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To think DD1's (primary) school hasn't done enough to help her with reading?

(48 Posts)
dontrunwithscissors Fri 10-Jul-15 09:16:01

Sorry, this is a long one...

For the record, we're in Scotland so there's a different syllabus up here. DD1 (8) is a really smart girl--that's been confirmed by her teachers--however, she's really struggled with her reading. When she entered P2, I was told she was getting extra input with her reading. They'd moved to a different reading scheme that year, which the school believed was a significant improvement on the old one. She was to go down to a P1 class twice a week (along with a couple of other kids) and be taught by the school's specialist in literacy. I was promised regular updates on her progress.

Throughout P2, those updates didn't happen. I spoke to her literacy teacher a number of times and explained that DD1 was getting very stressed about reading and asked what was going on. I got limited information about it, but felt that they were paying attention to the problem. I didn't want to make a huge fuss because friends with older kids had reassured me that children can take a while to 'click' with reading, DD1 is clearly bright and she'll catch up.

She continued to attend the literacy classes this year (twice a week for an hour.)

Part of the way through this year (P3), I was getting really fed up with what I saw as the lack of progress and failure to communicate so I went into the school to complain. At this point, the teacher told me she was 'average' reading level for her age. This came from a literacy test that the council does every 2 years. When I pushed her on this, she said that she was way ahead of her age for vocabulary and comprehension, but behind for actual reading. The idea that she is 'average' ability is because the points she scored overall averaged out in the middle. At this point she told me she had been wondering since P2 whether she had dyslexia due to the big differences between her vocabulary and reading level. She promised to test her for this and get in touch. I was gobsmacked that she had been 'thinking' about this for almost a year, but had made no effort to tell me this or do anything about it.

A couple of months ago, I still hadn't heard anything so went back to the school. She told me she had done some tests and she's not dyslexic. I asked her whether DD1 was catching up with her peers--she told me she doesn't know. Apparently, the only way she can tell is through the tests the council do, which only happen every 2 years. So it will be another year before they can assess whether the situation is improving. I pushed her for a guide as to whether DD1 was catching up--she claimed to not know until she's tested next year. I asked her what their plans were if she doesn't improve? No answer. Did she think it's OK that DD1 just coasts along through primary school when there's clearly something wrong with her reading?

So, AIBU to a) be pissed off that I'm constantly having to push the school to keep me up to date, despite promises to stay in touch? b) to think that after 2 years of remedial teaching, they need to rethink their plans because it's clearly not working? c) push hard for further tests for dyslexia. d) have little faith in an expert literacy teacher who is unable to provide an assessment of DD1's progress herself?

dontrunwithscissors Fri 10-Jul-15 09:19:34

Oh, the fact that she averaged out in the middle for the test seems irrelevant. What matters is how she's doing on each part of the test. I'm lost as to how the school can think it's OK to only pay attention to the final score a kid gets.

ClaimedByMe Fri 10-Jul-15 09:24:54

I am in Scotland and my dad has just left P7 she is dyslexic, the easiest thing to do is go to the nearest brick wall and bang your head off it...lots!!

I really don't know what advise to give you as even although the ed psych agreed she was probably dyslexic and the optometrist (or opthologist special children's eye dr at the hospital) said she was dyslexic the school still never done anything to help her learn to read/write/spell/numbers she has just left primary school with a learning age of 8. I tried from P4 to get someone to listen, the school finally took notice in P7 when dd lashed out verbally at her teacher.

I would take her for an eye test first if she doesn't already wear glasses and you can take her to the gp and get referred for dyslexia testing.

Dd will get proper testing when she starts high school in August.

dontrunwithscissors Fri 10-Jul-15 09:28:58

Thanks claimed. She's had her eyes tested recently and they're fine. From my very, very limited understanding of dyslexia, I'm not sure that she shows many signs, but surely something can't be right with an 8 year old who is age 10 for her vocabulary, but age 5 for her reading!

I'm at a loss. The only good thing is that both her normal and literacy teachers are changing for P4 so maybe a fresh start might help.

dontrunwithscissors Fri 10-Jul-15 09:31:39

Sorry for everything coming out here....perhaps I'm BU, but I'm gutted that she's having these problems. She's a really sensitive child and these problems have hit her confidence hard. I was an early reader--reading books from 3 years old--and sort of assumed that she would be too.

TheTroubleWithAngels Fri 10-Jul-15 09:32:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

junebirthdaygirl Fri 10-Jul-15 09:33:43

It's not like the school hasn't done anything as they are giving her extra help.But it does sound like dyslexia. Gap between own ability and achievement usually signals dyslexia. ln my experience children with dyslexia often have good vocabulary and comprehension orally but it's the actual nuts and bolts of reading they struggle with.It's very strange how the teacher can't assess her progress as there are a lot of assessment tools out there. Dyslexia is usually only diagnosed at 8 or over as some children can be slow starters.So maybe they will do it in new term. You can help your dd a lot over the summer by reading with her calmly and without big fuss everyday. You could also buy Toe by Toe on line and begin it with her. At the end of the day you will be the one who can ultimately help your child the most. A diagnosis of dyslexia will not change anything as the work will still need to be done.

ladygracie Fri 10-Jul-15 09:34:10

This website is excellent for dyslexia support & info. www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/parent

ClaimedByMe Fri 10-Jul-15 09:35:29

Did her teacher try her coloured overlays when she ruled out dyslexia? My daughter has also always had excellent vocabulary, I bet your dd has more signs than you realise, from P4 onwards, when it started to be really obvious for my dd, as a lot of work in upto P3 has a lot of pictures/visual aids, my dd brought home all he assessment work from p1 through to p7 last week and you can see the difference when she got older and they started using less pictures/visuals.

stargirl1701 Fri 10-Jul-15 09:36:05

Ask the ASN teacher in school to complete a complete Aston Index (new version) with her. That will give you information that will help determine the difficulty.

