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A question about reading difficulties, HFA and Dyslexia

(4 Posts)
tacal Sun 13-Mar-16 21:09:58


My ds is 7. He is improving very much with his reading. He has just moved onto chapter books. Until recently he found reading very difficult. He still has some difficulty decoding words, keeping his place. His reading is slow and his spelling is not good. The school told me at the start of this school year that ds find reading and writing very difficult and what matters is that he is making progress.

I am very happy with his progress and I am happy with the school.

What I am wondering is if an assessment to see if ds has dyslexia would help him in any way. Ds has a dx of HFA. Could his reading difficulties be because he has autism? Or should I be thinking about dyslexia? I feel a bit confused about this.

Can anyone help me understand this? Is there a difference between reading difficulties cause by autism and reading difficulties caused by dyslexia?

I would be grateful for any advice you can give me about this. Thank you.

Ormally Tue 15-Mar-16 23:11:03

There are definitely differences in the reading difficulties that might arise in HFA and with dyslexia, but both conditions (if you like) are - I think - on the same (wide) spectrum, as are other things like dyspraxia and ADHD, and traits that can be typical of one or two of the conditions but not necessarily adding up to textbook cases. It is not unusual for quite a few of these to overlap, so you may have dyspraxia and autistic tendencies for example.

There are a lot of tests that try to find out what particularly is not so strong - or alternatively unusually developed - in your reading, spatial, numerical, written and memory performance. I have fairly recently done a lot of them as an adult - some were based on phonics and breaking down words, some looking at pairs of words, lists of words, and of formulating rules for made up words, some for comprehension reading different sorts of information or trying to fit shapes into pattern arrangements. Many of them are based on the information only being read to you (ie you don't get to read from a page or refer to the information independently).

You may want to investigate this in a formal way but possibly it would be good to track progress a little and try to build good habits and increase confidence in what he is doing, which will be crucial. Increasing confidence in things he also doesn't find difficult will help this. There are a few questionnaires that you can find fairly easily from research where you can answer as they apply to your child. Pre-screening often makes use of things like this, and if you find that the pre-screening sort of work is showing a particular direction, then it may be wise to expect to go through with a full assessment in a year or so.

Orangepudding Wed 16-Mar-16 09:28:22

My 7 year ago old also has ASD, he also finds reading and spelling difficult.

He had an assesment to look at phonological awareness, working memory and a few other areas to see where his strengths and weaknesses are. We were then told he has specific learning difficulties. It may be worth asking for an assesment so you can see where he needs the help.

tacal Wed 30-Mar-16 09:47:40

Hi Ormally and Orangepudding thank you very much for your replies. Sorry I did not notice them until now!!

I have decided to get my son assessed. I think I need help understanding where my son's difficulties lie so hopefully I will get some information about this from the assessment.

Ormally with help from the school we have been building good habits and increasing his confidence. This has definitely helped him a lot. So I am not sure how much I will gain from the assessment. Hopefully it will tell me something useful.

Orangepudding I hope the assessment and diagnosis of specific learning difficulties has helped your son.

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