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How unusual is it?

(29 Posts)
littlemiss06 Sat 27-Apr-13 21:48:20

To have a reading level lower than writing? Just been told my daughters end of spring levels and she's as 1c in reading but 1b in maths and writing, the teacher said its unusual to have a reading level below writing. Just wondering how unusual it is and is it likely to cause even more problems for her ( she's year two)

daftdame Sun 28-Apr-13 14:16:34

Sometimes I think there may be no 'dysfunction' whatsoever - a child may just be so strong in one area this has compensated and perhaps led to an underdevelopment in another area.

I also think people underestimate the importance of interest in a child engaging in their learning (or it is just too controversial to question!).

If the writing is good, it may be just that the child is not finding the reading material as relevant or interesting enough to engage with. All this should be investigated.

mrz Sun 28-Apr-13 14:05:44

I agree with CalicoRose that sometimes the label is a barrier to a child receiving effective help ... the child is dyslexic therefore it's not my fault they aren't reading/writing as well as they should.

daftdame Sun 28-Apr-13 13:51:29

I think there are lots of labels which don't serve a useful purpose beyond giving a 'reason' as to why someone appears to be a little bit different and directing resource towards what is often seen as a problem (not that it need be at all).

People know a lot about how children learn / develop but the science is by no means complete. Hence, often mysterious, 'differences'.

A lot of individual skills and knowledge, some of which appears instinctive work together to allow somebody to read, write, speak etc etc. When someone does not follow the predicted pattern people look for a reason. If the 'problems' or differences are ones which have been seen before, a label is given. But then people find the differences do not fall in to predictable patterns, thus the problem with labels.

I think no matter how much expertise somebody possesses (and there is a lot helpful expertise out there) it is worth remembering how important it is to remain open minded.

CalicoRose Sun 28-Apr-13 13:48:08

Maizie - I think so sometimes the opposite happens .

a child gets a label of dyslexia and then they're not given any other help rather than whatever dyslexia schemes the school are running.

So all the child's language problems, attention problems, auditory problems etc are ignored as the school wrongly think the child's problem is dyslexia.

If they didn't have a label of dyslexia maybe there other problems would be taken more seriously.

CalicoRose Sun 28-Apr-13 13:44:38

Here are five definitions of dyslexia:

Most of them boil down to if a child doesn't learn to read they have dyslexia

The IQ test you may get with a dyslexia assessment makes the parent / child feel good, but is not very helpful wrt helping the child.

maizieD Sun 28-Apr-13 13:41:32

But really I wish people would stop arguing about labels, and just help the children.

For which a label is not needed...

The saddest aspect of the labelling is that very often the children who don't get the label don't get the help even though they need it just as much.

CalicoRose Sun 28-Apr-13 13:38:35

MummyTime - while obviously there are times when a full explanation is not useful, in general surely it's more useful to explain your child has slow processing, rather than saying they have dyslexia?

For example slow processing tells the teacher the child might be able o answer the question given longer - whereas dyslexia doesn't imply that. Not all people with dyslexia have processing speed problems and therefore extra time doesn't help some people at all.

I think it's very important, especially when talking to teachers, to list your child's problems (processing speed, working memory, auditory processing, eye tracking - whatever) rather then using the catch all label dyslexia which does not give the teacher any clue at all as to how to help your child.

And the more you talk to people, the more you learn / ideas you get.....

mrz Sun 28-Apr-13 13:19:34

"It is much much quicker to say than to go into an in depth explanation of the areas they have difficulty with (most people think they have more ideal what "dyslexia" is then "processing speed" for example)." this is what I have problem with to be honest mummytime, most people do think they have an idea what dyslexia is but even the "experts" can't agree on a definition, so what people believe can sometimes be unhelpful.

I don't deny there are children who have real difficulties with reading and writing (I work with them) but I'm not convinced that the term "dyslexia" serves any useful purpose.

mummytime Sun 28-Apr-13 13:08:55

As a mother of two "Dyslexic" children, I like the label. One of my children is formally diagnosed, the other adopted the label. It is much much quicker to say than to go into an in depth explanation of the areas they have difficulty with (most people think they have more ideal what "dyslexia" is then "processing speed" for example).

I am also talking about a real (can be seen by neurological tests) disorder, not just the result of poor teaching.

For those who deny dyslexia, they should also stop talking about "intelligence" which is just as much a matter of psychological debate.

But really I wish people would stop arguing about labels, and just help the children. And the best method still seems to be: try good phonic (type) teaching, followed by intervention program's, followed by checking sight and hearing, followed by a lot of trial and error.

