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We think my 9 year old ds has dyslexia

(96 Posts)
LT76 Wed 31-Aug-11 15:18:23

we are really concerned about our ds. he is going into year 5 this year and following contact with the school at the end of the last term as we had concerns regarding how he has coped that year. We have been having private tuition during the holidays to help prepare him for this term. The feedback from the teacher helping him is that he is a clever child but struggles to convey his thought to writting and feels that he has dyslexia. we already feel let down by the school who have never recognised any problems until we spoke to them. does anyone know where we go from here i just want the best for my ds.

IndigoBell Wed 31-Aug-11 17:10:31

There have been loads and loads of threads about dyslexia on this board. Maybe start by searching them.

If you can't find what you're looking for you'll need to give us lots more info.

What exactly does he struggle with?

And what are you wanting?
A diagnosis?
A cure?
Or help for him in class?
Or for school to give him help out of class?
Or compensating strategies for him to use?
Or ways you can help him at home?

Everyone wants the best for there DC. But dyslexia isn't 'one thing'. And there isn't 'one thing' the school should be doing.....

mrz Wed 31-Aug-11 17:36:12

What exactly are the problems he is experiencing? What level is he working at in writing? Spelling? Handwriting? Grammar? Composition?
As Indigo says dyslexia is an umbrella term and pretty meaningless when it comes to actually helping a child.

jackstarb Wed 31-Aug-11 17:44:38

LT76 - can you afford for your ds to see a private educational psychologist? Your ds's tutor might be able to recommend one. I would start from there. Dyslexia diagnosis vary and until you know more about how it impacts your ds, then it is difficult to know how to help him.

jackstarb Wed 31-Aug-11 17:46:36

Mrz x-posted smile.

mrz Wed 31-Aug-11 17:48:23

A diagnosis of dyslexia in itself is also pretty worthless (but expensive)

mrz Wed 31-Aug-11 17:54:08

jackstarb Wed 31-Aug-11 18:42:53

My dd is dyslexic and I found her evaluation very useful, as did her teacher.

However, there is a wide variation in the quality of Ed Psych's and they are not cheap.

mrz Wed 31-Aug-11 18:50:19

They can be free

IndigoBell Wed 31-Aug-11 19:28:15

There's also a wide variation in the knowledge of the teacher and the SENCO grin

sarahfreck Wed 31-Aug-11 21:38:52

You can actually get an assessment for dyslexia and other learning difficulties via your GP. He/she can refer you to a paediatric clinical psychologist who can do this.
Dyslexia assessment can be helpful for some schools who are maybe not very aware of specific learning difficulties, do not do much synthetic phonics teaching and may be less than sympathetic to a child, even labelling them as lazy. (Yes these schools do exist, although others of course are excellent!).
A good psychologist's assessment will show areas where a specific child has particular strengths and weaknesses, which can help teachers in knowing the best ways forward.

rubbarbandcustard Wed 31-Aug-11 23:42:44

After 3 years of my dd getting further behind with every passing year, I finally decided to obtain an independant assessment at a cost of £150.00. It was money well spent as it confirmed a 9/10 positive result in all 4 of the main dyslexia test. The school have been really wishy washy about the whole thing, and the report confirmed that the extra help currently being given at school would have little effect on dd's learning. I have been told that the school is under no obligation to accept the findings of the report. My local authority told me the school has its own Special Ed budget and it is up to them to arrange how and what extra help dd will need. The local authority told me they are simply there to advise.....Wonderful. The dyslexic teaching of my child will now be down to those who denied its exsistance in the first place!!!! Was talking to a teacher friend and they said that a GP referal will not be ignored by school or local authority, so if all else fails, thats the way to go.

ASByatt Wed 31-Aug-11 23:48:51

rubbarandcustard - to be fair to the school, they may not have much faith in the report you have paid for. It is extremely rare for a private report (and who did it? Doesn't sound like an Ed Psych) not to say that a child is dyslexic. Of course the people doing the assessments vary, but ime there is an element of people 'getting what they've paid for.'

As others have said, a diagnosis in itself changes nothing; what is much more helpful is a proper breakdown of gaps in learning and an indication of why they are there and practical suggestions to address them. Private reports vary hugely in what they offer.

rubbarbandcustard Thu 01-Sep-11 00:39:08

Not liking some of the less than supportive messages up above . As parents we look towards school (the education experts) to tell us how best to support our childs learning. But, if the child is falling behind why is it up to the parent to make up the short fall? I'm not one of these parents that think they need'nt do anything towards their childs education other than get them to school gates. However, if your child still does not know their timestables (the cornerstone of mathematics) in year 6, who's to blame? Everyone is too scared to say it out loud these days, but it is the school. Either for not teaching them in a way that can be understood, or for not doing further investigation to find out why they are not progressing. I'm sick of people saying what exactly do you want the school to do? I want them to teach my child to read, write and count to a level that is appropriate for their age, and if they can't do that I want to know why my child can't do that. Getting me to do it at home is not the issue. If they are not getting it in the classroom, what difference will it make at home?? Yes I know that classrooms are big and budgets are small, but if we can't get the fundementals right where are we heading??

