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Is it me or are these targets inappropriate for Y6 dyslexic DS?

(7 Posts)
pachey3000 Fri 12-Oct-12 14:08:29

We had ds target setting meeting today, he has been given things like
"apply spelling knowledge when writing, not just in tests"
"re-read work carefully to check for punctuation errors and other mistakes"

4 targets for English, all of this type. He actually looked destroyed in the meeting. There is nothing about stretching him, nor his strengths.

Isn't this a bit like saying to a partially sighted child "just look harder, and you'll be able to see better!"?

I asked if he is expected to achieve these targets on his own, and yes, this is the case. I explained that I feel he should be supported to achieve these targets because his dyslexia makes these things very hard for him, but was told he won't be getting any support.

We know these are his weaknesses, in fact I wrote to the head at the start of term saying that we were at a loss as to how to help him with these very things! He just said they'd be doing more work on phonics with the whole class, which should help him, which I'm sure it will. I was actually wondering whether working on a laptop with a spell checker would be what he needs?

Brief history - DS diagnosed (privately) in Yr 3. He's not had any support from the school - I assume this is because he's not falling behind. But then his IQ is top 1% so he's been able to compensate quite well so far, but as he does more challenging work he's obviously being hampered by his handwriting, spelling, punctuation etc.

Ineedalife Fri 12-Oct-12 14:45:28

The first one would be ok IMO if he is getting 10 out of 10 for his spellings and then spelling the same words wrong in his writing an hour later.

The second one would be ok if he has the ability to find his mistakes.

My Dd2 is dyslexic and she has stfruggled with spelling and editing all the way through school, however when pushed she is actually able to do these things and by practicing regularly she improved dramatically before she did her GCSE's.

Her yr 10 and 11 english teacher had really high expectations of her and and made her work really hard. She taught Dd2 that because literacy doesnt come easy to her she has to work harder than the rest of the class in order to achieve her goals.

Despite some down times in yr 11 and having to retake some parts of her course she got there in the end and inspite of the exam boards ridiculous behaviour this summer she got the much sort after C at GCSE.

Without the high expectations of that one teacher Dd2 would not now be doing a Level 3 course at college, she would have had to do a Level 2 first.

If your ds is capable of transferring his skills and evaluating his own writing then he might need a push to move him forward.

Sorry if this is not what you want to hear and obviously I dont know the extent of your Ds's learning difficulties so I could be talking totaly rubbish WRT your Ds. I am just saying that it worked for my Dd2.

Good lucksmile

Ineedalife Fri 12-Oct-12 14:47:20

Sorry meant to say, remember these are targets, he doesnt need to be doing them right now but working towards them before his next targets are set.

Hulababy Fri 12-Oct-12 14:53:22

I think as targets they are ok. They are stretching him and challenging him as they are things he needs to work on in order to achieve higher marks later in the year and into secondary school.

However they should also be backed up with strategies to help him achieve them. He should have support in or out of class to teach him ways of being able to do this, and given access to resources that can help him.

To say he has to do them on his own with no support seems wrong.

wigglywoowoo Fri 12-Oct-12 15:02:23

I principle I wouldn't say they are inappropriate as long as the targets are about improving and not removing all errors from his work.

I'm dyslexic and I know it is hard work rereading and self correcting work (I'm currently at Uni) but I routinely mispell words that I know and miss other words out in my work. When I read my work I am able to spot some but not all the errors and hence correct them. I would guess this is what they are hoping for however whether your son is able to do this will be down to how his dyslexia effects him.

I agree that there should be targets that stretch him in all areas of the curriculum. Can you speak to the teacher about what he is expected top show to achieve this?

Startailoforangeandgold Fri 12-Oct-12 15:07:01

I feel your pain, or rather DD1 would sympathise with your DS.

Telling dyslexics to spell better and make less mistakes without helping them learn how is very discouraging.

That said, target 2 - try and proof is one DD1 and me could both benefit from.

pachey3000 Fri 12-Oct-12 18:49:15

Thank you for your replies, I really appreciate your thoughts. I suppose todays meeting was so disheartening tbecause my son has worked really hard over the last 6 months on his literacy to prepare for grammar school entrance exams.

The presentation, punctuation and spelling were the areas we tried hard to improve but were not really able to. It's as if he can do presentation or content but not both together. In then end I decided not to worry about it as the school confirmed he would not be penalised for spelling or handwriting.

We tried proof reading, but similar to wigglywoowoo's experience, he can pick up some of his errors, but in no way all. The spellings are words that he knows, but when he's in the "flow" of writing he will just get them wrong - often he knows they are wrong but has no clue how to spell it in that moment. Things like "closser" for closer or "Hure" for heard.

I don't know how I'm going to persuade the school to help him with strategies....but it seems clearer now after reading your replies that this is what I need to try and do. I did ask them if he could have 25% extra time for his sats, and they are not keen on this, even though it says in his Ed Psych report that he should have it! But I will push them. He had it for his entrance exams and it made all the difference - giving him time to read the passage in English and in maths - he basically does every question twice - its the only way he can find his mistakes!

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