2019 Annual Conference & AGM

Some of the top SpLD specialists in their given profession come together to present at the Annual Conference. Each year the keynote, as the leading authority in their given subject, is invited to present their latest research during the opening session for everyone to attend. Held at Imperial College London covering a full day and offering a range of seminars and workshops, which attendees can choose from depending on their interests.

Keynote Address

Professor Dorothy Bishop will be speaking on 'Developmental Language Disorder'

Professor Bishop has kindly shared this 5-minute video with us which provides a very basic introduction to Developmental Language Disorder.  At the conference, Professor Bishop will provide the academic background to this video which will enable practitioners to distinguish Developmental Language Disorder from other types of Neurodiversities.

Professor Bishop will be looking at:

  • How is Developmental Language Disorder distinguished from Dyslexia and other SpLDs?
  • Co-occurrence occur between Dyslexia and Developmental Language Disorder
  • The impact of Developmental Language Disorder on literacy development
  • What signs a specialist teacher and assessor would need to be looking for when working with a child to recognise possible signs of Developmental Language Disorder
  • Teaching strategies that a specialist teacher could apply if working with a learner who is suspected of having a Developmental Language Disorder
  • The impact of Developmental Language Disorder on a learner who is a teenager and/or an adult

The keynote session contributes 1 hour 15 mins towards CPD

The seminars and workshops which follow are designed to look at the current practical issues within the sector.   You should choose one seminar for the morning session and one for the afternoon session, all sessions are run in the morning and repeated in the afternoon.


Positive Dyslexia with Professor Rod Nicolson - SOLD OUT

Dyslexia is of course defined in terms of a deficit in reading. Positive Psychology, a major new discipline in Psychology, has highlighted the fact that ‘curing the negatives does not create the positives’ (Seligman). Positive Dyslexia is a movement that Professor Nicolson started with Thomas West and Brock Eide in 2012. It aims to transform the image of dyslexia and the opportunities for dyslexic people at home, at school, at work and in society by highlighting the potential strengths of dyslexia and how dyslexic people can develop and celebrate their own strengths. Like Positive Psychology, Positive Dyslexia is based on the individual – finding your own individual strengths, your personal bests – and developing these. The distinctive, and key, facet of a Positive Dyslexia assessment is that in addition to weaknesses, the assessment should also investigate ‘motives, strengths and passions’, with a view to inspiring the dyslexic individual with a vision of a successful career, crafting their education and career to spend more time on their loves and less time on their hates!

Applied Speech and Language Strategies to Support Learners with Dyslexia with Helen Driver

The seminar aims to provide a range of inclusive support strategies, for primary and secondary age students, with the development of language, literacy and learning. You will review the overlapping diagnoses of learning needs associated with language and literacy difficulties. There will be an emphasis on Developmental Language Disorder. The assessment tools for Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCNs) will be discussed with examples of how to set SLCN related targets. Using a psycho linguistic model, you will revise the theoretical background to support practice i.e. how specialist learning support is delivered by linking speech, language and literacy skills. We will discuss practical solutions for the development of attention, vocabulary, receptive/expressive/pragmatic language, phonological awareness, morphology, memorable spelling, working/language memory, reading comprehension and word retrieval. Promoting a multi-faceted approach to teaching for which resources are provided

Dynamic Assessment of Early Reading with Paula Clarke

Language conveys meaning and allows the sharing of information, ideas and perspectives. When written messages are successfully understood, reading can be a wonderfully inspiring, enjoyable and transforming experience. Written language has the power to take the mind to different places, times and events; it can put us in the shoes of fascinating characters and hold our attention through gripping plots, suspense and intrigue. Texts can provide escapism and offer alternative perspectives on the world; what’s more, they can ‘kindle’ our imaginations to create rich mental images that may stay with us forever. Texts can inform and develop knowledge, provide us with new vocabulary and provoke new ways of thinking.

For many children, however, the messages conveyed through written text are not well understood; this has potentially far-reaching consequences for their learning, development and well-being. This chapter outlines the richness of written language and the complexities of the processes involved in reading for meaning. This serves to highlight the many ways in which children’s ability to understand text can break down, and will provide points to consider when teaching and developing interventions to improve reading comprehension. 

Reading Comprehension with Bernadette McLean

Many children have learned to decode but not to comprehend; it is possible to put building blocks into place so that comprehension can be built in a structured sequential way that is suitable for those with dyslexia and others whose comprehension is poor. Reading comprehension, like listening, needs vocabulary and language knowledge, knowledge of the context and subject matter as well as thinking and reasoning skills. The presentation will offer some strategies that can be implemented in the classroom and at home.