ASByatt Thu 01-Sep-11 00:49:30

Who has said that parents need to do it all ? - Not being facetious, but it's late and I'm sleepy now and I can't see where anyone has said asked, 'what exactly do you want the school to do'?

dolfrog Thu 01-Sep-11 01:16:26

Dyslexia is about having cognitive problems decoding and recoding a man made communication system the visual notation of speech, or the graphic symbols society chooses to represent the sounds of speech.
Dyslexia is a man made problem or a social construct.
There are two types of dyslexia Developmental Dyslexia, which has a genetic origin, and Alexia (acquired dyslexia) those who are are about to loose or have lost the ability to read as a result of brain injury, substance abuse, stroke, dementia, or progressive illness. And it from the research into Alexia that the psycholinguistic models of how we learn to read have evolved.

Developmental Dyslexia has three cognitive subtypes: auditory, visual, and attentional. So an auditory processing disorder (listening disability), a visual processing disorder, an attention disorder, or some combination of the three can cause the dyslexic symptom.
Any diagnosis of the dyslexic symptom is merely a screening process for further clinical investigation of the cognitive underlying causes, which tend to have more serious symptoms than the dyslexic symptom.

Logically dyslexia should be assessed by a multi discipline (multi professional) team who are qualified t o assess and diagnose the underlying cognitive causes. Such a team should consist of an Audiologist, Optometrist, and Psychiatrist; with further multi discipline teams to complete the individual underlying cognitive disabilities.

mrz Thu 01-Sep-11 07:48:32

rubbarbandcustard I'm not sure who did your assessment but as ASByatt says it doesn't sound like an EP assessment. I'm afraid your friend is wrong with regards to a GP referral unless it leads to a Statement of SEN (which is rare for dyslexia ).

I am SENCO in a 250 place school with above "average" levels of SEN and I am allocated 14 hours EP time per year! (probably less for 2011/12) which means that some children have to wait for investigation into their problems. My head has asked if he can buy in extra EP time and has met a dead end. A school SEN budget is unfortunately small and has to stretch almost to breaking point at times.n The bulk of my SEN budget is spent topping up provision for those children with statements I'm afraid.

IndigoBell Thu 01-Sep-11 08:27:09

Sarah - I don't think a clinical psych can dx dyslexia only an ed psych. And I think normally gps can't refer to ed psychs.

I think you will have very little joy trying to get help from a GP.

Mrz - the school is free to spend their budget on whatever they want and can use private EPs. however the private EP report probably can't be used as evidence for a statement.

mrz Thu 01-Sep-11 08:31:18

We can't find an EP who is interested in working in school PT Indigo, yes we could pay for a private consultation but it would be poor use of my meagre budget.

IndigoBell Thu 01-Sep-11 08:32:19

Rubbar - you are quite right. School should teach your child to read write and add up. Problem is they can't because your DC has cognitive difficulties which school can't address.

I have been fighting to get my DD an education for 4 years, and laregely failed. My story is well documented on here.

However it's not schools fault. The EP was also useless. But slowly DD is getting there - by doing alternative treatments that school can't do and an EP can't recommend.

Good luck. Never stop trying. Your DC can be helped.

mrz Thu 01-Sep-11 08:51:48

Oh and I'm funding 3 1-1 statements out of the budget.

IndigoBell Thu 01-Sep-11 09:29:08

Oh and I'm funding 3 1-1 statements out of the budget. ! sad

we could pay for a private consultation but it would be poor use of my meagre budget. - is it a poor use of your budget because the reports don't normally tell you anything an experienced teacher and SENCO couldn't work out for themself?

mrz Thu 01-Sep-11 10:56:48

is it a poor use of your budget because the reports don't normally tell you anything an experienced teacher and SENCO couldn't work out for themself?

exactly! I've not seen a report yet that has held any surprises or has offered and suggestions for support that wasn't already in place or hadn't been tried previously.

lesstalkmoreaction Thu 01-Sep-11 12:18:36

I paid £350 for a private ed psych report and she used the Wechsler intelligence scale for children- fourth edition uk which is one of the recommended tests that can identify dyslexia.
It was extremely useful to us showing verbal comprehension and working memory and various other tests for reading, spelling etc.
The test took over an hour and showed that my ds has a poor working memory along with other problems and this gave the result that my ds has dyslexia.
The report was excepted by the school and has been helpful in helping us as a family support my ds. It gave really good suggestions on different ways to teach him at school which the school have taken on board.
Many of the suggestions are in my ds's IEP which he now takes with him into year 5, he is age 9.

We also had a specialist eye test to check that his eyes were working correctly together and to see if overlays would help him, which they don't.

I can recommend that you get the checks done by a private ed psych as it puts you in control of the results and gives you as a family more information than having the county ed psych do the test as that report goes to the school first and you are the last to know what is going on.

IndigoBell Thu 01-Sep-11 12:24:38

LessTalk - What suggestions did they give you for improving poor working memory?

Is he now doing better at school?

A specialist eye test is something I totally recommend - but it is of course separate to an EP report.

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