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Possible dyslexia for DD - anyone been through this where signs non-typical?

(13 Posts)
BirdyBedtime Mon 28-Nov-16 09:18:13

We've been concerned about DD's (11, and P7) spelling and to a lesser extent reading, for some time. She reads and comprehends very well in to herself but in her reading out she struggles with simple words (think mixing for / of / from and similar) and really finds it difficult to work out words she doesn't know.

It's spelling that's the real issue though. Although she can learn her 10 weekly spelling words and get them all right, the following week she can use them in a piece of writing and get them wrong. She can misspell the same word different ways in the same piece and absolutely cannot identify a mistake in a piece of writing, sometimes using the wrong word - we'll say read what you've written and even when she reads it she'll read the word she thinks she's written rather than what is actually there - this week she wrote done rather than down but when she read it through she just couldn't see the mistake.

We've mentioned spelling as an issue at a couple of parents nights but it's always been brushed off. However at the most recent one the teacher did actually take us seriously and went off to look at DD's work. She phoned me on Friday and one of the things she said was that when they were tested at the start of the year DD came out at 1.5 years below her actual age.

On the basis of this and other things, she's recommending her for a Dyslexia screening test. What does this actually entail? DD is very sensitive to the issue - she's generally bright although has struggled with things like learning times tables which I've read can also be associated with dyslexia. She struggles to read out from the screen (performs badly in computer based AR STAR tests) or find her place in text if she has to go back to it. She also makes mistakes when copying text.

It's probably going to be after Christmas until she gets the test now but I want to know what to expect.

Thanks for anyone who can help.

horsemadmom Mon 28-Nov-16 10:28:16

I have a DD with exactly the problems you describe but we picked them up at age 5. DD has visual-perceptual dyslexia and convergence issues with her eyes. Find the best Behavioural Optometrist you can and have them do a visiograph test (checks that the eyes work together). My DD had been seeing double intermittently all of her life and was unaware because it was her 'normal'. Her brain was failing to synthesise the separate information from each eye into one picture. The Ed. Psych assessment confirmed the visual perceptual dyslexia . My DD is ambidextrous (big clue!) and never mastered left and right and had problems with physical activities that crossed the midline- tying shoes, touching left ear with right index finger with eyes closed.
The good news is that patching and special glasses ('vision therapy' is an expensive con) and a specialist visual perceptual tutor recommended by the Ed Psych worked wonders. She uses a laptop in school which helps with spelling and has special strategies for breaking down chunks of visual info to keep the visual noise manageable and is doing brilliantly.

TeenAndTween Mon 28-Nov-16 11:57:58

Sounds very much like my DD, 12. She had a dyslexia screening test last year and the primary said not dyslexia (possibly not helped by one of the tests being to recall as many animals as she could - this is her specialist area). But they said ask again at secondary. Now she is towards the end of her first term at secondary we are planning to contact the SENCO there next week. Watch this space!

BirdyBedtime Mon 28-Nov-16 13:19:54

Thanks horsemad

She actually has a history of visual problems - was diagnosed with severe amblyopia at nearly 6 at which point she had virtually no vision in her poorer eye (you can imagine how that felt). Two years of patching got her to the 4th line in that eye, and taking part in a clinical trial managed to improve her binocular vision considerably (to the extent that she can see 3D). So I'm pretty sure there's no visual problems now as she's been extensively monitored, although I have often wondered if that could be leading to the problems.

Glad to hear your DD is doing so well after treatment.

TandT - good luck with a new assessment - I have been told that the screening tool isn't very sensitive and certainly DD would fly through listing animals - do you know what else was in the screening test?

horsemadmom Mon 28-Nov-16 13:46:30

Hi Birdy,
What was explained to me by both the Ed Psych and the Behavioral Optometrist is that the vision problems in early childhood rewire the brain. Having amblyopia or poor convergence (DD's left eye bounced like a pinball when she tried to look at something small for more than a few seconds), or lack of cloture, can lead the brain to reorganise to fill in or exclude visual information. Is your DD able to read a paragraph aloud without losing her place? Does she hold to book on her good side or shut the problematic eye? Is it harder to read text printed on coloured or patterned paper? Can your DD see something written on graph paper? Can your DD do a jigsaw puzzle?
By all means, get the assessment . In the mean time, it might help if her teacher gave her handouts instead of copying from the board. Proofread written work for spelling backwards. Start from the end to eliminate context. Use heavy white card squares as a guide and to cover any info on the page that your DD doesn't need. Move the card line by line if necessary. Experiment with print on white, cream or yellow paper.
Good luck!

BirdyBedtime Mon 28-Nov-16 13:55:40

Horsemad - she does struggle with reading aloud but reads internally fine and I haven't seen her favour an eye for reading (although on that point DS is an entirely different story having had amblyopia too and ongoing binocular problems). Will try some of your suggestions though and see what happens, although I'm not sure how proofreading backwards would help as she sometime uses a wrong word, but spelt correctly so needs the context to check IYSWIM. She's pretty rubbish at jigsaws!!

bruffin Mon 28-Nov-16 14:20:38

"find the best Behavioural Optometrist you can and have them do a visiograph test (checks that the eyes work together)"
you dont need to spend money, your local high street optician will do the same. two different high street opticians picked up my dd's convergence insufficiency and used to see double on the page. This didnt effect her reading but she had atrocious writing. She just used

However, my dd is not dyslexic but my ds (who has no eye problems been fully checked in hospital eye unit) sounds very similar to your dd. He was ok on spelling tests, but has no memory for spelling and can spell the same word 5 differently on the same page. He also had problems copying from the black/white board. He would forget the numbers from looking up to looking down on the paper. He would carry the wrong number forward from the previous page etc.
He did get extra time in exams for gcse and AS levels but then they changed the criteria and he didnt qualify for A2.

horsemadmom Mon 28-Nov-16 14:31:43

This is a pretty good guide to the variations in non-neurotypical vision problems/dyslexia. I used to have a file of good articles on the subject but DD is now 15 and self-advocates. We are lucky to have her in a very academically selective school (even at 5 there was a huge mismatch between her verbal skills and progress in reading and writing- school raised the alarm) that makes any accommodation she needs.

bruffin Mon 28-Nov-16 14:50:03

Dyslexia isnt necessarily a visual processing disorder. It can be short term working memory like my ds and probably dh.

bruffin Mon 28-Nov-16 15:07:16

Also forgot to mention ds is/was very disorganized,always losing or forgetting things,ven if he had it in his hands 2 minutes before and has no sense of time.

horsemadmom Mon 28-Nov-16 15:39:33

I should have been clearer. The two things are often co-morbid. For example, DD's convergence is now in the normal range but she is still ambidextrous, can't spell accurately or spot her own mistakes, has to write down everything to stay organised and still has to use tricks to remember left and right.

Cagliostro Mon 28-Nov-16 15:42:36

Have a look at Irlen's Syndrome. It's often mistaken for dyslexia.

BirdyBedtime Mon 28-Nov-16 19:09:49

Thanks all. As I said DD has been extensively checked vision wise due to amblyopia and being on clinical trial so I don't think it's a vision thing.

I had a quick look at your link Cagliostro but don't think she fits a lot of those symptoms.

If the screening comes back not indicative then we may look more widely as I do think there is something behind the spelling issues.

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