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Dyslexia? Dd (6th form) really struggling with written essays

(67 Posts)
Plifner Thu 05-Jan-17 17:00:42

Her sentences are garbled, she puts in random words. Her history teacher has told her that she definitely has some sort of issue sad She's in the 6th form. Could she be dyslexic? It's heartbreaking, she works really hard.

OCSockOrphanage Thu 05-Jan-17 17:17:30

Can she word process her normal homework essays so that she can proof read properly? It does help if she can touch type fast and accurately. If you then try for some documentary evidence of dyslexia, you might get part way to using a keyboard for exams I think.

Plifner Thu 05-Jan-17 17:23:21

No! She can't proof read. Her sentences slip through the word processing net I think, but they often make no sense!

poohsticks13 Thu 05-Jan-17 17:30:22

How is she verbally? There are software packages that will allow her to speak and it will be automatically word processed. It can also read the text back to her.

Does she have an Additional Support department at her school/college?
The best thing is for her to be screened and then (if necessary) assessed for difficulties. She may be entitled to certain exam concessions etc. (I work in the Dyslexia dept. of an FE college).

Foureyesarebetterthantwo Thu 05-Jan-17 17:33:58

She may find it easier to spot the stray words in sentences if she reads the essay aloud and asks herself after each sentence 'does this make sense?'

I am a uni lecturer and quite a few of my students have diagnosed dyslexia and write in what might be termed a chaotic style. Once aware of this though, they tend to be good at remedying the worst of it- so going through, looking for the logical argument, making one point in each paragraph, and so on.

It certainly isn't a bar to a university education, but I agree getting her screened would be a good idea. Where is best to do that *Poohsticks'? I have an 11 year old and want to get her assessed as well?

poohsticks13 Thu 05-Jan-17 17:40:20

Hi Foureyes,
Does her school have any connections/assessors? That would be my first port of call. You can look for private assessors or Educational Psychologists but would probably have to pay for that.

I agree that being dyslexic (or having slow processing speeds etc.) is definitely not a barrier to further study and achievement. It just means that they need to find the strategies that work best for them and access available support.

happygardening Thu 05-Jan-17 17:43:47

Soft wear packages that you can speak into e.g Dragon can be used for prep etc if your DD is allowed to word process her work, but you haven't got a cats hope in hell of it being allowed in exams in school. DS1 has only just got permission to use it in exams at university but that's after nearly 10 years of fighting and he has a very significant processing problem that means he can barely write.

poohsticks13 Thu 05-Jan-17 17:51:15

Software packages aren't allowed in exams in our college BUT students are allowed to use it for assignments. Some are also entitled to readers/scribes/extra time/rest breaks and so on...

Of course, each student is assessed/documented/passed by the exams office before these concessions are put into place. Evidence by teachers is also required. I've never seen anyone refused access arrangements if their assessments indicate they need them.

This may depend on the institution though. We have quite a large and established department with our own assessors.

poohsticks13 Thu 05-Jan-17 17:52:42

Sorry...just to clarify...the readers etc. ARE used in exams.

mrz Thu 05-Jan-17 17:59:24

How did she cope with GCSEs?

Plifner Thu 05-Jan-17 18:06:34

She got an A in history gcse and Bs in other essay writing subjects - English, rs etc

Plifner Thu 05-Jan-17 18:09:22

I'm wondering if she doesn't understand the actual topic very well. I dint see how she can have got an A in history gcse with undiagnosed dyslexia. She's moved schools to a comprehensive from a small private school and now I'm thinking that was a mistake sad

mrz Fri 06-Jan-17 06:22:15

If she coped well in GCSEs it suggests there is something else happening here rather than undiagnosed dyslexia.

Plifner Fri 06-Jan-17 11:35:33

Thank you. I have found a description of slow processing speed which is completely accurate. I am currently trying to put together a list of things which might help her.

mrz Fri 06-Jan-17 17:11:08

With slow processing speed it's unlikely she could achieve A at GCSE level.

Bitofacow Fri 06-Jan-17 17:14:15

My dyslexia was diagnosed at uni. Many, many bright dyslexics cope with GCSEs and A levels and only get diagnosed at uni.

Misplacedcell Fri 06-Jan-17 17:44:19

Slow processing speed and inserting random words hints that something else might be a factor. If only to cross off one of the possibilities contact Action for Asperger's. They might offer some useful input (and have recently been recognised at Buckingham Palace for their work).

mrz Fri 06-Jan-17 17:59:06

Many many people are wrongly diagnosed as dyslexic at university to access a free laptop.hmm

happygardening Fri 06-Jan-17 18:02:19

mrz DS1's processing speeds puts him in the bottom 3% working memory bottom 10% ability to physically write:none touch typing marginally better but IQ (recently retested was in excess of 140) so a massive discrepancy, he struggles constantly. He (some would say by some miracle) got a A in GCSE history and a high B at Alevel, because he absolutely loves the subject and luckily for him has a photographic memory for detail.
Processing problems are not black and white.
OP don't underestimate how important the individual teacher is, maybe the current teacher even if considered outstanding may not suit your DD's way of learning. Again DS1 does significantly better with some teachers than others, he likes the very organise and stuctured lessons where ideas are very clearly are joined together and flow he also likes a confident presentation but also time for discussion as he's bursting with knowledge and thoughts. Some teachers are less organised the lesson, jump about a bit do he then really struggles to follow it and the presentation is not confident and he senses it worries him this and then can follow their train of thought.

mrz Fri 06-Jan-17 18:47:36

Being able to process the question and write an answer requires much more than a love of the subject and a photographic memory.

happygardening Fri 06-Jan-17 19:26:42

mrz I am painfully aware of that. But my DS is living proof that even with diabolical processing speed and a terrible working memory you can against all odds still achieve an A at GSCE in a subject like history. Love of the subject and a photographic memory definitely if you love your subject essential it helps you to overcome the massive hurdle that poor processing is, a photographic memory enables you to effortlessly remember facts, quotes etc essential for all subjects, and mean that in an exam or when writing an essay you can very easily recall them and thus can channel more mental energy into trying to write (both physically and mentally) and organise you thoughts and ideas. So I'll say it again poor processing ability is not black and white you simply cannot come up with sweeping statements like you're "unlikely" to achieve an A or conversely subject X will suit you better if you have poor processing.
DS1 by the way is now studying history at uni and doing very well.

Bitofacow Fri 06-Jan-17 19:35:05

mrs thanks for that massively patronising dismissal of an auditory processing difficulty with associated short term memory problems and sequencing issues. I am quite severely dyslexic but obviously I wanted a laptop before laptops were invented.

An ability to analyse and a sympathetic teacher can get many people through A levels. History and many other subjects have only a small proportion of marks allocated to English. If you are clever your analytical skills ofset your poor English skills you can do well, or well enough, at A level. However, please tell me more about how I and many others are making up our dyslexia I await your words of wisdom.

mrz Fri 06-Jan-17 19:50:03

I'm definitely not dismissing auditory processing difficulties! In fact I'm pointing out that a child with unsupported APD will struggle to achieve an A grade at GCSE regardless of a love for the subject.

Bitofacow Fri 06-Jan-17 20:02:49

mrs "Many many people are wrongly diagnosed as dyslexic at university to access a free laptop."

So that's not me then? You meant someone else?
Many bright dyslexics cope with GCSEs and A levels and are then diagnosed at uni not because they want a laptop but because they are dyslexic.

mrz Fri 06-Jan-17 20:35:15

I'll look out the research that supports the statement

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