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Dyslexia - what works from a personal perspective.

(23 Posts)
loopygoose Fri 01-Jul-16 11:05:39

Here's my page outlining what I have found to be helpful.

BibbidiBobbidiBoo1 Fri 01-Jul-16 11:20:57

As a fellow dyslexic - I haven't quite read your whole blog - I plan to come back to it and read some more.

Trust me, your daughter will thank you for fighting her corner and working with her.

My dyslexia wasn't acknowledged until I went to university - despite the fact my parents did all they could to get it picked up before hand.
Primary/middle school weren't interested. When it came to high school my parents wanted me to go to a school that was known for being really good with dyslexics. I didn't, I stayed with friends - looking back I probably should have listened!

I only got to uni because my mum worked so hard with me, helped with my reading, helped with my maths (which I really struggled with and still do) but if she wasn't so supportive I would have given up way before getting anywhere close to what I did.

As an aside, have you looked at meres irlen syndrome/ scotopic sensitivity syndrome - that can play a huge part in reading.

I'm babbling now - but well done flowers

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 01-Jul-16 13:24:53

I am dyslexic and my DD is dyslexic too. I am delighted for you and your DD that you have found something that works for you, but dyslexia is such a broad spectrum that there is no one size that fits all.
My DD is enormously stubborn and would have not tolerated the approach you used. I have had to create a self motivation environment where she chooses to do things for herself. Again this will not work for every child.
It is great that you are sharing what worked for you and there will definitely be people who it will help. But to anyone out there who it does help please keep trying different things help different children.
Coloured glasses prescribed by the behavioural optometrist at the dyslexia research trust made a massive difference to us.

loopygoose Fri 01-Jul-16 19:16:38

Thank you. I've never heard of irlen syndrome/ scotopic sensitivity syndrome. I shall look into it now.

loopygoose Fri 01-Jul-16 19:23:13

lonecatwithkitten. You are absolutely right. I wouldn't, for a second, assume that the things I have been doing are the answer for everyone. That's why I've made it a purely personal story of what has worked in our situation. I do, however, think that there's a lot of value in seeing what other people have done as a springboard for exploring what can work for you. My biggest problem in trying to find help was that too many people say "Well, it's a broad spectrum" and then don't give any solid advice or expect us to leave everything to the experts when they don't seem to offer much help. We tried the coloured lenses; they didn't work for her but I know they can really work for others. That's why I mention Behavioural Optometrists. Before I began on my journey I hadn't a clue who any of these people were and what they did.

loopygoose Fri 01-Jul-16 19:41:49

Thank you for your support. It's very taxing as a parent because many in the school like to pretend there is no problem and I've had to fight all the way with this. I think, with all of us, the most important thing is to have a growth mentality so we know that it's never too late to keep trying to learn and acquire the necessary skills; however challenging that is.

milothemonkey Sat 02-Jul-16 11:06:28

This is an amazing blog! So helpful. My dc is 5. Whilst his reading is good and he enjoys it, handwriting and maths are poor. He is very bright but there is definitely a processing issue.

I have been thinking of engagingeyes and magiclink. The latter is very expensive and so we will try Write from the Start books over summer.

Please can you tell me how engaging eyes helped?

Also have you looked at retained reflex therapy?

BibbidiBobbidiBoo1 Sat 02-Jul-16 12:11:14

Goose - you are right. Never give up has never been a truer phrase to use in situations like this.
The good thing is you learn lots about yourself/child and vice versa that many don't in such a way.

loopygoose Sat 02-Jul-16 12:54:22

Milothemonkey I have found engaging eyes to be tricky for her. She's very resistant to any work on her eyes except the exercises I mentioned. I have decided to park the eye exercises for the moment because I can't battle everything at the same time. The behavioural optometrists (I've seen two) have been of little help. The exercises I've mentioned were the most effective at helping her but it's still not perfect. I will revert to engaging eyes when she's back at school after the summer. I have seen very good reviews of the programme here on Mumsnet. Take a look.
Magic link is, I agree, overpriced. If she dropped the in-price she would find she got a far higher uptake and, consequently, more money and better spread of the word.
In my experience any work that your child is prepared to do on their handwriting is beneficial. Your child is so young I would do short, daily bursts of 5-10 minutes of really focused work on it and shower them with praise for any effort that's good. If it's not good but they're making an effort praise the effort not the work. If they're not really trying you must not praise them because that's the wrong message.
I have chosen to try the magic link programme only because we have reached a plateau in her handwriting and I can see we have this summer to give it clear focus and see if we can make a difference. Until now she has refused to take my advice and argued with me. At least with magic link there is a completely separate person in the video telling her what to do. I say, "don't listen to anyone else, that lady is the expert" my DD is more amenable to that. From studying her handwriting, formation of it, and pencil grip, it is clear to me that she didn't fully understand it when she was being taught the first time round. I'm furious that the school didn't insist on the correct grip from the start. It's worth making it clear to your child's school that you expect strong reinforcement of it in school, Sadly, most of her handwriting was done there so I was powerless to control it. Many of her links are wrong and she still even writes her name incorrectly. I will report back at the end of summer on whether it worked and how much her writing has improved, if at all.
My plan is, next summer, to give her intensive typing lessons so that she has another means of expressing herself.

