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Secondary school Dyslexia screening test?

(12 Posts)
onelasttrythenimout Mon 11-Apr-16 09:58:27

Hi. My Dc aren't there yet (I'm just curious really after googling some spelling difficulties my Ds has been having) but do secondary schools have some type of dyslexia screening test? If so what do they use? Thank you.

MooseAndSquirrel Mon 11-Apr-16 10:09:50

A secondary school can refer a child for a dyslexia screening (which is a range of tests) if its picked up as likely.
In my personal experience, secondary schools often miss the tell tale signs. Could be that coping mechanisms have been developed by then, or the number of students, or the fact its much more independent work than primary.
If you have concerns, id speak to the current primary teacher - or you can pay to have the screening down yourself.
tbf ive never heard of much being done to help really, but knowing yourself that your not stupid/lazy but the fact you learn differently is invaluable. Also helps to know you learn differently so you don't preserver revising in the same way its been taught!

littledrummergirl Mon 11-Apr-16 10:15:58

Yes they can. When ds2 primary refused to test we asked his secondary if they would during the transition stage. They did pre tests when he started and then sent him for the actual tests. He came in the middle group and is flourishing with the help that has been put in place.

RoseDog Mon 11-Apr-16 10:23:35

My dds secondary school picked up with in a week and a half of her being there that something wasn't quite right we had been saying this for half of primary school they pretty much started assessments straight away, its not a simple dyslexia test but a series of assessments and information gathering with various people that is done over a long period of time. If you think he has dyslexia you can of course contact the school and ask for him to be assessed, in my experience the parents who shout the loudest get the most!

teta Mon 11-Apr-16 10:32:42

My children's independent school test everyone in year 7.The attached Prep school tests brothers and sisters of known Dyslexic children.I think it may well be worth paying for a private assessment.We did as an initial school test didn't flag up any problems ( at age 9).He was actually quite badly Dyslexic.With a reasonably high IQ and a 55% writing speed of normal and total inability to spell or construct legible sentences.He needs a totally different way of teaching to his strengths.

TeenAndTween Mon 11-Apr-16 10:50:03

My DD2 recently had a screening test at primary. the SENCO said I could ask for it to be redone at secondary next year if I was still concerned, so I guess they have something!

However My experience of a (good) secondary with DD1 is that unless issues are glaringly obvious they won't be picked up because teachers don't see trends across subjects. So you have to stay on the ball yourself and push for things even if you think the school should be noticing issues.

Traalaa Mon 11-Apr-16 11:15:32

From all I've heard/ found, secondaries seem to be better at picking it up than primaries. They all do a raft of tests and a spiky profile on CATs, etc should point them towards any problems. Ask the secondary what they do in terms of assessments and it might be worth flagging up your worry before your DC starts.

Heifer Mon 11-Apr-16 20:48:50

DDs secondary school tested the whole of YR7 recently. Not sure how common this is though.

wheresthebeach Tue 12-Apr-16 09:17:13

The school DD goes to does blanket testing in yr 7 to catch any kids not identified yet. Not sure how common it is.

We had to get a private assessment as primary school was adamant nothing wrong. The problem is some kids work hard and cope so they are getting 'average' marks despite being dyslexic. DD only got help when we could show the ed phys report.

Suggest you look at the policy of the secondary schools you are considering and contact the Senco's. I found most very happy to exchange emails or chat on the phone.

lonelyplanetmum Wed 21-Dec-16 07:29:40

Hi wheresthebeach - I have had an identical experience with my DDs primary school, until the Ed Phys confirmed what I'd been saying......for three years!

I want secondary school to be a new supportive chapter. In fact I think I will end you a pm seeking advice on this!

chocolateworshipper Wed 21-Dec-16 08:52:29

Primary schools are reluctant to test for dyslexia because they tend not to have any support available. They would rather not diagnose something they can't help. The most they will do (generally) is a visual stress test as they can offer a coloured overlay. Generally a secondary school is more likely to screen for dyslexia - but as previously said, it is often only when the parent requests it, or when a particularly good teacher picks up the clues.

fourcorneredcircle Wed 21-Dec-16 10:57:17

Yup, harder to identify trends accross subjects. Unless there is an obvious need made clear immediately it can take a couple of years to put together the pieces accross staff, especially for dyslexics that have developed good coping strategies.

So, at our school to try and pick up issues we do two things with year seven initially.
CATS (where we can see spikey profiles, sometimes less obvious with very able dyslexics though) and a reading test (which tests single word, sentence reading and comprehension). These two sets of tests often filter out those who merit further testing, which is done by our qualified exams access arrangement assessor. She does various tests more reading, more comprehension, sequencing, processing, handwriting. Then, the results are fed to the SENCO to share with staff as appropriate. If the EAA and SENCO (or parents) think that there is likely to be an underlying issue we contact parents to ask them to refer to local dyslexia charity who are qualified to assess and diagnose (much quicker than ed psyche as they are like hen's teeth!). That process costs £350 though. School pays for PP children's assessment, most other parents pay but if they say they are going to struggle we put them on the long waiting list for an LA Ed psyche to do the assessment.

This system picks up most students with dyslexia/dyspraxia and helps us identify and support the very weakest appropriately but doesn't often "catch" academically able dyslexics etc.

We have a back up though!

In year nine ALL students are assessed for exams access arrangements. Everyone starts with a reading test they then do more tests if they score low (not just low for their age but also if we feel it's low for what we know of them as a student). Often this is where the academically able are picked up as the gaps tend to have widened a bit at it's easier to identify patterns that don't match (so, between test scores and CAT scores etc.). Then we follow the same system of referral with them as we do with Y7s.

So, at our school we think we do pretty well with identification HOWEVER we are lucky to have an extremely qualified assessor and a relatively small school roll, meaning that the time taken for all this testing does not impact as much as it could on a school with an intake of 200+. We're also very lucky that on the whole we have parents who engage willingly with us when we contact them - and that so many of those parents find a way to pay for the assessment. Perhaps that's because our system is so robust that if we identify something concerning they trust us that it's money well spent or perhaps it's because they have had concerns themselves? Either way, I count my blessings!

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