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Special needs and extra time

(61 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

mummy68 Sun 22-May-11 21:12:05

DD1 has just done her S grade exams (equivalent of GCSE I think) and for the majority of exams felt 'pushed for time'. As a result she feels it is quite unfair that several classmates were given extra time simply because (like her) they are a bit slow with reading and writing and concentrating. They claim thngs like dyslexia when they can read and spell perfectly well but are just slow. But the reason she has no problem spelling etc. is she LEARNED to at a young age. Even more laughable is ADHD, which translates (on evidence of said people) as a bit cheeky and bored of certain tasks, or maybe with difficult family environments. (DD got the odd detention a few years back for being rude and carried away with herself, maybe she had ADHD)

So is it fair that some people get special treatment with extra time, scribes, money for a laptop etc. just because they haven't learned to read and write or been brought up to concentrate on things that matter to them? Are we doing more harm than good giving in to incompetent teachers and parents. Or should we pretend DD has a 'learning disability' to get her on a level field for her Highers?

Kez100 Sun 22-May-11 22:04:27

Are you littlemum?

As my severely dyslexic son said to me the other day (when I was saying how good support was nowadays) "Mum, this is reality. No one really cares or helps. You get some extra time, but thats it. No one really understands what it's like"

Can I suggest you join school as a governor and get involved with SEN. Do you the world of good.

merlincat Sun 22-May-11 22:35:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cornsilks Sun 22-May-11 22:36:43

look at the JCQ website. There is specific criteria for extra time. It's not randomly awarded.

Pagwatch Sun 22-May-11 22:37:34

The fact that you can post
'learning disability'
Tells me lots of things about you.
None of which are terribly nice.

basingstoke Sun 22-May-11 22:42:52

Perhaps your DD should have LEARNED at a young age to write faster?

Seriously, practising writing is really important before exams. And doing timed practise answers.

Or are you just posting to have a pop?

basingstoke Sun 22-May-11 22:43:25


tamtam2 Sun 22-May-11 22:43:31

well said merlincat

tethersend Sun 22-May-11 22:49:00

Access arrangements- which you have to meet a strict set of criteria to be qualify for- are not there to give an advantage, they are there to remove a disadvantage.

Everybody would do better in an exam if they had extra time. It's hardly the point. Your DD is only on a level playing field if access arrangements are given to others; otherwise she has an unfair advantage.

So, to surmise: You are talking utter bollocks.


cornsilks Sun 22-May-11 22:51:42

I think the OP may be an escapee from the TES forums

mungogerry Mon 23-May-11 07:57:40

Wind up.

circular Mon 23-May-11 09:02:40

We were always taught at school that feeling pushed for time in a exam was a good thing. That's the way they were designed.

If you finished too quickly, then you probably had not done enough and should read over to make sure nothing had been missed.

DamselInDisguise Mon 23-May-11 10:47:44

I had extra time in both my highers and standard grades. 20 minutes extra for every hour because of a physical problem with my wrists. I spent those extra minutes sitting, not writing, trying to give my wrists a break, just so I could finish the exam at all. I also wrote my answers using both hands as I physically couldn't do it any other way. And I took strong pain killers. Even with the 'help', I was still at a disadvantage tbh. I did very well because I am clever and had prepared well, but it would have been easier if I could have had no extra time and no problems writing. I'd probably have done better.

I tried using a scribe for my prelims too. I don't think you have any idea how difficult it is to do an exam with a scribe. It's much harder than it's is writing yourself. No one would choose a scribe if they didn't need one.

Your daughter should stop moaning about everyone else and get on with her own exams.

tabulahrasa Mon 23-May-11 10:52:30

Well you can pretend she's got whatever you want, it'll make no difference to her Highers though, because unless she meets the criteria for extra time, she'll not get any

mummy68 Mon 23-May-11 13:08:11

I don't doubt dyslexia etc. is genuine in a few cases (eg Jackie Stewart) and can blight someones school years and subequently their lives. Our gripe is people are being diagnosed when they can do things a truly dyslexic person would not be able to do, simple as that. And it's no co-incidence there is more of it in private schools where rich parents want their darlings to be the next JK Rowling etc. or go to oxbridge, be a lawyer, accountant what have you, so there must be a 'problem' if they are not geniuses.

