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Dyslexia advice

(9 Posts)
TheOnlyWayIsMN Wed 08-Feb-17 13:31:26

My DD aged 10 is (apparently) dyslexic. It makes a lot of sense and after 2 years of querying things at her old school, a relief that someone can give a cause/explanation as to why her writing is comparatively poor to her verbal abilities and her spelling abysmal.

However, we had parents eve last night and were told the following: the waiting list for assessment is very long, this is only a unofficial assessment anyway. Teacher said she'd recommend we get a Phyc Ed privately to do a statement so it's on record and that in the meanwhile she's treating DD as if she is dyslexic while in the same breath admitting that she's not even tried her with coloured overlays after saying she would

It's been 2 months, it's taken this long to even just see the class teacher and I feel disappointed.

I'd like to ask for an appointment with the Senco and I could really use some help with what to ask but also what we can do at home or pay out for someone with expertise to help with please!


elfonshelf Wed 08-Feb-17 22:46:18

You can get a pack of overlay reading rulers in 11 colours for £10 on Amazon. They didn't make any difference for DD, but was worth a go.

A lot will come down to the specific difficulties - my DD (nearly 8) has appalling working memory, can't spell and avoids reading like the plague.

We play memory games, do things like colouring in all the 'o's or 'a's in pages of newspapers and then count how many she missed, try to find books that interest her enough to be worth the effort of reading (we do audio books and good films to help keep her vocabulary strong as well) and we gave her DH's old laptop and she has an email account - grandparents send her emails and we encourage her to read them and write replies.

At school she does Toe By Toe with the SENCo every day for 15 minutes and they make allowances for her in class - she was allowed to make a film rather than write a story for one project for example, and the teachers are very encouraging of content rather than worrying too much about the spelling. They are also starting her on Latin - it's very phonetic so can't hurt although I am intrigued to see if it helps!

I'm very lucky that her teacher spent the summer on a course on dyslexia and her TA's teenage DD has very severe dyslexia, so they are aware and trying different techniques.

We've made a point of encouraging DD's extra-curricular activities rather than panicking about the academic side of things - she sings and dances very well for her age - and that has really helped with the damage that was happening to her self-esteem and stopped her feeling 'stupid'.

Really push for a proper assessment - ideally you want the WISC-IV and the WIAT-II tests and get all the subtest scores as this will show you where the problems are.

There's lots of good info online, but every child is different so picking and choosing what to use isn't always simple.

FWIW, both my husband and my boss are dyslexic, both went to Oxbridge and both are published writers... their spelling is however spectacularly creative despite the modern wonders of spellcheck. It's a pita, but both have found work arounds over the years and apparently that is the secret to dealing with much of it.

Good luck!

Campfiresmoke Thu 09-Feb-17 00:16:57

Our school spent their Ed Psych budget (fair enough) on children with more severe problems so it was left to us to scrape together the money for private assessments. School SENCO told us she didn't agree with private assessments as everyone who went there was diagnosed positively as dyslexic (of course this is because it's so expensive you have to be pretty certain the child is before you fork out). SENCO told us all classrooms are already dyslexia friendly and so nothing else needs to be done.
I think our experience is pretty typical from what I see in MN and NM's. However I would still recommend private assessments as it was such a relief for our children to know they had dyslexia and weren't "stupid'" which is what they had gone to believe about themselves.
DH and his brother are dyslexic and DH recognised our oldest having the same problems he did.

Campfiresmoke Thu 09-Feb-17 00:18:45

As PP said we also got some coloured overlays from Amazon ourselves.

mrz Thu 09-Feb-17 05:37:32

TheOnlyWayIsMN Thu 09-Feb-17 07:04:47

Thanks for the responses. I've tried DD at home with overlays and she didn't feel that they made a difference, but that's not really the point. I feel that the teacher has said she'll do something and hasn't and I'm feeling fobbed off.

Going to request a meeting with Senco after half term and see if that gets me anywhere.

DD's teacher also said they already treat her as dyslexic so she's not being disadvantaged, but I feel that we haven't been given any support as to strategies to use to help her.

Bigbiscuits Thu 09-Feb-17 11:58:55

We got a private diagnosis for DS (age 8 at time of diagnosis)

And also had a optomistrist testing him on overlays.

Optimistrist gave a very borderline view on the benefit of overlays. And the Ed psych was very dismissive of their value.

School recommended we do toe by toe at home. It too 6 long hard months doing the tedious exercises at home - but it worked. His reading age has leapt up by two years.

You can get toe by toe on amazon for about 25 quid. And it's worth every penny. But you have to put the work in.
We did 10 mins after breakfast every morning for 6 months following the instructions to the letter.
Boring as hell - but for DS was definately worth it.

3dancingladies Thu 09-Feb-17 12:37:25

The coloured overlays are for visual stress. This does sometimes co-occur with dyslexia, but they are different conditions.

Strategies to support your DD will depend on her particular difficulties - but generally speaking activities which improve her phonological awareness (loosely defined as the ability to hear the sound structure of words) and phonics based reading and spelling are the best type of intervention for Dyslexia.

On a more general level, she may need more time to complete reading and writing activities within class. Children with dyslexia should not be asked to copy from the board. They also often have poor metacognition, so teachers should be making explicit links in their learning and they should have opportunities to discuss what they have learnt with a peer or teacher. The teacher should recap on what was learnt in the previous lesson and link it to the current lesson. Children with dyslexia may have difficulties following instructions, so the teacher should give simple, clear instructions and check that the pupil has understood the task - if their reading is adequate, then printed handouts and checklists (not on the whiteboard) are useful.

Much of the above is what a good teacher does anyway and benefits all the pupils in the class, not just those with dyslexia.

TheOnlyWayIsMN Thu 09-Feb-17 14:13:23

Thanks for the continued input - it's appreciated.

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