ACM Education Guidance | Student Support | Pastoral Care

ACM Education Guidance – Specific Learning Differences

Education Guidance –
Specific Learning Differences

Supporting you to achieve your goals.

Education Guidance provides a friendly and accessible service to assist students with dyslexia and other specific learning differences to achieve their potential at ACM.

We can arrange:

  • 1:1 study support with a qualified tutor
  • appropriate access arrangements
  • referral to a qualified assessor for diagnostic assessment
  • assistance applying for the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)
  • initial screening for students who think they may be dyslexic
  • advice and information for academic and support staff on working with students with dyslexia and other specific learning differences

Why disclose a Specific Learning Difficulty?

If you disclose your disability to the Education Guidance team, we can organise a range of practical individual support (e.g. alternative exam arrangements, mentoring in class, 1:1 study skills tutorials). We can also help degree students to apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowance. Disclosing your disability will enable us to inform you about the options available, although you may decide not to follow them up.

If you choose not to disclose your disability to us, you will miss out on the support that you are entitled to. Although it’s best if you disclose it as soon as possible so that we can organise support for your whole course, you can contact us at any point while studying at ACM.

It is your choice if you want to share the details of your disability with tutors.

How to disclose a Specific Learning Difficulty or other disability

  • Tick the appropriate box on the ACM application form
  • Contact the Education Guidance Centre before you start your studies
  • Contact the Education Guidance Centre at any point in your studies

ACM is part of the Student Health Scheme administered by the Musicians Benevolent Fund. The MBF supports students by awarding grants to cover health treatment costs. Application forms are available through their website.

“I really think without their support and advice I wouldn’t be enjoying it much and I would really struggle. I really enjoyed one to one sessions with Abi who also takes notes for me in lessons, I learn a lot faster and understand quickly. They also give me the confidence to stay at ACM as it’s very new for me as I was previously taught at a boarding school for the deaf. Without them I probably wouldn’t carry on or be excited to stay on at ACM and learn more”

Iain Botting

If you’d like our assistance, please contact one of our team via the details below:

Fiona Lambie
Senior Education Guidance Specialist
Email: fiona@acm.ac.uk
Tel: 01483 501 211

Helen Hosker
Education Guidance Specialist
Email: hhosker@acm.ac.uk
Tel: 01483 500 856

Specific learning differences and how ACM’s Education Guidance team can help

Dyslexia is a specific difficulty characterised by a combination of strengths and weaknesses. It affects information processing (receiving, holding, retrieving and structuring information). It therefore has an impact on skills such as reading, writing, using symbols and musical notation.

Other things to know about dyslexia:

  • Dyslexia is not related to intelligence.
  • People with dyslexia have their own individual profiles of strengths and weaknesses; no two people are exactly the same and the impact of dyslexia on each individual is different.
  • Dyslexia may overlap with related conditions such as dyspraxia or Attention Deficit Disorder (with or without hyperactivity) and dysphasia (total or partial loss of verbal language).
  • Most dyslexics appear to be born with dyslexia, although a few acquire it through accident or illness.
  • Many people with dyslexia have a family member with the same condition.
  • Dyslexia is legally recognised as a disability under the Equality Act 2010.Dyslexics are often innovative thinkers who can be very successful in the creative arts and business; think of Richard Branson and Steve Jobs. Famous dyslexic musicians include Noel Gallagher, Cher, John Lennon, Joss Stone and Ozzy Osbourne.

For further information: British Dyslexia Association

How can ACM Education Guidance help with dyslexia?

We will ensure that you get any access arrangements to which you are entitled.

Using the recommendations from your diagnostic assessment as a guide, at the Guildford site we can offer 1:1 tutorials that help you improve your:

  • Note-taking techniques
  • Assignment planning
  • Academic writing style
  • Reading strategies
  • Organisational skills and time management
  • Revision techniques and strategies

Students at our London sites will receive help from their DSA-appointed support tutor.

What to do next:

Please speak to our Education Guidance Team on 01483 501 211 or email fiona@acm.ac.uk / hhosker@acm.ac.uk for further information.

Developmental dyspraxia affects the way that the brain processes information, which results in messages not being properly or fully transmitted. It is associated with problems of perception, language and thought. Dyspraxia sometimes runs in families and may overlap with other learning differences or related conditions such as Attention Deficit Disorder.

