern and southern Italy

22 FEB – Increased attention to bilingualism, a consequence of the migration phenomenon, to predictive indices, to the assessment of school age and to a “certification” that facilitates entry into the world of work.

These are the key points at the heart of the new Guidelines for the management of interventions for the treatment of specific learning disabilities (DSA). Promoted by the Italian Dyslexia Association, coordinated by a special commission of experts, they are disseminated by the relevant scientific societies, including Federation of Speech Therapists (Fli) within the framework of the European Day of Speech Therapy on 6 March.

Dyslexia, dysgraphia, dysorthography and dyscalculia are phenomena that have increased in the school population from 2010 to 2019 (from 0.9 to 4.9% *), as the latest data from the Ministry of Education show, according to which fewer and fewer pupils, children and Adolescents are able to read, write and operate numbers smoothly and correctly. We are talking about 298,114 pupils from the third, fourth and fifth year of primary and secondary school I and second grade, equal to 4.9% of the total students of Italian public and non-state schools who had. a diagnosis’ certified by DSA in 2019. A far underestimated situation due to various territorial surveys, significantly lower in the south than in northern Italy: 7.3% of full-blown SLD certifications issued to students in the northwest; 5.9% in the Northeast and 5.7% in the Center, all percentages above the national average, compared to only 2.4% certifications in the South.

In some cases, in order to exacerbate learning difficulties, the state of bilingualism prevails: again, according to the Ministry of Education, 10% of the school population are of migratory origin and are potentially exposed to developing an SLD.

In light of these scenarios, highlights a note from the Federation of Speech Therapists, it will now also be essential to “quantify the clear pejorative effect that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on this issue. After more than 10 years – he adds in addition – it was therefore essential for the scientific community to update the ‘Rules’ intervention, to integrate and update the previous 2010 document with new guidelines.

“Among the novelties of the document – he explains Tiziana Rossetto, President Fli – there is attention paid to bilingualism and the diagnosis of ASD in adulthood. The phenomenon of immigration and the increase in the number of foreign minors enrolled in schools, equal to 10% of the school population in 2018/2019, have exploded the phenomenon, requiring clinicians to acquire the skills of the child exposed. more languages ​​and sharing with families and schools of clinical indications for specific and effective pedagogical-didactic support when needed. For example, the document proposes the importance of the linguistic biography in an analysis of the linguistic history, through questionnaires and interviews with parents to evaluate the duration and type of bilingualism: simultaneously, with continuous burden of two languages ​​of the birth, early, with continuous load for the second language within 3-4 years or late after 5 years “.

“The document, another novelty – he adds Anna Giulia De Cagno, FLI Vice President – deals with the aspect of DSA certification for children and adults, necessary for entry and for integration into the world of work, study paths / evening courses for work students or university courses. One of the last decrees to participate in public competitions (How to participate in public competitions for persons with specific learning disabilities “published in the Official Gazette on 9.11.2021), provides the possibility to use compensatory instruments, the written test with an oral one or “more time available in all public administration competitions. Therefore, the evaluation and clinical certification of DSA in adults is fundamental to obtaining these recognitions and deserving clinical-diagnostic strategies shared by physicians”.

The 2021 guidelines – he concludes Luigi Marotta, Speech Therapist Vice-President of the Italian Logopedia Scientific Association – they are an example of a virtuous path in the field of clinical practice, born from the synergistic work of multi-professional associations, useful for the best management and protection of people with SLD in all fields . It is now necessary that the document be disseminated and shared as much as possible and, above all, that it be applied in order for good practice to become a common denominator for all reality. “

February 22, 2022
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