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Son aged eight, year four, could he be displaying signs of dyslexia?

(9 Posts)
Lovelygoldboots Thu 04-Oct-12 14:26:55

My son is on an IEP at school and I am extremely frustrated in finding ways to ensure he has the right help at school. He is a very confident bright boy, and can be a bit of a clown iyswim. He is able to talk in a very confident way about subjects that interest him. For instance Ancient Egypt is the topic they are covering at school at the moment and he has taken part in role play activities involved with this. Something lights up in him when he does these sorts of activities and he can talk fluently about this topic but he really struggles to get it down on paper. His spelling is atrocious, he can't seem to visualise the word and get it down on paper. His maths skills are good when it comes to things like, shapes, degrees, angles and measuring but he cannot perform mental maths easily. I feel he has been labelled lazy at school because he is easily distracted. He can read quite well but his comprehension of what he reads does not seem to follow through at school and consequently his SATS scores for this are very low. What can I do to help him? I have got quite cross at school and I am at my wits end to be honest. I have asked for him to be seen by a SEN specialist but the funding is not there for that. I would like him to receive a test for dyslexia if only to rule it out but I am stabbing around in the dark here in order to try and find a way to help him.

Niceweather Sat 06-Oct-12 07:42:15

There are lots of dyslexia websites that might be able to advise you. Our local one does a computer screening test for about £20. Unfortunately, many junior schools "don't do" dyslexia unless perhaps it's so severe that they cannot ignore it. Many people end up having to pay for private lessons. There are little things that can help like using coloured lenses (Dyslexia Research Trust in Reading), computer programmes such as Word Shark, Number Shark, reading programmes such as Alpha to Omega or Toe by Toe. Many of us on here have found secondary school to be much much better and far more understanding of dyslexia and with less emphasis on the three Rs, our kids have been able to take off in other areas.

whistlestopcafe Sat 06-Oct-12 07:46:59

What SAT scores did he get at the end of year 3?

Lovelygoldboots Sat 06-Oct-12 09:11:06

Thanks Nicweather, whistlestop, he got 2C in writing, and 2B in maths and reading. His writing really lets him down, he had a scribe for his SATS in year two but he refused to have this at year three SATS(which was a massive surprise to me tbh, I only learnt that at the start of this year) and wanted to do it himself. He achieved 1A in writing at year two so has made little progress in this area. I should also point in he is a July birthday and I know that does make a massive difference in progress.

Camo1 Wed 31-Oct-12 08:13:11

Ask to see their sen policy. The local authority should have an sen service that deals with learning support, the school could access. You could call the lea yourself and speak to SEN too.

Iceflower Wed 31-Oct-12 08:27:24

Hi there, has your son had any EP (Educational Psychologist) involvement?

If not, it may be a good idea to speak to your SENCO about your concerns and ask for an EP to become involved. This involvement may range from advice to school, class observations to assessment.

Good luck (you may need it as many schools are unwilling to "buy in" an EP, even though they are usually part of the LA.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 31-Oct-12 11:21:21

Does your son's IEP show reading and spelling ages in comparison to chronological age? You need to calculate your son's rate of progress or ratio gain (See the Rose Review on dyslexia which is used by all LEAs). Even with lea EP involvement things are not good. re my DS1, 1st lea EP failed to diagnose dyslexia, nearly 3 years later the 2nd lea EP did the wrong assessments. When I asked her about dyslexia she showed me the 'illegal' criteria of the level a child must be working at before the lea become involved. Basically, 1b at the end of year 6 or 5 year's behind peers. Trouble is levels are comparison against peers not individual rate of progress and are the wrong measure to focus on.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 31-Oct-12 11:55:52

According to the Rose Review (2003, pp 178-9),

'Many UK studies report results not in standard scores but in reading and spelling ages, from which ratio gains can be calculated in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. A ratio gain of 1.0 means that the child’s skills are developing at a normal pace, but they will not be catching up with their peers. Brooks (2007) suggests that ratio gains of less than 1.4 are of ‘doubtful educational significance’, between 1.4 and 2.0 of ‘modest impact’, between 2.0 and 3.0 of ‘useful impact’, between 3.0 and 4.0 of ‘substantial impact’ and above 4.0 of ‘remarkable impact’ (Brooks. 2007, p. 289).

However, Brooks (2007) points out that ordinary teaching (i.e. no intervention) does not enable children with literacy difficulties to catch up, and hence it is fair to presume that, in the absence of control or comparison groups, and where effect sizes cannot be calculated, findings of ratio gains in excess of 2.0 may be taken as good evidence in support of the method employed. Indeed, several studies have shown that, without help, dyslexic pupils progress at around only 5 months per calendar year in reading (ratio gain 0.42) and 3 months in spelling (ratio gain 0.25) (Thomson, 1990, 2001; see also Rack and Walker, 1994).'

If he is not making progress the interventions should be increased (Wave 1 to Wave 2 etc) and he should be put on School Action.

Also you said he had a scribe - why? Has he been assessed by OT?

If your son is not a problem to teaching staff they will not want to 'buy in' an EP - in some schools literally - they no longer have to buy the service from the lea btw but from the cheapest bidder - if the EP will not do anything. I was told by the EP that DS was probably not dyslexic because 'he could read and write' (ie the lea is not interested unless they can't) and that even if he were he would not get any more or any different interventions. This was not true. It is worth paying (around £500) for private EP assessment. Go to someone reputable rather than a dyslexia service that does diagnosis by SpLD teachers rather than EPs and is more interested in flogging their tuition services. Head/SENCO told me days before the diagnosis of dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia and ADD by an independent EP that in his 20 year experience he could assure us that DS was not dyslexic, that he had taught many dyslexic children blah blah blah - bollocks. The school also 'missed' a severe auditory processing disorder and ASD.

Pay for your own assessments and if DS is dyslexic calculate ratio gain. Use these to get the maximum provision DS is entitled to. Ratio gain is then used to measure how effective the intervention is. Also do other stuff - vision training, retained reflex therapy if needed etc. If RA and SA are age equivalent or rate of progress is adequate you can tick this of and focus upon motor skills, especially fine motor skills. Get GP to refer you to OT. They will send questionnaire to home and school. Waiting lists can be long - many months - and so do this asap rather than waiting for outcome of other assessments.

Sorry to go on so.

Minnieyumi Tue 06-Nov-12 23:26:38

the last post is very interesting. I had my son seen by a edpsych and in most areas ratios are 3.8 to 4.0
he got auditory issues, very short attentionspan and is very sensitive too.
What happens now the school have to gather evidence to get my son statemented. Not sure if there will be a follow up appointment in january or not. But I do noticed, they have done alot of testing made recently.
It is a long hard road to go and still be a rocky one ahead.
But in any case gather evidence yourself from all professionals you are dealing with always, always ask for a copy of letters. from teachers, nursery, afterschool private tutor , doctors you name it. Every little note or report keep them and present them to school as evidence. It will help you in a enormous way. I have sent my son to get him tested in a boarding school for special needs who deal with dyslexia. He stayed 3 days and you will get a report and after they will tell you if he will be the right candidate. So he was. All these little steps helped me where I am now. I just hope it all works out fine for him.

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