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Dyslexic DS - any chance of passing grammar school exams?

(69 Posts)
NQWWW Sat 10-Sep-11 21:26:22

Hi, my DS is dyslexic but bright (IQ was on the 99th centile when he had his dyslexia assessment), does anyone have any experience of a child like him managing to get through the grammar school tests? His spelling is pretty awful and the VR tests are very hard for him. I'm hoping they'll give him extra time in the exam, and have sent them a copy of his dyslexia assessment, but suspect it won't help much given his problem with spelling.

Yellowstone Sat 10-Sep-11 21:55:36

Our school definitely gives extra time in the tests.

thetasigmamum Sat 10-Sep-11 23:48:11

Yellowstone - I'm not sure they do any more. I think DD1's year was the last time they did that. It's a worry for us because DD2 is also dyspraxic and dyslexic.

NQWWW - I know dyslexic children at the grammar school my DD1 attends. DD1 is slightly dyslexic but massively dyspraxic so we tend to focus in on that as our key concern. DD1 was given extra time but didn't need it, I suspect she was just lucky in that sense.

kayah Sat 10-Sep-11 23:53:23

if he is statemented he will get extra time
talk to your grammar school about it

Yellowstone Sun 11-Sep-11 01:19:23

They do Theta, provided a child is statemented or on School Action Plus (20% extra time and they are in a separate room so they don't get disturbed at the usual finishing time). I'd have thought it would be very unlikely to change, so I wouldn't worry. I expect she's trying soon?

thetasigmamum Sun 11-Sep-11 08:33:58

Yellowstone what you described is what happened for DD1. But we were told last year by Mrs W it wasn't happening any more (she might have been wrong I suppose). DD2 is only in Y4, we have plenty of time yet (there is a DS in between them).

Yellowstone Sun 11-Sep-11 10:18:02

That's confusing theta because the admissions arrangements for 2012 definitely include the 20% extra time and I can't see any valid reason for change.

I think Mrs W is wrong (not that I'd take her on grin).

NQWWW Tue 13-Sep-11 22:18:01

Thanks for the replies. He isn't statemented as he makes reasonable progress at school - he's able to make up for the dyslexia and his primary school don't worry about him because he's not failing badly enough.angry

I've just received the letter from the first grammar re the exam next Saturday, doesn't mention extra time, I'll phone them tomorrow, but anyway I don't think it will help - he can't see spelling mistakes and no amount of extra time is going to help that.

slavetofilofax Tue 13-Sep-11 22:54:07

If your son recieves extra help in school when doing tests, then they will probably provide him with the same extra assistance that the school will give him in his SAT's.

I would call the GS, and talk to his primary school's SENCO, and see if s/he will back you up in your request for extra time.

My ds was given special consideration in his GS entrance test, but they took a lot of time in reading his diagnosis reports and they contacted the primary school SENCO themselves before they agreed to it.

NQWWW Tue 13-Sep-11 23:32:32

Thanks, will do that.

LadySybil Tue 13-Sep-11 23:33:48

I know dyslexic students studying medicine. I am assuming they went to grammar schools

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 14-Sep-11 11:11:23

Considering that grammars are fairly unusual, I doubt all those dyslexic med students came from grammar schools Sybil.

I imagine a lot are from private schools though, most of which seem to have entrance exams.

LadySybil Thu 15-Sep-11 12:11:37

you are probably right jena, but i live in one of the few areas where ALL the schools are grammar. well, obviously not, but they cream off the top 20%, so the comprehensives arent really a proper representation of society.

ime most medstudents have either gone to grammars, or been privately educated. very few have come throught the comps. I just mentioned this, to illustrate to the op, that being dyslexic doesnt mean her dc wont acheive academically

Yellowstone Thu 15-Sep-11 13:30:58

That's fairly circuitous reasoning, Sybil....

Plenty of medics are state educated, I thought a higher proportion than in any other competitive profession.

sugartongue Thu 15-Sep-11 13:46:56

@ yellowstone Dsis is a medic, and comp educated - said she was only one of two she studied with who went to a comprehensive. Clearly might be an unrepresentive year, but won't be that polarised I shouldn't think

chrchrch Thu 15-Sep-11 15:34:03

In my limited experience a 99th centile will sail through any super selective with absolutely no tutoring or preparation. Also, anyone over 90th centile, learning difficulty or not, has less chance of being statemented than the proverbial snowball existing in that very hot place.

