can you look at this and say if it looks like dyslexia to you, please?

(57 Posts)
imogengladhart Wed 28-Nov-12 22:40:28

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ohfunnyface Wed 28-Nov-12 22:47:05

Does he have high intelligence that is shown in other areas? Dyslexia afaik is issues with reading/spelling but high intelligence levels.

chasteroidbelt Wed 28-Nov-12 22:48:18

The spellings and your last sentence was exactly like my ds. He was assessed as having dyslexic tendencies at age 9. He is now home educated with private tutors, making slow but steady progress, and much happier.

JellyMould Wed 28-Nov-12 22:49:28

I would definitely say looks like dyslexia (am ed psych type). Hope you can get some help.

bigbuttons Wed 28-Nov-12 22:53:12

God what a shame for him! My dd (7) was assessed for dyslexia recently having had problems for a while. The teacher she has has been phenomenal in bringing her on. It's terrible that they won't even assess you ds until he is 12. Can you get a private assessment?

openerofjars Wed 28-Nov-12 22:59:02

It's a bit more complex than that: some people with dyslexia have high intelligence but it's not a compensatory disability. It's a spectrum and there is still a lot of disagreement about it within the field.

Some things to think about might be: Does anyone else in your family have difficulties with reading and writing? How are his organisational skills e.g. perception of time, maths etc? I work with dyslexic adults so not an expert at all in childhood dyslexia, and spelling/reading can be a big part of dyslexia but there can be other areas to look at. How does he perceive text when he reads? For example, do the words appear to move around? Ask him what he actually sees when he reads.

The thing that stands out for me is that his spelling isn't phonetic or consistent. He seems to replace consonants with ones that don't match the sounds, if you see what I mean.

From my work, I know that dyslexia can cause difficulties but I have met some amazing people with dyslexia and although it is not the end of the world that is not to downplay how hard he is finding school. You sound like a great mum and he's lucky to have you fighting his corner.

I'm sorry, I don't know the Scottish system, either. I wish I could help more.

openerofjars Wed 28-Nov-12 23:01:53

I just read my post back and I'm sorry for the phrase "not the end of the world". It must feel like that for him at the moment. He isn't stupid, either, just working at a disadvantage in what a colleague with dyslexia calls "the lexic world". It must be so painful and frustrating for him.

I hope I didn't offend your your son: it was the last thing I wanted to do.

imogengladhart Wed 28-Nov-12 23:11:28

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imogengladhart Wed 28-Nov-12 23:13:48

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Your first post I'd have said COULD be, and to get him checked out by a professional, but your second leaves very little doubt for me. My DP is dyslexic too and this could have come from his mouth.

openerofjars Wed 28-Nov-12 23:41:21

Agree totally, sorry can't add more but trying not to wake baby! That's so crap that he can't be assessed. Have you contacted the British Dyslexia Association?

ohfunnyface Thu 29-Nov-12 07:51:35

Are you sure you can't have him privately assessed?! It seems cruel to leave him without support for so long.

Do coloured pages/overlays help?

I agree that it sounds like dyslexia.

catstail Thu 29-Nov-12 08:46:08

I would say its definitely not nothing (nor is it due to a change of schools hmm), yes it could be dyslexia but if there are other things going on it could be part of something else?

I think you should get a private assessment asap. If it is dyslexia and school cant or wont support him you have the choice of changing school, home educating, or leaving him at school and providing dyslexia support at home

LIZS Thu 29-Nov-12 09:02:23

Get hold of some coloured plastic wallets from a stationers and try them as overlays. ds (now 14) has dyspraxia and slow processing/working memory but high verbal iq. Dyslexia techniques helped enormously with spelling whether he was also dyslexic now seems irrelevant, and he learned to touch type. Still has problems learning info from certain coloured paper though so writes/types them out.

Have you tried a writing slope (side of an A4 folder with paper inside is ok to start), making sure he is fully supported when seated with feet flat on floor, perhaps a Move n Sit cushion, exercises to help isolate the motion of writing to wrist instead of hold arm and to coordinate/strengthen fingers. Is is possible he is hyperflexible (fidgeting, poor coordination, fatigue, awkward posture when running, prone to turning over ankles, floppiness when trying to sit at table) ?

tigrou Thu 29-Nov-12 09:16:34

It all sounds very very similar to my dyslexic DD, and as there is such a strong history of dyslexia in the family, I would say proceed as if you have a diagnosis and do whatever you can to help and support him before his confidence goes down the tube. Seeing a speech and language therapist helped us enormously, also a behavioural optometrist, and just talking about dyslexia so that DD understood she was not less able than others, just functioning in a different way.

