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(12 Posts)
sharratt16 Wed 17-Oct-12 20:08:50

ive just been informed by my childs teacher that he may have dyslexia tendonsies. she said that there is a waiting list for the assesment so i thought about going private but have no idear what kind of cost i could be looking at?????????

walkingthedogagain Thu 18-Oct-12 19:12:26

Hi i am fairly new to MN and have just come across your post. My son's school have just informed me yesterday of exactly the same thing and he has just had some tests done in his school. My son is 9. I did ask only yesterday about the official test for dyslexia and the teacher that does the tests told me that she could not say no, don't have it done. However, I was told that outside agencies that specialise in these tests will charge you about £300 - £400 for the test and that schools use exactly the same test as these outside "specialist" agencies do. Also I was told that our school (don't know if all schools are the same) is only allowed to say that a child has dyslexic tendencies and not say that they definitely have dyslexia. That can only be done by these outside agencies. Seems bizarre to me as I think that schools should definitely be in a position to help more with this, so I am a bit confused by it. Anyway, hope this message helps. I just thought that I would impart the small amount of information that I've picked up so far.

ClareMarriott Thu 18-Oct-12 22:01:57

Are teachers qualified to say if a child is dyslexic or not ? I should think not, I would go and see someone outside of the school for a decision

walkingthedogagain Thu 18-Oct-12 23:36:17

No I don't think they are qualified to say a definite yes about this. I know that they are putting different learning strategies in place for my son at school. It would be nice to get him tested to get a definite answer though. It may take me some time to save up, it's not a small amount of money.

adoptmama Fri 19-Oct-12 04:54:33

Teachers cannot say that a child is dyslexic as this needs to be confirmed by a qualified educational pyschologist who will use more tests than a school will. Some of the tests are the same but generally ed. psych has a greater variety of diagnostic tools available than schools. The packages cost hundreds of pounds which is why schools generally just administer short tests which highlight discrepencies e.g. between reading age and chronological age which may indicate dyslexia.

I would not really bother with going for private tests unless money is really no issue to you or the tests he is on the waiting list for are not going to lead to a formal diagnosis. As the school already suspect dyslexia they can already put in place the strategies they need to help support him and these will be the same kind of thing the Ed. Psych will recommend anyway.

Do make sure though that you do get a formal educational diagnosis of the learning disability as it has implications when he is older e.g. for sitting GCSE exams as he will be entitled to special arrangements like 25% extra exam time to compensate for the difficulties in reading/writing the exam.

walkingthedogagain Fri 19-Oct-12 11:06:23

Hi adoptmama, thank you so much for your advice on this. It's really appreciated. Could you please explain how I go about getting the formal educational diagnosis for him please. Do I just ask for this through his primary school ? He is in year 5 at the moment. Many thanks.

adoptmama Fri 19-Oct-12 18:51:22

First off ask the school SENCO (special needs coordinator) what they normally do when they suspect dyslexia - don't they have an ed. psych they refer to in the educational authority? They should have and you can then ask them to make a referral. It can be a v. long wait but they should be able to give you an idea of how long it is.

If the school do not agree to the referral, you have the right to contact the LEA (your local educational authority) directly to ask for an assessment. Contact the LEA's special educational needs department. If they mess you around ask your local councillor to support you. It is your right, as far as I understand the English system. You can go private but 300-500 is the normal cost for the assessment to be done.

Also do the basics like get their hearing and eyes checked so that you can rule out issues related to these areas. For example a child with some hearing loss may not hear word/letter sounds clearly, which can misrepresent as dsylexic difficulties.

I am a big believer in formal assessment because every child is different and no two dyslexic children will have the same difficulties or issues. Dyslexia is a broad spectrum, can come accompanied with other difficulties and can affect more than just reading. So a full assessment will give everyone - including your child - a full picture of their relative strengths and weaknesses and what will be the most effective strategies and technology you can adopt for you individual child. (There's loads of good read/write software, apps etc nowadays for example which help make curriculum work more accessible for dyslexics).

Good luck. The earlier the intervention, the better for the child so I hope you can find out why your child is having difficulties and get some effective help for them.

walkingthedogagain Sat 20-Oct-12 13:03:01

Hi adoptmama, thank you very, very much for the time that you've taken to write all of this and for all of your advice. I really appreciate it. Just by coincidence he actually had his ears checked last week at the hospital which turned out OK (but this was for a different thing) and we have also been through lots of eye tests in the past as he was diagnosed with a lazy eye, although his actual sight is OK. I will definitely take your advice and get a formal assessment done for him as this sounds the way to go to help him properly. I actually suspected something might be wrong (mother's instinct I suppose) as early as year 3, as he tended to mis-read small words over and over again, plus there were a few issues I thought with his writing, but on asking his teacher if there was a possibility of dyslexia at his parents evening, he told us that there was "no way" that he was dyslexic (ironically he is the actual SENCO at my son's school and he was his teacher at the time, so I just went by what he said really). I am quite worried about the impact that this will have on him as he is quite a sensitive little boy and easily upset, so we are trying to play this under the radar as much as we can at the moment. However, to get him the proper help he needs, I suspect it will have to be tackled openly at some point with him, but it is just deciding how to do this the best way, really. Thanks again for all of your advice x

mummytime Sat 20-Oct-12 13:05:43

How old is your son? I would request an appointment with the SENCO to discuss what they are going to be doing to help him now. A diagnosis is generally not necessary, most accommodations/help should be given on what the child needs, rather than dependent on a diagnosis.

walkingthedogagain Mon 22-Oct-12 10:30:44

Hi, he's nine, he will be ten in december

mummytime Mon 22-Oct-12 11:06:26

You could get his eyes checked either by a behaviour opthalmologist or the Dyslexic Research trust if you are near Reading or Oxford. I would also talk to him about people who are different (always good for kids anyway), and maybe point out famous people who are Dyslexic (range from Tom Cruise to Richard Branson to Winston Churchill).
The two things I would be looking at are: which specific areas does he have problems with eg. spelling, thinking of ideas, following verbal instructions etc.; and looking at secondary schools, seeking a good SENCO (one who knows what they are talking about without you needing to spell it out). Another useful thing to do is keep a diary of your concerns, and any contact you have with the school including dates.

walkingthedogagain Thu 25-Oct-12 11:33:08

Thank you very much mummytime for all of your help and advice x

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