From there, maybe Toe by Toe as a programme to support her? Rainbow Reading? Might be worth getting in touch with Dyslexia Scotland too?

stargirl1701 Fri 10-Jul-15 09:36:19

www.dyslexiascotland.org.uk

Oliversmumsarmy Fri 10-Jul-15 09:36:45

Only an Ed Psych can give you a definitive answer to whether or not your dd is dyslexic. Not a teacher. I ended up taking ds out of school completely for 2 years as on the end of year exams in year 3 he scored 0 in all tests as he could not read the question.

He returned to a different school for his final year in Primary and got level 6 on maths and science and level 2 & 3 for English. It took him till he was 12 till he learned to read properly. Dd is dyslexic and although each school has said she is most definitely dyslexic it wasn't until yr 9 before we were able to get an Ed Psych to confirm all our thoughts by which time it was too late to do anything about a certain aspect of her dyslexia.

Agree with Claimed about the brick wall.

ApocalypseThen Fri 10-Jul-15 09:38:01

It'sy strange how the teacher can't assess her progress as there are a lot of assessment tools out there.

Well there may be an issue with whether she's allowed to do these tests and make it all official by discussing results with parents.

TheTroubleWithAngels Fri 10-Jul-15 09:41:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

allmycats Fri 10-Jul-15 09:42:48

Your daughter needs to go to an optician who will do a 'colour overlay test'
which can indentify other visual difficulties , often associated with dyslexia,
that are not related to how she can actually see when having an eye test.
You should look on the website - www.ceriumvistech.co.uk or telephone them on 01580-765211 and ask them to send you a leaflet. This is a good starting point. I work in an opticians but in South Yorks so cannot really offer more help.

Believe me, it can have some amazing results !!

ClaimedByMe Fri 10-Jul-15 09:44:03

Our support for learning teacher does the basic overlay test in school.

Tangerineandturquoise Fri 10-Jul-15 09:45:03

Can your GP refer you for testing?
I am sorry but a teacher cannot do a few tests and decide someone is not dyslexic- they aren't qualified to do that. It takes experienced educational psychologists to do this-and they establish over a wide range of extensive testing whether or not a child is dyslexic or may have other learning issues.Dyslexia presents differently for different children and is a broad term that can cover many issues, going on a couple of courses just wont give the teacher the ability to assess.

Dyslexics tend to see writing in a specific way-so some opticians are qualified to offer an opinion on dyslexia and can support dyslexics with tinted lenses and eye exercises.

I would be pushing for a proper referral either through the school or GP and would be spending the rest of your summer holidays looking at how to achieve that ready for when she goes back to school in August.

It isn't about reading age per se but whether her reading ability is now going to hold back her learning ability as she moves into more independent study in the class room where the work needs to be read rather than be delivered from the teacher.

icklekid Fri 10-Jul-15 09:51:08

I can understand your frustration but in your last post comparing her to you or anyone else isn't really the issue or helpful try and stay focused on what will help her learn to read.

I know nothing about Scottish education system but the most worrying part for me is the teachers inability to assess and reliance on a test! That is what is failing her and the reason why she isn't progressing. The teacher should know what she knows and what she doesn't know which is holding her back - then be able to focus her teaching to fill the gaps.

The discrepancies between verbal and reading does suggest an issue that would be worth an educational phycologist assessing - you may need to push for this! Good luck

icklekid Fri 10-Jul-15 09:55:16

Also does she get any enjoyment from reading? Do you read together even picture books making up stories to start enjoying books? Try comic books or non fiction about an interest. Read a story taking it in turns to read a page then at the end of the story make a craft or something themed from the book eg. Aliens love underpants buy smart price pants and use felt tips to decorate, a story where they go to a pizza parlour? Make pizza that kind of thing so she doesn't get turned off reading!

TheTroubleWithAngels Fri 10-Jul-15 09:55:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Euphemia Fri 10-Jul-15 09:58:20

Push for her to be seen by the Ed Psych. S/he will then be able to recommend further support/intervention.

dontrunwithscissors Fri 10-Jul-15 10:01:01

Thank you for those suggestions. I forgot to say the teacher tried her with coloured overlays and said they wouldn't help.

I'd been told by an acquaintance that a teacher wouldn't usually test for dyslexia so will push them about that in August.

I realise the teacher can't do the actual tests (she said the school don't do them), but I expected a literacy teacher to be able to say whether she's closing the gap or not.

We've had her eyes tested a few times (most recently 2 weeks ago) and there are no problems.

I'm generally pissed at the school--it's meant to be the best in the area, but they seem so disorganised and generally bad communication. They're hugely short of teachers so there have been weeks when DD1 has had a different teachers every day or even different teachers in the morning/afternoon.

She was getting very stressed because she had her back to the whiteboard and was falling behind with her work (because she was having to turn around, memorise the words and write them down. She said this made it much harder and took longer to do.) I've asked the teacher again and again that they don't put her with her back to the board. They would move her, but a couple of weeks later, she's back to the same situation.

Euphemia Fri 10-Jul-15 10:06:28

Who's responsible for ASN in the school? It would usually be a Principal or Deputy Head Teacher. I'd make an appointment to see them and ask for a referral to the Ed Psych.

It sounds as if your DD's issues are falling between stools, with the staff changes.

Stop trying to communicate with teachers - this needs to be escalated.

Spog Fri 10-Jul-15 10:19:14

are you doing regular reading with her at home to try and help her?

TheTroubleWithAngels Fri 10-Jul-15 10:21:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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