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Educational Psychologist question

(6 Posts)
Fastcarsandsoftcats Mon 24-Feb-14 16:07:40

Good afternoon, my 10 year old son has some confidence issues and his school believe he is not performing as well as he could. He's one of the youngest in his year group - and I have been told the year group is a particularly high-achieving one.

He clowns around and seeks attention in ways which are distracting and doesn't always focus on lessons. He's not naughty per se, but several teachers have commented that they feel there is something which is preventing him from reaching his potential. That said, I feel he had a very good mid-term report card, but which - judging by comments - the school feels is distinctly average. He's popular with his peers at school and there are no issues of bullying or victimisation that I am aware of.

We met with a senior member of staff and one of the things which was discussed was perhaps to refer him for assessment by the Educational Psychologist with which the school has links.

I have googled extensively but have only really found reference to EPs with relation to learning disabilities and special needs and not for helping children unlock potential and to release perceived 'blocks' to learning. I don't want to stigmatise him or make him feel worse about himself, however if there is a genuine block I feel perhaps if we address it this will enable him to feel more confident in himself and his abilities. My husband, being a bit 'old school', is very much against it btw.

Can anyone offer any insight based on similar instances to what I've outlined above? Thanks very much.

neolara Mon 24-Feb-14 16:12:57

Is this a private school? Your ds sounds lovely and his behaviour does not sound particularly out of the ordinary. EPs in state schools would normally only see kids where there was a high level of concern and that doesn't particularly sound the case for your ds.

Fastcarsandsoftcats Mon 24-Feb-14 16:16:09

Thank you neolara - he is a lovely boy; and yes it is a private school and we would naturally pay for the assessment. The fact that it will be in the region of £500 also means we are careful to ensure we are using our money wisely.

zaphod Mon 24-Feb-14 16:35:18

Your ds sounds like mine. Almost exactly. And the school kept insisting on the EP so we had the assessment. Despite the fact that he is probably he cleverest of my 5 children, and the quickest to grasp difficult concepts, we conceded because this seemed the only way to get help from other sources for the behaviour issues. Anyway, it turns out he is dyslexic, and while he knew something was wrong, in that he couldn't read like the rest of the class, he wasn't sure what. So the behaviour was an attempt to hide from himself and everyone else that there was a problem. He tested average in standardized tests because he was clever, and could infer answers from context when he couldn't read all the text.

Anyway, the difference in his behaviour was immediate. Discovering there was a reason for his problems was like a weight being lifted. If anyone BUT the EP had suggested he was dyslexic I would have said they were crazy. So I would go ahead with the assessment if I were you. Just in case.

Fastcarsandsoftcats Mon 24-Feb-14 16:41:46

That's interesting zaphod.

Over the last few years both his writing and his spelling have taken backward steps; for instance he had lovely neat joined up writing and now he writes individual characters very messily with poor spelling so it did cross my mind that he might be slightly dyslexic. His reading and general comprehension of written information such as online news sites, seems fine though.

Goldmandra Mon 24-Feb-14 20:33:43

If you can afford the assessment, go for it. There should be no reason for his peers to be aware of the assessment or make judgements about it if it's handled well.

I would like my DDs to be assessed for dyslexia but we don't have the £900 it would be likely to cost and I feel pretty crap about it.

If your DS is assessed and the EP picks nothing up there is no harm done. Children do act the clown to cover up difficulties and you'd be doing him no favours by sweeping this under the carpet then finding out there really was a problem several years in the future.

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