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Help in school for child with dyslexia

(113 Posts)
Laura0806 Tue 28-Apr-15 14:21:41

Just wondering what your experiences are of this. My child in yr 3 has a diagnosis of dyslexia and a speech and language impairment. He is still however at the average level in the class, although could be doing better as illustarated by his general IQ which is above average (struggles with spelling, comprehension, story writing and sequencing in maths). The SENCO says that he is not entiteld to any help as the code of practice dictates than he is not actually struggling or something to that effect ( Im not au fait with the code of practice). However, I was just interested in other peoples experiences. if your child has dyslexia or another SEN but is still around the average level overall ( but with specific weaknesses), have they received any help?

alwaysrushing Tue 28-Apr-15 21:42:15

Yes- unequivocally. My dd was assessed by an ed psych who insisted that she have extra time and use of a lap top. Her school had previously not done this but followed all the subsequent recommendations without fuss. Having said that I moved her shortly after to a dyslexia school- she is of average ability but was not achieving her potential in mainstream and her self esteem very low-anxiety very high. You'll get more input on the dyslexia on the SN chat board if you want it!

elltee Tue 28-Apr-15 21:56:44

In a word: Yes. There are different levels of intervention depending on a child's need for support. Broadly (although terminology is not consistent) school action, school action plus or a statement of special needs (or EHCs as they're now known).

In our case DD1 met her KS1 targets with levels 2s so was performing about the average but her individual assessment confirmed she had marked difficulties with certain aspects of literacy and numeracy - so a gap between ability and attainment. She is getting help at the school action plus level - 1-2-1 sessions twice weekly with a specialist TA, additional resources in class and an individual education plan with specific objectives. She also sees a specialist dyslexia tutor outside school which we pay for but share what she's doing with school.
So I would be inclined to discuss further with your SENCo - each child's needs are different and SpLD can mean that a child of above average ability with marked LDs is pigeonholed as 'average' and therefore not in need of support.

Charis1 Tue 28-Apr-15 23:23:37

Dyslexia is a term so broad as to be almost meaningless in itself. "Dyslexia" qualifies no one for anything at all. It depends on the actual difficulties each individual has.

mrz Wed 29-Apr-15 07:09:42

Under the new code of practice the different levels of intervention have disappeared ... There are EHCPs (statements in old terminology) and school support.

mrz Wed 29-Apr-15 07:13:32

An Ed Psych has never had the power to insist that a school provide 1-2-1 or provide a laptop (unless stated in a statement) only to make recommendations which the school can follow or not.
My son's Ed Psych recommended a laptop and the school refused even if I provided the laptop.

tigrou Wed 29-Apr-15 09:52:06

We are not in the UK, so different system. But beside specific state-funded support, she has always had accommodations from her class teachers - little things that anyone can do, to keep her confidence up.
- Teacher only asked her to do 10 out of 20 maths questions, for example, as her mental arithmetic is slow; this way, she proves she knows how to apply the maths rule and do the calculation, but still finishes as the same time as everyone else.
- In group reading sessions, she was never asked to read out loud in front of the others (until she was ready).
- Spelling tests not marked for errors, but marked for the number of words she got right (with 'Bravo's all over the place, which is extremely rare from any teacher in this country)
- 'Fill in the gap' type grammatical homophone exercises with suggestions, rather than having to do it from memory.
- Teacher scribes for her whenever possible for science / history / reading comprehension tests, even a little creative writing, so she can express her ideas in full, without being hampered by her difficulties with writing.
- She is given printed texts to stick in her book when the others have to copy them off the board.
- Etc.
As her teacher says, her work is differentiated, but not different from that of the rest of the class.

We were once told that DD would have to accept to perform less well than she was capable of. I absolutely refuse that, and fortunately so do her teachers.

sugarman Wed 29-Apr-15 09:59:24

Not in UK but similar to you. DS assessed as in top 1 per cent ability-wise but SEN mean he is achieving just above average.

I accept school's line on this and am trying to help him myself with assistance from OT and tutor.

Laura0806 Wed 29-Apr-15 14:01:37

Thanks all for your input. Seems it varies school to school. The SENCO is definite he wont get any support unless he gets worse-but I can't really let that happen- Im , like you sugarman, thinking how I can support him myself but its difficult with 3 others. Wow, tigrou that sounds fantastic support. Thats all i really want-things like not marking all his spellings wrong and not making him read aloud and then saying he needs to practice reading more at home! we do a bit every night but its slow progress. Started with sounds foundations at home now and thats helping.

mrz Wed 29-Apr-15 21:33:07

Correct his spellings as the more often he sees a word spelt incorrectly the more it will become established in his memory incorrectly. Obviously praise his effort if it is plausible and explain English is complex and this is how we spell the sound on this word ...

