DD with possible dyslexia ?(14 Posts)
Hi, I have no idea if I'm in the right place with this thread and it might be a bit rambly but here goes …
DD is in year 10 at secondary school so start of GCSE's. She's always been able to read well and is one of the smartest in her year. Recently (last year I think) she had been reading through her ruler (it's a flexible blue one with all the numbers rubbed off so a bit like an overlay) when they were doing stuff from text books in class. That obviously wasn't very practical so I found a piece of blue plastic we had lying around (throwback to when they did craft things so I kept absolutely everything) and she uses that.
This was all lead by her when I said about someone she knew at primary school having an overlay she said "yeah, they were dyslexic. Overlays are generally dyslexic things." As I said, she's pretty smart and seems to have done her research so I did as well.
Things on the internet said about spelling which I think is relevant to her. She's always had trouble spelling some basic words (says is always written as sais) but it seems to vary. She said that she spells the words phonetically, the way the letters sound. This means that there are double letters where they should be single and vica versa. There were a few other things she was a perfect match on as well like having almost no organisational skills whatsoever.
School have never said anything (but she has an excellent memory so for spelling tests she memorises them and seems to have forgotten them hours later) but a couple of teachers have seen her with the overlay and said she should talk to some teacher about having it in exams or the papers being printed in a different colour. The way she said it they seem to be assuming there is some sort of official diagnosis though. And she has no idea who the teacher they were talking about is so we're a bit stuck on that point unless we search the schools email system for them (her suggestion).
She tried to explain what it was like reading but she's not good with words so I'm not quite sure what she meant. It was something about how sometimes she sees all the words and can read them but they don't string together to form a sentence that she can make any sense out of. She's especially bad reading out loud, you can sort of see a problem. She's really stuttery and pauses every few words. And she seems to try to predict the next bit of the sentence and when it's phrased slightly differently to how she expects she's thrown off and has to go back to a natural break in the sentence and go from there again.
Now I'm just wondering if I was a bad mum for not noticing something right under my nose or if she was just really able to hide it. I really don't know what to do - her reading really isn't that bad but occasionally it just seems to totally go. DD seems pretty sure about it, and she is probably looking at it more accurately than I can but neither of us are sure of the next step.
Is dyslexia all about the reading aspect or are all the other things just as relevant ? If it's not dyslexia then what else could it be ?
No, it is not only or necessarily about the reading. DS has never had problems with his reading, his understanding of what he reads is years advanced for his age. He has never had problems with his spelling either but...
Give him a set of 5+ instructions for a task and he wouldn't know which was first before you stop talking.
He cannot listen if he is not fiddling with something at the same time. He is very very bright (98 percentile in IQ) but although he can speak for ages about any topic that takes his fancy, he wouldn't be able to write more than 3-4 sentences without trully forgetting what was he writing about.
It is very frustrating and demoralising, but having a diagnose has really made wonders to ensure his teachers' patience threshold is in the right place.
Hi I'm dyslexic and certain things you have said above sound like me. I've always done well with reading and the only way I can study for exams is to cram everything into my short term memory - it's gone 24 hours later.
It's worth investigating further. If you can afford it you could ask an educational psychologist do investigate for you?
I would say that if you are concerned it is a good idea to talk to her form tutor to see if there are any concerns (but be prepared to insist in getting more details).
DS didn't get a referral for a test, I paid for it and I'm glad I did it as the school was happy not to intervene unless if he was not doing miserably bad, which he wasn't but he was being punished for the effects of his dislexia related difficulties. The diagnose stopped that (.. to a point)
I was diagnosed with dyslexia going into my 3rd year at uni - I am "high functioning" which means that, whilst I am dyslexic, I have quite good verbal and logical reasoning skills which enabled me to get by and compensate for so long.
My weak areas are working memory (if it's not right in front of me I have forgotten all about it!) and organisation. My handwriting was also terrible until I became a teacher, and now it's just bad when I'm tired. My spelling isn't too bad, but I use a lot of mnemonics and things to remember certain spellings.
