Our SN area is not a substitute for expert advice. While many Mumsnetters have a specialist knowledge of special needs, if they post here they are posting as members, not experts. There are, however, lots of organisations that can help - some suggestions are listed here. If you've come across an organisation that you've found helpful, please tell us. Go to Special needs chat, Parents with disabilities, SN teens, SN legal, SN education, SN recommendations.

So the school have finally screened ds 8 for dyslexia and its not that I could cry....

(46 Posts)
NotInTheMood Fri 08-Feb-13 11:14:33

As we are still none the wiser as to what it could be. Brief history: he was diagnosed with speech and Lang delay aged 6 had Salt for 6mths closed the case with no follow up etc saying he was progressing and the teachers could refer if need be etc. she was useless tbh and didn't give much help or advice. I stopped her from closing the case after 4 mths but she insisted at 6. Even now he misses off initial sounds of words so 'Cus' instead of 'because' or 'gotten' instead of ' forgotten'. He also uses incorrect language I.e I am older OF you instead of 'than'. He sometimes forgets words too. We constantly reinforce and model back to him the correct language but it doesn't always stick and he gets annoyed.

Anyway he has been struggling with phonics, reading and writing and is well below average for both. Despite alot of support in school and home progress is slow. He ticks all the boxes for dyslexia and it is also in dh family and so I was convinced this was the problem. He is disorganised, forgetful, reverses letters and words even his name he will write backwords. sometimes the right letters of the word are right but in the wrong order. Confused with pas and present tense. He finds it difficult to sequence or retain information for eg would struggle to repeat a given sentence or reverse numbers I.e 146-641. His reading is painfully slow and he has to sound out each word even 3 letter words. His writing is equally as bad as he has the ideas but cannot construct a sentence and put it down on paper as he forgets and finds it difficult to spell.

Anyway he had the dyslexia screening from the school and it came back with a few dyslexia tendencies so not enough evidence to suggest dyslexia as wrong category think it was a c. However it did highlight very slow processing which was painful to watch the teacher said and very, very poor memory skills. Any ideas what steps to take??? I've reminded them about salt and we have decided to re-refer. I'm annoyed with myself tbh as I should of done it sooner but he is my first child and so I have now one to compare it to seen what is and isn't normal. Where we live part of our accent makes us very lazy with our speech iykwim. That is why I was not happy there was no follow up or that I had to rely on the teacher.

Inaflap Sat 09-Feb-13 19:04:44

That's awful Moose. I just don't get why schools continue to deny they don't have kids with SEN. I was on my course with a woman working in a large single sexed grammar school whose head insisted that 'we have no children with special needs' um in. Population of several hundred yes you do. It makes me angry because it implies that people with SEN are lesser mortals to be brushed under the carpet and that is grrrrrrrrr. Nobody brushes my sons, my job and my students under any carpet. Fortunately I've always worked for sen supportive heads and my latest head and I have taken on a child permanently excluded from two schools. Guess what, they are doing fine, with some ups and downs. Clearly the last two schools didn't want to put themselves out.

Badvoc, I understand the struggles you have had for your child and I too have struggled big time for my son and gone to tribunal but think of your child's difficulties, think of everything you have had to do for them, how you have battled to get support, on a register, acknowleged. Now compare that to a child who, OK , might have slightly dodgy spelling, but can write fluently, read fluently, have good average scores for memory and processing, has an excellent vocab, regularly scores 80% plus in tests across most subjects. They have never been on a learning support reg in their school life, parents have never asked for support, legions of teachers have never raised an issue yet magically, just in year 10, or even after year 11 mocks they suddenly appear with a diagnosis with, under the recommendations, must get 25% extra time. Sometimes the parents don't want them on the sen reg 'in case they are labled' Is that fair compared to students like your child. My job is to provide a level playing field and I've been told by teachers of many years in private education that half of their cohort would be getting extra time. That's hardly fair to the majority of students taking the same exam and this is why many teachers have a certain asperity about private EPs and why JCQ have changed the guidelines. I am sorry that you had to fight so hard and that is wrong but equally wrong is the fact that a minority of parents think that if there is a danger that Flossie won't achieve her A grade then they will buy some reason to give an advantage. This potentially has denegrated the genuine diagnosis for children like your child and my son. So i'm sorry but take it from someone who has worked with the full range of dyslexia, those students with parents who have never wondered why their bright child can't read to those who worry and do everything to support, that unfortunately 'middle class dyslexia' does exist although now guidelines have toughned up will hopefully subside. And keep kicking ass as a school govenor. My husband is a govenor and I think it takes a lot of unsung hard work and effort.

