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The Learning Success Blog

Devon Barnes

Devon Barnes is a Speech Language Pathologist. She is the Clinical Director of the Lindfield Speech Pathology & Learning Centre which she established in Sydney, Australia in 1990. She is also Clinical Director of LearnFast Australia, distributor of neuroscience based learning technology programs. Devon has worked with children and adults with speech, language, literacy and learning problems for over 40 years. In her clinical practice Devon leads a team of speech pathologists and other professionals including child psychologists, occupation therapists, and paediatricians. She has extensive experience working with children and adults with various language based learning difficulties including dyslexia, auditory processing disorder and autism spectrum disorders. Before she established her clinical practice, Devon worked in hospitals, schools and community health centres where her focus was managing children with learning and associated emotional difficulties. Her work includes special schools where she treated children with hearing impairment, developmental delays, and language and learning difficulties. In the hospital environment she treated adults with neurological impairment resulting from head injuries and strokes. Devon has received awards for her work including a nomination for Australian of the Year in 2009.

Recent Posts

ADHD, Auditory Processing Disorder or Specific Language Impairment?

Posted by Devon Barnes on July 1, 2015 at 5:48 PM

Devon Barnes

Many of the children I work with in my speech pathology clinic who have dyslexia also have additional difficulties with processing information and sustaining their attention.

They often have some or many of these challenges: 

  • Difficulty following verbal instructions
  • Need instructions to be repeated
  • Slow to process information
  • Easily overloaded with auditory information
  • Difficulty sustaining attention for learning tasks
  • A tendency to daydream
  • Easily distracted
  • Academic difficulties

These symptoms could indicate that they have one or more of the conditions known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), auditory processing disorder (APD), or specific language impairment (SLI).

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Topics: Auditory Processing Disorder, Attention, Learning Difficulties

7 Tips for Parents of Struggling Readers - How to Give Reading Help

Posted by Devon Barnes on May 1, 2015 at 12:45 PM

Devon Barnes

“It would really pain me when I used to hear my son read and he’d look at a word and couldn’t for the life of him try and sound it out. He just couldn’t do it”.

That’s how Alice, his mother, told me of her distress when she would try to help her son Ryan, aged 8, practise his reading.  Ryan was falling behind his classmates at school and he started to think he was “dumb”.

Ryan was having tutoring for his reading problems and it was helping but Alice thought it just was “just putting a Band-Aid on the problem, but not fixing his underlying difficulties.”

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Topics: Reading

Do NSW Teachers Lack Phonics Skills?

Posted by Devon Barnes on July 16, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Devon Barnes

Are student teachers missing out on skills that are essential to teach reading?

An article in Sydney's Daily Telegraph on 14 July, 2014 claims that student teachers in New South Wales are arriving in classrooms without the phonics skills needed to teach reading. The article says, “Schools principals and executives are aghast to find many student teachers favour methods of teaching such as whole language or drama – despite phonics being embedded in the curriculum”.

I don’t know if current teacher training includes sufficient phonics education to equip teachers for the vital job of teaching reading in the most effective way or whether new teachers are just not aware of the importance of phonics.

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Topics: Reading

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Are you interested in trends in learning, learning technology, education, neuroscience, or treatments for learning difficulties – including auditory processing disorder, dyslexia, attention, autism and others?

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