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can you be good at English when you are dyslexic?

(20 Posts)
catwoo Fri 21-Sep-12 15:11:37

DD is 11 and just started at secondary (grammar) school and I have had a letter from the school saying they think she might well be dyslexic.
When she was in about Y3 at primary school I raiswed this with her teacher because her spelling was so bad .the teacher stayed back with her for an hour after school one night a week for a few weeks and then said she knew all the phonics patterns now and would improve.
In Y4 I raised the problem again.She was by now having difficult with reading books particularly those with fine print because she said the letters were moving and her spelling was no better.Eventuially the school got someone from the LEA to try out some overlays with her. The report I got was that she read fluently without the overlays and fluently with- So inconclusive.
She achieved 5A in all subjects in her Y6 SATs and was entered for L6 writing (she didn't get it). yet couldn't spell words like 'water' and 'much' consistently.
At secondary school She is very very slow at copying French words from the board, she says she can only remember 3 letters at once and then when she looks back up at the board can't figure out where she has got to with copying teh word down .Her eyes have been recently tested and she read the letters down to the bottom of the chart easily and close vision seemed fine.
I am a bit annoyed at the primary school for not taking this problem seriously (if she does prove to be dyslexic she should have had extra time in the 11+ for one thing) but mostly how she is going to cope with secondary school.At primary I am thinking maybe you can compensate a bit, but at grammar school how will she learn to spell foreign words, chemical equations etc an will soon fall behind.

Niceweather Fri 21-Sep-12 18:13:15

Do a Google on "Twice Exceptional" and "Stealth Dyslexia which are terms for very bright or gifted children who also have a disability such as dyslexia. My son is a great writer but his spelling and punctuation are dreadful. He's in Year 8 and will definitely face problems with foreign words, graphs, etc. He has some blue tinted glasses that help and he always sits at the front. He has recently started using a laptop but needs to learn to touch type before he'll get the best out of it. He is never going to be far enough behind to qualify for much help even though he is underachieving. His reading age is as much as 6 years behind what it should be (based on IQ) but it's still above average so he won't get help. He listens to audio books but won't read much. Dyslexic writers: F Scott Fitzgerald, Agatha Christie, Flaubert, H C Andersen, AA Gill, W B Yeats, Edgar Allen Poe, Jules Verne, Lynda la Plante. There is also a book and website called "Dyslexic Advantage" by Brock L. Eide and Fernette F. Eide. Good luck!

siilk Fri 21-Sep-12 18:46:41

Absolutely, I was one of those kids that had seriously high IQs but couldn't spell, learn languages etc. Unsurprisingly or surprisingly since this was the 1980's the school flagged me and I was diagnosed with Dyslexia!
I loved English but couldn't really do it! I read like a crazy thing but ask me to put pen to paper ha ha ha!!
Anyway, I stuck with it and even studied it at uni - a place where I did seriously well and I now a secondary English teacher!!! I firmly believe the fact that I struggled sooooo much at school makes me a better teacher as well.

siilk Fri 21-Sep-12 18:47:32

Oops damn iPhone!

sashh Sun 23-Sep-12 07:57:25

Oh I remember the not being able to copy a whole word. I didn't realise that other people could.

You can be dyslexic and good at anything.

FellatioNelson Sun 23-Sep-12 08:04:30

My son is top set English - he can read fine - not fabulously well, but fine enough, he is not behind in his reading age, but his spelling, and his memory of the way words look when he needs to write them down is utterly dreadful. He is 13 and if he has had a long break from school he can revert to spelling even the simplest of words wrongly, including his own name!

But his composition work is full of good content, his grammar and sentence structure is good even if his punctuation is a bit random (that's just remembering what to do again) he has a good vocabulary and his comrephension is good. It can happen.

Funnylittleturkishdelight Sun 23-Sep-12 08:09:46

Absolutely- I am a dyslexic English teacher- back when I did GCSEs and A levels I still achieved full marks/nearly full marks due to developing coping strategies.

I also have dyslexics in my top sets.

Push for an assessment now and get overlays for her and an electronic dictionary.

