We use the 'apples and pears' scheme from Sound Foundations to help with my son's spelling. He is 10 and in yr5. He's been doing it since the beginning of the last summer holidays and it's really improved his spellings. He started this academic year on a 2a and his last piece of work was assessed as a 4c [proud mum]. We have also employed a tutor for 1 hour a week to help
I don't agree that a diagnosis of dyslexia is inherently useless; it depends entirely how you use it! You need to understand the nature of the problem, of a child's specific strengths and weaknesses, in order to move forward. A 'spiky' profile can be a big red flag, especially if the weaknesses are unexpected given the strengths - i.e. good reader but very poor speller, good verbal skills but extreme reticence when it comes to writing them down, good long term memory, poor short term recall of facts... I think a lot of dyslexic children slip through the net because they are intelligent enough to compensate and function within the average range, but that's not to say they are not experiencing considerable frustration and loss of confidence that could be alleviated somewhat if their difficulties where known about. I say test, find out all you can. Information is power.
smee I agree with you about the label being useful even if it isn't strictly accurate because at least then people know there is an issue even if its imperfectly described so underperformance doesn't get mistaken for behavioural/attitude problems.
We are seeing an EP later this year and I am interested to get some insights into the specific issues my DSs face.
Should have added, but yes being 'dyslexic' is pretty useless as a diagnosis as it doesn't actually get you anything really. Still though you get a detailed profile from the Ed Psych assessment, which tells you a lot about how your child's brain works, so strengths and weaknesses. That gives you lots in terms of how to help and what to push the school for.
Lots of people tell you it's pointless as a label, but I think it's pretty essential for the individual. I know it's helped my son massively just to know there's a reason why he finds some things harder to do than his mates. He's quite proud now to be slightly different in the way he thinks, whereas before he just felt stupid and was losing confidence.
My DS was diagnosed as dyslexic last summer, when he'd just turned 8. The problem with spotting it was that he was doing well in lots of ways. So he was reading like an 11 year old and though we were concerned about his writing and spelling, his teachers levelled it as that of an average 7 year old, so we were told he was only a teeny bit behind.
The doing okay/ not too far behind thing is a bit of a curse, as if they'd just gone on SATs levels we still probably wouldn't know. Fortunately he had an utterly brilliant year 3 teacher who ignored all of that and just looked at him as a person and said why is this bright, articulate boy, struggling to write and spell. She stuck her neck out and told us she thought he was dyslexic, then pushed for him to be assessed, even though the deputy head and head thought there was no need due to his SATs profile being relatively okay.
To cut a long story short, DS's assessment came back as very clearly dyslexic and he's now getting a lot of help from the school. The interesting thing which might help you though is that while there is no such thing as a classic dyslexic, a 'spiky profile' seems to be a big indicator. So if your DD has a wide range, I'd guess there's something going on!
DS1 has worked through Toe by Toe first at home and then with the school. www.toe-by-toe.co.uk/info.htm You can buy it on Amazon as well. It does work but it can be a bit dull for children. It really does get phonics and decoding fixed in their mind.
For DS2 as he is younger I have gone with the sound foundations books as they are better for children. Your DD might well be suited to Dancing Bears or even the Fast Track. www.soundfoundationsbooks.co.uk/ Again they teach good decoding skills.
The issue isn't where you DD is in the class (although the school may target resources to the lower performers) but whether or not your DD is underperforming her ability e.g. her written work being substantially below her verbal skills.
The school also let me scribe for DS1 in Yr3 if he had a more substantial piece of homework as they were more interested in his knowledge and ideas than who wrote it down.
I also read quite a lot to DS1 (he still likes that now) so he could access books suitable for his age without becoming disheartened by the process of reading. Gradually his reading got better and he took over some of the reading.
Also note that dyslexia can run in families so you may have mild issues yourself.
Thanks for the reply. You're quite right about the fact there is no such thing as a 'classic' dyslexic, having my you fest on the ASD spectrum I should know better but what I have found out today from my very minimal reading is that I know nothing much about dyslexia really, I had pretty much dismissed it in regards to dd due to my limited, somewhat outdated and sterio typical ideas about dyslexia
I think I will bring it up with her teacher, pity I only just had a nearing with her that I had requested to talk about her writing. Think I will just pop in one morning and through it out there and see what her teacher says.
In the meantime and incase school are unable/don't want/don't feel it is relevant to dd to pursue the dyslexia train of thought is there any advice for helping dd at home with these issues?
There is no such thing as a classic dyslexic as it is a spectrum disorder. DS1 aged 9 (Yr 5) is probably mildly dyslexic. He reads at an age appropriate level but he is slow at reading and writing and his spelling is often more phonetically correct than actually right e.g. woud for would. He is good at other subjects like maths and science but sometimes his lack of speed holds his marks down e.g. he struggled with doing a 5 min times tables grid but when the teacher sat him somewhere quiet and gave him all the time he wanted he got it all correct.
I was surprised to find in this book that there is a link between SLD and dyslexia which is relevant for your DD and for my DS2 who suffered from chronic tonsillitis until the age of 3 when we had them removed. He needed support from an SLT and now in Yr1 is struggling with reading too.
We are getting both boys assessed at our expense later this year.
Reading a thread in AIBU about spelling tests and a detention got me thinking. If my dd went to that school she would barely know what Monday playtime was!
My dd is 8 this weekend and in Y3. Her spelling is terrible, inconsistent and non logical. If she really puts the effort in she may get 6 out of 8 in her test but more often then not we have what the last two weeks have brought and that is 1 or 2 correct. She also doesn't retain the knowledge of the words she has right so may get a word right in her test and then sit down to a task a half hour later and miss spell the word. She often can't make sence of her own spelling.
She is now a free reader but reading has come hard for her. She has speech problems (both delay and pronunciation) but as she had/has a physical reason for this in a very late complete tongue tie diagnosis and then also extremely large tonsils and adenoids. She had surgery aged 4.5 removing tonsils and adenoids also had her tongue tie released enabling her to now put her tongue out and move it side to side. Due to the severity of the tie she is still unable to lift her tongue.
It was no surprise then that she struggled with phonics gives she physically was unable to recreate the sounds and she has always preferred whole word recognition as a reading method. Her reading improved as time past and with speech therapy, she still has in school speech therapy and targeted speech group work.
Dd really struggles with writing, she is able to come up with some great ideas verbally but struggles terribly to translate this to written work. She got a 2c in her Y2 SATS for writing and at the start of this year was a 2a just about. They are due to start optional SATS soon so have no more recent level as yet but she has made progress.
Dd is not in the lowest 20% so doesn't fall into the targeted help groups.
I myself can't spell for the life of me but I am an avid reader although I to am a whole word reader, go on shape rather then content, I am better at spelling large more unusual words so I have always put myself in the lazy/rushing catorgary.
I am now wondering about dd and if dyslexia is something I should raise with the school? I have had a read of a couple of dyslexia symptom sites and can see other things that fit dd like her being a daydreamer with good long term memory but poor short term. She also puts a great deal of pressure on herself.
I do worry that as dd would not be a 'classic' dyslexic (whatever that really means) and the fact she is making progress would mean that it is an idea that wouldn't be taken seriously.