Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

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.

Badvoc Fri 08-Feb-13 11:28:03

Yeah....
Sounds familiar.
My son was the same, school did a screening test after much pushing from me and said he was fine.
Cue years down the line me paying for an EP report and guess what?
He iS severely dyslexic! He was less than 3rd centile for spelling and less than 15th centile for reading in year 4 sad
Sigh.
Good news - There is a lot you can do to help your son.
Check out the tinskey hiue support thread x

NotInTheMood Fri 08-Feb-13 11:43:46

Really they said the screening was really accurate and could only be used by professionals. Fgs I've spent the last year focussing on dyslexia and ignoring the speech and Lang in way which is a problem still although like you im still convinced he is dyslexic. There is a processing problem that's for sure. I mean what is with letter and word and number reversals he's 8!!! Ok will hope onto the thread.

Badvoc Fri 08-Feb-13 11:55:34

Well, it's not.
And I would bet that it was a TA who did it with him, too.
Is your son on SA? Does he have an IEP?

moosemama Fri 08-Feb-13 11:58:31

A lot of the school's dyslexia screening exercises are very, er ... minimalist. The British Dyslexia Association has advice on how to access full screening [[http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/about-dyslexia/adults-and-business/getting-a-full-assessment-for-dyslexia-.html here].

As for the slow processing, my ds also has slow processing that was discovered as part of an an Ed Psych assessment for something else. In his case it was during the WISC IV assessment, done in school by the LEA Ed Psych.

I would book an appointment to see the SENCO and push for a proper assessment. Children with poor working memory and slow processing speed are at a huge disadvantage to other pupils, even without probable dyslexia and the school needs to properly assess the extent and impact of these on him.

My ds2 has similar speech, reading and writing etc dyslexic traits to yours, not bad enough for schools to be bothered about helping and supporting angry but he has coped with our help. I suspect he also has some processing issues and a recent Occupational Therapy assessment uncovered problems with sequencing, time, planning and organisation that we hadn't realised was such a problem to him.

He is doing ok in school now - Y4 - but had intensive 1:1 and group support in the infants from the tail end of Reception to the middle of year 2, which really brought him on. He's a mid-range student and happy and comfortable there. I regularly point out his reversals, mirror writing etc to the school and they dismiss it, bit having a friend who is not only severely dyslexic herself, but also a highly qualified specialist dyslexia teacher, I know that realistically I won't get any support via school for him. (Unfortunately she lives too far away to be able to work with him herself as well.)

Do go and have a look on the Tinsley House thread, as I believe it has helped a few people on here to help their dcs. It wasn't for me/us, but worth
considering as a means of supporting your ds yourself, but, I would recommend doing this alongside trying the school/ed psych route. If the school won't listen or get him assessed, I would recommend going to your GP and seeing if you can be referred from there.

Finally, as Badvoc also said, there is the option of paying for an independent Ed Psych report, which is £££s but would be a quick way of getting answers and evidence you need to push for your ds to get the support he needs in school.

Finally, don't blame yourself, just the fact that you are here shows you are a lovely mum and are doing your best to get his needs met. I was the same with my first-born and he didn't get his ASD dx until he was nearly 9, then to compound things, I was so busy concentrating on sorting things for him that I missed obvious signs that ds2 was struggling and he ended up being diagnosed with a physical disability, just last year - again at the age of 8! blush We can all only go on the what we know at the time and it takes a while to realise that you can't always rely on or trust some of the professionals who are involved with educating our dcs.

Badvoc Fri 08-Feb-13 12:05:38

Moose..."minimalist" !!!
Love it!
Just the word to describe schools attitude to dyslexia, sadly sad
Moose gives very good advice...as usual smile
Personally I regret paying for an EP report as it didn't tell me aching I didn't already know and the school did not implement any of her recommendation. It's a big problem for parents of kids with sen actually...getting the schools to implement what they have been told to do/requested to do.
The way I seeif, I could have spent at £600 (yes, it's very expensive) on other things to help ds.
But, by all means do go down that route if you feel it is the right thing for you.

Badvoc Fri 08-Feb-13 12:06:36

...oh, and should also point out that some schools and HTs will feel that as you paid for a private EP report you have paid for a dx too.
angry

moosemama Fri 08-Feb-13 12:08:23

NotInTheMood - ds2 still reverses both horizontally and vertically, letters and numbers - in fact the only numbers he doesn't reverse are 0, 1 and 8 - because those are the only ones you can't reverse!