BeingFluffy Sun 23-Sep-12 10:02:27

DD was diagnosed as dyslexic age 7 when she could barely read or write at all. She is in top set for English at her comprehensive school and is doing components of her GCSE now in year 9 and will sit the final papers in January of year 10. She is predicted A or A* in English and gets some of the highest marks in her set.

smee Tue 25-Sep-12 11:59:49

DS was diagnosed as dyslexic over the summer. He's just started Yr4. His spelling problems are what triggered the assessment. Sounds v.similar to your DD as he reads well, etc but spelling's awful and he finds problems with reading off the whiteboard too.

I'd push for assessment and also go to a behavioural optometrist to see if they might be able to help her too. If she does prove to have a problem she can possibly get concessions to help her such as using a laptop for exams or extra time.

honeybee17521 Mon 05-Nov-12 21:56:07

Hi I'm Bea and im only 13 so oviusly not a mum but I saw yor post and had to reply. I go to a grammar school too in Chatham and I think that I mite be dislexic too like yor dorter but no body has sed anything to me at school but I struggle with reading and riting as well. My best frend helps me at school and helps me cach up with work I cudnt finish in the lesson becos I was too slow. She makes me read everything in site to help me get better. Mabe try this with yor dorter it mite help her. My mum and dad have no ideer that I think this and they will probly larf if I tell them.

lisad123 Wed 14-Nov-12 23:42:45

I was dx with dyslexia at 17 after college spotted signs. The school I went to want great but I loved to read, but terrible spelling and cayotic life.
I did ok in English, getting b in Lit and c in Lang.

Selim Wed 14-Nov-12 23:56:23

I'm dyslexic and I was good at English at school, apart from the spelling. I was a good reader, except out loud and I read constantly as an adult. I also write for pleasure (fanfic blush). I am a chemist by trade and never had a problem learning equations, its never occurred to me that I would, I've never made the connection before, but I am beyond hopeless at languages.

Selim Wed 14-Nov-12 23:57:27

"Oh I remember the not being able to copy a whole word. I didn't realise that other people could."

I didn't know that they could until just now blush

siemlybi Mon 27-Feb-17 08:45:13

I am dyslexic, and I am a young adult now (almost in my 20s) but as a child at primary school I was extremely good at English. At an age of 7 I had a spelling age of 19, and I still have the spelling test to prove it. Here in New Zealand we did the same spelling test every October, with 70 questions. On average it takes most children until year 8 (age 13) to be able to get above 70% on this test. I got 100% at the age of 7. I know adults who still would not be able to grade above 70% on that test. I've always been exceptionally good at reading, writing and spelling. I had perfect grammar and punctuation as a child, and still do. However, as I got older I struggled with strange things that all seemed unrelated, like I have terrible handwriting and hold my pencil very strangely. I can write very well, but struggle to concentrate for long enough to actually do it. A lot of the time I will re-read my own writing and not be able to comprehend it. I have always been terrible at maths, like basic sums - yet I excelled at high school in calculus.

gillybeanz Mon 06-Mar-17 23:31:44


I can remember realising it was me and dyslexia when dh always moved ceefax really fast blush
I just presumed he was really fast, not that I was painfully slow.

theresamustgo Tue 07-Mar-17 10:26:00

my DD is exactly in this boat too. I am confused as to whether we should be doing anything to mitigate it, beyond just reminding er to check spellings etc.

gillybeanz Tue 07-Mar-17 21:49:36

I'm reading everything available that suggests strategies.
I so want my dd to reach her potential, her disability is obvious to me.
If she will accept my help, I want to be able to give it.
Having struggled through childhood and much of adulthood, I do know over coming problems with what seems like basic skills to others can be very demanding of a person with dyslexia.
I would advise any parent of a child with dyslexia to become as knowledgeable as possible for them.

toomuchtvandsocialmedia Tue 07-Mar-17 21:56:36

My DD got an A for English A level and now studies History at Uni. She was diagnosed at 17 years. She has developed a range of strategies to cope with her dyslexia and also works extremely hard. However her spelling is very poor.

ClementineWardrobe Wed 08-Mar-17 08:53:44

A tiny point to make here, the restaurant critic and author AA Gill was severely dyslexic. His command of the language was excellent, he just couldn't spell. He dictated to a junior member of staff, or they would decipher his writing and check with him whatever was completely illegible. Best of luck to you all.

loopygoose06 Thu 09-Mar-17 10:32:21

Take a look at my blog. This is what we found to work. Note that eyesight is critical and that normal optometrists don't pick up on 'functional problems' is the way in which the eyes work as a team to read.

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