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Does anyone have children with dyslexia at a state school......

(34 Posts)
Saturn74 Sat 16-Sep-06 17:28:27

and if so, are you happy with how they are supported in class? I am interested to know, as my children had bad experiences at school, and are now home educated. I have spoken to lots of parents who believe that their children are not getting the appropriate education to which they are entitled, and I wonder how the LEAs are getting away with this over and over again? I would be really interested to hear of a state school that is effectively supporting dyslexic children (or children with specific literacy/numeracy difficulties/differences)and enabling them to shine.

misdee Sat 16-Sep-06 17:30:40

my db had awful problems at school (80-90's) is in his 20's now. my mum moved him to a school that was better for him and he got laods of support there. the bad school said he was lazy, and thick.
when he went to secondry he got a lot of support and had a laptop and extra time in exams.

Blandmum Sat 16-Sep-06 17:33:30

Can't coomet from a parents perspective. I have just finished teaching a young man with Dyslexia who has just completed his A2 exams and is off to university. He was supported in class through the lower school and had a scribe and amenuensis in examinations (with extra time).

He did very well.

He also had a mother who argued his case with heroic determination. Without her, I doubt he would have got the help he needed.

It looks as if my son will be looking at a dx for his reading difficulies soon. But he is in a private school, so I can't comment on state provision from a parents perspective

Saturn74 Sat 16-Sep-06 17:39:10

Thanks, Misdee. It really concerns me that a lot of children are not getting support until secondary school age - I don't know that any huge strides have been made since your DB was at school. Surely the difficulties should be spotted sooner? My sister works in a secondary school with an entire unit to support dyslexic children (and other pupils with SEN. Most of these dyslexic children were labelled as disruptive or unmotivated all through their primary school years. Lots of them have already become switched off to learning by the time they get to secondary school, because they continually have to battle to grasp an educational approach that often doesn't suit their needs.

Saturn74 Sat 16-Sep-06 17:42:05

MB, my friend once commented that "a dyslexic child's best friend is their Mum!"

That certainly rings true when it comes to having to battle the school / LEA to try and get support.

Blandmum Sat 16-Sep-06 17:43:37

His mother was totaly formidable, knew the system, and terrified the lea into submission.

She was fab and took no shit from anyone!

I don't think that her son ever knew how blessed he was in his mother

misdee Sat 16-Sep-06 17:46:44

he really did struggle at the first school, the one he moved to is very good for children with SN, so he did so much better there.

dh is dyslexic and went to the same second school as my brother, and he also did very well there.

i do have a few concerns with dd1, as she is struggling, she has exra support at school already for her reading and writing, so if she is dyslexic (as it appears to run in the family, lots of cousins are dyslexic and aunts/uncles etc) i am cure it will be picked up on at her current school. i am glad we moved her last oct, as the other school hadnt noted any differculties.

Blandmum Sat 16-Sep-06 17:47:01

ATM in the lea I work in , a child has to be 5 years behind their chronological age to get a statement for dyslexia! Shameful! So much for early diagnosis eh?

My son is 6 and is running about 1.5 years 'behind'. His school is small, and switched on. The SENCO already works with him and spoke to me this week. She feels that he may need more assistance, particularly next year in year 3, and we will be discussing it further in a few weeks.

He needs the help now and will get it.

I teach children in year 7 with reading ages of six. Bugger all support. It is shameful and makes me very

Saturn74 Sat 16-Sep-06 17:51:35

MB, the LEA area we were in would not assess any child (Ed Psych visit to school) until they were at least 9 years old. DS1's difficulties began to be very clear in Yr1. The Headteacher told me in no uncertain terms that she did not get the SENCO involved with any "parental worries about literacy" until Yr2. I was made to feel like an over-anxious fool for even suggesting it.

Blandmum Sat 16-Sep-06 18:11:05

oh god, it makes you loose the will to live sometimes.