loopygoose Sat 02-Jul-16 12:57:12

I haven't looked at retained reflex therapy, I will now. Thank you. Most of my work has been done by me at home because going to experts is expensive, difficult given my country location, and ultimately less effective purely because I am convinced that Dyslexics need to go over things many times so little and often has to be the approach, rather than once a week.

loopygoose Sun 03-Jul-16 17:08:32

I've now looked at retained reflex therapy. I now realise I was vaguely aware of it because my daughter's first Behavioural Optometrist told me she had to do the superman exercise to overcome one of them. We tried it. She resisted, I was bored, it wasn't explained properly, I gave up. I'm very frustrated by this therapy because it seems to cost a lot and, again, experts keep it to themselves so that you are reliant on them. I think people who gain knowledge in an area should definitely profit from it but sharing and empowering will lead more people to them, not fewer.
If any of you has a really good 'at home' book on this topic that works I'd be very interested.

loopygoose Sun 03-Jul-16 17:09:12


SisterViktorine Sun 03-Jul-16 17:14:22

I have purchased Spelling Tutor after reading your blog loopy. Started DS on it today and it looks good. I like the dictation element and the fact that it includes grammar.

SisterViktorine Sun 03-Jul-16 17:15:42

Thank you for the recommendation- I meant to say!

loopygoose Sun 03-Jul-16 21:46:31

Great, SisterVictorine, I swear this the best thing I have done so far. Keep really positive and praise everything your child does right. It really works where nothing has so far. My DC couldn't even spell for and now she has learned 41 words! It's not that expensive either. Do let me know how you get on.

loopygoose Wed 17-Aug-16 08:48:28

I have updated my blog if any of you are interested.

Fuckingmoles Wed 17-Aug-16 09:06:52

The retained reflexes theory has been discredited.

Most schools /LA (if they recognise dyslexia at all) now use the Rose (2009) definition of dyslexia which does not include visual difficulties - this is seen as a separate condition (visual stress) that may co-occur with dyslexia.

Sleeperandthespindle Wed 17-Aug-16 17:50:15

Hi, thanks for the link to your blog. Although I'm not interested in the visual difficulties aspect, the rest of it is very interesting and relevant to my 7 year old, highly sensitive and dyslexic DD. Having failed in my attempts to help so far this holiday, we have just started spelling tutor and she was keen, focused and motivated. Reading is no longer a difficulty but writing and spelling is a huge challenge. Thanks again.

loopygoose Sat 20-Aug-16 21:29:47

Sleeperandthespindle I'm delighted. The reason I wrote the blog the way I have is that we're all dealing with different issues and it's just helpful to see the process someone else has followed to see if there's anything you can pick up that's of use. I'd love to know how you get on. We're still doing it and, whilst she finds it hard work, we know it is effective and that's all that matters.

teta Mon 22-Aug-16 12:46:59

The best thing for my Dyslexic D's has been to move him to a school where Dyslexia is recognised.His Primary school wrongly assessed him and he wasn't bad enough to get any extra support.His homework was never marked and his writing didn't make sense.Good teaching in one year has made a massive difference.Specialist tuition has also helped.I would honestly be wary of many courses claiming to help or cure Dyslexia.I do know the spelling courses work though.
Well done op to all your intervention.Your dd will do well with you on her side.

loopygoose Mon 22-Aug-16 19:07:22

teta, for any of us that's interested, how did you find your school and how easy was it to get in? Also, do you know anything about the techniques that they use? I completely agree that you need to be wary. You can't cure Dyslexia; you have to find ways of making the most of the skills that the child has and work to improve their ability in the areas in which it matters.

teta Mon 22-Aug-16 19:38:08

Loopy it's not a specialist school,its actually a Prep school with a very small class,7 children only.His junior school performed an initial assessment when he was 9.He came up as being highly unlikely to be Dyslexic.It wasn't until I took him for an assessment at the prep school and they said he had some anomalies and had I ever had him tested?I took him for an assessment amidst some jeering from his teacher who was totally disinterested .I found out he had a writing speed of 55% of normal,but a IQ in the top 14%.He had no issues with reading but couldn't write coherently and spelt one word several different ways in a paragraph.I subsequently found out he was often kept in at break time because he had hardly written anything.

The prep school does Common Entrance in year 8 and year 7/8 are intensive .It's therefore very much in their interest to keep results high.The Senco or an assistant attend the main classes with him and check he understands and takes him out if necessary.This is especially in French and English.He had group working memory intervention.He has extra Maths Tuition externally and he has massively improved.This summer I have paid for a specialist Dyslexia Tutor to teach him Comprehension skills.Its very expensive but worthwhile .She has suggested things about my son that I absolutely would not know how to help him with.

sh77 Sat 27-Aug-16 11:07:02

Loopy - my DS had an OT appointment and checked his pencil grip. He holds it in a quad way. He resisted all grip aids that she tried. In the end, she said don't try to change the way he holds his pencil as he has found what is optimal for him. Forcing change will lead to more stress for him. I read your Dd is struggling with writing - did you get her assessed by an OT? Could she have hyper mobile joints?

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