School insist he just needs to check his work for reversals and correct them - completely oblivious to the wider implications of what is causing him to reverse in the first place. angry

He also mirror writes and reverses his own name, will reverse and mix letters in words so, for example in a recent piece of homework, said became siad, because became becuase and captain became captian. He also writes m for w and n for u and vice versa and reverses 'e', 'd', 'b', 'p', 'q', 'j', 'l', i and g - and probably a few more.

School said no sign of dyslexia on their screening and wouldn't agree to any further testing than the standard y3 screeing. angry As Badvoc said, hardly any schools have fully dyslexia trained teachers/TAs/SENCOs and therefore the test is highly likely to have been carried out by someone with no professional training in dyslexia.

He has speech issues similar to your son, he would say older 'of' you and also says I 'writ' a story, I 'buyed' a game, despite us always modelling and repeating correct usage.

moosemama Fri 08-Feb-13 12:11:30

Sadly Badvoc is right about the attitude of many schools to independent EPs. Just thought, my friend is involved in a charity that does private dyslexia tutoring in her area.

It might be worth checking out if there is anything like that in your area, as you could get an awful lot of dyslexia support tutoring for the same amount as one EP report.

I have to take dd to nursery now, but I will see if I can dig out the details of my friend's charity and they might be able to advise you where to look if you aren't in their area.

NotInTheMood Fri 08-Feb-13 12:16:36

Ok thanks your help and advice. He does have a IEP and is on the school Action too and keeps a lot of support in class and small group work. I have been told to do some memory games with etc. I am tempted to visit the Gp and refer him that was as his current teacher seems keen to help but is acting on advice from SENCO as she has suggested we give it a few months and perhaps refer to an ed psychologist on methods to help rather then a diagnosis. SENCO seemed lees keen.The SENCO doesn't know this child and seemed to think using a timer when he worked would help to speed his up hmm She also wanted to believe that ds may not just be trying very hard. Luckily the teacher refuted this.

NotInTheMood Fri 08-Feb-13 12:25:23

Thank you, thank you I am sat here crying as feeling less alone by your lovely replies. As awful as it is I wanted that diagnosis and was convinced it would show up in the test and hadn't prepared to argue my case We all know there is something wrong and stopping him from learning and so now not knowing what it is is so disheartening. Ds has just swum up to cubs last night and had to read the oath he told the leader he couldn't read :-( dh forget to mention his difficulties .

I just wanted to say he is dyslexic or he has this or that so other people outside of school could understand iykwim. I don't want to label him but I want an explanation for him and us so he can understand that it's no ones fault and he is not stupid he just has to learn in a different way.

moosemama Fri 08-Feb-13 12:40:42

Right, I'm back.

Friend's charity is Dyslexia Association of Staffordshire. You probably aren't in their area, but they may be able to offer you some advice on where to look in your own area - or how to get private help.

Alternatively you could try the British Dyslexia Association's Helpline.

It's good that he has a supportive teacher, but angry at SENCO for you. To be honest she's bound to try and sidestep a referral to EP, as she won't want to do anything that costs them money.

ilikemysleep Fri 08-Feb-13 13:48:59

Dyslexia 'diagnosis' is a process not an event. It should be diagnosed by evidence of a child failing over time to make progress at reading and / or spelling despite appropriate teaching over time and in the absence of clear learning needs that are sufficient in themselves to explain the difficulty. If your child is not reading or spelling appropriately despite the school making genuine attempts to differentiate and teach appropriately then he is probably dyslexic. Dyslexia like other learning conditions is a set of outcomes which can have a variety of causes - processing, memory, phonological awareness, visual processing. It's more useful TBH to know what the 'stuck' process is than to simply ascribe it to dyslexia and not know WHY he is struggling IMO. So knowing he has poor memory and slow processing gives school lots of work on.

AFAIK sencos are not really meant to single handedly rule any condition in or out on the basis of a test. They can get a bit hung up on tests though. I remember a meeting in school once where I mentioned that a child had very poor fine motor skills. 'Really?' asked the SENCO. 'What test did you use? I don't have a fine motor assessment, is it one SENCOs can do?' My response: 'I looked at his handwriting...'