Badvoc Sat 09-Feb-13 19:16:19

Inaflap.
I am genuinely shocked by your post.
Not your opinions...you have as much right to those as I do, but that there are actually parents who do this.
We all want the best for our kids, but to try and get your NT child sen provision when they don't need it is just....immoral!
And of course is taking funding away form a child who does need it sad
I have often said I could never be a teacher or Senco...both roles seem far too hemmed in by silly rules and budgetary constraints and they seem to spend most of their time doing paperwork!
I have teachers both in my family and as friends and I know first hand what a hard and sometimes thankless job it is, but I am afraid that I have also come across teachers who should not be allowed anywhere near children, especially those with sen.
Even at my sons awful old school there were one or two teachers who I really liked and were every good at their job.
At his current school I know - from personal experience - that the HT and staff care about every single child in the school and knows each one by name.
I had an epiphany a while back - there is no point being angry anymore. Yes, his old school were dreadful, yes I should have made a formal complaint but in the final analysis he is happy now and we are working with him at home to do things like increase his working memory, spatial awareness, word finding etc.
The last 4 years have taken a huge toll on me, both emotionally and financially! But I am so glad I stopped expecting school to help my son.
They do their best, true.
But their best isnt very good sad

Badvoc Sat 09-Feb-13 19:20:41

May I ask, as a Senco, what could a gov do to help you in your job?
( i have just been appointed as gov with responsibility for sen)
What could I do to improve sen provision at my sons school?
Can I make suggestions?
Can I make recommendations wrt interventions/ programmes?
What shouldn't I do!?

Inaflap Sat 09-Feb-13 20:05:26

There aren't many parents like this and they mainly lurk in the private sector but it obviously takes someone quite brave to go against another professional's opinion especially when its in a big report and they've paid tons of dosh for it. Things are changing, phew but part of this is all fuelled in both sectors by children being given asprirational target grades which quite often they can't achieve or could in say six subjects but not in ten.

First thing as sen gov (i assume you are in state) is make sure that the money coming in for sen from the lea is going on sen. Shall we say some heads divert funds at times. Ask questions about TA training. I found as a mum that at primary there was a bit of a mum's army, some were good, some were crap and I did wonder about confidentiality at times. I think also (again assumed primary) ask if the senco has done the senco training. I know secondary sencos get this free not sure about primary. Look at Real Training website for idea. All sencos need time. An annual review used to take me several hours work (mind I wrote amazing ar docs) so if there are statemented students, the senco needs prep time just for that.

Quite often SENCos are a bit of a cinderella. The job can be quite lonely because no one else quite gets it. Other staff seem to think you can wave a magic wand and somehow conjure up provision for children. Some parents couldn't give a shit but then get abusive and demanding when hey, they actually need to parent. Others have a burden of guilt and need tlc, others are fine but just need good communication, others are just hopeless and are in the middle of their own problems so their child is way down on the list. I cannot tell you how sad this can make life. I have a student at the moment who just needs home sorting out, a decent meal and some boundaries. A week of good parenting would solve her problems. Is she going to get it, no. So one thing I would say is be a good listener for your senco. Ask searching questions but be a support for them rather than a stick (unless they need it!). You can represent their need for greater resources, more time and good quality TA support. A good senco needs to communicate with parents in a professional yet friendly manner on a regular basis. I think this is essential because at the end of the day, it is, as you say, the parents who are the pivot and key.

Can't think of anything else at the mo. thank you for asking and being supportive.

nostoppingme Sat 09-Feb-13 20:46:08

Look into getting him assessed by an Ed Psych who has experience of dyslexia and dyspraxia.

My son had screening test that came back 'few dyslexia tendencies' ... A couple of years down the line - statement is almost coming through (severe dyslexia and severe dyspraxia).

Sorry as not read all the replies but get your son on school action, preferably school action plus. And sooner rather than later apply for statutory assessment. Actually you should apply right NOW as I guess your child is in year 3, it is a long process.

Or check out Tinsley House thread or google for info on retained reflexes (David something).