BegoniaBigtoes Thu 29-Nov-12 09:26:21

Your poor DS. I'm in scotland too, and my DS has recently had the test at school and it says he has dyslexia - he's also year 3. He's also had amazing learning support from day 1. But a school down the road (same council) is not as good - I know of a child there who has no support and the parents are desperate to get him assessed and hitting a brick wall. So it might be partly the school.

I'll tell you what we did in the run-up - went to the GP with our worries about DS's writing and co-ordination, who referred us to occupational therapy at the hospital. This gets linked back to the school and wakes them up to the fact that there may be a problem. (It might be dyslexia, it could possibly be other things instead/as well.) If you can afford it, you could get a private assessment for dyslexia too. Also ask to have a meeting with your school's learning support teacher, explain your worries and ask directly for help. (We never had to do this as ours have been great but it's worth a try.)

Another thing that's good for my DS is spending as much time as possible with him doing things that he's good at and enjoys - in his case art, gardening, hillwalking, computing, going on his scooter (he can't ride a bike). It helps with his self-esteem and also helps him practise all the co-ordination skills. Keep reassuring him about what he is good at and that he isn't stupid.

imogengladhart Thu 29-Nov-12 10:33:16

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ohfunnyface Thu 29-Nov-12 10:38:03

School won't let him use them???

That's outrageous- on what grounds??

imogengladhart Thu 29-Nov-12 10:44:32

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diddlediddledumpling Thu 29-Nov-12 10:49:40

Can I suggest you ask another family member who is dyslexic to have a wee chat with him?(Not sure if you meant your dad or his dad). Might reassure him that he's not stupid, this is just a difficulty that some people have, including people he admires or respects. Could also help him with a vocabulary to describe his difficulties.
Ds1 (and possibly ds2 and ds3) was recently diagnosed as colour blind, although I'd been fairly certain already, and while it's impact isn't anywhere near as significant as dyslexia, I think the diagnosis has helped him realise why he was getting colours wrong in school when everyone else had no problems. One of the first things I was able to tell him after he'd been to the optician was that his uncle is colourblind too, and I think that helped.

imogengladhart Thu 29-Nov-12 10:53:51

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ScillyCow Thu 29-Nov-12 10:54:19

School is being absolutely ridiculous.

I would want to see the Head.

Try also calling the British Dyslexia Association - they are very helpful.

ohfunnyface Thu 29-Nov-12 11:10:13

I've messaged you- I am shocked that the school is holding back the progress of a child.

bigbuttons Thu 29-Nov-12 15:40:08

I'd be out of that school/LEA tbh. Your son could and should be helped NOW.

imogengladhart Thu 29-Nov-12 18:54:09

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imogengladhart Thu 29-Nov-12 18:56:30

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maizieD Thu 29-Nov-12 19:58:29

It sounds to me as though he is having problems distinguishing all the sounds in the words and is not secure with the 'ur' spelling of the /er/ sound.

The questions I would initially ask are:

Is this the result of poor phonics teaching (so he doesn't perfectly understand that the sounds are represented by a specific letter, or letters)

Is he able to identify each of the individual sounds in a word (and, related to that, does he have, or has he had, a hearing difficulty)?

How does he 'learn' the spellings on his list? Is he expected to use letter names for spelling?

Does he have memory difficulties in other areas?

Does he have difficulty with understanding/ remembering complex verbal instructions?

And, I would ask the OP. What would you expect 'specialist help' to consist of?

I think that insted of looking for a 'dyslexia' label the OP would be far better trying to identify the specific cause of his spelling problem. 'Dyslexia' just tells you that he has a problem with acquiring reading and spelling skills. It will not tell you what the cause of this problem is, nor what is the best way to support him

InfiniteFairylights Thu 29-Nov-12 21:10:33

I'm pretty sure that the school has a legal responsibility to provide Extra Support if your son requires it. My Ds wasn't diagnosed as Dyslexic until his last year at primary, but he was given Extra Support sessions from P3. I did ask about Dyslexia when he first started receiving ES and was told that the ES lessons were taught in a way that was suitable for dyslexics. So even though he hadn't been diagnosed, he was being supported.
Your ds sounds very similar to mine, if that helps? I will have a look over the weekend, as i have some info on ES and the law in Scotland that I can give you.