Other things to know about Dyspraxia

The experience of people with dyspraxia may vary as widely as those with dyslexia, but they will usually encounter a combination of difficulties that may include any of the following:

  • Motor co-ordination skills: Poor balance / poor posture and fatigue. Clumsy gait and movement and a lack of manual dexterity. Poor hand to eye co-ordination.
  • Perception: Poor visual perception, lack of spatial relationships awareness / inadequate sense of direction. Little sense of time, speed, distance or weight.
  • Learning, thought and memory: Difficulty with the planning and organising of thought / and concentration. Poor memory. Problems with maths, reading and spelling and writing. Difficulty in following instructions.
  • Speech and language: Difficulty with the content, clarity and sequence of language.
  • Emotion and behaviour: Difficulty in listening to people/ picking up non-verbal signals or judging tone or pitch of voice. Tendency to take things literally and difficulty in adapting to situations.

For further information: Dyspraxia Foundation

How can ACM Education Guidance help with dyspraxia?

We will ensure that you get any access arrangements to which you are entitled.

Using the recommendations from your diagnostic assessment as a guide, at our Guildford site we can offer 1:1 tutorials that help you improve your:

  • Note-taking techniques
  • Planning and structuring of assignments
  • Use of assistive software
  • Reading strategies
  • Organisational skills and time management
  • Revision techniques and strategies

Students at our London sites will receive help from their DSA-appointed support tutor.

What to do next:

Please speak to our Education Guidance Team on 01483 501 211 or email fiona@acm.ac.uk / hhosker@acm.ac.uk for further information.

Dyscalculia is an individual’s difficulty in conceptualising numbers, number relationships, outcomes of numerical operations and estimation. This difficulty can occur at a concrete or abstract level, therefore an ACM student with dyscalculia may discover problems understanding music theory terminology, including note values, time signatures and other related keyboard skills.

Find out more information about Dyscalculia.

How can ACM Education Guidance help with Dyscalculia?

We will ensure that you get any access arrangements to which you are entitled.

Using the recommendations from your diagnostic assessment as a guide, at our Guildford site we can offer 1:1 tutorials that help you:

  • Access all the theory tutorials and masterclasses that are available.
  • Develop strategies for memorisation of the rules of music theory.
  • Become proficient in use of transcription software.

Students at our London sites will receive help from their DSA-appointed support tutor.

What to do next:

Please speak to our Education Guidance Team on 01483 501 211 or email fiona@acm.ac.uk / hhosker@acm.ac.uk for further information.

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It’s thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that affects the parts controlling attention, concentration and impulsivity. It can co-occur with dyslexia and other specific learning differences.

Adult ADHD is characterised by:

  • Inattention
  • Restlessness
  • Impulsivity
  • Inappropriate behaviour

If no hyperactivity is present, (ADD), then characteristics may include:

  • Difficulties staying focused (appearing ‘dreamy’)
  • Easily distracted
  • Poor listening skills

Find out more information about AD(H)D

How can ACM Education Guidance help with AD(H)D?

We will ensure that you get any access arrangements to which you are entitled.

Using the recommendations from your diagnostic assessment as a guide, at our Guildford site we can offer 1:1 tutorials that help you improve your:

  • Self esteem
  • Social skills
  • Organisational skills and time management
  • Use of assistive software
  • Note-taking techniques
  • Assignment planning

Students at our London sites will receive help from their DSA-appointed support tutor.

What to do next:

Please speak to our Education Guidance Team on 01483 501 211 or email fiona@acm.ac.uk / hhosker@acm.ac.uk for further information.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder / Asperger’s syndrome

Asperger’s syndrome is an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and is a lifelong developmental disorder that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people around them. People with ASD are usually of average or above average intelligence, however social interaction can be very difficult for them and they can experience high levels of stress and anxiety. The condition affects people in different ways; however everyone with ASD shares a difficulty in making sense of the world.

ASD is characterised by difficulties in:

  • Communicating
  • Social relationships
  • Imaginative thought and feeling
  • Deviating from routines

People with ASD have many skills and strengths; enthusiasm, punctuality, determination, and reliability are among the many qualities that students with Asperger’s Syndrome bring to ACM.

Find out more information about Austism from The National Autistic Society.

How can ACM Education Guidance help with ASD?

We will ensure that you get any access arrangements to which you are entitled. In addition we can provide:

  • A personalised induction at the start of term.
  • A ‘buddy’ if requested
  • Weekly mentoring (if recommended)
  • 1:1 study skills tutorials as required

Students at our London sites will receive help from their DSA-appointed support tutor.

What to do next:

Please speak to our Education Guidance Team on 01483 501 211 or email fiona@acm.ac.uk / hhosker@acm.ac.uk for further information.