Laura0806 Wed 29-Apr-15 21:52:21

Thanks Mrz. All his spellings are phonetically plausible just wrong! Yes, sorry I don't want school to mark them right if they are wrong-guess I meant give easier spellings. Its a tricky one.....

mrz Thu 30-Apr-15 06:31:36

I'm really not sure having lower expectations does the child any favours much better to support then to achieve.

Spelling tests notoriously have no impact on spelling ability ... All those children regularly achieving ten out of ten week in week out but very few actually transfer that knowledge into independent writing.

tigrou Thu 30-Apr-15 09:55:49

Something you could look at to support spelling at home is The Word Wasp / Hornet Primer books - available from Amazon ( lots of good reviews on Amazon too). We're working through Word Wasp slowly - 5 or 10 minutes a day - and it's starting to make a difference to DD's spelling in English. It consolidates the absolute basics, which she didn't integrate for spelling when they were taught at school, because at the time she was still struggling with learning to read. I negotiated with her English teacher (bilingual school) to do this everyday instead of their spelling tests.

canny1234 Thu 30-Apr-15 10:46:24

No.Mine has just been diagnosed with Dyslexia in year 6.We took him for an independent assessment after his future independent school told us he was significantly behind in English .His current state school teacher doesn't believe that.The assessment has shown he is fairly severely behind in certain areas.
We have been external tutoring in maths for 3 years as the original issue was problems with mental maths.This has really helped and he is now aiming for 4a/5 in his SATs.We have also just started English tuition with a specialist Dyslexia tutor ( privately) as well.
His current school tested ds1 for Dyslexia last year, said he was unlikely to have it and therefore we have had absolutely no help.But I believe some pupils are having extra phonics tuition for their spelling.Other pupils have lots of extra help towards the school SATs test,not specifically for their Dyslexia.I think you will probably have to be one of those pushy parents - Good Luck!I also have 4 children and know how difficult it is.

Laura0806 Thu 30-Apr-15 13:38:41

Thanks for those suggestions-def thinking about a dyslexia tutor for year 4.

mrz Thu 30-Apr-15 16:34:27

Canny the difference is that you've paid for a diagnosis if dyslexia ... Did they actually tell you what that means in real terms?

canny1234 Fri 01-May-15 15:15:42

Do you mean on what aspects he's Dyslexic Mrs?
I decided to pay for a assessment for my own piece of mind Mrs.I was shocked that the independent school asked me whether he'd been assessed as there were some very obvious anomalies.The class sizes in the private school are very small and I wanted to know how I can help him for future common entrance.He also has a very bright twin plus a brother 2 years younger on similar levels to him which has severely knocked his confidence levels.

mrz Fri 01-May-15 16:38:11

No canny I meant did they tell you what dyslexia is and what having a diagnosis means.

canny1234 Fri 01-May-15 16:57:34

Gosh,that sounds a bit of a trick question.
My sons dyslexia ( I've been told) is a processing issue causing problems with English grammar,writing,punctuation.spelling.His verbal understanding is high but his ability to express himself is low.My understanding with Dyslexia is that it's a broad continuum of different overlapping disorders caused by ' right brain thinking'.
The assessor stated that he should be able to get a decent set of GCSE's with his results if he is properly taught.Tutor has said he will be better using a computer and expressed surprise that he had not been assigned a scribe.I'm assuming this is a life long issue that he will have to handle.

mrz Fri 01-May-15 17:25:14

I suppose it is a trick question in a way because although we all talk about being dyslexic there isn't a universally accepted definition of what dyslexia actually is which makes it unhelpful as a label.
The literal meaning of dyslexia is disordered/bad/difficult reading - great ! But what we really need to know is why the child is experiencing difficulties

mrz Fri 01-May-15 17:27:14

I should be surprised by the advice you've been given ... Unfortunately I'm not.

canny1234 Fri 01-May-15 17:41:13

Is the advice wrong?
A diagnosis of Dyslexia obviously doesn't depend on reading ability solely ( my sons is fine).

mrz Fri 01-May-15 17:58:02

The advice is outdated given what we now know about how humans learn. The act of handwriting helps you to organise/clarify your thoughts, it strengths memory and improves learning. That is lost when using a laptop or having a scribe.

mrz Fri 01-May-15 17:59:18

mrz Fri 01-May-15 18:04:44

That's the point canny there isn't a clear definition of what dyslexia actually is so the diagnosis of dyslexia is an inexact science...

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