Dyslexia / Autistic Research Project

Can stamps encourage SEN learners to make comments and take ownership of their work?

We are pleased to announce our collaboration in an Action Research Project. Developing autonomy and independence in non-verbal and Autistic learners.

Working with Tony Stephens, a college lecturer in Birmingham, we are creating a range of specialist stamps to see if they can stimulate and encourage these dyslexic, non-verbal / autistic learners to make comments.

Tony has 14 years experience of working with non-verbal adult learners with severe autism and communication difficulties. Having worked with this type of challenged learner for so long, he noticed the lack of first person comments on the students work and so researched what products could be used to encourage learners to make comments and take ownership of their work.

Recognising how popular teacher stamps are in the marking process and noticing a distinct lack of products available for dyslexic learners, Tony contacted Classroom Capers / School Stamps to see if we would be interested in trialling stamps in his class.

The group Tony is currently working with are all non-verbal adult learners - ages 17 - 24, with severe autism and communication difficulties. Some have dexterity difficulties so any fine motor skill activities are usually done with hand over hand support. Currently they use lots of photographic evidence with the learners and add these to a work journal each week. The staff review the learning taking place and add notes on progression. The learners are present and indicate what they like and they point to photos they may appear in. The stamps we are developing will be used to show that the learners have recognised themselves and their friends, and they will be used to indicate what tasks they liked. In practise, individual support staff would work with the learners to look at the photos of the day with them and ask them to add the given stamp message. The stamps would be rotated so the learners had one stamp message at a time to work with.

The stamps currently in development will be text only, created using the specialist font OpenDyslexic3 and will be in bright ink colours using Xstamper N11 stamps which are an easy grip and colourful mount to work with.Xstamper stamps for dyslexia
The dyslexia targeted messages are:

  • This is my work
  • I like this
  • This was tricky
  • These are my friends
  • I worked hard today
  • This is my favourite

Tony commented: "If I can get the learners commenting using the stamps, I'd be over the moon. There are no other products around that do this so I'd like to see if it works."

The stamps are currently in production and once being used Tony will create a video and blog article to relay his findings. We look forward to the next installment!