Educational Psychologist?(40 Posts)
My son is in year 1 and his teacher has suggested he sees an educational psychologist as he is a bit behind in his literacy and doesn't focus when working independently. As a teacher, I feel he is only behind at this particular school because they are very focused. Certainly at the school I teach at he wouldn't get a look in! My son is writing reasonably well and is on Oxford reading tree stage 5.
I am very wary about getting an ed psych involved as I worry that it will actually hold him back by labelling him. Obviously if I felt there was a need I would embrace the idea.
The ed psych isn't going to label him anything is there is no need though?
I would trust your instincts! It does sound that the school is a little OTT.
My dd is in year 1, just about to start stage 5 and has been described to me as 'flying' at reading by her teacher. This is not in comparison with the others, but in comparison to her progress in reception.
She also does not write very well at all, so it sounds to me like your son is doing well and that you're right - in a different school there may be a different way of encouraging him rather than through a Ed Psych!
If the school are offering the ed-psych I would grab it with both hands!
IME, ed-psychs aren't keen to label, but are able to point teachers in the right direction to offer appropriate support.
I speak as someone who would have had the same view as you when my DS1 was in Y1, and he's now in Y11. With a "label" which certainly hasn't held him back.
I hate to say this, and please just tell me to get lost... but do you need to take your head out of the sand?
I can't see that an assessment would do any harm. Are these the only concerns about him they have?
I would jump at the chance of having an appointment with the ed psych. It isn't offered freely or unnecessarily IME. I paid £1200 to have my statemented son seen by an independent ed psych as the LA didn't feel he needed seeing. I'm wondering though whether they have more concerns than just a slight lag in literacy as I wouldn't imagine that such a slight lag would prompt a visit. Maybe they have concerns they can't quite put their finger on and want the ed psych's input before raising them with you. You have nothing to lose by agreeing to a visit because he won't be abelled with any difficulty if he doesn't have them will he?
Definitely take it! DS was assessed a couple of weeks ago and the Ed Psch has made some really good, practical suggestions for helping him. I felt as if in an hour, the Ed Psych "got" ds better than anyone else (excluding dh and me).
It will do no harm at all - if they are offering I would take it! I can't see how it will get him labelled - surely there can only be a benefit as they might pick something up that can help him.
Man I had to fight really hard to get up to that person. Grab it with both hands if you've been offered.
I do agree that getting an Ed Psych involved will do him no harm at all, and could potentiaally be very informative for you (esp if they do the proper IQ test) but in the meantime I would not lose any sleep or worry about his progress. I don't see how is reading at stage 5 a 'slight lag' for Yr1?? Isn't it exactly average for yr 1 according to the charts??
I'm pleased with my dd's progress and she's finishing stage 4 atm. She is in the middle of her class in terms of reading ability...although it's not a 'pushy' school particularly (they started reading books in term 2 of reception).
Ed Psych's are like gold dust and the teacher wouldn't have mentioned it if she wasn't significantly concerned. He may well be very different in school than he is at home.
I think the teacher must have other concerns, if they have asked about an ed psych, as they are normally called in for more issues than being a bit behind in reading (although level 5 in year 1 isn't behind)
So why hasn't the school talked to you about this, OP? How odd that they have so much EP time to throw at pupils that don't need it? Can you not ask why they think an EP is necessary? Around here pupils wait for years!!!
If there's nothing wrong with your DS then what would the ed psych label him with?
I'm really intrigued by your situation OP. Do let us know how you get on.
I have been in contact with a private Ed Psych for my dd for potential dyslexia but we are waiting to see the effects of her new glassess and also behaiviour optemetry 'training' as she is on 1st percentile for tracking.
She had a really slow start at reading but it now doing very well. She is super sharp/logical, fab at solving complex problems, but not very good at retaining information, and it not remotely 'keen' to learn.
As an aside, her school seem to be on an Ofted outstanding crusade, and therefore for the first time in the small schools history the have streamed year 1. DD is with the reception children and a handful of summer born yr 1 boys. The yr 1 dc (girls) in the class above get an hour of maths a day, and get to join in with the narration of the nativity play (don't get me started on that!)