Language is very complex and students can have difficulties with developing the skills required to use language effectively. A specific speech and language disorder is a disability in its own right as it affects a student’s ability to learn.

Speech and Language Disorder is characterised by difficulties with:

  • Multi-tasking e.g. writing notes while following spoken instructions
  • Understanding tone of voice
  • Finding the words that are needed
  • Mixing up words with similar sounds

Find out more information about Speech and Language Difficulties.

How can ACM Education Guidance help with Speech and Language Difficulties?

We will ensure that you get any access arrangements to which you are entitled.

Using the recommendations from your diagnostic assessment as a guide, at our Guildford site we can offer 1:1 tutorials that help you improve your:

  • Social skills
  • Note-taking techniques
  • Use of assistive software
  • Assignment planning
  • Academic writing style
  • Organisational skills and time management

Students at our London sites will receive help from their DSA-appointed support tutor.

What to do next:

Please speak to our Education Guidance Team on 01483 501 211 or email fiona@acm.ac.uk / hhosker@acm.ac.uk for further information.

There are any number of other difficulties and mental health conditions that can affect individuals. Each can offer their own difficulties to students and can impact on their overall attendance, academic abilities and social engagement with others. Prospective students with any disability are encouraged to register with Education Guidance as early as possible to ensure that all necessary support is put in place.

What to do next:

Please speak to our Education Guidance Team on 01483 501 211 or email fiona@acm.ac.uk / hhosker@acm.ac.uk for further information.

Auditory Processing Disorder (abbreviated to ‘APD’) is a condition where, despite no hearing loss, a person cannot understand the sounds they hear. They may have difficulties with:

  • Understanding when listening
  • Self-expression using speech
  • Reading
  • Remembering instructions
  • Understanding spoken messages
  • Staying focused

Find out more information about Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)

How can ACM Education Guidance help with APD?

We will ensure that you get any access arrangements to which you are entitled and offer you access to the buddy system.

Using the recommendations from your diagnostic assessment as a guide, at our Guildford site we can offer 1:1 tutorials that help you improve your:

  • Vocabulary and use of musical terminology
  • Use of assistive software
  • Note-taking techniques
  • Presentation skills

Students at our London sites will receive help from their DSA-appointed support tutor.

What to do next:

Please speak to our Education Guidance Team on 01483 501 211 or email fiona@acm.ac.uk / hhosker@acm.ac.uk for further information.

Education Support Services for Students, Parents and Guardians

ACM has a dedicated, full time, Education Guidance team who provide a range of services for students with dyslexia, specific learning difficulties (SpLD), other disabilities and medical conditions.

The Education Guidance Team aims to provide support to students, parents and guardians in the following areas:

Individual academic study skills tutorials

These are offered by the Education Guidance Team at our Guildford site on a one-to-one basis. Study skills form effective learning tools and encourage the student to build strategies to support their specific learning difficulty, disability or medical condition. Study skills tutorials can cover reading, research skills, writing, organisation of written work, spelling, grammar, note-taking, time management, revision and examination strategies.

Students at our London sites are helped to make contact with their DSA-approved support tutor.

Recommendations will be made for special examination arrangements. Most students with dyslexia, specific learning difficulties or other disabilities are recommended extra time in their diagnostic assessment reports. Other arrangements are usually only put in place in the case of severe difficulties and after consultation with the academic school concerned.

Assessment for the use of a computer in examinations

For most students 25 per cent extra time is the appropriate special examination arrangement. Occasionally the use of a computer is permitted, particularly for those students with significant handwriting difficulties. It is vital that students with specific learning difficulties or other disabilities are not given an undue advantage so the use of a computer is only recommended when absolutely necessary. Usually evidence in the form of a recommendation from a diagnostic report will be required.

Coursework

Education Guidance tutors can assist students to plan their coursework and meet their deadlines. Education Guidance tutors can introduce students to a range of assistive software programs to help them with planning, proof reading and note-taking.

Application for the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)

If the student is eligible for a DSA and studying at degree level, he/she will be encouraged to apply. The student will need to apply to Student Finance England if they are starting a new course of study. Forms and information can be found at studentfinance.direct.gov.uk and help with the application process can be obtained from the Education Guidance Team.

If you have a question or would like some more information, please don’t hesitate to contact the Education Guidance Team.

What to do next:

Please speak to our Education Guidance Team on 01483 501 211 or email fiona@acm.ac.uk / hhosker@acm.ac.uk for further information.