DamselInDisguise Mon 23-May-11 13:14:40

Are you an expert on dyslexia and what dyslexic children can and cannot do?

cornsilks Mon 23-May-11 13:19:10

you are talking bollocks OP

bubblecoral Mon 23-May-11 14:33:01

You really are talking bollocks.

My ds has aspergers and has been shown through a series of tests, IQ tests and the like, by a Chartered Educational Psycologist, that he has extremelly high intelligence but also has a severe problem with processing speed. That could put him at a disavantage in timed tests.

He does not get extra time. He gets high grades because his intelligenge makes up for it.

Other children my not have been tested, and may well not be on the autistic spectrum, but could still have problems with processing speed. They just haven't been tested in that area because they don't have a diagnosed SEN.

My ds is on a level playing field when he takes his tests, as long as he is given time to settle into the room.

I could probably push for him to be given extra time, but that could well be seen as unfair. I don't think he needs it.

All children have their strengths and weaknesses. Why don't you just try and focus on your dd's progress and achievment and mind your own business about everyone elses?

mummytime Mon 23-May-11 15:03:38

Maybe if your DD has such problems you should fight to get her processing issues diagnosed?

Extra time doesn't help those who don't need it, as few exams nowadays use time pressure as a criteria.

bladderack Mon 23-May-11 17:31:19

You sound a bit thick to be honest. Let's hope your daughter didn't inherit it.

mumeeee Mon 23-May-11 23:08:26

DD3 is dyspraxic and also has another mild learning disability. She had a scribe and extra time in her GCSE's not beciuse she couldn't read, But because she could not write fast enough and for it to be legible in the time the exam took, She was assesed by ann educatuonal pshychologist and the assesment had to be submited to the exam bord befrore she got the concensions, She is now 18 and taking A level Drama she had to have a new assesment to get the same concesions. As they only last for 2 years,
Sp a parent cannot just say that their child has dyslexia or another learning disability to get these concesions

mich54321 Tue 24-May-11 00:18:04

OP is talking rubbish. To get any extra time, you need a report from an educational psychologist - a parent can not just decide their child has dyslexia etc and lo behold the school give them extra time. The extra time given is for the student to maybe read the question a couple of times to understand what is required or give them longer to write the answers - the psychologist undertakes a series of stringent tests and recommends what the child needs to LEVEL the playing field with the other students - not given them an advantage. This has to be agreed by the examining board. Not all children with dyslexia will be given extra time / a scribe / laptop, only what is deemed essential from their assessment. BTW dyslexia manifests in different forms - it isn't just spelling , it can be deciphering words in questions , reading difficulties etc.

breadandbutterfly Tue 24-May-11 08:39:10

I disagree - according to the link posted above, this is an example of a candidate who would get extra time - 10% - despite not being terribly disadvantaged now (or no more than the OP's DC):

"A candidate was diagnosed as mildly dyslexic in Y7. He has made good progress with his reading and writing, which are now within the normal range for his age. He does make some spelling mistakes, but these are minor and do not affect the ability of the examiner to read and understand his scripts. He is allowed 10% extra time in written papers [but not multiple choice papers] to allow for any residual difficulties."

I am interested because my DD2, who is still at primary school, is the world's slowest writer - she can read OK, think very fast but physically, her hand is so slow - numerous reports have focussed on this. She's not been assessed by anyone, and at primary level it doesn't matter except that homework takes her ages - but in an exam situation, it clearly would place her at a disadvantage. So I'm marking this thread...

LIZS Tue 24-May-11 08:47:55

b&b, ds(13) is like your dd2 - he's dyspraxic with dyslexic traits which he has largely overcome. However his handwriting is difficult to read, his hand tires easily which makes it worse or he can write less and his processing time lags well behind his thoughts. He is allowed 10% extra time and in exams with a significant written content (ie English or History) use of a laptop. However it took 2 EP reports (private, £££) and a lot of discussion to get this. OP this is to level the playing field, so his innate ability is represented, not to give him an advantage.

cornsilks Tue 24-May-11 09:04:08

exam access arrangements can also be assessed by a specialist teacher with a relevant qualification. SENCOS in secondary school very often do not know the JCQ regulations unless they are qualified to assess themselves, so children can miss out. The OP is talking absolute crap and clearly has a chip on her shoulder about this.

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