I have twin girls, both started different colleges this year.
One is doing A-Levels, and as such has plenty of essays and written work to complete, involving a lot of skimming and scanning of information. I'm not sure if she's expected to take notes but she is slow at writing so this would be a problem. She hasn't been tested for dyslexia, nor has she told her college she thinks this may be an issue, although her work is coming back covered in red ink spelling corrections and she has been told she should think about changing subjects.
The other daughter is doing a Level 3 art course, has been tested at her college for Dyslexia ( finally! ), and consequently has been put in remedial classes, which she all out hates. She wants to drop out of the classes as they are trying to teach her spelling rules she already knows and has done for quite some time, it's the getting it down on paper bit that is the issue. She is enrolled on a Level 1 literacy course with the aim to pass GCSE at C or above or she won't be going to Uni like she wants to.
DH has the same type of dyslexia (or it seems very similar) in that he knows the theory of what he should be spelling, it just doesn't "come out right". He did a one-to-one course as an adult but his spelling is still lousy.
Any advice on how to get the them through college?
You may need to contact the college and ask them about the learning support they offer. I suspect some are better than others and it will be about how they use their budgets.
I work in a post 16 environment and we offer screenings and a computer test called Quickscan to pick up dyslexic traits. We then offer support eg the student may borrow a dictaphone, use a laptop for written work, i think we also have software packages in the library such as DragonDictate & Read and Write gold. The student can use these to produce work (not sure about exams), possibly the student may be entitled to extra time?
Each college will have their own policies. It is important to get a recognised Diagnostic Assessment by a qualified Ed Psych or PATOSS registered teacher if either of your daughters are going on to HE as if you have a post 16 diagnosis they can apply for DSA (disabled students allowance) for Uni which provides lots of support throughout their degree.
One other suggestion, my son is dyslexic and he is allowed to use an electronic dictionary in class (not exams tho) and it can work out the correct way to spell a word that is typed in incorrectly. it also has a built in Thesaurus which has proved invaluable to him - its a Collins.
Good luck & hope your dds get the support they need.
You can also check out the British Dyslexic Association for further advice.
My college does the same as 23balloons (perhaps its the same one) students can have 1:1 lessons with specialist teachers and the college can also lend them a laptop which is loaded with all the appropriate software. We also provide notetakers in class for eligible students. I would encourage your dd to speak to the learning support department to see whats on offer
Pretty sure we were told last year that Dragon software has now been approved for use by the exams boards now
My DDs are dyslexic. DD2 just did well in 4 essay based ASs but she was diagnosed in year 5 having had intervention in Year 2 and says that without the tools for building words she was given then she would really struggle. She has also has sessions with specialist learning support teachers to help with coping strategies, revision methods, mind mapping etc. She has extra time in the exams but the exam boards have just tightened up on the rules so that students have to have scores for working memory and processing that are below average, she does but I know a lot of pupils who would previously had extra time would not now qualify . Dyslexia is not just a problem with spelling it is also a problem with processing and retaining information. DD also writes very slowly, at the speed of the slowest 10% of the population (how they measure it )
Your first step should be to get your other DD tested, that should give you a thorough picture of their ability, attainment and weaknesses. Then to get her help with coping strategies that will help her work in a way that will minimise those problems.
There is no way she should be advised to change subjects if they are where her talents and ambitions lie. My DD has to work very hard and has problems with anxiety when it comes to exams but she has been able to succeed.
Long answer sorry. Contact both your daughters colleges pronto. DS was diagnosed informally by his school & we used this to push our daughter's school to give the extra help she needed. We then paid for a private educational psychologist's report which confirmed our DS's school's suspicions. From my knowledge, some schools/colleges believe dyslexia is only about reading & spelling. Its not! I've witnessed good & downright appalling dyslexia support & I cannot understand why in this day & age, we still are not supporting all children with dyslexia appropriately. Rant over sorry.
I would strongly suggest you get a proper assessment of both your daughters needs. Paying for a report was the best decision for us & there are ways of doing this cheaply or for free. british Dsyslexia Association are extremely helpful. Dyslexia means something different to each person who has it. DC eventually had help with their particular needs (organisation, long term memory, processing) & if your daughters needs are correctly identified, then maybe their colleges can help them to achieve their aims? DD's second college were a nightmare & said they did not need to support her because she was doing a level 3 course! I kicked up a stink & eventually DD was given a weekly support class. Only problem was the class was useless & only lasted 8 weeks. DD decided not to tell me this as she knew I would complain & by this point DD had given up on education & its easy to see why. DS is currently doing his A levels & changed one of his subjects after a term. It was the right decision & it maybe that one of your daughters is in a similar position? You really do need to speak to her tutor & find out what their thoughts are as they may match yours?
My DC were diagnosed at the ages of 12 & 15 & so I understand how a late diagnosis can impact on a child, but on the other hand, it can also be quite uplifting. My DS was so relieved to have an answer to why he couldn't write down what was in his head. He still struggles, but is getting better. He still attends his extra class as if he didn't he would lose his entitlement. Apparently is is impossible to get back support once it is lost & university may be more helpful in their approach to dyslexia.
Wishing your girls all the best with their studies & you in getting them the help they deserve.j
I would reinforce the suggestion of getting them tested. My 17yr DS saw an Ed Psych last week and has dyslexia, dyspraxia ADD and some perception disorders. He is on the gifted and talented list for English and got A* in English Lit in IGCSE dyslexic.Like others he is a brilliant reader but does not always retain what he reads and his spelling is terrible and he struggles to write long answers in exams . He has a very high IQ ( top 1%) which has enabled him to do OK until this year but he didn't do as well as he wanted in AS levels so is having to do 4 resits as well as his A2.
I am gutted as I wish I had got him tested earlier- he has a history of not doing as well in written exams as he does orally but the school implied that he was not working hard enough.Having seen the Ed Psych it all makes perfect sense but he is in denial. If anyone in a similar position has any experience with using technology to assist I would love to hear any advice you have. Currently thinking about a Samsung Galaxy Note.
Contact learning support at the college - via your child's lecturer or client services department if there is one. The enrolment process at the colleges I have worked in would ask specific questions about support needs and initial assessment should indicate problem areas. The referral will lead to more diagnostics. In my experience, colleges have some fantastic support for dyslexia & other support needs; you just need to proactive to access it. One to one support is usually funded where required & learning support assistants will take notes etc. Extra time, readers and scribes can be accessed for exams in some cases. Colleges have to be inclusive & should go the extra mile for those learners who have not achieved their potential at school, especially in level 2 quals (Eng, Maths etc). I hope you find the support you need.