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Primary school teachers please give your opinion

(22 Posts)
CB1234 Mon 05-Feb-18 13:36:24

Please can any primary school teachers tell me what you would do about this year 5 boy:

Below average across the board since reception.

Reading - Slow. Misses words and sometimes whole sections.

Comprehension - difficulty in following written and verbal instructions. Says he is 'baffled' when reading practice comprehension papers so often doesn't fill in large parts but better when we talk them through.

Poor working memory and recall so still doesn't know times tables etc.

Poor handwriting and dexterity.

Constant fidgeting.

Looks for reassurance before he will offer an answer.

Well behaved.

Would you just put all of the above down to maturity or would you think a possible SEN? If so, would your SENCO get involved?


TeenTimesTwo Mon 05-Feb-18 17:28:39

I'm not a teacher.

As a parent I would push for an assessment for ?dyslexia ?dyspraxia.
If primary didn't find anything (the tests they can do are limited) I would either pay for private Ed Psych assessment if I could afford it (£1k?) or at bare minimum I would ask for reassessment by secondary at start of y7.

Secondary schools have more resources for these things.

(Parent of 1 child with dyspraxia, and one with various 'issues' but no cover-all label (yet))

irvineoneohone Mon 05-Feb-18 17:38:14

Not a teacher but a parent.
I just think it can be anything. Yes he may have sen, or it could be immaturity.

We still can't tell what he may have, and ds is 10. He is not having too much difficulty so we are leaving it for the time being.
For comparison,

Reading: Above average for decoding from early on, but used to miss word or whole section. Not so much of the problem now.

Comprehension: Was able to retell the story, but lacked inference. We have worked on comprehension a lot over the years, and it's better. But still, sometimes he can read and not understand the essence of the story if he isn't interested, even though he can perfectly retell the story.

Memory: Has amazing near photographic memory, but can forget why he went up stairs, or what he has eaten for breakfast.

Poor handwriting: Improved through muscle strengthening over the years.

Constant fidgeting: Real problem in KS1, but not so much in KS2.

Behaviour: He is most polite, well behaved child most of the time, but can be too chatty at times.

I would talk to senco if you are worried. Nothing to lose, somethng to gain if he needs some support.

BringOnTheScience Mon 05-Feb-18 19:55:05

Teacher & parent...

Has he had sight & hearing tests? Minor problems may not be obvious but have a big impact. My DC2's partial hearing loss wasn't suspected by anyone - we thought he was dyslexic and inattentive.

What do his teachers think? Do they suspect dyslexia or dyspraxia?

Bastardingcough Mon 05-Feb-18 19:59:59

Could the fidgeting be tics?
Tourettes (and associated co-morbidities like anxiety, dispraxic tendencies, etc) can also lead to poor handwriting and poor working memory.

CB1234 Tue 06-Feb-18 08:16:25

Thank you all.

I don't think it's tourettes but I will read up on it.

He has had an eye test in the past but not hearing, so I will book those.

Irvine our boys sound similar. I just wonder if I leave it how it will affect secondary school and SATs next year. Although I suppose the SATs are more for the school but I keep hearing how the results are used at secondary.

I am just not sure what I should realistically expect. I would like him to be assessed and can't afford the fee myself. I have mentioned SENCO but the teacher seems reluctant. She said there is no budget which makes me wonder what has to happen for him to be seen. He is well behaved so maybe children like this fall under the radar. I was hoping a teacher could let me know if this was a child in the class whether it not they would be seen by SENco and what that would result in. I am just frustrated. Does anyone know if secondary might be more helpful? This could be something I could ask when I go in the tours later this year as we have to apply in the autumn I believe.

Neolara Tue 06-Feb-18 08:20:38

Ex EP here. Has he had any language assessments? I might be wondering about possible difficulties understanding language. Often overlooked if child is looking around to follow what others in the class are doing. But could be lots of things I guess.

MistyMeena Tue 06-Feb-18 08:30:05

Teacher here, if your son was in my class I'd be pushing for tests, firstly dyslexia and visual stress (this needs a special eye test and wouldn't be picked up in a straightforward one) but could be any of a number or combination of underlying issues.

Unfortunately if SENCO is reluctant you will probably have a fight on your hands, especially if he is well behaved and just gets on in class!

Secondary school might be more helpful, seek out the senco and ask specifically when you look round.

MollyHuaCha Tue 06-Feb-18 08:56:04

Ex Senco here. Yes, the fact your child is well behaved probably means he's not being prioritized.
Your description suggests dyslexic/dyspraxic issues. Push for a diagnosis with your Senco.

The lack of SEN budget used to break my heart. I had to refer to head teacher for agreement on which children were deserving of school's expensive Ed psych time. A parent who badgered is would have been more likely to have their child assessed.

I would suggest you write letters to the school requesting a thorough assessment with an educational psychologist. Request written replies from the school acknowledging your request.