 To be able to comprehend the reader needs to be an effective listener, have good vocabulary knowledge, know how to use language effectively, have knowledge of both context and subject matter as well as having good thinking and reasoning skills. All these abilities can be developed by learning strategies to improve reading comprehension.

SASC Blue Block

Adult Tricky Profiles with Colleen Pearson (SASC Authorised, 1 hour 15 mins)

This seminar is for diagnostic assessors who want to develop confidence in interpreting tricky profiles. A complex or tricky profile may be where the learner has a profile which contains co-occurring difficulties, such as dyspraxia, ADHD or ASC, or where scores for underlying ability are low, or cognitive processing scores are higher than would be expected in an SpLD profile. This workshop will look at why caution should be used in the interpretation of the WRIT test of underlying ability, and what factors should be considered when considering performance on tests of cognitive processing, for example, short term memory and phonological processing

SASC Blue Block

Standard Test: Academic Achievement Battery (AAB) with Louise Green (SASC Authorised 1 hour 15 mins) - SOLD OUT

This seminar is designed to enable assessors and specialist teachers to explore the Academic Achievement Battery (AAB). This test, published in 2014 with an age range of 4 to 85 years, measures a range of academic skills and offers brief screening as well as comprehensive forms. As such it may be considered an appropriate measure of attainment in the diagnostic assessment of SpLD and the access arrangement process. The session will explore the information that can be gleaned from the test so that assessors feel confident to make an informed comparison with other more frequently used tests of attainment.

Topical Address: External Influences and Moving Education Forward with Lynn Greenwold

Each year our Chief Executive Officer presents a topical address. Previous topics have been 'Updating Professionals on DSA-QAG', and 'GDPR'. This year's topic hasn't been decided yet as we want it to be relative, so will be confirmed nearer the time. You can book onto this seminar when making your booking if you wish. The topical address is optional

Additional Information

CPD Values

Please note the keynote speech will give you 1 hour 15 mins CPD, the seminars will give you 1 hour 15 mins of either SASC Authorised or general CPD each (depending on your choice). There are two SASC authorised seminars which are clearly shown when you make your booking. The topical address will give you 50 minutes CPD.

Exhibitors, Sponsors and Suppliers

During the lunch and breaks you can visit the multiple exhibitors, suppliers and information desks which are hosted in the food hall.  A list of exhibitors and principle sponsors will be made available before each conference, so you can be sure not to miss out.

Local Groups

If you’re a member of a Local Group or wish to find out more about your Local Patoss Group, Anni Wilton-Jones - Local Groups Development Officer,  will be available for questions throughout the day and will host a lunchtime meeting which you are welcome to attend.

Annual General Meeting

The AGM is held during the lunch break and is your opportunity to come along and see what we've been up to and ask any questions. Attendance is optional


This event is an unmissable opportunity to come together with likeminded individuals to enable you to share experience, best practices and develop new skills. When a subject becomes the “hot topic” then Patoss host a special breakout networking session to address that particular area.

Resources and Materials

Take the opportunity to buy books from the Patoss resources library or from many of the exhibiting retailers.

What you get on the day

Other than coming home with a raft of new information and having built fantastic networks, Patoss provides attendees with comprehensive notes covering all presentations, seminars and workshops in the form of a conference brochure. The pack also includes information on further events and activities with a few extra goodies thrown in for good measure.

A full buffet lunch, teas, coffees and soft drinks are provided and we endeavour to accommodate any special dietary requirements if you let us know, in advance of, or when booking your place


8.30am - 9.30am       Registration

9.30am  - 11.00am    Conference opened by Lynn Greenwold, OBE, CEO Patoss; Keynote Address by Prof Dorothy Bishop

11.00am - 11.30am   Refreshments

11.30am - 12.45pm   Morning Seminar

12.45pm - 02.15pm   Lunch

12.45pm - 01.20pm   Local Groups Meeting (Optional)

01.30pm - 02.00pm   AGM (Optional)

02.15pm - 03.30pm   Afternoon Seminar

03.40pm - 04.30pm   Topical Address: Lynn Greenwold (Optional)

5.00pm     Close



Sheila Rostill, Event Co-ordinator

E: srostill@patoss-dyslexia.org

T:   01386 712643

When & Where

Show Past Events


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Barrington Stoke

Cambridge House SEN Resources

Clear Links Support

Crossbow Education Ltd

Edge Hill University

Jelly James Publishing - Dynamo Maths

Learning Materials Limited

Oaka Books

Phonic Books Limited

Read Successfully Ltd.

Scanning Pens Shop

SEN Books

TTS Group Limited



Exhibiting &