InfiniteFairylights Thu 29-Nov-12 21:13:55

In the meanwhile, have a look at Dyslexia Scotland

imogengladhart Thu 29-Nov-12 21:18:01

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maizieD Thu 29-Nov-12 22:51:55


I'm not a 'dyslexia' specialist (in fact, I'm a bit of a dyslexia sceptic) but I do have a fair amount of expertise in working with KS3 children who are struggling with reading. Those are the sort of questions I would be asking if I had achild showing a similar profile!

I would get his hearing checked out, thoroughly, again. From the examples you gave I would say that he is making a valiant attempt to identify the sounds in the words, but is just 'missing some'. Just as a rough check, say some words and ask him to tell you what sounds he can hear (or what sounds he says) when he says the words. If he misses out some then he either hasn't been really taught how to break words into their component sounds or he just can't hear them all. If it is the former, then a short daily practice of counting the sounds in words could help him to become more aware of them. If the latter, I think he would need some (specialist?) help that would focus on actual 'feel' of the sounds as he says a word so that he can identify them by the 'feel' rather than the 'sound'. Because, at it's simplest level, spelling is the process of writing the 'spelling' of each sound in a word, in the order in which it comes in the word. His spelling of 'curs' and 'curv' tells me that he is on the right lines.

The next step is, of course, getting the correct spelling for each 'sound'. Which, from the list you quoted, it looks as though this is what his spelling list is working on.

When he is learning his spellings at home, get him to identify the sounds in the word, perhaps placing a line for each sound, and then spelling each sound in sequence, one to a line, saying each sound as he writes it; then decoding and blending the resulting word to see if it does 'say' what it is meant to 'say'. Once he gets more skilled you can abandon the 'line' prop.

If he uses letter names, try to get him not to. Letter names don't relate to the sounds and children can easily confuse the order of the letters in a word (though, to be fair, he doesn't seem to be doing this).

This is the sort of thing that a good specialist teacher should do with him; if you can be confident enough with your phonics to help him like this it would be a great help.

For longer words, deal with them one 'chunk' at a time. This will prevent overloading his short term memory.

Ed Psy identified a 'delay' but said he would prob 'grow out of it/and or develop coping strategies'

I think this is a bit bl**dy casual! Someone should be teaching him coping strategies. Why does the poor child have to work them out for himself when he is already clearly stressed?

Any private dyslexia assessment would dx 'dyslexia' on the strength of what you have said, but if the school won't recognise it the dx won't be much use to you! I think you'd be far better pursuing concerns about his hearing and his poor short term memory (which will contribute to his difficulty with complex instructions).

In the meantime, give him a big hug and tell him that he isn't at all stupid, he just needs a different way to learn the

imogengladhart Fri 30-Nov-12 09:34:28

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IndigoBelle Fri 30-Nov-12 10:06:22

Maizie has given you very good advice.

But I would add that there is loads of listening therapies you can do which will improve his hearing so that he can actually hear the sounds well enough to spell them.

As far as I know Therapeutic Listening is the cheapest of the therapies and available through many OTs

This Auditory Discrimination Test will tell you if he has a hearing problem.

imogengladhart Fri 30-Nov-12 10:15:53

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maizieD Fri 30-Nov-12 11:11:15

Oh, hi, IB[big wave]. Nice to see you backgrin


I meant little lines to write each 'sound' on. So if the word were 'Thursday', which contains 5 sounds, /th/ /ur/ /s/ /d/ /ay/ you'd write 5 little lines, like this, _ _ _ _ _ and write the spelling for each sound on each separate line. This is good for checking that none of the sounds have been left out.