Sadly, whether or not your DS is assessed properly will depend on how desperate the school is to process other pupils (children with out of control behaviour or undiagnosed autistic spec issues will be prioritized). This is why so many people refer to private ed psychs/dyslexia centres.

Good luck.

CB1234 Tue 06-Feb-18 12:15:11

Thanks again. I am on lunch break so will be brief. I have considered dyslexia, but he can spell. Surely he would struggle with this? I called an Ed psych this morning who said they charge £600, so not too bad. hmm., I will have to find the money. TBH, the school have been helpful in some ways, but not others. His current teacher had told me he is behind but when I ask about SENCO, I get a brick wall. I understand budgets and all that, but what the hell. It feels as though they think as he's year 5, he won't be their problem in a year and a half so why bother. Perhaps I am too emotionally invested to see what's going on. I just feel let down that I am being fobbed off when he has been at this school since he was 3.

irvineoneohone Tue 06-Feb-18 12:42:35

I can totally understand you, OP. I was told my ds wasn't a priority when he was in yr1, since there are others who need it more.
I have stopped expecting from school since yr3 about his academic progress.
I suspect my ds may have asd/adhd, not dyslexia, since he can spell too. But if you really want school to react, you need to be "That parent".
I have lost interest fighting current school regarding ds's academic issues, but I don't really care what they think about me, regarding other issues.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Tue 06-Feb-18 13:29:48

You can seek a diagnosis through your gp tbh. Ask them to refer you to community paediatrician. This can be faster.
Not a teacher but have a younger child with some sn and some of these traits are like his. He has dcd/dyspraxia, SPD and suspected ASD.

CB1234 Tue 06-Feb-18 13:37:14

Thank you. I have an appointment with the GP next week about his asthma

Tomorrowillbeachicken Tue 06-Feb-18 13:42:53

Good luck. Tbh Sen in general is a nightmare and if your child is well behaved it’s like wading through custard.

CB1234 Tue 06-Feb-18 13:57:29

I just looked at a dyslexia website and so many things rung true. In particular, inability to remember times tables and left from right. It does say spelling is normally affected though but yet he gets at least 9/10 in his spelling test every week. I will get him to write some key words mentioned in the site later just to see. He told me he passes the spelling test by taking a photo of the list in his head confused so maybe he would get them wrong at other times.

MiaowTheCat Tue 06-Feb-18 16:24:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TeenTimesTwo Tue 06-Feb-18 16:37:16

When you see the GP, take along a dyslexia and probably also a dyspraxia checklist with the things ticked off that your DC displays. That will speed up the conversation and the GP can see the 'whole' picture in one go.

All the things you describe I see in my DD1 who has dyspraxia. She also has poor gross motor skills, poor awareness of her limbs, and some sensitivity to taste & texture. (Throwing these in in case your DS has any of these and you hadn't realised they could be related).

CB1234 Tue 06-Feb-18 16:42:14

That's interesting Teen. He is also a very fussy eater so I guess that could be sensitivity to texture and taste.

SeeKnievelHitThe17thBus Tue 06-Feb-18 16:44:55

I have that boy but you're wrong - he's a Year 4 not a Year 5 grin.

We think it's ADHD, more focused on the attention deficit rather than hyperactivity. We do a lot of exercise with him outside of school - dance and swimming etc. and his Year 2 teacher thought SEN and got the SENCO involved. The SENCO has been crap. You have to be a whole school year behind before she'll do anything and for most student that involves "keeping an eye on them" and allowing class teachers to use a student's assigned 1:1 support to cover for teacher absence.

If you think SEN, go and have a chat with your GP, go back to school with it as a fait accompli and referrals in place. don't expect the SENCO to assess properly or to refer you on to support services because they won't [from our experience].

CB1234 Tue 06-Feb-18 16:58:24

grin See

Thank you all. I am going to take some checklists to the GP next week and see if I can get a double appointment time. This is all so depressing. I assumed the SENCO would be helpful but it looks as though that may not be the case.

The other trait he has is what we refer to as his randomness. He came out of school with his packed lunch box yesterday and lost it somewhere between the playground and our house. He never puts it in his bag. It drives me bonkers.

irvineoneohone Tue 06-Feb-18 21:15:06

I think our boys are definitely similar. My ds is very fussy eater and sensitive to texture and temperature.
Also he is losing everything everywhere.

Didiplanthis Thu 08-Feb-18 18:04:46

Hello. I would check out other ed psychs as well my dd had very comprehensive assessment for just under £500. Your GP may well not be able to refer you. You are not being 'fobbed off' despite what many on here will say. Locally to us GPs have had no route of referral to ed psych for many many years and more recently all GP referrals to community paediatrics for dyspraxia and ASD and ADHD have been bounced back as they have to come through school after school have tried basic intervention. My dd sounds very similar to you and has been diagnoses with very slow processing and visual stress. Extra time and green tinted lenses have massively improved school for her.

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