My dd says she plays all day and looks after the reception children.
Now I know I have to take what she says with a pinch of salt but I really do feel like the school has chosen it's best 'performers' and is pushing, pushing them to get good sat results in yr 2 whilst the handful of yr 1 children in the reception class are forgotten.
Your question re. your son along with the fact that you say it is a pushy school, and also that you are a teacher (so would have a good understanding if your ds would need an Ed Psych) makes me wonder do some schools feel like they need to make excuses when they have a child who is performing exactly as they should, just not excelling???
I don't have nearly enough exoerience of different schools to answer this but I am begining to realise that there is a LOT of politics in dd's school at least around performance, I wonder if it's similar in your ds's school.
Maki 79 I will pm you when I stop juggling everything today. Thanks everyone for the thoughts. There's a lot more I could write but won't for outing myself. I do not feel my son needs to be seen by an ed psych. I don't feel I am putting my head in the sands. I know he won't get labelled if there is nothing to label him with. What concerns me is that once you have seen an ed psych you have to attach the report for future purposes. We are hoping to put him in a private school soon (long story) and I worry this would cause a problem. The school does not have entry requirements but even so. I think I am going to turn down the opportunity. Thanks again.
I would really caution against turning down the ed psych particularly as you plan to send him to private school. If your ds does have difficulties that need intervention then private school wouldn't be the best place to get them met IME.Surely it would be better to know of any difficulties to make sure that his next school have the skills and the desire to support them?
Dn was flagged to be seen by the ed psych by his mainstream primary, my SIL did much as you plan to do declined the visit and put him in to independent school. Dn has dyspraxia, dyslexia and Aspergers to my eye as a parent to children with autism and dyspraxia but he's had no diagnosis and no support. He managed to scrape two A levels in PE and Geography even so the independent school encouraged them to view St Andrews when it must have been evident that he was never going to make the grades. But SIL was happy to pay for what she wanted to hear.
He was marginalised and lonely in school as he was only one in his class of nine who was struggling. He would have been far better off having his difficulties assessed and supported in a state school tbh
Private schools normally make you sign a contract and in it they normally have a clause that they can ask your child to leave with an appropriate notice period. They also like informal chats with the previous school for in year admissions. I think that if you will be transferring a child with potential learning or social problems without informing the school you might put him and yourself in a rather difficult position. A private school can also request that you have an assessment by an educational psychologist done but you will have to pay for it yourself.
Saying that some private schools have very good support in place for children that struggle academically for various reasons but they are normally known for it and advertise their inclusivity.
Thanks for that. The private route is not definite at all. I just don't want having to attach reports for new schools etc even state if it's not necessary. Without outing myself she has had all the diagnostic tests done already and is broadly average in her percentile rankings.
It's sounding like you don't want your child to get help for the sake of appearances?
It's not easy to get an ed psych to come and observe a child, so the school won't be doing in unless they feel they are currently unable to meet your child's needs without more help.
I work in a school and the children the ed psych has been in the see recently have been those with down's syndrome, autism, suspected ASD, ADHD, speech disorders. Not "a little bit behind in literacy" - in fact some of those children were way above average in their attainment. The school has needed the ed psych to advise on strategies and approaches to help the child or to apply for funding for 1:1 LSA or similar.
If your child is completely fine, doesn't require any extra support and the school is doing everything possible, then the ed psych report will say just that, so I'm not sure what you're scared of?
I would say that if your dc has already had an assessment of abilities then someone somewhere has concerns as your bog standard pretty much average child never needs an assessment so I'd assume you yourself had this assessment done privately because of some niggling doubts somewhere.
I know as a mum to children with additional needs it's pretty frightening the prospect of having a child with added extras but the added extras don't go away because you don't have an official name/recognition for them they are just there but with none of the allowances made nor the extra support given and longterm that is much more difficult and damaging for you and your child.
For comparison my ds who was diagnosed at 3 and statemented at the same time is on course for university in spite of all the assessments and reports and TA support and the supposed stigma of having a statement and dd will follow him too because the support they are given has enabled them to reach their full potential.
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