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DS struggling at school, some type of dyslexia? (sorry if long)

(11 Posts)
SparkyTGD Wed 14-Nov-12 12:26:06

My DS is 7 and appears to be quite bright (I realise I'm biased but friends & family have commented too).

But, his progress at school has been very poor. In class 1(scotland) he spent the first 2/3 of the year guessing and remembering stories when reading, with no actual 'reading'. School teaches using phonics but also some whole word recognition (was given lists of key words), and uses ORT books.

At end of year 1 they went completely back to basics to 'start again' with slow steady progress.

He spent year 2 making slow progress with reading & writing, although teacher was surprised at some of his good spelling. Very reluctant to do any written work/reading, loves drawing & can do very detailed pictures. Homework always done under duress.

Now in year 3 and still slow progress, behind most of class. Had meeting with his teacher recently and she said easily distracted, lacks focus and slow proress is whats to be expected as long as its progress.

He had one workbook whick had pictures & written work that was clearly free-hand, this is the type of thing (not remembered exactly)

"this is a fihr truc has lites on rof most usis for rescyin peple an putin out fihrs"

I really want to support & help him achieve to the best of his ability (don't we all) and realise that labels don't always help, but could maybe give an understanding as to why he's not progressing in the same way as his classmates.

Some type of dyslexia a possibility? Can anyone give advice?

smee Wed 14-Nov-12 13:06:35

Sparky, if there's a gulf between his intelligence and how he's performing, it's likely there's some sort of problem, which might mean he's dyslexic. Signs with my DS, were reversing letters/ numbers, incredibly poor spelling, poor letter formation. He couldn't copy anything with any semblance of accuracy either. Does any of that sound familiar??

SparkyTGD Wed 14-Nov-12 16:19:58

Thanks for reply, he often reverses letters & numbers, spelling is mostly poor although occasionally good.

He can copy fine.

There's definitely a big gulf between intelligence & performance.

Also his teacher said that he doesn't seem to be able to focus his attention but he cerainly does when drawing detailed pictures or making something out of lego. Just seems to have a bit of a block with written work.

SparkyTGD Wed 14-Nov-12 16:20:29


derekthehamster Wed 14-Nov-12 16:28:39

I can understand his sentence, my son is struggling with literacy (3c at beginning of yr 5) and his spelling is very similar to your son's.

I am using apples and pears spelling scheme (should have started it years ago with hindsight)

I am also paying a tutor for a weekly session. I'm not sure what else i can do, there is over 1 NC level difference between his writing and maths/reading levels. I'm pinning my hopes on the fact that something will 'click' - not very reassuring, sorry sad

smee Wed 14-Nov-12 17:35:53

Sparky, I'd push for a referral. Diagnosis gets you not a lot, but it's been brilliant for us to push school to do more for DS and most importantly great for him, as it gives him a tangible reason why he's not doing so well on some fronts. If the school won't refer him, it's expensive to do private assessment, but once you've got an Ed Psych report and dependent on what it says, it's far harder for them to ignore you.

smee Wed 14-Nov-12 17:40:36

Forgot to say, but ask him what he sees when he looks at the page, but which I mean do the words move or stay still? I hadn't heard of it, but my son's v.badly affected by visual stress. When he looks at words they move and go out of focus. He also can't read the whiteboard if it's black writing. His eyesight's normal, so we hadn't realised. Worth asking your DS just in case he's similar. You don't have to be dyslexic to be affected.

stargirl1701 Wed 14-Nov-12 17:51:52

Hi Sparky. I'm a teacher in Scotland.

You need to find out who has management responsibility in school for Additional Support Needs (ASN) and ask for a meeting with the class teacher and that person. Talk through your concerns with both of them and request an ASN meeting to establish if there are Additional Support Needs not currently being met (by the sounds of things this is true). This ASN meeting is formal and there will be a report from his class teacher. You may submit a report of your own indicating his strengths and development needs.

During this meeting a plan should be formed that details what all the professionals will do including any referrals that need to be made. You may want to request the Ed Psych attached to the school observes your child in class. Ask for the contact details of the Ed Psych and email him/her yourself with your concerns to help speed things along.

The outcome may be direct teaching intervention from an ASN teacher, referrals to other agencies or support from an assistant. An IEP may be put in place which details what the school will do to meet his needs.

I would STRONGLY suggest you get in touch with the charity Parent to Parent and talk this through with them. They will also provide someone (who is trained in the ASL Act of Parliament) to support you in the ASN meetings. I couldn't recommend doing this more highly. Really highly. Really. grin

Hope this info helps.

SparkyTGD Thu 15-Nov-12 17:39:56

Thanks derek, have saved all materials from that website to look at over the weekend.

smee thats what I thought, I know that 'diagnosis' might not make any difference to his progress but at the moment he takes ages to do his work & misses 'activity' time because he hasn't finished. If there was a reason that he was so slow then teacher might make allowances a bit more.

Thanks for reply stargirl whats stopping me pushing for a referral is that his teacher(s) all seem to have thought he will catch up and/or he's just a slow learner?

He has a friend who's very dyslexic and I know there's no comparison with her difficulties, eg he is progressing with his reading (albeit at much slower pace than his peers).

He also says nearly every day he doesn't like school & the work (writing, sums) is too hard. I really struggle to get him motivated some days.

stargirl1701 Thu 15-Nov-12 18:25:58

Even if it is the case that he will catch up there is now a legal duty on schools to meet the needs of the child.

Ask for some simple assessments to be done - off the top of my head maybe COPs or Aston Index Reading/Spelling Ages. That would at least be a baseline to measure his progress from over a specified time period.

smee Fri 16-Nov-12 11:10:23

Sparky, they should definitely make allowances if you get a diagnosis. My DS is now allowed extra time and the tone of any criticism's changed slant too, as it's all far more constructive now. smile

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