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Is this indicative of dyslexia?

(29 Posts)
ReneRusso Thu 04-Jun-09 21:27:21

Today I had a meeting with my DDs teacher and she thinks there is a big discrepancy between DD's intelligence compared to her written work. She appears quite bright and has a good level of insight into the meaning of text and good creativity, but if asked to write things down, she does not do nearly as well. Her spelling and sentence construction are poor, apparently. Her reading level is fine. She is 9. Does this point to dyslexia? Her times tables are also fairly poor, and she is incredibly unmotivated when it comes to learning facts off by heart. Would be grateful for any views.

Heated Thu 04-Jun-09 21:47:14

Not necessarily dyslexia, there are a range of processing disorders it could be too. But there are some expert MNers on here who'll hopefully advise. Have the school said your dd is going to be assessed?

Insanity Thu 04-Jun-09 21:55:04

This sounds like my ds who is 8. He can read fine but doesnt seem to be able to write down his thoughts and his spellings and sentences are also poor.

I have asked for him to be assessed as the teacher said there may be some concern but then on the other hand he is not in the bottom groups so whether he will be assessed or not I have yet to hear (I asked last week)

I will be watching this post closely for some help too.

bruffin Thu 04-Jun-09 22:30:26

My DS 13 is the same. In primary we were told he had a specific learning difficulty, but the secondary SENCO said he is almost certainly dyslexic(dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty)
Dyslexics can learn to read well if they are taught synthetic phonics properly.

Although DS's writing was just below average and his spelling was about 2 years behind, it was clear it was a long way behind the rest of him. He had a lot of one to one help in years 4/5 with spelling using Word Wall and Stareway to Spelling.In his Year 6 SATs he just scraped a 4 in his writing but managed a 5B in his reading/comprehension.
Roll on secondary school his spelling is still atrocious and his is on the SEN register, but he he is allowed to do most of his homework on pc which helps with most of the spelling and he says he thinks better that way. He is top class for humanities and science and second class for english and maths and is thriving.
However from his year 8 report it is clear that although he is performing well above average, ie level 6's for humanites and english , his analytical and comprehension skills are not reflected fully in his writing. He is improving all the time and happy at school so we are not that worried.

Insanity, we were told in primary the reason he was getting all the help, even though he wasn't in the bottom groups, was to help him reach his full potential. If the rest of his capabilities had been the same as his writing schools they probably wouldn't have given him so much help.

ReneRusso Thu 04-Jun-09 22:32:00

It is not clear if she is going to be assessed as she is not struggling too much with most areas of the curriculum. Like your DS, Insanity, she is also not in bottom groups. Obviously I want to do whatever we can to help her though, so I would like her assessed.

ReneRusso Thu 04-Jun-09 22:36:31

thanks bruffin, that is really interesting and quite encouraging. My DD also does very well in science and humanities.

MrsBartlet Fri 05-Jun-09 08:26:49

It sounds like it could be dyslexia to me. One of the things that the psychologists look for is a discrepancy between verbal intelligence and what a person is able to put down on paper. Does anyone else in your family have dyslexia as there is often a genetic link?

I think it sounds unlikely that the school would call in the Ed Psych if she is not too far behind (presuming she is at a state school). I work for a dyslexia charity (only as an adminstrator - I am not an expert by any means) and we do private assessments but it is expensive!

ReneRusso Fri 05-Jun-09 09:10:34

DH brother is dyslexic so yes the genetic link is there. If I don't get her assessed by school then I would be prepared to do it privately - how much is expensive MrsB?

mollyroger Fri 05-Jun-09 09:20:31

It is almost £400 pounds to get a private assesment from Dyslexia Action.
But the assessment is made by abn independant expert and he/she looks at everything, IQ, processing skills, all sorts.
The school were snidey about it at first but that was because they had refused to accept that ds might be dyslexic and so had refused to have him assessed in school. They told me he was just lazy and immature shock
But we have a histry of dysxlexia in the family (and have dyslexic tendancies myself!)and I felt very strongly that all was not well from around age 4.
Sc hool are more supportive now but it took until he was in Yr6 for problems to be taken seriously

Spillage21 Fri 05-Jun-09 09:54:43

Have posted extensively on this before...having a year 5 DS who we strongly suspected of dyslexia before he even started school, it was year 3 before school actually began to take things seriously, and then we were told he would have to fail 2 years of Individual Education Plans before they would even test him.

So we paid to have it done privately (£180) and he was found to be over a year behind his peers (so just imagine where he'd be two years down the line in year 5, heading towards secondary school). We now pay for twice weekly specialist tutoring (thanks to help from grandparents) and he is only now starting to match his peers. The school's help is pitiful and not even done by a dyslexia tutor.

So if you have your suspicions about any discrepancies in her learning discuss it with your SENCO and see what school is prepared to do but, from my own experience, take matters into your own hands.

MrsBartlet Fri 05-Jun-09 10:34:50

It is £435 with Dyslexia Action in my area but more expensive in London. The schools have a limited amount of money to spend on psychologists' assessments and so the worst cases get dealt with first. The problem with dyslexia is that you could be very bright and dyslexic and so not far enough behind to warrant the Ed Psych being called in but that means that child cannot fulfill their potential. IMO there is not enough funding for dyslexia within schools and not enough teachers who are specialists in dyslexia.

bigTillyMint Fri 05-Jun-09 10:55:05

You may be in an area with trained dyslexia specialists / dyslexia unit, so your DS could be assessed free. If the SENCO doesn't know, try the LEA - parent partnership person is always a good place to start.

