Dyslexia Discovered at Uni

(9 Posts)
Jennie1 Thu 10-Mar-16 12:08:55

Hi all,

My daughter is in her first year at uni and at an initial assessment (due to her struggling in the Economics element of her course) has just been told she may have Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dyscalcula.

She is due to have a formal assessment with an Educational Psychologist this Saturday.

Having spoken with the woman who did the initial assessment, she tells me that even with the additional help my DD will most likely be offered, it is likely that she will really struggle to complete her course, as she belives my DD is severely affected. Her words were - she is an adult, needs to make her own decisions, and uni may not be for her.

My daughter called me to tell me last week that she had achieved a 2.1 in one element of her course and was absolutely over the moon about it.

The day after, having had this meeting, she has decided she wants to leave university. Immediately.

I think her confidence has been hugely knocked. She wasn't enjoying her course at all and kept telling me that she felt stupid but i honestly feel that she has come SO far without any help, surely a change of course and all the extra help will be life changing for her??

She says she wants to come home and get a full time job for a year but i fear she will struggle to do this (she has failed many times to get even a part time job - apart from some bar work).

I am posting this because i am so so disappointed that she has been through the education system (even having Maths tutoring to get her though her GCSE's by a teacher who actually works at a school for dyslexic children), and it's not been picked up!

I feel guilty because i always knew her written work was questionable, yet she managed to get her GCSEs and an excellent level 3 BTec in Dance, equivalent to three A* A levels.
She was offered her uni place unconditionally and i just feel that now this has happened, she is in danger of falling through the net.

She is not the most motivated person in the world and has always needed a lot of support getting her to the next stage but she has always thanked me for it in the end!

I just don't know what to do! I'm told her assessment will highlight her strengths and weaknesses - perhaps this will give her the boost she needs to carry on trying?

I am at a loss and any advice would be so very greatly appreciated.

whatwouldrondo Thu 10-Mar-16 12:33:00

That is shocking. I have a Dyslexic and Dyspraxic DD studying English on one of the most highly rated courses in the country and she has had a lot of support, and is doing well. Thank goodness nobody told her that it wasn't for her because of her disability.

These are disabilities, they make it more difficult but you have the ability you can achieve your potential with support.

Unfortunately there are lots of misapprehensions even amongst those who are trying to help. Is it the Maths element of the economics? Surely she could chose modules that avoid that / transfer to a course where there is less Maths / get the support to help with the difficulties?

I would discount this "advice" and wait for the Ed Psych report which should give you a better idea of the difficulties and how they can be addressed. The university should be able to then advise you on what support they can provide. My DD has a mentor, help in specific areas where she struggles and a lot of specialist IT equipment.

LittleCandle Thu 10-Mar-16 12:40:01

My DD is severely dyslexic and gets massive amounts of support from the disability team on campus. She is maintaining a 2:1 level for her joint degree. A tutor if she needs one, money for printing and towards her special glasses amongst other things. I am horrified by what was said to your DD. It would be terrible if she were to drop out now - she has done so well already without help. Is there a student body she could speak to who might support her while she is assessed? I would be having a word with the head of the disability services, because that kind of attitude is not acceptable.

mumeeee Thu 10-Mar-16 16:06:39

That attitude is completely wrong. DD3 is Dyspraxic and has other learning difficulties. She is now in her third year of a computer degree. She has passed everything so far. Some with 2:1 and others with 2:2.
She is struggling a bit at the moment but that's mostly because or stress of the 3rd year and panicking about getting work finished or not being sure what her tutor wants.
She has Disability Student Allowance and gets support from a support worker once a week to help keep her on track. She has a very supportive Disability team who she can go to if she needs to talk or needs help with stuff. She has access to a proof reader and has use of a computer and extra time in exams. She also has some software on her laptop top (provided by DSA) to help with essay and report writing.
Oh and she has a dictorphone to record lectures.

24balloons Thu 10-Mar-16 16:15:33

It is wrong that this has never been picked up. I have worked in student support at universities and sadly this is a common occurrence. Until now universities have had massive financial support via DSA for students with learning differences but unfortunately the government are going to cut most of this support from Sept 2016 and universities will have to provide it from their own budget. I am not sure if students with existing packages will be effected as I'm not in this area now but anyone starting courses from next year will have much less support due to these cuts.

whatwouldrondo Thu 10-Mar-16 16:17:59

And I wouldn't feel guilty, able pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties (Ed Psychs tend to use a catch all term as the labels don't really cover what tends to be a profile of different issues which tend not to conform to the usual labelled manifestations, as sounds to be the case with your DD) often find their own coping mechanisms which mask their problems which only manifest themselves when they encounter higher level work.

Readysteadyknit Thu 10-Mar-16 16:19:50

Another one with a dyslexic and dyspraxic DD studying an essay based subject at RG uni. She gets DSA and support from the uni, a computer and specialist software. She gets extra time borrowing library books, extra time in exams, stickers for essays which identify her as dyslexic . She works hard but her essays so far (2nd year) are 2:1 level.

I agree with PP, she should wait for Ed Psych report which should include suggestions for support.

It is really common for dyslexia not to be picked up in school -DD was not diagnosed til 17 and I was talking to some who was diagnosed whilst studying for his MBA (so mid 20s). DD was relieved when she was told she was dyslexic as it explained why she struggled at certain things.

lionheart Thu 10-Mar-16 16:54:04

OP: See if she can get some better advice and support from within the department and student services.

30% of students who are registered with dyslexia at the University where I work only get the diagnosis after they arrive.

She must have already developed some phenomenal compensatory skills and with help there really is no reason she should not complete the course.

HocusCrocus Fri 11-Mar-16 10:33:23

OP. I have a dyslexic son at University - essay subject.
In your shoes I would be firstly , making sure she didn't do anything rash. Wait for the Ed Psych report as p.p.s have said.
Then separate out where she might be struggling because she is intrinsically finding the subject difficult, and where she might be struggling because she hasn't got any of the help to try to level the playing field for her. So e.g. my son's writing is pretty poor and slow. Being able to use a laptop makes a big difference to him.
It may end up being changing courses might be the best idea but certainly wait for the report and recommendations. (I know I'm repeating previous p.p.s advice but because I think it is sound smile ).

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