Accreditations for a tutor specialising in dyslexia?

(20 Posts)
toomanyeasterbunnies Sat 18-Aug-12 07:48:37

My daughter has just been diagnosed as having dyslexia and we would like her to see a tutor for some extra help. Are there any qualifications or accreditations I should be looking for when selecting an appropriate tutor?

Also, I am based in East Surrey if anyone has any recommendations.


OP’s posts: |
maizieD Sat 18-Aug-12 10:55:16

I wouldn't worrry about 'qualifications' or accreditation too much. Just find a tutor who teaches structured, systematic synthetic or linguistic phonics.

From experience I have had working with children who have had 'specialist' tuition; from using (long ago) a 'specialist dyslexia programme' and from keeping abreast with interventions 'approved' by the dyslexia groups I would say that nothing works as well, or as fast, as an SP or LP programme.

trickydickie Sat 18-Aug-12 22:43:50

miazie - could you explain what SP and or LP is. Thanks.

BlackandGold Sat 18-Aug-12 22:46:42

This might be useful;

MrsShrek3 Sat 18-Aug-12 22:58:29

tbh the accreditation courses are very expensive so we don't all have them. I do specialist teaching in primary (for the LEA) but my quals are just the same as any other teaching colleague. It's only my experience that sets me apart (and by the same token I have total respect for them, I couldn't do classroom teaching f/t!) I have tons of short-course inservice training but that won't necessarily show up if you searched for someone like me for instance.Just trying to point out that bits of paper are awesome, but not all of us have them.

Go for Dyslexia Action if you want the mutts-nuts standard for out of school teaching. Also badger her school's SENCO for dyslexia specific 1:1 in school, should get around 30 mins a week from a specialist then some LSA top up to continue the programme through the week. Also perhaps look into getting some "Nessy" programmes - the games are fab and not too expensive, around £15iirc. Toe by toe is a very boring dyslexia prog, dry as dust but effective - only to be combined with other stuff too. Look into multisensory methods as it's without doubt the best way to teach dyslexic children - get to library or bookshop and find Beat Dyslexia. Additional work at home would really help smile

maizieD Sun 19-Aug-12 00:37:39

Sp = Synthetic Phonics (as in Jolly Phonics. Read Write Inc, Letters & Sounds etc.)

LP = Linguistic Phonics, a slightly different approach but on much the same principles as SP. Most commonly used LP programme in schools is Sounds~Write.

Either of these approaches gives a child the structured, systematic phonics knowledge & skills which they need for reading and spelling A 'dyslexic' child does not need anything different unless they are among the tiny percentage of children who cannot learn with phonics (in which case, the standard 'dyslexia' programmes will not help either as they are phonics based too). What they probably do need is a slower pace, more intensive work on learning and applying letter/sound correspondences and lots of opportunity for practice and overlearning. The programmes advocated by the dyslexia organisations, though more effective in their time than the 'look and say' approach that they compensated for, have not kept up with research and best practice and do not 'do the job' as efficiently as an SP or LP programme.

I suggest you have a good look round this website:

Bramblesinafield Sun 19-Aug-12 00:51:34

Accredited dyslexia teachers currently have ATS or AMBDA. Patoss is a good route.


IndigoBell Sun 19-Aug-12 08:06:06

MrsS is not right about what school 'should' provide. Each school does whatever they want. There is nothing they have to do. Nothing that all schools do. Some LEAs provide specialist teachers some don't.

(and given that a diagnosis of dyslexia can mean anything, it would be silly to have a rule about what you should do for all dyslexics)

I also strongly disagree with her advice about multi sensory teaching. This is a myth that has been pepuated for a long time by the dyslexia industry. The truth is that kids with dyslexia are likely to have undiagnosed vision and hearing problems.

Obviously you are far better to treat the vision and hearing problems rather than trying to circumnavigate vision and hearing by using 'multisensory' methods.

Once you treat all her underlying problems she will learn as easily as any other child - but a dyslexia tutor doesn't believe that and won't tell you that.

Bramblesinafield Sun 19-Aug-12 10:00:58

Indigo, I was with you until the last sentence. You will find that some of us are more open minded that you might think.

IndigoBell Sun 19-Aug-12 10:21:58

Sorry blush

I should have said that lots of people get stuck on the symptoms of struggling to learn to read and write, and spend all their time trying to fix those symptoms with various learn to read programs, rather than trying to work out what is causing those symptoms.

And that a teacher or a tutor can really only use teaching methods to help the child, which means there's 100 things they can't help you with. Vision, hearing, diet, allergies, supplements and medicine for example.

I shouldn't have made any comments about dyslexia tutors in general. blush

Bramblesinafield Sun 19-Aug-12 10:44:58

Thanks smile

I do think that there needs to be more awareness on exploring the underlying difficulties - a big part of my role, either assessing or referring on.

Indigo is also spot on about what schools are able to provide. Each lea is different in how funding is allocated and schools organise themselves differently - we would all love to do so much more but are constrained by staffing, budget, etc. A big part of my role is staff training regarding dyslexia friendly (& other sen-friendly) class teaching, in addition to the more specialised assessment and individual teaching.

IndigoBell Sun 19-Aug-12 16:59:50

Brambles - I've PM'd you.