Anyway... my point is: it is quite possible she is dyslexic but, like me, the dyslexia has made certain parts of her brain more awesome and therefore she has been able to compensate for it. It certainly sounds that way from her resourcefulness with overlays.
Thanks for replying. DD wants to do something about it and school would be the logical place to start or atleast try. KarmaNoMore, what happens for the test, what sorts of things are they looking at ?
DS was tested when he was 8 so it may be different for teenagers. The test lasted about 5-6 hrs, I was not allowed to be present while the test was going on but considering the length of the report and recommendations (30 pages long) I understand the my used special equipment to determine the ability of his hands, test his IQ, assess his reading understanding, speed of writing, difference of ability between hands, etc. DS really enjoyed the test (wanted to go back again!). It costed, back then, about £500 but it was well worth it, as even without the help of the school I managed to follow some of the suggestions to help him deal with some of the issues.
I think if you are at all worried take her to be tested.Maybe an initial brief test to see if there are any indications- not the full work up.You can ask the school initially whether they do the simple diagnostic tests.
Using a overlay is not in itself an indication for Dyslexia although it does seem to help in certain cases ( my son uses a blue one).There is actually no research to show that overlays help.
It sounds as though it's probably a mild case of Dyslexia otherwise certain issues like Coherency,punctuation,working memory,sequencing would have been flagged up much earlier.My dyslexic ds could not write any coherent stories and never completed his work in time ( later found out his writing speed is 55% of normal) all through junior school .
My ds1 dyslexic assessor said she often diagnoses very clever doctors/lawyers who have problems passing professional exams and need extra time and are well into their 20's,30's .So do pursue the issue!
You need the school SENCO (Special Education Needs Co-Ordinator).
If it isn't obvious ring the school and ask them who it is.
Write down your list of concerns and ask if they can do a dyslexia screening test.
Issues are missed in primary because schools are too small to have the specialist knowledge, and it is hard to tell if some children are just a bit behind in something or if there is an underlying reason.
Issues can also easily be missed in secondary because any individual teacher only sees your child for a few hours a fortnight, and teachers are expert in their subject not diagnosing SpLD. A pupil who is achieving OK would be lucky to have issues picked up.
DD1 has dyspraxia (only formally recognised in y11) and she was able to get some papers printed on different colour paper, plus other concessions. Also teachers became more understanding and helpful.
It will be well worth getting it sorted now, as she may be allowed extra time in her exams which, even if she doesn't necessarily need it, can be useful.
Definitely get her screened for dyslexia, but also look into Meares Irlen Syndrome. You don't have to be dyslexic to have it and a normal eye test won't pick it up. My son has it and now wears dark tinted glasses, which have stopped words moving and fogging. He had no idea this wasn't normal until an enlightened year 4 teacher caught on. He couldn't copy off the white board, so that gave her the clue. To get tested you'll need to take her to a specialised Behavioural Optometrist. They'll try her with different tints and get her to read with them to see how much difference they make. I was sceptical when we went, but the difference in terms of how fast and how accurately he could read was genuinely jaw dropping. His was so bad we agreed to the tinted glasses, but a lot of people just use the right shade of tinted cover over text.
My daughter is very similar to yours. Top sets for everything, but issues with spelling. My daughter spells phonetically as she had a good reception teacher who drummed phonics into her. She was assessed in year 6, she also has poor working memory. We thought she didn't have reading issues but it was picked up in her recent assessment (for extra time in GCSEs) that "the words become clear" if she uses a yellow overlay when reading. The other issues she has is that she found it tough to learn times tables and isn't good with analogue clocks. She hates reading out loud. For years she spelled they as thay.
The school should have your daughter assessed for dyslexia. You may have a bit of a battle as she is doing well and an assessment costs around £300. How very resourceful of her with the blue ruler!
To clarify, my daughter is dyslexic and has always been a bookworm. She is also in year 10.
You are not a bad mum at all - even with much clearer indications it is not always obvious to parents at first that their child has Dyslexia. From what you've described it sounds like she has some of the elements of dyslexia which you wouldn't have noticed as she is clearly high functioning.
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