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signs of dyslexia? or normal?

(55 Posts)
Anomaly Tue 23-Jul-13 20:26:18

DS1 has just finished year 1. His teacher has told us she thinks verbally he seems very able and his reading and writing are at a much lower level than she would expect.

I've been told diagnosis of dyslexia is not done before age 7. My mum is sure he is dyslexic because he confuses b and d, he writes a number of letters and numbers as a mirror image and because he forms letters incorrectly. I've been reassured by friends their kids do this too and that it's normal at age 6.

Can anyone reassure me that he might not be dyslexic? Is it possible that his reading and writing could vastly improve over the next year?

meatloaf Tue 23-Jul-13 20:34:52

I thought that this was not unusual development, but watching with interest as DD is finishing up YR and does the same - mirror writing entire words.

Although she is left handed too.

ProudNeathGirl Tue 23-Jul-13 20:34:58

Normal! He's only little still, and letters like b and d are confusing. It will all come with practise.
(Use the word "bed" to explain the difference between b and d - the uprights are the bedposts)

PhoenixUprising Tue 23-Jul-13 20:56:24

The concerning bit is the teachers comment.

early signs of dyslexia

Periwinkle007 Tue 23-Jul-13 21:03:28

it can be completely normal at this age, some children will do these things and then develop perfectly normally whilst others will already have stopped doing them by this stage. HOWEVER that doesn't mean there isn't a problem. This is why they can't diagnose dyslexia properly until about 7 because so many children may just have these problems at this age and be fine.

My daughter is end of reception and definitely has some sort of visual processing disorder (she has irlen syndrome) and is showing some signs of dyslexia despite being a good reader. My approach to it at the moment though is that ok she may be dyslexic. she can't be diagnosed yet and she may be only slightly so may never end up diagnosed. So for the time being we have to look at it that whether she is or isn't she will have to learn to deal with it and work with any problems she has whatever the cause of them so we just try and work out ways that work for her.

for example when reading, she finds it hard to see full stops so we have told her to look for capital letters. ok so they may indicate a name rather than the start of a sentence but it can help her when she is tired. We have done extra practice on phonics as although her reading is good and she knows all the digraphs and trigraphs or whatever they are called she can struggle to relate them when reading new words. if you say to her what sound is ou then she knows instantly but if she reads it in a word it can stump her. Not sure if this is normal at this age or not but with extra practice she is getting there.

What indicates to me it is more than just her age? the rest of her development to be honest. She appears to be exceptionally bright, her brain is functioning at what seems to be a much higher level than would be expected for her age, her reading is good but there are problems which don't add up except to be dyslexia related, whilst she is very good with her reading and writing it still doesn't seem quite right somehow. My mum was a teacher and she says she can see the difference of what is just normal 'will come with time' and 'not quite right' so I do think there is something there but she is going to have to live with it so...

sorry that probably doesn't help you at all. I think just keep an eye on it, don't assume it will sort itself out as it may not but in the majority of children it will so I don't think you need to worry yet.

Periwinkle007 Tue 23-Jul-13 21:06:29

I think what Phoenix says is right. The teacher has commented that she would expect more given his evident ability. that is what my mum was getting at with my daughter

littlemiss06 Tue 23-Jul-13 21:11:50

I agree I would be more concerned with the teachers comment but the mixing up b and d is very common at this age, my daughter is still doing this and is 7 about to go in year three

Anomaly Tue 23-Jul-13 21:33:41

Thanks for the replies and for that link some useful stuff there. I thought the mixing up of b and d is normal as is the mirror writing. My mum is convinced it's not.

The school are onto it and he's basically going to be 'watched' and given support when he needs it. I'm very happy his intelligence has been recognised. In reception I think he was pigeon holed as a naughty boy.

Periwinkle007 Tue 23-Jul-13 21:39:18

it sounds very good the school have flagged it up. My daughter is going to be monitored after I told them about the irlen syndrome. Quite often bright children ARE missed because they have dyslexia and unless they can verbalise their intelligence to the teacher then they haven't got much to go on.

Ineedanewone Tue 23-Jul-13 21:53:14

At the weekend my 16 year old unearthed her year 2 English writing book. We found it incredibly hard to decipher any words, as depite the volume of written work her spelling was off the scale. During year 1 I had discussed the possibilty of her being dyslexic with her teacher and she had said it was too early to know, but I did know intinctivelythat she was probably dyslexic.
Long story short, we paid for a private assessment which confirmed our instincts and we made sure every teacher subsequently was aware and worked with her appropriately. She was always too 'high functioning' too get much extra support and certainly not a statement, but by our badgering away and high lighting the dyslexia she has been very successful at school and on target to get A's in her GCSEs.
Finding her year 2 book reminded us all just how hard she has had to work, but also reinforced how important it was getting a good assessment early on, to make sure those that needed to know knew we weren't just being pushy parents.
It may be useful to note that both of my siblings and all of my nephews and nieces are also dyslexic, and I suspect my Mum is too.

Periwinkle007 Tue 23-Jul-13 21:57:59

that is interesting Ineedanewone. I am half expecting we will have to pay for an assessment at some point because I don't want my daughter not to reach her full potential. I look back now I know about 'compensating dyslexics' and realise I probably was/am too and my dad as well. it would explain so much regarding being top in maths at a selective junior school but completely unable to do maths problems, english comprehension, always told my work was messy or careless when I know I tried hard with it, never quite reached my potential even though I worked harder than everyone else seemed to, memory problems and so on.

I am glad your daughter is doing well, sounds like she deserves to.