Best wishes

Badvoc Sat 09-Feb-13 20:46:45

Yes, that is my feeling too...better and more regular communication from Senco.
Yes,It is state and is primary!
I am actually a foundation gov and therefore was appointed by the diocese panel.
Not sure the HT would have supported my standing as a parent gov tbh...she knows I won't be a yes person! smile
But otoh my dc are the 4 generation of my family to go to his school and I feel very passionately about both its future and about sen provision.
The Senco is a job share year 5 teacher. She seems nice. She is completing a foundation degree ATM for being a Senco which gives me hope!
If you think of anything else, please let me know!

'Senco in primary are often class teachers with no expertise.

Sorry for picking up on this, in a very helpful and enlightening post generally, but why in god's name do they pretend they do?

4 schools and not one single SMART target, let alone ime, any understanding of asd beyond 'it's an iceberg'!

MareeyaDolores Sat 09-Feb-13 21:09:01

Inaflap, I've known of this happening with university students; somehow it feels worse to think of it being a whole-family deception. sad. It may not be due to deliberately-dodgy EPs though: with a modicum of research and effort its possible to fool the computerised screening tests into reporting dyslexia. Just as psychpaths charm interview panels, and more-or-less everyone tends to tick the more socially desirable boxes on political or market research surveys.

I think the percentage of dodgy-dyslexics claiming extra time and disabled student funding is very much smaller than the huge number of students who drop out (with debts) due to their still-unrecognised SEN.

Badvoc Sat 09-Feb-13 21:18:04

I share your frustration star.
The Senco at my sons last school was truly dire.
He just didn't give a toss and didn't pretend to.
My friends son was dx with DAMP after this Senco had been telling her for 2 years that she just had to accept that her son "isn't as bright as you or your dh"
shock
The Senco at his current school (albeit who soon went on long term sick leave) told me after assessing ds1 that she had "no concerns"...
Am glad in a way.
It made me realise I had to step up and I couldn't rely on them.
As I say, an ephihany of sorts.
I just "opted out" of the whole sorry situation.
No more pointless meetings, no more banging my head against a brick wall fighting for provision that cannot/will not happen.
I decided to help my son myself.
It's not been easy. It has meant a period of home schooling, some financial outlay, moving house and LA, doing therapies....
Its not something everyone can do. But life is better since I did it.

'and more-or-less everyone tends to tick the more socially desirable boxes on political or market research surveys'

Oh yes. I always tick the £80k plus income box, and drive a VERY posh car, as well as subscribing to well pretty much everything that they ask tbh....

Inaflap Sat 09-Feb-13 21:27:27

Lucid screening and LASS screeners make big money out of this. I chucked them out. Bonkers results.

Primary sencos quite often get it foisted on them sort of either that or be ic of music or pe! It might come with a responsibility point (not very much for the amount of work it should take). That being said, I lucked out with Flying Boy's but the most dyslexic child I have ever known with speech and language was only picked up in year 4 when the class teacher hissed at the mum 'you have to get him out of this school'. It damaged him and more so, his mum for good. Happily, he has readers and scribes now and is doing well but how it was missed I don't know.

Inaflap Sat 09-Feb-13 21:29:46

One of my students was told in primary (private) that she was stupid. She still remembers it and the damage has been long term. She's doing well and is going to be the best primary teacher ever. I'm sort of steering her towards sen! She's helping me out with one of my littlies and doing brilliantly.

My dad was severely dyslexic. He didn't know it until he was 60 and his work referred him to OT.

He thought teachers were stupid at school as they explained things in such a roundabout and fluffy way, so he became a teacher himself. He was very highly regarded and got great results, prefering the disadvantaged schools in East London.

Becoming a university lecturer to teach teachers was fine, but then it all started getting very paper-worky......

Badvoc Sat 09-Feb-13 21:33:47

Inaflap.
My son was showing signs of clinical depression at age 6 due to the bullying he was subject to due to his problems. He was called slow and told he was on the thick table. School did nothing, except tell me he was "struggling". And there was physical bullying too.
sad
I failed him by leaving him there for so long.
I won't fail him again.