Badvoc Fri 08-Feb-13 14:03:14

You aren't alone smile
There are 3 main different types of dyslexia...in fact in my sons case his dyslexia is a symptom of Dds = developmental delay syndrome.
This could also apply to your son.
Don't get me started on Sencos!! angry

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 08-Feb-13 14:14:11

Ilike - the trouble is that collecting evidence of a child failing over time is not easy - ime school will argue til they are blue in the fact that there is progress whatever the circumstances because they do not collect the relevant data to do so. When they are made to do so it turns out that 'apparent lack of progess' acutually means 'evident regression'. 'Apparent' can have two meanings - obvious or suspected. The other issue is that failure takes time and all the time the child is experiencing failure on a daily basis. They are unable to explain this to themselves (because we don't want to label them) and so become self-punitive, believing that they are stupid. This is damaging to self-esteem and mental health.

DS1 is 12 now. The private EP that carried out the assessments and 'diagnosed' dyslexia was worth every penny because it gave DS1 a means of understanding himself.

Plus, it may to difficult to get interventions with a private EP diagnosis but in my experience it brought interventions (Accelerwrite/read, touch typing, recording device, extra time in exams, a reader/scribe in exams etc) that are impossible to get without a diagnosis.

Inaflap Fri 08-Feb-13 16:41:38

Can I say something from a SENCO perspective?

Senco in primary are often class teachers with no expertise. If they are lucky they will get to do some of the excellent senco training out there but in these days of tight budgets... The amount of paperwork a senco has to do is huge. Please do not underestimate this. I could spend all of my time on paper work (some of it pointless but have to justify and prove everything you do in case of inspection), however, actually, i'd like to teach children its what I'm good at.

Primary sencos are seldom trained in assessment. In secondary it is necessary so that exam access arrangements can be awarded. I put myself through the post grad cert for that at considerable cost. The hoops to jump through and expense to become a specialist teacher are huge and often beyond the reach of most.

To try and get over this problem, dyslexia screeners (using computers) are used. I think they are not great and don't use them myself but then I'm trained. Unfortunately, some people ignore good old fashioned observation, book scruitiny, listening to parents, asking the teacher, asking the child, and common sense. However, all these take time and that's something that most teachers don't have, particularly if the senco is also head of 6 other subject areas.

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.

A senco has to be pretty sure that a childwill get a diagnosis before recommending that parents spend money as I have known it happen that parents pay, don't get a diagnosis and then blame the school, despite there being evidence to suggest a particular need. Lea ed psychs are rare beasts who have to be booked and in my experience are a bit crap! Also to move on for disabled student allowance you need a report written in secondary. For exam access arrangements in secondary, where there is no one to assess, JCQ will only accept a report in secondary so sometimes staff don't want to ask a parent to pay twice.

Some parents won't accept a diagnosis. I have one child at the mo with major dyslexia whose mother is refusing to get her tested. I have heard of one case where the mother wouldn't allow the child to be on the sen register or receive extra help. In other words, you have to deal with very varied people!

That all being said, OP, your son sounds dyslexic to me with possible co morbid speech and language delay.

And finally, yes some sencos are rubbish just as I have to deal with some parents who, for whatever reason, are hopeless. The sadness comes is when a child who needs support gets stuck between a crap senco and hopeless parents. Your children have you lot fighting their corner, rattling cages and stamping feet, just like I do for my kids. It's very difficult when you know there is a problem, a solution, but your hands are tied.

Sorry for the rant but we do doa very difficult job which I think goes unacknowleged. We are often the person campaigning for 'our' students in school and being their advocates, often this causes annoyance because we have to demand and aggrevate to get them what they want. I spend countless hours pleading with leas for more money or support, cajoling staff to use different fonts, talking children out of a locked loo. Crikey, the list is endless.

moosemama Fri 08-Feb-13 17:11:59

Inaflap, I think your input is invaluable, as you say, not all SENCOs are created equal. Some - like yourself, are amazing people, who do everything they can to support their pupils, often in extremely difficult circumstances, but others - like ours - are either out of their depth or more interested in the bottom line (£'s) than making sure children are properly supported. (Our school loves boasting about how much profit they are in, but at the same time fails to properly support it's most vulnerable pupils. hmm)

As a parent, fighting for their child, though what do you do - where do you go, when you are confronted with one of the crap ones? I know we are caught between a rock and a hard place with ours these days, as nothing we say or do makes any difference and she is a master of illusion and highly adept at covering her tracks.

In our school it's one of the incredible teachers who is always there trying to talk children out of locked loos and talking them down from the high places they've managed to climb etc. She is also the one that takes the time and trouble to listen to my ds and help resolve any problems he has, despite no longer being his CT. Even the Head gets involved in directly supporting pupils and once spent over an hour hovering outside the toilets when my ds was poorly and distressed - sadly the SENCO, doesn't get involved unless she's forced to.