Ineedanewone Tue 23-Jul-13 22:15:33

Thanks Periwinkle,
I think we had forgotten just how she has had to work, but imo dyslexia is also a gift as she is able to see a really big picture about the world and is a talented artist as well as an intuitive scientist. ( teachers' views, not just a proud parent!)
Getting a diagnosis was a really positive thing to do as it helped us all understand where she was coming from, and to develop strategies to cope. eg making teachers focus on content and ideas rather than spelling, and it helped with her confidence too.

Periwinkle007 Tue 23-Jul-13 22:21:19

can I ask how old she was when you got her tested? I am hoping that my daughter's school might get her tested but I have a feeling they will say that as she isn't behind (and her teacher actually told me this week she wasn't sure they had ever had anyone quite as brilliant as her!) then she doesn't need it but to me that is all the more reason to check it out if she continues to show signs.

Ineedanewone Tue 23-Jul-13 22:31:04

She was in year 2 so around 7ish. We live fairly close to Egham so took her to the Dyslexia institute there, but had no further involvement, as couldn't afford extra tuition. Her Junior and Senior schools were very supportive tho' and she did have some extra support in yr 3 and 4 from her teachers, and I recall her being taken aside for one to one and small group work, alongside some other dyslexic children.

Periwinkle007 Tue 23-Jul-13 22:33:57

thank you

PhoenixUprising Tue 23-Jul-13 23:37:11

OP - school are telling you they think he has dyslexia.

They'll never use that word, but that is what they're saying.

Anomaly Wed 24-Jul-13 08:22:58

PhoenixUprising the teacher did say dyslexia, I had already mentioned it as both my brother and cousin are. I have a sneaky suspicion that MIL is a bit too.

What would you do? Obviously we're doing work with him at home and that link you posted has given me more ideas. The school is planning support next year and I will be making sure we have regular meetings with his teacher. Is it worth getting him assessed? We can afford to go privately if necessary. Would really appreciate any advice.

Bumbez Wed 24-Jul-13 08:48:46

I have just had my dd assessed she is 8. She has been in the lower ability groups despite seeming very bright. I have suspected dyslexia since year one. She is fantastic at art, often confused letters, had difficulties with days of the week (still does).

My main reason for having her assessed is that her self esteem has been suffering. Her school had screened her for dyslexia which was negative. So I think had just written her off as an average performer who was doing well.

Any way I got the report back yesterday - she has a problem with her working memory but is as I suspected very bright. Verbal reasoning for example was 97 centile.

I'm glad I had it done £450 <gulp> and feel I've now got something to show to the teachers when she returns in year 4. The report gives lots of recommendations for how to best support her.

Good luck OP

Ineedanewone Wed 24-Jul-13 08:54:21

I would reccomend getting an assessment. It was a positive thing for my dd to understand that she was 'bright' even though her spelling was unreadable. As I wrote earlier, almost 9 years on we had forgotten just hard she has had to work to overcome this issue, but because we had had that early assessment we could reinforce her need for extra support eg asking teachers to regard content and over look spellings, especially in the early days at Senior school.
She now spells well and is a confident learner.

PhoenixUprising Wed 24-Jul-13 09:18:35

I've PMed you

mummytime Wed 24-Jul-13 09:33:59

Dyslexia isn't a death sentence! There are lots of very successful dyslexics, including authors.

The b d thing isn't especially indicative. Did he ever have verbal spoonerisms when he was younger eg. "par cark or heliclopter", they are more indicative.

I would suggest you do lots of rhymes with him, nursery rhymes, poems etc. Help him enjoy books and have fun with them. Play games: eye spy with initial sounds (not letter names), play what is the first sound in "cat" then when he is good with intial sounds, try to work out the last sound, then go on to middle sounds.
For getting b and d the correct way there is "bed" where the b and d make the shape. Or stick some paper on the wall, they have a pen and face the paper, you draw the letter on their back with your finger and they draw it on the paper.

There are lots more you can do, but try to make it fun. None of it will harm someone who isn't dyslexic, and every little helps.

smee Wed 24-Jul-13 10:00:23

Phoenix, I'd say maybe leave it a year. Lots can happen in year 2 and a lot of assessors say the can't really test before 7. Why don't you call Dyslexia Action and ask for their advice on when to test?

My son is dyslexic, but we didn't get him assessed until end of yr3. (He's just finished yr4) I kind of knew from the point where you are (what you say about your son sounds v.similar!), but then in year 2 he suddenly started to read and that threw me a bit. He's a terrific reader now - top of his class in fact, but way down with his writing and spelling.

ProudNeathGirl Wed 24-Jul-13 11:04:35

Re mirror writing - my DD2 got S, Z and 2 confused for a long time. Constantly wrote her 2s back to front. Also confused p with b and d, 6 and 9 were always in the wrong place, etc etc. It's perfectly normal for a few years.

CecilyP Wed 24-Jul-13 17:10:52

I agree with others that the back to front letters at this age are not by themselves an indication of dyslexia. Apart from that, is there anything else that he struggles with? Is he behind with reading and writing or just average? Are there particular problems or does the teacher just expect him to be further on because he is so verbally articulate?

Anomaly Wed 24-Jul-13 17:56:29

Wow lots more replies. He's behind with his reading and writing. But I don't know if that's not overly surprising given he started reception knowing no letters or numbers. He had never shown any interest and to be honest was and still is reluctant when it comes to reading and writing. I know the lack of interest could indicate dyslexia. His spelling is poor but that's because he tries to spell words phonetically. He has to be reminded to use spaces between words. His maths is good and he seems to enjoy it. Near enough daily he will tell me a sum he knows the answer to.

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