Very 'mild' dyslexia - possibly. How to know?(19 Posts)
I've been wondering about dd1 and dyslexia (or some other processing issue) since she was about 5. She's now nearly 10, and it is really clear to me that there is a difference in ease of processing between her and her 6 year old sister. Not a difference in brightness or intelligence - but in processing written words/music and, to a lesser extent, numbers.
School have not noticed a thing, because she's in the top sets and able. But I do. Is there any point in my paying for an Ed Psych (or whoever one asks) to do an assessment for her? I'm just thinking about 11+/GCSEs/As etc that lie ahead...she panics under time pressure, reads things wrong, and although its very subtle to others, I really do wonder
Perhaps start with this book to get some idea of what the issue might be.
If her problems are mild then she may struggle to get any concessions at all as they have tightened up the rules in such a way that it makes it harder for a bright child to get extra time. It still might be worth getting her assessed if they can give you some ideas of what her strengths and weakenesses are.
I was going to recommend exactly the same book - I found it in our local library and it was quite enlightening.
You could call Dyslexia action for advice. They might help you decide.
Hi eli me again! may name change to bad penny I am from a family of dyslexics, me included, both DDs have dx. Always knew younger DD was Dyslexic and Dyspraxic yet I never picked up my older DD was dyslexic, learnt to read quickly, always top table. They picked it up you know where, to their credit (for others, very academic school) and pick it up in 10% of those who get in, very few of whom have a dx before. All credit to their entrance exam testing ability and potential rather than attainment /cramming. Whilst she has a photographic memory, hence learnt to read quickly, good at exams, at school at any rate, she has huge problems with aural memory and processing . Ed Psych said Dyslexia occurs in 10% of the population regardless of ability but often the bright ones have found their own strategies for dealing with their weaknesses (and using their strengths) Typically it doesn't show up until they have to face the greater challenge of GCSE /a level. Older Dd has only finally realised how much of an issue it is at uni, trying to get down all the intensive information from Science lectures.
Reading questions incorrectly, having difficulty with time are classic signs. If you have the slightest suspicion, and the £400 to spare for a test I would get her tested. Helen Arkyll centre have been useful to us , a half day out down the M3. Then that needs to go into the pot of school choice as well......
Also neither DDs problems are dx as mild, both moderate to severe in those areas they have problems, older DDs aural memory at 10th percentile, younger DDs speed of writing beneath tenth percentile (test results are in relation to rest of population so at tenth percentile means 90% of the population would score better). Being bright can compensate for some fundamental difficulties.
With my DD, I just made sure she was known to her senior school SENCO. The SENCO actually put her on the SEN register at my request, which meant she was tested and it has become more apparent during senior school that she has issues; eg. she was tested and qualifies for extra time at GCSE.
But she also has a cousin who managed to pass exams for a top girls grammar school and was then spotted at 14 as being dyslexic. She then got to Oxford and it was judged badly enough that she got a free computer.
I really avoid the terms "mild" etc. as what could be called "mild dyslexia" could still cause a lot of problems for someone.
I'm a lecturer and we always have a number of undergrad students who are diagnosed during their first and second years.
They are bright students who had managed to work out their own coping strategies to get them through school, but the pace and depth of university hits them hard.
If you can, I would go for assessment. Even if it is not enough to get access arrangements in exams, there should be information about different learning strategies that could help.
I would also advice getting a test, you can get a list of educational psychologists by googling or go via Dyslexia Action and pay a premium.
For what it is worth my DD has been in the top class if the top stream since starting secondary and is entitled to a laptop and extra time in exams as she writes slower than non dyslexic people.
I wouldn't advise the test, because it costs £500 and the strategies you will be given could be obtained for a bit of reading around for about £40 max. It would be much better to pay for tuition with a specialist teacher, even those from Dyslexia Action don't need you to have a diagnosis first.
Eli I should add that with an Ed Psych Dx she will get extra time in the entrance exams at some of the schools, my DD had extra time at LEH and St George's Weybridge, not at KGS (but she was in a different less crowded quieter room) or, surprisingly Surbiton but they will take it into account. In the feedback they had spotted some of her errors were down to misreading questions for instance. That was the first year LEH had given extra time, and I think it was down to another dyslexic having come through the junior school, so all the schools may by now. There were few girls with a dx, only a couple in each exam but a lot of boys.
We also found it very useful having a precise breakdown of where the girls' weaknesses lay and where they were in terms of ability. We may have made a wrong choice in terms of where my younger DD ended up but at least she never doubted that she was well within the top 5% for reasoning that they say they expect their girls to be. It also helped when other girls labelled her slow or even stupid.
I think there's a huge plus in testing, as the report gives you something tangible to go to teachers with. My DS was top sets, so it made it easy for the school to say there wasn't a problem and that his writing/ spelling just needed more practice. The Ed Psych report's meant they had to acknowledge he did need help and it's helped DS too as he knows his brain's wired a bit different and doesn't get so frustrated when he sees everyone else can spell, recall things quicker/ write legibly, etc, etc. All very interesting. It's naive to think a diagnosis gets you anything, but it's incredibly useful as a step towards help.
I'm getting both of mine assessed next month. DS1 is in year 6 and the 13+ entry process for the senior schools is starting. His reading is above average but his spelling is way below. I suspect his writing speed is also slow. I'm hoping the report will help us understand where his issues lie so we can find better ways to work around them. Additionally if he has issues with processing information quickly I might look at less pressured schools IYSWIM.
All fantastically helpful, thank you v much
Pigeons, we are definitely going to go to visit That School...very encouraging to hear how schools view dyslexia these days (apart from Another School, not far from me, which I've heard yet more grrrrr-making stuff about this week).
I will get the book, google the centre, follow the advice: yet again, MN coming up trumps.
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