I have in the past acknowledged and thanked previous SENCOs for all their support and help. Having been bare-faced lied to and manipulated regularly by the latest incarnation - well let's just say she doesn't even make the Christmas card list.

I agree it is a very hard, thankless job and the good ones are worth their weight in gold, but never recognised as such. So thanks to you and purleease, could you come and work at my dcs school - pretty please? <bats eyelids>

Badvoc Fri 08-Feb-13 17:34:47

Ah.
A Senco blaming parents.
What a shocker.
Sigh.
I am sure you are a good Senco inaflap, but as you say most Sencos are not adequately trained and - as with everything - budget constraints apply far more than is acknowledged.
I am a Gov at my sons school for sen so have some knowledge of this as well as being the mother to a dyslexic child.
Not all parents are adequate, I agree, but your comment about "middle class dyslexics" sucks.
We are middle class and my son is severely dyslexic, despite 2 Sencos telling me they had - and I quote "no concerns"!!
My son is now progressing well, but that has nothing to do with school provision or with any Senco and everything to do with interventions that my dh and I have done/are doing.

Inaflap Fri 08-Feb-13 17:39:06

I wish I could but I do primary and secondary in my current job and its rather fun. I crawl round in nursery then go help with A level! I have to say my blood boils when I read some of the stories on here. I think some staff get so concerned with covering their backs and some are bloody lazy and completely lacking in empathy. I was really lucky with Flying boys sencos over the years but it could so easily gone to someone else.

Is it worth contacting a govenor of your school. There will be one who deals with SEN. Interestingly, the LEA get pissed off with crap Sencos as well. After completing another bloody form I asked wtf of the case officer (really nice guy) and he said some just write a sentence in the information bit and so tey've nothingto go on. Deep sigh.

moosemama Fri 08-Feb-13 18:10:40

Gosh, what a great role working from the bottom to top vice-versa - but such a massive amount of ground to cover SENCO wise.

Governors are a no-go at this school, it's all neatly sewn up between the HT and church. Ds1's best friend's mum is a governor, but is standing down, as only the HT and pastor have any power and all decisions are basically down to whatever they want/say. angry

LEA are just starting to have their eyes opened to the school, having had them off their radar for the longest time. This is because they have consistently and deliberately failed to identify and support children with SEN, so none of the support services even knew they existed. The ASD inclusion team said they didn't think there were any children with ASD in our school until I called them in for ds1 - two years later and there are six that they are supporting, just off the top of my head. None of those parents even knew that they could ask for help. angry

These days the parents of children with SEN get together every now and then and sit there with our hair standing on end at what each of our dcs has been subjected to. sad LEA officer was shocked when I told her what was going on and said "but we have never had any problems with X school", no-one has ever complained. I then told her that was because no-one knew a) that they could and/or b) how to do it.

Yet this is a 'good' school in a 'naice' area, that presents itself as a friendly, happy church school that is ultimately inclusive and welcoming. hmm

Badvoc Fri 08-Feb-13 18:14:23

Moose...
It was only my second b of gov meeting on weds and I told one of the other governors that something he suggested was "immoral".
Because it was.
I am not a governor to make friends. I don't give a crap what the HT thinks of me ( and she knows it)
I am a governor to try and do the very best for all the children at that school.
That is terrible about your b of gov.
Not all are like that, thank god.

moosemama Fri 08-Feb-13 18:21:25

I know Badvoc, ds's friends mum has been a governor for years, but has finally become defeated at being the lone voice, challenging the others and being steamrollered. sad

She is actually going to be a governor at another local school, where she feels she will be more able to make a difference.

Badvoc Fri 08-Feb-13 18:29:31

I feel like that about church ATM moose sad
Am not standing again.
At least at school I stand a chance if altering things for the better!

moosemama Fri 08-Feb-13 18:35:38

Sadly I think it's fairly common with smaller church schools - it's like the church mafia or something. Everyone knows who the individuals concerned are and that it's never worth the battle. hmm

Such a shame, as you'd think with religious morals/ethics you could rely on them to know better.

Just to clarify, I don't think it's all churches/church schools, just the ones that don't practice what they preach.

MareeyaDolores Fri 08-Feb-13 23:06:03

The only thing worse than an evil bigot playing God...
is an evil bigot who thinks God wants then to play God.

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.

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