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When should I start thinking about possible dyslexia?

(11 Posts)
JollyPirate Sat 17-Oct-09 15:03:30

My DS will be 7 in a few weeks time and cannot yet read. He can recognise his name (and will write it badly) but currently will not sit down to read any of his school books. The school use the Chip and Biff books and DS is still on the Stage 1 and 2 books. However, even with these he seems to fearful to sit down and have a go. The school says he knows the phonics but lacks confidence to blend them together.
TBH he has got worse - last year he would at least sit and attempt to sound the words out (and would get simple ones) but now he will not even do this and just says he is "no good at it". sad

He has now been diagnosed with Developmental Coordination Disorder which I know can go hand in hand with dyslexia. He has 15 hours of 1-1 time at school and I am about to drop my hours to 16 a week (from full time) to do some after school activities which might help to boost his confidence (although I haven't a clue how I will manage financially).

I am asking the LEA to do a Statutory Assessment of his SEN but have little faith in this process. A friend's son (aged 9) was recently assessed by them and their advice was for my friend to spend more time teaching him the days of the week! My friend paid £550 to the Dyslexia Institute who saw and assessed him - he is severely dyslexic and illiterate. Yet nobody in the education system has detected this.

I know DS will need to be 7 before I can test but is that still too early?

He is being referred to the eye clinic for an assessment of his occular motor skills to see if there is a problem there which is affecting his ability to learn to read.

I am wotrried. I don't want him to get to 9 without being diagnosed if he IS dyslexic as I would imagine he may be lost. Even with a diagnosis my friend is STILL having to fight with the LEA over funding and Statementing for her DS.

Twintummy Sat 17-Oct-09 15:09:02

I'm convinced that my DD is. Her school won't test until January in year 3 so I've got a few more months to wait (she will be 7 1/2 in January).

bigTillyMint Sat 17-Oct-09 15:16:16

The Biff and Chip books aren't based on phonics (unless they are the special phonics ones!) - based on word recognition. So if he finds recognising words difficult, then these will be hard for him.

Yes, lots of Specific Learning Difficulties go hand in hand and it sounds like your DS could be. The DI woul probably test from 6 1/2, and if he has a dx of DCD, together with a dx of dyslexia would put you in a strong position for statementing.

Does the school have anyone with particular training in teaching dyslexic / struggling readers and writers?

JollyPirate Sat 17-Oct-09 16:14:03

No - my worry is that there is nobody specialised to teach reading to dyslexic children. From what I can see dyslexic children seem to be left behind. There is a specilaised unit locally but it only takes 4 pupils per year.

MelonCauli Sat 17-Oct-09 16:27:51

Have you applied for DLA? His DCD diagnosis will mean that he probably will qualify. My dyspraxic ds gets DLA and I use the money for things like trampolining. I have found that non-team based sports are better at building confidence. Archery is another good one. We are about to try horse riding with him.

JollyPirate Sat 17-Oct-09 16:29:52

I haven't applied for DLA but will do once I reduce my hours as money is going to be very tight. Thanks for that suggestion as I wasn't sure if he'd qualify but will apply now and see what happens.

JollyPirate Sun 18-Oct-09 08:04:16

I started filling in the DLA form online - yes I think DS might qualify.

carocaro Sun 18-Oct-09 08:32:11

Keep banging on at the SENCO.

Also does your local council have a parent partnership service? They offer lots of advice. We also have a Cheshire Dyslexia group, charoty run, £20 a year, very usefull.

I found through asking other Mums a Mum of an older dyslexic child (who is now 17) and she was brilliant to sit down and talk to about their experiences, I felt very releived after this, and now the boy is Head Boy at his school!

My DS1 was 6.5 when screened at school buy his SENCO, he is 7.5 now and having an assesment for DCD like you DS, in November. He does get 121 help everyday from the TA, specific spellings, longer to do his homework etc.

In the last year I have seen a big change in his ability, others may see it as tiny, but for him its massive. EG: saying T A P using phonics did not make the word tap no matter how hard he tried! But he find the Biff and Kipper books easier as he has learned to recognised the words.

He also learned to ride his bike in the past year which seemed to boost his reading power.

I also agree about sports, he loves playing tag rugby, although his running is all over the show and he also like crazy golf.

I have not done the Dyslexia Action test either because of cost mainly and also he is making good steady progress.

It is hard and I think the school are being particulary unhelpful, but do keep trying. I get very frustrated with it all sometimes but you have to take it slow and find out what works for them.

Confidence is a big issue with my DS, after some teasing and he can see where his classmates are up to etc, so you really must try hard at boosting his confidence, we read aand write silly words, like POO FART etc you know words boys love and he thinks it's hilarious and he loves to write them.

Audio books are great too, Astrosaurs, Horrid Henry - then he feels like he can be part of the playground talk.

Gotta go, kids calling!

carocaro Sun 18-Oct-09 08:32:52

what is the DLA by the way?

JollyPirate Sun 18-Oct-09 09:12:09

Disability Living Allowance - apparently it's a small payment (if I am even successful) but would pay towards things like the special seat DS is going to be using in school and trampoline lessons etc. As I am about to drop my hours so drastically any little extra will be helpful.

JollyPirate Sun 18-Oct-09 09:12:10

Disability Living Allowance - apparently it's a small payment (if I am even successful) but would pay towards things like the special seat DS is going to be using in school and trampoline lessons etc. As I am about to drop my hours so drastically any little extra will be helpful.

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