FWIW lots of schools don't know much about dyslexia and other SpLD's and some still have the attitude that they don't exist or are just a MC excuse sad

ReneRusso Fri 05-Jun-09 21:31:47

Thanks so much for the info everyone. I will speak to teacher again next week and try and move things forward.

aprilflowers Fri 05-Jun-09 21:32:48

The government has new guidance on dyslexia as part of the national strategy -you can download if from the Standards Site.

Schools should be implementing it and if they are not you can ask why not.
The private educational psychologist assessment is expensive but under the code of practice the lea can not reject its findings without evidence and as standardise tests are used by all the psychologists it is highly unlikely they would do so.

Once you have the evidence is in place you can begin the fight for provision

bruffin Fri 05-Jun-09 21:41:18

What exactly do you want to happen for your DD Rene?

ReneRusso Fri 05-Jun-09 22:46:15

I have a fairly open mind about it - just want to find out why there is such a big difference between her oral and written abilities and to find out if there is anything that can be done to help her do better. So in the first instance I would like her to be seen by the learning support teacher at school for their view then take it from there.

aprilflowers Fri 05-Jun-09 23:37:37

Her learning support teacher unless she has had specialised training usually lasting about two years will not be able to diagnosis dyslexia/specific learning difficulties but she may be able to administer broad screening tests which can indicate possible dyslexia
Discrepency between understanding and written ability is one of the key indicators of dyslexia
A bright child will not necessary flag up to a learning support or class teacher but will encounter difficulties in secondary school if support is not put in place
have a look at the special needs thread in educt which has lots of advice

oneforward20back Mon 08-Jun-09 06:11:45

The only advice i have comes from my own experience as a dyslexic and that of my sister. I didn't get picked up by the schools as I went through, i was too bright and out smarted the tests so i was labelled lazy. mum was a teacher and suspected dyslexia and got me tested privately. Turned out more then slightly dyslexic ( there was a scale of slightly moderately and servere) Sister was caught much earlier then I but she was under the then new phonics system and found everything from learning to read, writing and spelling easier beause the system suited her.

I would advise you do speak to the learning support. Bare in mind bright kids can cheat the tests for dyslexia but I suspect that as teacher noticed there being a big discrepancy that the school might well be receptive to any concerns, and take further action.

If you get no joy there and yuo feel strongly you want to take it further you can approach the regional ed pscy (who can test for dyslexia) who will go through school to get dc tested. (Found out about this route due to something else)

Get back to me if you need to about how to do that. but go through school first.

nooka Mon 08-Jun-09 06:30:12

ds is like this, and we had him tested by Dyslexia Action. I found the report really helpful as it pinpointed where he was struggling most. However it was almost totally useless as far as school were concerned. He was already on School Action Plus for behavioural problems, and they said that his academic achievements were in line with the average, so no help available (beyond the social skills stuff they were doing already). As behavioural problems are common in children with dyslexia, that seemed a bit backwards thinking (I would have thought helping him feel less frustrated would have made a difference!). So on advice from here we fixed up some specialist phonic tutoring and it really really helped, so much so that he is now reading happily and beyond his age (although he is ridiculously choosy!). So we are left with the terrible handwriting/spelling. He's going to be assessed by an OT next we hope, and maybe have some specialist help on the handwriting side.

oneforward20back Mon 08-Jun-09 06:36:48

Hang on if he is statemented as dyslexic they have a legal requirement to suplpy support for this. That was what the disabilty equality act they brought in was about. How does the school justify it. hmm

nooka Tue 09-Jun-09 04:03:58

You can be dyslexic and not statemented. ds wasn't. He was probably in the G&T range for some subjects (maths and science) and was still in the top sets for literacy and spelling despite struggling. I don't think that that is that unusual. Dyslexia is basically diagnosed by the disparity between the spoken and written, so you can have kids at the average who just should be achieving a lot more (just like ds are very frustrated and angry about it - hence the behaviour problems).

ramonaquimby Tue 09-Jun-09 07:47:38

becoming statemented is a the last resort - lots of dyslexic children will be on school action, or school action plus and still receive various interventions at school.

oneforward20back Tue 09-Jun-09 19:11:35

I was trying to say that nooka had a statement from an independant source the school is legally bound to recognise it.

I will agree that it is not necessary to statement all children but those who are statemented are entitled to extra funding assissting their studies during FE and HE and I believe a statement is still required if extra time is required in exams. Or has the system finally got off its butt and sorted itself out since I suffered it?

lazymumofteenagesons Tue 09-Jun-09 21:24:34

No statement is required for extra time and use of lap top in public exams. Ds2 was assessed by school senco and qualifies for both these. She is not an Ed Psych and he is not statemented. But he has shown up a large discrepancy between verbal/cognitive side and written performance. He actually manages to perform in the top 8% of his peer group but verbal side is in the top 1%.

oneforward20back Tue 09-Jun-09 21:38:09

Good to hear system has had a kick up a...

About time grin

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