Can I ask how much help your dc have been given for GCSEs and how bad their dyslexia is
I have two DC, one has a diagnosis of dyslexia the other is suspected but has no diagnosis. One is so bad that they now get 50% extra time and use a computer for writing, the other get 25% extra time.
However neither gets the time for their "dyslexia" but because their dyslexia cause them to have slow processing speeds and poor spelling. These difficulties were shown by specific testing designed to test for a range of skills that can affect exam performance.
Part of being eligible for such accommodations is that this should be part of the student's normal way of working.
So if your child is at school the first thing you should do is contact the SENCO and ask them to assess your child's need for accommodations. You can ask for this at any point from year 9, and the sooner the better.
However I do know children with a dyslexia diagnosis who do not receive extra time because the tests judge that they do not need it.
Why I ask is my ds is in year 10,he has been diagnosed with mild dyslexia since he was 9,in normal exams he gets 25% extra time,now he's doing GCSEs he's been tested again and given a reader,scribe and 25% extra time,I think maybe he has been given to much
Well you are entitled to see/get a copy of the materials they have produced to apply for his accommodations.
Does your son want a reader and a scribe? My son would have objected to both. Actually we spent ages discussing whether he had a scribe or used a computer. Using a scribe works best with a lot of practice as it is quite a skill to be done properly.
My DD didn't always use her extra time, and was only once made to stay for the full time.
In my experience extra time is not useful unless you need it, although it does help to be guided as to how best use it (careful reading of questions and time at the end to check answers).
He doesn't really want them no,but he's so easy going he just gets on with it
Whether your ds uses the reader/scribe is up to him - he has to specifically ask them to read/write things for him. They can't grab the paper and read/write without his say-so.
As a result of having the reader/scribe he will sit his exams in a separate room, so as not to disturb the other candidates, which can be great for nervous/easily distracted students.
He has done 4 GCSEs so far ( only year 10) he has been in a different room than all the rest,that's what he hates because he says it makes him feel like he's not good enough to be with his friends
Long time ago now but I had 25% extra time in exams. I rarely needed or used it. At uni though it meant I got to sit my exams in a much smaller room and there were more lenient on letting you leave when you wanted. It was useful to have but in reality when you are employed you don't get extra time so try and use it as a safety net only if you think they don't really need it
My son had the same as your son , his dyslexia is moderate to bad . His friends seemed to think he was lucky getting extra time ( he didn't always need to take it all ) and he never was very bothered what others thought . I'd take any & all help offered actually . My son is now at university , just be aware that you need a formal diagnosis from a proper centre to get help at uni - we were too late for him to get help the first year . Also it's expensive to have the test done . Without the extra help my son would never have passed English & would not be at uni now , even though he excels at maths & science .
He also says it isn't up to him to ask for things to be read or written down,the person helping has just done all of it
Luckily he has a formal diagnosis,his primary school where really good and got him tested
I disagree with the employment comment , dyslexia might not have much or any impact on your career depending what area you end up working in . My DH is dyslexic too, his work is very specialised & it doesn't have impact on his job at all. Also my son is genius with computers & maths & that's the area he will be working in. It uses a different part of the brain . But you need English at GCSE to even get into these courses even though ultimately you'll be focusing on a totally different subject .
I recall at uni you could also apply for grants to pay for computers and dictation software. So definitely worth having the proper diagnosis even if he doesn't use any extra time.
My DS needed another formal diagnosis from a university recognised centre - just double check nearer the time . You might be ok , but we ( & others we know ) were caught out 😉
25% extra time and computer and access to disability grants. Use it.
Will have to look into that when it's time to look into university
These are the guidelines for extra time
It is obviously too late for your son this year but you may want to get things in place for A levels.
DD (now at uni studying history ) is entitled to 25% extra time (not usually needed) a reader, scribe + assistive technology. She does have the extra time and separate exam room (she mutters when she reads) but does not use a reader or scribe - it is actually quite a skill and someone who is not experienced could be a hinderance. Using a laptop is only helpful if DC has a typing speed and typing error rate that is better than their handwriting speed /error rate - touch typing lessons are useful and it should be established as a usual way of working.
I would advise getting a dyslexia tutor who focuses on meta cognition and self regulated learning strategies - as PP have said when he goes to work he won't get all this support so skills that support his independence will be hugely beneficial.
To get DSA for uni you need a 16+ years diagnosis from PATOSS recognised assessor with an up-to-date practising certificate - depending on need it's about £3k but uni won't give extra time without a diagnosis about £400.
DD has dyslexia and gets 25% extra time and a scribe in exams - this is because her cognitive processing and writing speeds are significantly below average. She is lucky that she works well with a scribe.
You need a post 16 assessment for uni DSA and adjustments. Agree with those who say you don't need to use all 3 at once, it might work differently from one subject to another so he needs to try and see what works best for him in each subject.
DD has very slow processing skills and qualifies for extra time, use of a laptop and all sorts of different things. (I don't know exactly as the school works it out.)
I think it is worth working out what is helpful, and saying no to the rest. Because taking less support means that you are in a better position should it not be there at some point in the future.
DD found the (25%) extra time a godsend. She usually uses all of it. An unexpected advantage is that she leaves the exam room late so misses post-mortems. Good as she is prone to misreading questions.
She used a lap top at GCSE but does not for A level as she is taking STEM subjects, so less writing.
At GCSE she was given seperate invigilation which helped as she is easily distracted. Her sixth form does not offer this. After unexpectedly low marks in one AS, where she had been placed in the middle of the room, she will be seated in the corner at the front for A level. One thing to watch out for is that SEN kids can be distracting so it is often better that they are not sat together.
She would have hated a scribe.
A bit of understanding of what helps and does not help, both in the classroom and in exams is woth having. DDs academic performance has come on in leaps and bounds with help from her secondary schools.
I have worked as a reader during exams and we only read if the student asks us to. It needn't be the whole paper or even a whole question. Sometimes it can just be to read or confirm whst a word is. Obviously we can't explain any meaning literally just read the part we are asked to read as many times as the student wants. Any reader insisting on reading the whole paper is overstepping the mark!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
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