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can you look at this and say if it looks like dyslexia to you, please?

(57 Posts)
imogengladhart Wed 28-Nov-12 22:40:28

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imogengladhart Thu 29-Nov-12 18:56:30

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maizieD Thu 29-Nov-12 19:58:29

It sounds to me as though he is having problems distinguishing all the sounds in the words and is not secure with the 'ur' spelling of the /er/ sound.

The questions I would initially ask are:

Is this the result of poor phonics teaching (so he doesn't perfectly understand that the sounds are represented by a specific letter, or letters)

Is he able to identify each of the individual sounds in a word (and, related to that, does he have, or has he had, a hearing difficulty)?

How does he 'learn' the spellings on his list? Is he expected to use letter names for spelling?

Does he have memory difficulties in other areas?

Does he have difficulty with understanding/ remembering complex verbal instructions?

And, I would ask the OP. What would you expect 'specialist help' to consist of?

I think that insted of looking for a 'dyslexia' label the OP would be far better trying to identify the specific cause of his spelling problem. 'Dyslexia' just tells you that he has a problem with acquiring reading and spelling skills. It will not tell you what the cause of this problem is, nor what is the best way to support him

InfiniteFairylights Thu 29-Nov-12 21:10:33

I'm pretty sure that the school has a legal responsibility to provide Extra Support if your son requires it. My Ds wasn't diagnosed as Dyslexic until his last year at primary, but he was given Extra Support sessions from P3. I did ask about Dyslexia when he first started receiving ES and was told that the ES lessons were taught in a way that was suitable for dyslexics. So even though he hadn't been diagnosed, he was being supported.
Your ds sounds very similar to mine, if that helps? I will have a look over the weekend, as i have some info on ES and the law in Scotland that I can give you.

InfiniteFairylights Thu 29-Nov-12 21:13:55

In the meanwhile, have a look at Dyslexia Scotland

imogengladhart Thu 29-Nov-12 21:18:01

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maizieD Thu 29-Nov-12 22:51:55


I'm not a 'dyslexia' specialist (in fact, I'm a bit of a dyslexia sceptic) but I do have a fair amount of expertise in working with KS3 children who are struggling with reading. Those are the sort of questions I would be asking if I had achild showing a similar profile!

I would get his hearing checked out, thoroughly, again. From the examples you gave I would say that he is making a valiant attempt to identify the sounds in the words, but is just 'missing some'. Just as a rough check, say some words and ask him to tell you what sounds he can hear (or what sounds he says) when he says the words. If he misses out some then he either hasn't been really taught how to break words into their component sounds or he just can't hear them all. If it is the former, then a short daily practice of counting the sounds in words could help him to become more aware of them. If the latter, I think he would need some (specialist?) help that would focus on actual 'feel' of the sounds as he says a word so that he can identify them by the 'feel' rather than the 'sound'. Because, at it's simplest level, spelling is the process of writing the 'spelling' of each sound in a word, in the order in which it comes in the word. His spelling of 'curs' and 'curv' tells me that he is on the right lines.

The next step is, of course, getting the correct spelling for each 'sound'. Which, from the list you quoted, it looks as though this is what his spelling list is working on.

When he is learning his spellings at home, get him to identify the sounds in the word, perhaps placing a line for each sound, and then spelling each sound in sequence, one to a line, saying each sound as he writes it; then decoding and blending the resulting word to see if it does 'say' what it is meant to 'say'. Once he gets more skilled you can abandon the 'line' prop.

If he uses letter names, try to get him not to. Letter names don't relate to the sounds and children can easily confuse the order of the letters in a word (though, to be fair, he doesn't seem to be doing this).

This is the sort of thing that a good specialist teacher should do with him; if you can be confident enough with your phonics to help him like this it would be a great help.

For longer words, deal with them one 'chunk' at a time. This will prevent overloading his short term memory.

Ed Psy identified a 'delay' but said he would prob 'grow out of it/and or develop coping strategies'

I think this is a bit bl**dy casual! Someone should be teaching him coping strategies. Why does the poor child have to work them out for himself when he is already clearly stressed?

Any private dyslexia assessment would dx 'dyslexia' on the strength of what you have said, but if the school won't recognise it the dx won't be much use to you! I think you'd be far better pursuing concerns about his hearing and his poor short term memory (which will contribute to his difficulty with complex instructions).

