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Teacher mentioned dd may be dyslexic but has always been at top of the class?

(60 Posts)
llynnnn Wed 05-Mar-14 20:37:16

My dd is in year 3, and she has always done brilliantly at school, been at the top of her class and is currently working at level 3b in all subject areas. But, her teacher says her spelling isn't good at all and she just isn't remembering and using the correct spelling 'rules' in her writing.

We know this has always been her weakness and she hates learning spellings. despite us working on them through the week she still struggles, but we have always been told before that she's doing great and will get it etc, however at tonight's parents evening her teacher mentioned that she may be dyslexic?
Has anyone else been in this position? The school have advised us to have her eyes tested first and then they'll do dyslexia tests within the school.

The teacher seems to think that if this area doesn't improve then her writing level won't continue to increase and that this will hold her back. sad she was always very enthusiastic about school, but we have noticed a change since she went into year 3 and she is worried and gets anxious about it all

Thanks for reading! Sorry for the long post! thanks

ifIsaynodontjustaskdad Mon 10-Mar-14 16:36:32

Being dyslexic and top of the class aren't mutually exclusive. I am dyslexic with numbers. I got diagnosed at 21 during my masters, and yes I did maths and physics at uni. My sister got diagnosed during her language degree. She always wrote the e in her name backwards. No one noticed. Apparently you just evolve coping mechanisms but I do think both of pur lives would have been easier if we'd known earlier. I spent any years struggling as I didn't realize numbers aren't supposed to move when you look at them

educatingarti Mon 10-Mar-14 16:29:46

Many schools use some software to "diagnose" students with dyslexia. It is a lot cheaper than paying for an educational psychologist. The only problem is (according to dyslexia action) that about 15% of dyslexics slip through the net when using the software so it can't be used to show that a student is not dyslexic. Lots of schools don't understand this and say categorically that a student is not dyslexic when they have done the online test and got a negative result.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Mon 10-Mar-14 16:18:02

Thank you all very much, that's a big help. He's changed schools since then and the Head of the old school left. I'll hit Google, and sort an Ed Psych assessment. Feel a bit bad as am clued up on Dyspraxia but not Dyslexia, time to change that.

jaffacakesallround Mon 10-Mar-14 11:16:40

A full assessment- either through an ed psych- contact Dyslexia Action who can do this, or google British Psychological Society for contact details of chartered child ed psychs. OR look at PATOSS online and they have a list ( online) of specialist teachers who can assess ( though this may not be as detailed as an assessment by an ed psych.)

smee Mon 10-Mar-14 11:05:01

Agree with last two posts. Ask to see whatever test results the Head got from their assessment. A full Ed Psych report is very detailed and it sounds like what they did was nowhere near that.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Mon 10-Mar-14 11:03:58

I was just thinking recently I don't have a lot of faith in what he did. We were struggling with my Mum who has Dementia at the time and we were rapidly heading for crisis so everything got a bit much. I got nothing in writing and have no idea what he did.

We paid for a private Dyspraxia assessment (his sister has it) which I was there for and we got a proper written report. I need to sort a proper assessment don't I? I think it was a quick computer thing reading what you're saying. Right, time for action - please could I have suggestions on where to get a proper private assessment?

jaffacakesallround Mon 10-Mar-14 10:44:05

I agree.

I carry out specialist teachers' assessments for dyslexia and would need up to 2 hours with a pupil ( privately). Children who see an ed psych privately are with them for around 3-4 hours and the going rate is £400-£450.

It's possible to do a quick phonic screening with some screening tests - computer based- but these are only the tip of the iceberg.

Anniegoestotown Mon 10-Mar-14 10:36:22

* The Head whisked him off for a 'Dyslexia test' and said he was fine*

Can I ask how he was tested. The test for dyslexia is a serious test which you as a parent sit in on and costs around £400 if you go privately. The HT does not whisk someone off for a dyslexia test and pronounce they are not dyslexic unless they are a qualified educational psychologist. Because there are so many aspects to dyslexia it is not a quick test. Did you get a report to say he scored well on all the tests therefore he is not dyslexic?

WynkenBlynkenandNod Mon 10-Mar-14 10:20:46

Interesting reading this. Several of DS's cousins have dyslexia and I raised concerns in Year 3 as he hates reading aloud, struggles with writing and spelling. The Head whisked him off for a 'Dyslexia test' and said he was fine.

Now in Year 5 at Middle school and writing/spelling an issue again at new school. They did CAT tests when they got there and he scored very highly on the Verbal one (highest in year) but recent spelling age test puts him a year behind his age.

School have suggested laptop and writing intervention classes but he is very sensitive, hates standing out and doesn't want to. Compromise is he will be doing English homework on the computer and learning touch typing.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Mon 10-Mar-14 10:08:44

In my experience a bright child is incredibly able to compensate for difficulties. During the routine sight test my school have to all 8 year olds they discovered that I was severely short sighted.

On asking they discovered I hadn't been able to see the board at school for months but it was ok because I just copied my friend's.

Apparently "sometimes she copies the maths wrong but I can tell so I put it right" and "she said she had superpower eyes and that's why she could see and I couldn't."