All those years of struggling and getting to feel that you can't do things.

Blandmum Sat 16-Sep-06 18:11:52

lose!

swedishmum Sun 17-Sep-06 11:58:55

My ds is 9 and dyslexic. The school he was at tried to fob us off for ages, then on the day I told them we were having him tested said they had been meaning to mention it to me. Ht then said I would have to realise he would never go to university and building might be a good trade. As a teacher myself I know what a load of ** this is (even though we would of course support him fully if buiding was what he chose). His reading improved during 8 months out of school while we were abroad. I have now taken a dyslexia teaching qualification and am appalled by the lack of provision in our area (Kent). I' getting quite political about it. There's no hope he'll be statemented as he should achieve level 4s at ks2 apparently even though he is underachieving signficantly for his ability. He now has a fantastic teacher, though there is little support for dyslexia. I am doing that myself, and given the poor standard of the "specialist" support at his previous school it's fine by me. Lucky it's my new hobby I suppose!! He's happier at school but we are unsure about what to do for secondary provision. Feel much better for writing all that down! Where in the country are you HC?

Saturn74 Sun 17-Sep-06 12:44:04

Hi SM, we're in North Yorkshire.

Your post has highlighted another frustrating element of the lack of support - as long as these children are 'getting by', that's deemed as fine by the education system.

It's so frustrating!

DS1 was assessed privately, and at age 9 he came back with the overall cognitive understanding and the word attack of a 12-13 year old, but the abilities to physically write of a 6 year old (he is also dyspraxic and has a benign intention tremor in his hands). So his school lessons were either way beyond him physically (as in 'write two sides of A4 in 30 minutes'), or completely bored him!

He has been HE for just over a year now, and that massive gap is narrowing, enabling him to be a much more independant learner.

DS2 is still getting over all the damage done to his self esteem in school (plus he was bullied), and has just started to read without shaking and crying. Now he's started, though, he's flying!

It just makes me so cross and sad that the LEAs are getting away with treating these children this way. They have a legal duty to educate them appropriately - and they are getting away with not doing it.

I just got sick of fighting, and sad of dropping my two dejected children somewhere where they got very little benefit.

I've had to give up my business in order to HE them - and whilst I do enjoy it (most of the time!), I'm livid that the LEA have got away with how they treated our family - and continue to treat others similarly.

It is estimated that 10% of children are dyslexic. That's a huge number of people to alienate.

Saturn74 Sun 17-Sep-06 12:55:39

SM - fantastic that you've taken a dyslexia teaching qualification. Your son is so lucky to have you as a mother. Once again, it's left to the parents to take the initiative though.

Our two have one hour of tuition each at Dyslexia Action (new name for Dyslexia Institute) every week. It costs £30 per hour, per child, so that's curtailed quite a few other activities! (holidays, trips out etc)

There was a 9yo boy at the same school as my DSs. He couldn't read or write. His mother stood up at a parent's meeting and asked the headteacher why the school sent her son lots of letters and words to practise at home, as it was the schools job to teach him all this stuff. She said that her son was lazy, and it was up to the teachers to make him do the work. She also said that if she had wanted to teach her son herself, she would have become a teacher.

She then went on to say that she didn't want him using the computer (NumberShark, WordShark etc) until he could read and write as well as the rest of his class, as the computer was making him lazier.

I'm not sure if these comments came from a lack of awareness of literacy difficulties, but they came from a very experienced mother. This little boy was the youngest of her seven children.