Houseworkprocrastinator Fri 30-Nov-12 11:30:01

i haven't read all the replies so sorry if i am repeating something. I have mild dyslexia and my spelling when i was younger was very phonetic. I had great difficulty learning and retaining correct spellings and i still spell things wrong when i am writing especially if i am concentrating on what i am writing rather than the spelling.
It is very frustrating especially if you are actually intelligent because you KNOW you should be able to do it and cant understand why you cant. i was not diagnosed till secondary school but this caused allot of problems with my behavior and attitude to school. i would try and push for a diagnosis earlier.
good luck

RooneyMara Fri 30-Nov-12 11:36:14

Hi, a bit late to this but yes to me that looks like dyslexia - especially the bit with hitting his head and saying he's stupid sad Poor love - mine does this too.

however mine has come on in great strides this last year - his spelling has just shot up, his reading is GREAT and I don't know where it's all come from. (he's 9 and a half now, y5)

school refused to recognise or help with ds either, despite us having a private assessment.
It's odd.

Mine still cannot understand time (analogue especially - can read digital but doesn't know what it means) or days/weeks/years, before and after etc still really boggles him.

imogengladhart Wed 09-Jan-13 19:25:20

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mrz Wed 09-Jan-13 19:32:37

Indigo has been banned again I'm afraid

No a standard hearing test would not necessarily pick up these difficulties.

imogengladhart Wed 09-Jan-13 19:41:32

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mrz Wed 09-Jan-13 19:51:02

You could request a referral to the audiology dept asking for an auditory discrimination check. Often the test is carried also out by Ed Psychs and SaLT

imogengladhart Wed 09-Jan-13 20:15:44

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Why does Indigo get banned? (Nosy) I've seen her on lots of education themes.

mrz Wed 09-Jan-13 21:25:33

She says it's because people object to her saying dyslexia can be cured

tricot39 Wed 09-Jan-13 21:39:41

I realise that there is a lot of background to this story which hasn't come out, but if you have private tests which show that your DS is intelligent and have documented problems with the LEA which appear to show that his needs are not being catered for, then I would ask for an appointment with my MP to discuss the issues and see whether they can help. If what you say is correct, the way you are being treated sounds completely wrong. It might help avoid the hassle and expense of a move. Good Luck.

LynetteScavo Wed 09-Jan-13 21:54:24

OP, my DD sounds very much like your DS (yes she is diagnosed as dyslexic) I don't really understand Therapeutic Listening, although I know Indigo is a big fan.

If anyone does understand, and can let us know where we can access it and how much it might cost that would be fantastic.

Dyslexia might not be curable, but dyslexics can be helped.

(And the "Oh, my cousins next door nieghbour's friends brother is dyslexic and never learned to read but is now a consultant cardiologist" isn't really that helpful.)

imogengladhart Thu 10-Jan-13 07:25:18

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sashh Thu 10-Jan-13 08:08:47

He cries and hits his head when doing his spellings and says he is stupid.


Sounds like dyslexia.

But also have his eyes tested, I had both dyslexia and astigmatism.

Thank you, Mrz, that's true; I have read some of her theories. She says that dyslexia is at least partly caused by allergies, I think. I have had some dyslexic children in my class who have severe food intolerances or allergies, but others without, as far as anyone could see. So I don't know.

Please come and look at my despairing spelling thread and give me advice and comfort!

imogengladhart Thu 10-Jan-13 09:11:50

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imogengladhart Thu 10-Jan-13 09:17:25

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LynetteScavo Thu 10-Jan-13 18:38:41

OP, even if your DS did get a diagnosis of dyslexia, the school probably wouldn't do much more than put a bit of intervention if place. You could probably do as much, if not more with him yourself.

My tactic would be to talk to the school about how his self esteem was being effected, how your DS is very aware that he is struggling, and how that is impacting on him.

Have you actually had your DS tested for dyslexia?

Who is threatening you with SS should you seek more diagnosis? Is it the school?

Roseformeplease Thu 10-Jan-13 18:45:32

Not sure of the details but do teach in Scotland. This is not true of all areas. In my area of Highland he would get lots and lots of help and support. Can you look up - can someone help? The relevant Act which was about 09/10 which is about meeting the needs of every child? You might be able to quote that. Moving countries seems a bit extreme. How close are you to another LA? School?

imogengladhart Thu 10-Jan-13 20:12:49

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tricot39 Thu 10-Jan-13 21:19:26

rose - every child counts?

imogengladhart Thu 10-Jan-13 21:32:56

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Roseformeplease Fri 11-Jan-13 22:04:14

GIRFEC is the one but there was an Act of Parliament which led to that which you should be able to quote from.

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