Specific Learning Difficulties: Clinical Practices of Assessment and Intervention

Course Information
TitleΕιδικές Μαθησιακές Δυσκολίες: Πρακτικές Εφαρμογές Διάγνωσης και Παρέμβασης / Specific Learning Difficulties: Clinical Practices of Assessment and Intervention
FacultyHealth Sciences
Cycle / Level1st / Undergraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter
CoordinatorEleni Bonti
Course ID600017970

Programme of Study: UPS of School of Medicine (2019-today)

Registered students: 84
OrientationAttendance TypeSemesterYearECTS
KORMOSElective Courses322

Class Information
Academic Year2020 – 2021
Class PeriodWinter
Faculty Instructors
Instructors from Other Categories
Class ID
1. Α' Ψυχιατρική Κλινική
Course Type 2011-2015
Specific Foundation / Core
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
  • Distance learning
Language of Instruction
  • Greek (Instruction, Examination)
General Prerequisites
It is important for the students of the School of Medicine to familiarize with the basic principles of the complex nature, the theoretical background, the diagnostic and assessment procedures and the intervention methods for individuals with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Specific Learning Disorders (SLD), in particular, in a multi-professional level, since it is possible that many of them will follow specializations that might be actively involved in such multi-professional diagnostic groups. It is therefore important for the future specialists to be able to identify/diagnose these disorders, based on their basic characteristics and/or to assisst in their differential diagnosis. Finally, the course functions complementary to the courses of Pediatrics, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, as well as other courses, directly or indirectly relevant to SEN and SLD.
Learning Outcomes
After succesfully completing the course, students are expected to have obtained the basic knowledge regarding the complex and multi-factorial nature of SLD, the basic characteristics of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (according to DSM-5), as well as other developmental disorders or delays and the basic principles for their diagnosis and intervention, through a multi-professional approach.In addition, they will familiarize with the special nature of SLD and they will be aware of the fact that SLD is an extremely complex and multi-factorial condition, with multiple symptoms and different developmental manifestation between different age groups. Signs of SLD may be present even from the preschool age, which continuously change with age. Finally, after completing the course, the students are expected to know the basic principles of diagnosis (and differential diagnosis) and the appropriate intervention methods (ex. it is often the case where several other medical or developmental problems should be first excluded (for example, vision or hearing problems, motor development, mental, psychiatric, behavioral problems, etc.) Therefore, the contribution of several medical (and other) specialists is necessary in order to provide a valid diagnosis of SLD. At the same time, given the existing problems in Greece as regards early and valid diagnosis and appropriate intervention programs for meeting neurodevelopmental disorders and SLD in particular, it is strongly believed that Medical School students should become aware of the nature, diagnostic procedures and intervention methods of SLD, at a multi-professional level, since many of them might be involved in such diagnostic groups. Finally, the course is complementary to other courses, such as Pediatrics, Developmental Pediatrics, Child-Adolescent Psychiatry, etc.
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Retrieve, analyse and synthesise data and information, with the use of necessary technologies
  • Adapt to new situations
  • Make decisions
  • Work autonomously
  • Work in teams
  • Work in an international context
  • Work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Generate new research ideas
  • Design and manage projects
  • Appreciate diversity and multiculturality
  • Demonstrate social, professional and ethical commitment and sensitivity to gender issues
  • Be critical and self-critical
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
Course Content: The course content presented within the 13 two-hour oral presentations, includes the following sections: Special Educational Needs - Introduction to Special Education Neurodevelopmental Disorders (DSM-5) Specific Learning Disorders (SLD): Theoretical Perspectives, Terminology, Historical Retrospect, Basic concepts related to Learning, Cognition, Intelligence, Learning Aptitude, Learning/Cognitive Potential, Learning Style, etc. The Basic Principles of the Theoretical Approaches from Psychology and Pedagogics in relation to Learning Difficulties (ex. Piaget's theory, Vygotsky's theory, Cogntitive and Behavioral Approaches, information - Processing Approaches, etc.). Types of Specific Learning Disorders: Characteristics and their Developmental course among different age periods (from preschool age to adulthood): The domain specific learning disabilities: Reading (Decoding, Comprehension, Expression), Written Language (Writing, Spelling, Written Expression), Mathematics (concepts about number, awareness of the special 'mathematical' language, carrying out operations and proplem-solving skills). Methods of Diagnosis and Intervention. Preschool Age: Early signs of children ' at risk' for developing SLD or other (neuro)developmental disorders in several developmental areas (e. Language, Motor Skills, etc.). The significance of Early Diagnosis and Early Intervention. The developmental manifestations of SLD during childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Diagnostic Procedures - Static and Dynamic Assessment Procedures - Assessment Tools/Testing. Clinical Assessment of SLD. Differential Diagnosis and Comorbidity Issues. Gross and Fine Motor Skills, Coordination Disorders, ADHD, Methods of Diagnosis and Intervention. Special Intervention Programs for Individuals with SLD - SEN. Planning and Constructing Individual Educational Plans/Programs. Cognitive and Metacognitive Skills, Self-Monotoring Skills, Mnemonic Strategies, Rewarding Systems, Self-esteem development, etc. for individuals with SLD-SEN. SLD and Adulthood. Presentation and Discussion of Case Reports/ Case Studies. Course Schedule: 13 two-hour lectures - Total Lecture Hours: 26 Course Director/Head Tutor: Dr. Eleni Bonti, Tenured Assistant Professor, Head of the Outpatient State Certified Diagnostic Department for Learning Difficulties School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 1st Psychiatric Clinic, “Papageorgiou” General Hospital of Thessaloniki, Greece. Other Lecturers: Dr. Sophia Vavetsi, Special educator, Laboratory Teaching Staff, 1st Psychiatric Clinic, “Papageorgiou” General Hospital of Thessaloniki, Greece.School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. The Lectures take place on Tuesdays 14:00-16:00 or through ZOOM online meetings, on Wednesdays, 18:00-20:00. Students who are interested in the course are kindly requested to register online (Medical School enrollments) and e-learning enrolment (no code required). Students can communicate with Prof. Eleni Bonti through e-mail: elina.bonti@gmail.com OR bonti@auth.gr. Students from other Departments of AUth (ex. Psychology, Education, etc.) can also enrol to the course (provided they have informed their Dpt's Secratariat.
Special Educational Needs, Specific Learning Disorders, Dyslexia, Diagnosis - Assessment, Intervention
Educational Material Types
  • Slide presentations
  • Video lectures
  • Multimedia
  • Interactive excersises
  • Book
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Laboratory Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
  • Use of ICT in Student Assessment
The tutoring methods used in the course include: Oral Presentations with the use of Powerpoint presentations, Distance Learning Tutoring (ZOOM), e-learning platform, e-mail, internet search for articles, videos and other sources of relevant, additional information.
Course Organization
Reading Assigment40.1
Written assigments
Student Assessment
Student Assessment: Written Assignment (Exempt - please check e-learning for details)
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Assignment (Summative)
Course Bibliography (Eudoxus)
Βιβλιογραφία μαθήματος (Εύδοξος): Μπόντη, Ε. (2013). Ειδικές Μαθησιακές Δυσκολίες: Μια Εναλλακτική Προσέγγιση για όλους, Εκδ. Μέθεξις. Κωδικός Βιβλίου στον Εύδοξο: 32999264 (ISBN: 978-960-6796-37-1)
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