Saturn74 Sun 17-Sep-06 16:48:21

bump

swedishmum Mon 18-Sep-06 00:33:00

Hi HC. My qualification is from what was then the DI - I use mainly Units of Sound and Alpha to Omega but am about to start Toe by Toe again with ds. He's also doing the Dore Programme - my logic tells me it's a waste of money, but I'm willing to give it a go. So far so good. The problem with my training is that the kids I help belong to other people. Also I have a big problem with charging for something the LEA should provide - £23 or so is a lot for someone to pay out every week. I watched ds do his writing homework today - writing is one of his biggest problems and the thing least addressed by dyslexia websites in my opinion. We're trying some exercises and I'm sending stuff into school, but I get so frustrated watching my lovely boy try his best, knowing other less able kids will just rush the work off. It's hard not to turn life into a multi-sensory exercise round here .
Would love to share ideas - I really admire you for home edding your children. Still get lots of great ideas from EO website even though mine are back at school. Your ds is lucky to have such a devoted mum. Oooh feeling all political again. I agree, it's a shocking disgrace the way our children are ignored by the system.

Grew up in Leyburn by the way - you're in a lovely part of the world.

Saturn74 Mon 18-Sep-06 00:54:07

Hi SM,

Would be great to swap ideas etc. Just borrowed the 'Toe By Toe' book, and was very impressed.

Haven't subscribed to CAT yet, but quite happy to if you have and would like to use it.

Must go to bed now - been hunting for resources on Native Americans!

swedishmum Mon 18-Sep-06 14:19:55

HC, I'm lesleydotubatorangedotnet

Saturn74 Mon 18-Sep-06 15:25:55

Thanks, SM. I've emailed you.

Whizzz Wed 20-Sep-06 19:05:25

I support a yr7 pupil with dyselxia in the vast majority of his lessons at school (together with another statemented pupil in the same class). As well as the support, the school plans to do extra literacy work with him - however I have noticed that not all of the teaching staff take account of the difficulties he has, but thankfully I am there to support when needed.
Dyslexia is something that I find interesting & would love to study more about

fullmoonfiend Wed 20-Sep-06 19:16:56

Hi Humphrey, I'm a north yorks too. My ds1 is nearly 9 and I realised there was something amiss when he was4 so I warned them at school when he started that I suspected he might be dyslexic (it runs in our family too). Well it took til year 2 for them to stop saying '' he's just a boy...he's just immature..'' and to agree to test him. The test was a general educational assessment and came up inconclusive. Lastyear I paid for a private assessment and surprise, surprise, he is dyslexic. Unfiortunately, not severe enough to be statemented. His reading is fine, he has auditory dyslexia, so he can't differentiate between letter sounds. So his spelling is 3 years behind. His handwriting too is illegible even taking into account all the reversals. His maths is now ffected as the teacher marks him wrongly when she doesn't realsie that '50' is him writing 20 (with the 2 back to front) etc etc. He gets support with the other learning difficulty children but I am am worried sick as the chasm between his ages and his written abilities grows vaster and vaster. This year I have been able to get the school to agree to let him type written homewrok! (it's taken 4 years of misery on his part, as work which verbally he could complete in minutes takes hin hours. And other children are caling him dumb because of his spelling and handwriting. In every other subject he is way above average, and I was delighted because he scored above average in his KS1 SATS despite the terrible writing nd spelling (he wasn't allowed extra time, either.) but he is getting more and more disillusioned and turned off by school.

Sorry to rant, and I know I should count my blessings that his problems are not more severe. But TBH, I wish they were, just so he would get more help

maverick Wed 20-Sep-06 19:57:19

Many of you on this thread will find the content of this website helpful:

Look at School-proof your dyslexic child

bananaloaf Wed 20-Sep-06 20:08:23

i was diagnosed as dyslexic when i was 30 when i returned to uni. i had gone through school labelled lazy etc and that was a fee paying school. so much makes sense now. if your child is not getting the right help then fight hard. my mother is guilt ridden as she see was told by a friend that i may have had had it but she just poo pooed as school never ick anything up.

Saturn74 Thu 21-Sep-06 00:15:55

FMF, that's not a rant, but a perfectly understandable post from the mother of a dyslexic child in an English school IME.

fullmoonfiend Thu 21-Sep-06 09:17:17

Maverick - thanks for that link - will peruse it later, looks helpful

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