MrsShrek3 Mon 20-Aug-12 02:22:42

Interesting stuff indigo. I am also open minded, not at all in the "dyslexia tutor" you stereotype, and we refer on to all sorts of other routes as we work with children over time and their needs become clearer. I say msl works because it does. I'm not a particular advocate of any one method as different ones work for different people, but i do think that over all, multisensory is the way to go. As the op is posting about a dd with a diagnosis of dyslexia, surely vision and other issues are always explored at the same time? Ime it is the case, but perhaps not everywhere. My ds (also severely dyslexic) had eye tests, hearing tests and all sorts before seeing the EP and diagnosing dyslexia. Dyslexia isn't really the first thing you think of when a child has difficulty with literacy difficulties smile

MrsShrek3 Mon 20-Aug-12 02:26:23

Oops - on phone. Last sentence "difficulty with literacy" and last word a typo. Sorry!

IndigoBell Mon 20-Aug-12 02:50:29

The kind of vision and auditory Problems I'm talking about aren't picked up with standard hearing or vision tests. Which is why people think they have had them checked - but they haven't.

When my DD was dx with dyslexia her vision and hearing weren't tested. EPs can't test that. I was never asked if she'd had them.

A vision test by a behaviour optometrist would pick up what I'm talking about - and they're not standard. Nor available on the NHS. Nor cheap.

And an auditory discrimination test would probably pick up what I'm talking about - and I don't even know who would test for that. Certainly the audiologist didn't.

The audiolist signed my DDs hearing off as fine - because she had no hearing loss. However a private therapy centre found she had huge auditory problems. We did auditory integration training with them, and after that (in Y3) for the first time she was able to progress past CVC words. It also improved her slow processing and memory (a bit)

It then took us 2 different lots of vision therapy to find one that worked.(The expensive one by the behaviour optometrist didnt work) Again vision therapy improved her reading.

So you can see why I'm sceptical about both dyslexics vision and hearing being fully checked and multi sensory teaching.

Then we did 2 lots of neurodevelopment therapy.

Then we went to a nutritionist and had a major, major, major breakthrough with her dyslexia when we took her off dairy which it turned out she was intolerant of.

And now her dyslexia is very, very, very nearly cured. Just need to finish the current neurodevelopment therapy.

And over summer she's been having tutoring by a TA and she has learnt very easily. No special methods needed at all.

As a tutor / teacher you can't help dyslexia. All you can do is teach a child to read - which isn't the same thing at all. Ie even once a dyslexic child learns to read they'll still find school hard and struggle or have o work at least twice as hard as they should.

But if the vision, hearing, dietary and neurodevelopment problems are addressed than the child will no longer have dyslexia, no longer struggle at school and no longer need special dyslexia tutoring.

And because you work in a school setting you can't help with any of those things.

MrsShrek3 Mon 20-Aug-12 03:17:03

Amazing story, and good to hear that she's progressing so well now. Interestingly my ds also has a dairy allergy, diagnosed in infancy. I still think there's a link between food allergy and brain/processing, but it's an under researched area so patchy evidence except specifically around asd. Would love to do it as a research project (well we can dream...) Colorimetry testing did the trick for ds1, he has irlen lenses and progress has been huge since he got his glasses 18months ago. Again not standard, not nhs. I found out about his processing over years, picking up his perception and vision differences in the most random of situations.
I've only worked in schools for a couple of years so I see how you're sceptical about the system. I'm not outing myself by saying more, sorry wink but suffice to say that I'm treated as a mad thing at times, because I don't work like other teachers, mostly because of spending much of my career not in a school environment.

IndigoBell Mon 20-Aug-12 07:42:21

Have you had your DS properly checked for convergence problems?

Has he done computerised vision therapy to correct his convergence problems?

An awful lot of people wrongly get prescribed coloured lenses when what they actually need is vision therapy.

Which doesn't mean that coloured lenses don't help - it means that vision therapy would help more.

(3 separate professionals wanted to give my DD coloured overlays, when she never had Irlen syndrome. Irlen syndrome is very, very, very rare. Coloured glasses are prescribed often.)

Dyslexia, Really talks about convergence problems being mis-diagonsed as dyslexia.

I think in it he claims 60% of dyslexics actually have convergence problems.

Dr. H. N. Levinson treats dyslexia, ADD and ADHD with antihistamines

This paper talks about food allergies causing dyslexia:

Our experience has been that antihistamines improve children’s academic performance about 60% of the time in a couple of weeks

So, odds are, at least 60% of the children you teach are actually suffering from a food allergy.

IndigoBell Mon 20-Aug-12 07:50:54

Also, is it possible your DS has an intolerance to wheat or yeast or eggs or something?

It was not at all obvious DD did. An intolerance is very different to an allergy. But a blood test showed that was the cause of her problems.

Richardhartuk Mon 27-Jan-20 13:54:27

I’d just like to emphatically thank IndigBell for the pointers they made in this thread. Since yesterday I’ve already established the visual tests that we have done, did not cover the specific area that you referred to. The clinic where my daughter will have her behavioural vision tests, also do auditory ones. They use the Johansen IAS technique. I wonder if you recommend this? Anyway, I’m feeling a little more hopeful about my daughter’s future. So thank you, thank you, thank you!

Motorcyclemptiness Wed 29-Jan-20 19:08:22

IME, the only tutors worth spending your money on to support and help a dyslexic DC are Patoss tutors. Others without specialist training will take your money and leave your DC even more demoralised. There will be people on their list in your area. Good luck.

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