If he doesn't get selected, then perhaps the tests the school has chosen reflect the style of teaching support in that school, and perhaps another (super selective) school will be better for him. It would be handy if all super selectives were the same, but they aren't. Some are results factories and others have more imagination and educational integrity, and are more likely to take on bright, quirky children.

I'm bascially saying that DS will probably find the right school anyway, and that he has a very good chance of passing the exams, depending on which ones they are. Some definitely focus more on attainment than potential. I can't imagine that this fact has escaped the schools choosing the tests, so expect that's what they are choosing to select.

You don't say whether you're in a selective county, or have other options. From the timing, you'll get the results before you have to choose the school. Good luck to DS.

NQWWW Thu 15-Sep-11 20:56:00

Thanks chrchrch, that's very encouraging. Agree re statement - he would apparently have to be four years behind his chronological age to get a statement in our borough.

We do have other options - there is a reasonable state school near us, and 3 grammar schools nearby which we're putting him in for. I'm just having a crisis of conscience at the idea of putting him through 3 lots of exams which he may not do terribly well in, and worrying about knocking his confidence as a result.

Yellowstone Thu 15-Sep-11 22:18:24

sugar where did your sis study? How many were in the cohort? When did she graduate? Medicine seems pretty inclusive, that's the message I get.

Anyhow, my point was that a poster saying she knows dyslexic medics doesn't lead inexorably to the conclusion that a particular dyslexic child will achieve academically.

sugartongue Fri 16-Sep-11 09:21:39

Well yes, my post was off point. As the mother of a dyslexic child I think we all just hope that we can provide them with the opportunities to still achieve and that they won't be prevented from being a professional by the dyslexia! I have to say I wouldn't consider sitting DS for grammar school as I don't think it's the right environment to put him in, this in spite of the fact that he's highly intelligent. But then we're lucky, in our area grammar school is not preceived as the be all and end all, and there are other options.

As for the med school, couldn't possibly answer all the ques without leading myself to identification! But it was probably ten years ago that she graduated and from the uni considered the best for medicine at the time. I think the cohort was about 300 or so, so it stands to reason that she didn't know everyone!

lbubbly Sat 17-Sep-11 13:06:18

He probably scores quite highly in NVR as dyslexics are able to see the picture.Is he flying in maths and VR?

NQWWW Sat 17-Sep-11 16:40:44

He does do really well in maths and NVR - pretty badly in VR.

chrchrch Sat 17-Sep-11 20:29:54

Doesn't that depend on how someone is dyslexic? For example, someone can be say 99th centile verbally but 1st centile visually, which means any written test will be very challenging, but is capable of more than 99% of the population if correctly tested? Surely Fred Epstein would fail the 11+? Being 'dyslexic' is irrelevant to becoming an extraordinary medic, let alone the trillions of ordinary ones.

Spelling and written communication issues are only one aspect of 'dyslexia' and its many relations. Selective schools who are only interested in written tests are signalling that they can only cope with 'normal' people, or at best those who can be 'normalized' by an extra 15 minutes' time. So, failing the entry tests at that sort of school is probably better than wasting five/seven years battling in an inadequate setting. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

Sillybillybonker Sun 24-Apr-16 18:51:17

Bumping up this thread again as it is the time of year when people are thinking about registering for entrance exams.

My DS is dyslexic - good at maths and non verbal reasoning but terrible at spelling and VR. An IQ test put him on the 93rd percentile. Anyway, to get extra time in the entrance exam I need to get his primary school to fill in a form which asks the following:
1. What if any access arrangements are currently in place for this candidate within in "normal working day".
2. Does this candidate currently receive 25% additional time within his "normal way of working" in the classroom.
3. Does this candidate have at least one standardised score relating to an assessment of speed of reading/ reading comprehension / writing or cognitive processing which falls below 85?
I really don't understand Q. 2. How can a child get 25% additional time within his normal way of working within the classroom. If he was given this, his school day would have to be 25% longer than anyone else's wouldn't it?
I'll email the school but does anyone have any thoughts or experience of this?

teta Sun 24-Apr-16 20:15:35

If your DS has been assessed as Dyslexic by either the school or an Independent assessment you will have no problem asking the school to fill in the form.If you believe he is Dyslexic with no proof,then you probably will.

ChalkHearts Mon 25-Apr-16 08:17:40

Grammar tests are designed to exclude dyslexics.

children with SpLD will almost certainly have a large discrepancy between their NVR and VR - and that is why grammar schools use those tests.

I'm not sure that extra time will help. It's the test he can't do.

Chrchrc - your limited experience can't include many dyslexic children. 99% IQ won't get you into a grammar school if you have severe dyslexia.

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