Badvoc Sat 09-Feb-13 21:36:19

Star...I think my dh is slightly dyslexic (and mil) but it hasn't stopped him getting a degree (in engineering).
When ds was dx I told my mum. She then said "does that mean he is slow?" She will not forget that in a while. You could probably hear me shouting in the next street smile

Inaflap Sat 09-Feb-13 22:38:45

I'm just getting son 2 done. I mentioned it to the year 4 teacher who looked sceptical but then he was diagnosed with a life long medical thing and although was in school his learning was affected for two years. He bombed big time in the SATs. His class teacher gave him a 3 for Science! He's in top set science in year 8 getting level 6 in one of his last tests! The primary school (not the same one that flying boy went to) looked after the medical side brilliantly but no one thought to question why he wasn't doing so well academically and no one told me so I couldn't do anything about it. I put it down to the medical side as I was working with very severe dyslexics and to be honest he doesn't equate to that No I've moved to the milder end, I think it could be. I don't know whether it is but at least the school seem to be responsive so far.

Just wish my severe dyslexic at school's mother would accept my advice. Sigh. I've got another one who needs to see a behavioural optometrist but who won't accept the advice and won't take the child. Sigh.

Badvoc Sat 09-Feb-13 22:40:34

Must be deeply frustrating.

NotInTheMood Sun 10-Feb-13 14:04:54

Thank you for your replies links and advice. I've just bought the book waiting for it to be delivered. I am prob going to look like one of these mothers who want to label their children to compensate for them not achieving :-( . I just want answers the only other thing similar is auditory memory processing disorder but that doesn't explain the letter and number reversal arrrraaaagggh so frustrating when you cannot trust the opinion of people who are meant. Be on our side

Ang69 Sun 10-Feb-13 17:17:20

Hi there

So sorry you are having to deal with this. I had exactly the same issues with my son and we knew from the age of 3/4 there was something not right. He could speak well and was bright but couldn't concentrate and didn't mix very well. It was so bad that they really thought he was autistic. However, I knew he wasn't as he was just too with it emotionally and even he felt there was something wrong. Eventually at the age of 6 I took him for a private assessment for dyslexia as like your son he was very behind with reading/writing. He was also writing things backwards and saying that the words jumped about. He practically had no concept of phonics at all.The assessment showed possible dyslexic issues but showed a huge issue with auditory processing. The school did not really take this on board and just continued with what they were doing which was making no difference at all. So, I researched everything I could on this and found it really was what was causing all his problems and delays.

He now sees a SALT once a week(privately) and i also have him on a reading program specifically for children with these issues called FastforWord. He has been on the program now for 5 months and what a difference. I can now see light at the end of the tunnel and know that he will soon be able to independently read/write and follow his class with no 1 to 1 support. It is not cheap but I know some schools in the UK are using it so it is worth asking. My son's school are not interested and prefer to do their own thing so I have now decided that if my son is to get anywhere then I better do it myself. If you google Neuron Learning you will be able to read about the programs available and see if you feel it will help your son.

Wishing you the best of luck and if you want any further info then please feel free to ask.

Fromdeepestperu Sun 10-Feb-13 22:40:51

You could be describing my 8 year old ds, OP.

I am 'lucky' in that he has been diagnosed as dyslexic with ADD tendencies thrown in for good measure. Slow processing speed is part of dyslexia, fgs!

My advice would be to insist on a full assessment from either a dyslexia specialist teacher or an EP. Once he has had a full assessment, which takes around 2 to 4 hours in total, his specific difficulties will be evident , then support can be tailored to suit.

Good luck!

Niceweather Thu 14-Feb-13 09:16:34

"Private EP. Well here, I have to say, and I have a lot, and I mean a lot of evidence for this, that some do take the money and give the parents what they want to hear. I've got quite a few 'middle class dyslexics'. They have reading ages 5 years ABOVE their chronological ages, they write fluently, they are cohearant, their spelling is not great but within bog standard average scores, they do not need any special provision, they are above target in all areas (and we are talking targets of B and A grade.). I have read some truly poorly written reports. jCQ have got wise to this and so a private EP is now last on their list to award extra time. It is up to the schools specialist teacher to award or not exam access arrangements and much evidence is required."

Very upsetting to read this. These kids may well be high IQ, G&T, straight A* kids who are struggling and underachieving. Their reading comprehension may be 5 years above average but they may well be mis-reading questions in exam papers. They may pass a spelling test but not be able to spell in their writing as there are too many other things to concentrate on. Intellectually, they should be top of the top set but they will probably be in average ability sets. Access to recognition and help is taken from the average so therefore, as these kids are seen as average then nothing is done, despite the fact that they are underachieving and at risk of not being challenged intellectually and of suffering from lack of self esteem.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now