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 10-Mar-14 10:04:19

I was lucky I was diagnosed dyslexic at 8. However, one of the key features of going for diagnosis was that I was top of the class in everything, but spelling. I was found to have a high IQ, high verbal reasoning and poor non-verbal reasoning.
I learnt to work with my dyslexia, one of the key things being I do have to work harder to get things into long term memory. Once I learnt to work with it I flew two degrees, exeptional close range hand eye co-ordiation.
Still have truly awful spelling (wanted to use different word couldn't spell it today), if I am tired I get left and right round the wrong way and have the most awful long range hand eye co-ordination (don't ask me to play ball sports).

shggg245 Sun 09-Mar-14 20:37:37

In my experience getting a definitive diagnosis is really hard. My ds 9 really struggles with spelling, he consistently gets 20/20 in tests but just seems unable to make that connection into his writing. He will typically spell the same word in several different ways.

He's done toe by toe and his reading has improved slightly. Been on school action for 4 years. He uses a blue overlay - but I'm not convinced it's doing any good. Placebo?

Very frustrating as he doesn't seem to be progressing. The senco is adamant he's not dyslexic but something's not quite clicking into place. I'm at my wits end with it all, this has been going on 4 years.

Worried but feel powerless. Just keep communicating with school is the only advice I can offer.

Seryph Sun 09-Mar-14 20:02:29

Actually Masha, it's to do with my accent, which you don't know, because you aren't here to ask me.
In the same way that I say bath, and my partner says bath, oh wait, you can't actually hear what I'm saying can you?
What you are missing, is the rest of the word can provide clues, and while we are at it, I find your attempts to respell the English language almost impossible to read. Please can you use the proper spelling of the second person singular, it detracts from your attempts at looking intelligent not to (especially since I know you are doing it to try and prove a point).

MirandaWest Sun 09-Mar-14 20:01:21

Why do you put 'u' instead of 'you'? This troubles me disproportionately.

Mashabell Sun 09-Mar-14 19:57:17

"water" and "caught" and "fall" don't have the same sounds...


They have different spellings for the /au/aw/augh/ough' sound and their spellings have to be learned word by word. This may have led u to believe that they have different sounds, but if
'wauter, caut, baut, faul' were spelt with just au, u would pronounce them just as u do now.

MirandaWest Sun 09-Mar-14 19:57:04

He's pretty coordinated in other things - learned to ride a bike pretty early and is good at things like tennis. Not interested in football but is accurate when he plays it. And very coordinated on computer games hmmsmile

Not sure if I'm seeing things that aren't there but I suppose seeing DD who's 2 years younger finding some things much more straightforward makes me think a bit.

Seryph Sun 09-Mar-14 19:46:02

Masha, "water" and "caught" and "fall" don't have the same sounds... why are you linking them together? Fall, ball, hall, are a group. Water, falter, halter, are a different group. They aren't learnt individually, but as groups or families.
I'm sorry that you were taught badly when you learnt English, which you must have been if someone taught you each word's spelling individually, but that isn't how English is taught in our Primary Schools.

MirandaWest, that actually sounds a little more like Dyspraxia to me, especially with the shoe laces. How is he with football, or tennis? Things that require hand-eye coordination.

MirandaWest Sun 09-Mar-14 19:44:37

I think Masha probably has a word document ready for any thread and copies and pastes. So not too much actual typing needed.

lougle Sun 09-Mar-14 19:38:57

Masha, do you ever get a teeny tiny bit bored of repeating yourself?

I only wonder because my shoulders sag a little whenever I see your posts with endless lists of words and sounds, yet normally I'm a lists person...

MirandaWest Sun 09-Mar-14 19:35:07

I have been wondering whether year 5 DS is dyslexic. He too is performing at high levels academically but his spelling is very inconsistent - he doesn't naturally "get it" and although he can learn spellings for tests, in his own writing it doesn't follow through at all. His writing is pretty messy and he has problems with things like tying shoelaces, is not able to comfortably use alphabetical order, gets months of the year muddled up etc.

I mentioned the spelling problem at parents evening last week but am wondering if I should speak to his teacher any more about my wondering about dyslexia.

Mashabell Sun 09-Mar-14 19:28:06

ought, bought, thought, sought, nought, fought, etc, obviously do follow a rule, I don't know why you think they don't.

Because 'caught, taught' and 'taut, nautical, water, prawn, yawn, small, fall' and dozens of others don't.

They all have to be learned word by word.

mrz Sun 09-Mar-14 19:25:20


Seryph Sun 09-Mar-14 19:19:06

Okay, well go study the other 493,000+ words of the English language and come back to me.

The spellings can be understood through a use of phonetic reasoning, and while some children do struggle with spellings (myself included) it can be worked on.

For example: ought, bought, thought, sought, nought, fought, etc, obviously do follow a rule, I don't know why you think they don't.

Mashabell Sun 09-Mar-14 19:06:14

There are rules behind much of English spelling.
Yes and no.

Consonant spellings are fairly consistent.

For several vowels, the exceptions, are almsot as common as regularities.
My claim is based on a careful analysis of the 7,000 most used English words.

Several vowel spellings obey no rule whatsoever.
speak, speech, seek, shriek, seize, siege, machine, canteen ...
hair, care, bear, there, their ...
scoop, soup, fool, rule....
her, bird, turned, third, word...
all, crawl, caught, bought, salt ...

Seryph Sun 09-Mar-14 18:20:06

Masha, don't start that again. I can't memorise letter patterns of whole words and I manage just fine, for example: Through - /th/ /r/ /oo/ - <th> <r> <ough>

There are rules behind much of English spelling, they just simply aren't taught in schools (like learning the plural of CHILDREN, it's an Old English spelling that has been kept, the same as OXEN).

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