Dyslexia and 11+

(33 Posts)
Ifyoubuildit Tue 19-Jun-18 17:49:17

Just been told that my 8 year old DS is dyslexic. I'm really gutted for him, he finds school tricky as it is.

We live in a grammar school area and have been told that my son won't get any extra time in his 11+ test as his overall scores in his dyslexia assessment are average. This seems so unfair, his verbal ability score was in the 99th percentile.

Has anyone any experience of this?

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trinity0097 Tue 19-Jun-18 20:32:55

To get extra time in exams you need a standardised score of below 85 in one of the key things. 99 is in the average band, so extra time would unfairly advantage them.

Just being dyslexic doesn’t mean you necessarily need extra time anyway.

LIZS Tue 19-Jun-18 20:38:04

Average scores are not taken into account. He needs any of the processing levels to be 84 or below as a standardised score. 99th percentile is very good and you may find he would not need extra time to achieve that with practice at working to time.

ilovesushi Wed 20-Jun-18 14:57:37

I'm afraid I don't know anything about 11 plus arrangements, but it would be worth investigating whether a grammar really would be the best fit for your DC. I have two DCs both with dyslexia, both very bright. We have the grammar option in our area but I have ruled it out because I don't believe the SEN provision there is good enough or enlightened enough for them to really fulfill their potential. It might feel like the most logical route to academic success but it's worth being open minded about all the options.

Ifyoubuildit Wed 20-Jun-18 15:39:06

Thanks ilovesushi. The other options are a "requires improvement" comp or a church school known for promoting creationism, neither of which I'd be happy with (at the moment). We could afford to go private but most schools have entrance exams.

What did you do?

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wentmadinthecountry Wed 20-Jun-18 19:56:30

My dyslexic ds went to grammar school - but he's 21 now so things may have changed.

8 is pretty young to make decisions as a lot may change but...

If your child qualifies for extra time in tests that applies to 11plus too - normally not more than 25%. Ds didn't have this but I know others who have. You can also ask to have papers on a different coloured paper if this is normal classroom practice. Needs a test (not Ed Psych level but probably one only a specialist teacher from LA can administer).

In retrospect, don't know if grammar was the best place for ds but he certainly got much better GCSEs than he would have done elsewhere.

ilovesushi Wed 20-Jun-18 20:23:00

We're still deciding, but are in the fortunate position of having two great secondaries in catchment to chose from and if we can afford it (doubtful) a great non-selective independent school with its own dyslexic unit. I would recommend making an appointment with the SENCOs at each of the schools when you get closer to the time. Sometimes it's about the right fit for your child rather than it being the best school. What you need is a school that is ambitious for your child and has high expectations for them despite the dyslexia. Good luck! x


ScipioAfricanus Wed 20-Jun-18 22:10:29

I know of a dyslexic boy who was given extra time for his selective independent entrance exam. I imagine it depends on the school but worth checking out as they may vary even if 11+ doesn’t allow it.

LIZS Thu 21-Jun-18 12:50:37

Ds had extra time in his 13+ entrance exam and CE.

Polista Thu 21-Jun-18 20:18:34

Hi OP pls PM me if you like ? Ano mum of dyslexic DS who will sit CE next year.

Ifyoubuildit Fri 22-Jun-18 12:22:45

Thanks all. He won't get extra time (we've checked this) because the scores in his dyslexia assessment are average, that's despite his verbal ability being in the 99th percentile, which shows that he's definitely a way off meeting his potential.

Ilovesushi - that's exactly what I want for him, a school that sees and helps him reach his potential. I'm worried he won't get that in a failing comp and in a system where all the bright children have been creamed off to the grammar schools.

You're right, we've got time and we will look carefully at all the options but I can't help worrying...

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Ifyoubuildit Fri 22-Jun-18 12:23:22

Polista - not sure how to PM?

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LIZS Fri 22-Jun-18 12:27:42

How broken down were his processing scores, iirc ds had different components assessed , such as verbal, numerical, visual, only one of which needs to be 84 or lower to qualify. Children with a spld typically have a spiky learning profile and use their strengths to compensate for the weaknesses but that only gets them so far.

Ifyoubuildit Fri 22-Jun-18 16:25:49

The only score under 84 is the "blending words" score.

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Ifyoubuildit Fri 22-Jun-18 16:31:12

Here's are the scores

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LIZS Fri 22-Jun-18 17:32:45

I don't think blending words is a processing area. The ones listed under cognitive processing suggest he is well within the average band. Has he been diagnosed as dyslexic or as having dyslexic tendencies? Tbh you have time to get him support on his relatively weaker areas before he takes any selective tests.

ScipioAfricanus Fri 22-Jun-18 17:44:51

I’m confused as to why you’ve been told he’s dyslexic, based on those scores.

Laura0806 Fri 22-Jun-18 19:08:31

me too-if he was dyslexia you would expect the discrepancy to be the other way round. who assessed him as dyslexic?

Ifyoubuildit Fri 22-Jun-18 20:33:38

Umm, a dyslexia assessor, we checked out her credentials beforehand and she's well-regarded by local schools and has lots of qualifications.

Why does it look wrong? I don't really understand what I'm looking at.

She said that his verbal ability was very high but when compared with his scores it indicated dyslexia (which his teachers suspected, hence the assessment). My son is ok at reading but really struggles with writing/ spelling and there's lots of dyslexia in the family on my mother's side.

Can you tell me the relevant qualifications for a dyslexia assessor and I'll check if she has them...

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LIZS Fri 22-Jun-18 20:54:16

There is a discrepancy between his highest and lower scores but not sure dyslexia is associated with so many consistently typical scores. She has demonstrated that he does not meet the criteria for extra time. It might be worth employing an ed psych to explore the range more fully and put it into context. Has she stated he is dyslexic or just that it is indicative of ( ie. Has tendencies or traits) which can be addressed with learning support on these areas?

Ifyoubuildit Fri 22-Jun-18 21:13:47

She said Dyslexic, we asked explicitly as she was running through the results and we didn't know where she was headed so we just asked if he was dyslexic or not, and she said yes.

She recommend interventions at school which he now has. He was quite young having the assessment (it was just before his 8th birthday), if that's relevant?

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Ifyoubuildit Fri 22-Jun-18 21:17:50

What would an ed psych do that she hasn't?

There are other things in the report about his terrible handwriting, how he much he fidgets, how he struggles with some motor skills and moving his eyes up and down (eg from whiteboard to paper). If they're indicators of dyslexia?

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LIZS Fri 22-Jun-18 21:21:51

Those could relate to dyspraxia , perhaps even adhd or another spld. Several conditions can coexist. An ed psych can take a more holistic overview of his behaviour rather than focus so specifically initially.

Ifyoubuildit Fri 22-Jun-18 22:12:38

Here's the conclusion of the report if helpful:

Summary of Findings:
XXX has a good level of underlying ability, with particular strength in his Verbal Ability which is above average for his age (being in the 99th percentile). XXX has great strength in both his visual and his associative memory, but has greater difficulty with both his aural short-term and working memory when working with letters. He also has lower than expected Phonological Awareness and Phonological Processing Speed (compared to his underlying ability).

These are all affected by dyslexia (as defined by the Rose Report, 2009) and the pattern of scores gives an indication that he is affected by this condition and that it is having a clear impact on his spelling and some impact on his reading.

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Ifyoubuildit Fri 22-Jun-18 22:14:00

Interesting LIZS, should I look into that? I took the report as read as his teacher had suggested dyslexia and it runs in my family.

I'm a bit confused now...

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