NotWilliamBoyd Sun 28-Apr-13 12:44:17

Hmm I am also quite surprised to read of someone suggesting Toe by Toe for such a young child,some will make progress sure but lots will find it deathly boring and visually
challenging. With regard to the value of a label of dyslexia, I am with mrz on that one. Oh, and I also am a qualified specialist teacher of children with dyslexia.

mrz Sun 28-Apr-13 12:38:42


mrz Sun 28-Apr-13 12:38:19

Incorrect MummaBubba I believe Dyslexia is a huge an lucrative industry not a myth.

As a SENCO I don't believe a label of dyslexia helps a child, good teaching does that

MummaBubba123 Sun 28-Apr-13 12:30:31

Correct, mrz
A detailed and formal assessment goes far deeper than this - as I pointed out.
It appears that you believe that dyslexia is a myth. Interesting. I'm sure that many would disagree.

mrz Sun 28-Apr-13 11:43:18

mrz Sun 28-Apr-13 11:41:20

However the idea of dyslexia as a mismatch between reading ability and IQ is no longer regarded as valid

MummaBubba123 Sun 28-Apr-13 11:36:10

A full assessment of dyslexia will reveal the exact nature if an individual's difficulties in relation to literacy, auditory processing, phonological awareness, etc. It will also consider whether their ability (ascertained at school, at home and in a full range of standardised tests relating to reading, writing and/ spelling) falls in line with their potential - indicated by standardised testing of their IQ.
It's not a catch phrase.

mrz Sun 28-Apr-13 11:09:53

I agree that dyslexia is a catch all label which is pretty misleading. It gives the impression that there is a distinct and identifiable cause for the child's/adult's reading difficulties whereas this is far from true.
Why a child is still struggling after years of interventions depends on what interventions have been used and the skill /knowledge of those delivering them. Unfortunately interventions are often ineffectual because they are left to the least qualified member of staff and involve lots of mixed methods.

CalicoRose Sun 28-Apr-13 10:54:38

So, MB, if you're assessing a child who can't read despite years of interventions what would make you say they're not dyslexic?

And how would the advice you give to that child's patent differ from a child who you've labelled as dyslexic?

For a young child I'd recommend bear necessaries, step by step, and the reading reflex (phonographix) before I'd recommend toe by toe.

It's not that toe by toe doesn't work. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. It's just not the best scheme available.

My DSs spelling age is always a year above his reading age. That reflects nothing besides how hard it is to design a good spelling age / reading age test. Ie his spelling wasn't better than his reading.

mrz Sun 28-Apr-13 09:45:07

Interesting ... how would you define dyslexia?

MummaBubba123 Sun 28-Apr-13 09:06:43

Toe by Toe is used with adults, too. However, it is more commonly used to remediate weak reading (fluency and accuracy) in children and teenagers as young as 4 or 5.
As for dyslexia being a 'catch all label' ... it's lucky that I've a sense of humour. Lol

mrz Sun 28-Apr-13 08:45:13

Normally writing (spelling) lags behind reading because it is much more complex so it is unusual for reading levels to be lower than writing.
I agree Bear Necessities rather than Toe to Toe as it's much more child friendly (and IMHO more effective)

SanityClause Sun 28-Apr-13 08:42:55

I did Toe by Toe with DS when he was 6. His reading age improved by about a year and a half in a couple of months. Also, he liked it, because it was a chance for us to sit together on the sofa, everyday. It was his time just with me.

jamtoast12 Sun 28-Apr-13 08:38:19

Toe by toe is largely for adults isn't it? It's used by the prison sector for adult learners.

CalicoRose Sun 28-Apr-13 07:16:00

I really wouldn't recommend toe by toe for such a young child. Bear necessities is far better.

I did toe by toe with DS at that age and really regretted it. It didn't help at all. Caused stress every single day. And stopped us from being able to do it when he was older and it might have worked better.

CalicoRose Sun 28-Apr-13 07:12:20

Dyslexia is just a catch all label for 'we don't know why we can't teach her or what we can do about it' so no need to get a label of that right now if everyone agrees she has problems and are looking into them.

I really don't think the fact her writing is slightly ahead of her reading is significant to the big picture that she is having difficulties.

I have certainly found levelling to be so inaccurate that my DC can vary by a whole level (not sublevel) depending on the weather/teacher/?

Eg at one point no one could agree whether DS was a W, a 1C or a 1A. So it's really not clear cut at all.

You don't need to be reversing letters to have dyslexia. Struggling to learn to read is enough.

What reading intervention is she on?

The best one for you to do at home is probably bearing away or bear necessities.

What other difficulties does she have?

What specialists is she under?

What hearing and eye sight tests has she had? Just the standard ones?

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