In the meantime, give him a big hug and tell him that he isn't at all stupid, he just needs a different way to learn the

imogengladhart Fri 30-Nov-12 09:34:28

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IndigoBelle Fri 30-Nov-12 10:06:22

Maizie has given you very good advice.

But I would add that there is loads of listening therapies you can do which will improve his hearing so that he can actually hear the sounds well enough to spell them.

As far as I know Therapeutic Listening is the cheapest of the therapies and available through many OTs

This Auditory Discrimination Test will tell you if he has a hearing problem.

imogengladhart Fri 30-Nov-12 10:15:53

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maizieD Fri 30-Nov-12 11:11:15

Oh, hi, IB[big wave]. Nice to see you backgrin


I meant little lines to write each 'sound' on. So if the word were 'Thursday', which contains 5 sounds, /th/ /ur/ /s/ /d/ /ay/ you'd write 5 little lines, like this, _ _ _ _ _ and write the spelling for each sound on each separate line. This is good for checking that none of the sounds have been left out.

Houseworkprocrastinator Fri 30-Nov-12 11:30:01

i haven't read all the replies so sorry if i am repeating something. I have mild dyslexia and my spelling when i was younger was very phonetic. I had great difficulty learning and retaining correct spellings and i still spell things wrong when i am writing especially if i am concentrating on what i am writing rather than the spelling.
It is very frustrating especially if you are actually intelligent because you KNOW you should be able to do it and cant understand why you cant. i was not diagnosed till secondary school but this caused allot of problems with my behavior and attitude to school. i would try and push for a diagnosis earlier.
good luck

RooneyMara Fri 30-Nov-12 11:36:14

Hi, a bit late to this but yes to me that looks like dyslexia - especially the bit with hitting his head and saying he's stupid sad Poor love - mine does this too.

however mine has come on in great strides this last year - his spelling has just shot up, his reading is GREAT and I don't know where it's all come from. (he's 9 and a half now, y5)

school refused to recognise or help with ds either, despite us having a private assessment.
It's odd.

Mine still cannot understand time (analogue especially - can read digital but doesn't know what it means) or days/weeks/years, before and after etc still really boggles him.

imogengladhart Wed 09-Jan-13 19:25:20

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mrz Wed 09-Jan-13 19:32:37

Indigo has been banned again I'm afraid

No a standard hearing test would not necessarily pick up these difficulties.

imogengladhart Wed 09-Jan-13 19:41:32

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mrz Wed 09-Jan-13 19:51:02

You could request a referral to the audiology dept asking for an auditory discrimination check. Often the test is carried also out by Ed Psychs and SaLT

imogengladhart Wed 09-Jan-13 20:15:44

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Why does Indigo get banned? (Nosy) I've seen her on lots of education themes.

mrz Wed 09-Jan-13 21:25:33

She says it's because people object to her saying dyslexia can be cured

tricot39 Wed 09-Jan-13 21:39:41

I realise that there is a lot of background to this story which hasn't come out, but if you have private tests which show that your DS is intelligent and have documented problems with the LEA which appear to show that his needs are not being catered for, then I would ask for an appointment with my MP to discuss the issues and see whether they can help. If what you say is correct, the way you are being treated sounds completely wrong. It might help avoid the hassle and expense of a move. Good Luck.

LynetteScavo Wed 09-Jan-13 21:54:24

OP, my DD sounds very much like your DS (yes she is diagnosed as dyslexic) I don't really understand Therapeutic Listening, although I know Indigo is a big fan.

If anyone does understand, and can let us know where we can access it and how much it might cost that would be fantastic.

Dyslexia might not be curable, but dyslexics can be helped.

(And the "Oh, my cousins next door nieghbour's friends brother is dyslexic and never learned to read but is now a consultant cardiologist" isn't really that helpful.)

imogengladhart Thu 10-Jan-13 07:25:18

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sashh Thu 10-Jan-13 08:08:47

He cries and hits his head when doing his spellings and says he is stupid.


Sounds like dyslexia.

But also have his eyes tested, I had both dyslexia and astigmatism.

Thank you, Mrz, that's true; I have read some of her theories. She says that dyslexia is at least partly caused by allergies, I think. I have had some dyslexic children in my class who have severe food intolerances or allergies, but others without, as far as anyone could see. So I don't know.

Please come and look at my despairing spelling thread and give me advice and comfort!

imogengladhart Thu 10-Jan-13 09:11:50

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